Math = Love: Free Download: Evaluating Functions War

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Free Download: Evaluating Functions War

My Algebra 1 students are required to be able to evaluate functions from a table, equation, or graph.  Last year, I taught these as separate skills.  This year, I've decided to combine them into a single skill so that (I hope!) students can see that we're doing the exact same thing in each case.  We're just given the information in a different way.

Last year, I played a version of evaluating functions war with my students that I haven't blogged about yet.  Oops...  It worked well, but it only let students practice evaluating functions from an equation.  Last night, as I was laying in bed and trying to think about sleep, I started brainstorming how to make a game that incorporated evaluating functions from graphs and tables, too.  I would have liked to include mapping diagrams in this activity as well, but it seemed like more of a hassle than it would be worth.

Here's what I came up with this afternoon:


If that image is too fuzzy or hard to read, here are the instructions in typed form.  :)

Game Preparation Instructions
1. Decide how many students will be in each group.

2. Print one copy of page 2 (evaluation cards) for each student in each group. Printing these on different colors of paper will make it easier for students to sort out which cards belong to who at the beginning of the game.

3. Print one copy of pages 3-5 (function cards) for each group.

4. Laminate (if possible) and cut apart.

Game Play Instructions
1. Shuffle the larger function cards (pages 3-5) and place face down in the center of the playing area.

2. Distribute the smaller evaluation cards to each player. If they are printed on different colors, each player should get 9 cards in a matching color. If cards are not color-coded, distribute 9 cards to each player. Each player should shuffle their deck several times.

3. Turn over the top function card and place it in the center so all players can see.

4. Each player turns over their valuation card and evaluates the function at that value.

5. The player with the highest value wins each of the other players’ evaluation cards. Cards that are won go on the bottom of the stack.

6. Continue play by turning over a new function card in the center of the playing area and having each player turn over a new evaluation card.

7. If two or more players have identical evaluation cards that evaluate to the same highest value, each of those players should turn over a new evaluation card to act as a tie breaker between those players. If two or more players have non-identical evaluation cards that evaluate to the same highest value, a new function card should be turned over to act as a tie breaker between those players.

8. Play ends as soon as one player runs out of cards. The players who still have cards are considered the winners of the game. Another round may be played if time allows. (This rule keeps all students engaged throughout the game.)

If you have any questions about the rules (or suggestions to make them better!), please leave a comment at the bottom of this post!

Evaluation Cards (9 to a Page)

* Print one page per player
* Best results if each page printed on a different color
* Example: If students will be playing this in groups of three, use three different colors when  you print these.  If you are printing multiple sets, each group of cards can use the same three colors.

Function Cards (6 to a Page)




You can download the files for this activity here.  If you download the editable Publisher version, you'll need to also download these free fonts: Qarmic Sans, Rockwell, and ArmWrestler.  The PDF version will preserve all of the fonts and formatting.     


  1. Great idea! Now you've got me pondering a way to use a similar concept to help students practice cases (nominative, accusative, dative and genitive) in German. They aren't numerical values, so I'll have to figure out a different way to determine the winner... :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I played this with my algebra 2 classes, and it worked really well. One thing we did run into is that the graph of the horizontal line leads to a never-ending tie. I just pulled that card and it went great for the rest of the day.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is such a cool game, I would like to try it next year in our functions unit. Thanks for sharing