Sometimes games waste time. They’re fun, but not necessarily efficient with every student on task. And then some games have single person engaged, practicing exactly what you want them to practice. Mano Nerviosa is one of those game, and my students beg for it!
I learned Mano Nerviosa in Peru, just as a normal card game. When I started teaching, I realized it was perfect for learning numbers 1-13– and actually knowing them. Most students come to me being able to count, or learn 1-10 fairly quickly. If you ask them what seven is, though, they can only get there by counting. This game fixes all that, and works for any topic students learn by chanting or recitation (months, days, ABC’s– you would just need the cards for it).
Divide the students into groups of 4-6. (Can be played with 2-3 if needed.)
Ace = 1
2 – 10 = 2 – 10
Jack = 11
Queen = 12
King = 13
Divide all of the cards evenly among the players, and use two decks if possible. One person starts by laying a card face up, in the middle, and saying uno (or one— any language works!). The play continues clockwise, laying down cards and counting. When everyone counts to 13, they start back at 1 and count up again. Anytime a number is placed in the middle that matches the number spoken, the players can slap the pile. The first person to hit the card gets the entire pile to keep. The first person to get all the cards in the game wins.
Here’s a video showing the game being played:
Also, if anyone loses all their cards, they can still slap in. Everyone is involved and engaged with a chance to win, right until the end!
**Give a strict lecture about losing turns, being out of the game, etc. by being too rough. They REALLY get into this one! If you have super-shy, sensitive kids, make sure they are in a less competitive group.**
**Once everyone gets the hang of it, you can choose to play the original way: if anyone incorrectly slaps, they put ten cards back into the pile.**
Here’s my Games in Spanish Pinterest board:
… And here’s a nice pinnable image if you’d like to save or share!