Challenge the trumps! – a plenary or starter activity

This plenary or starter was inspired by my recent purchase – a set of Top Trumps cards on the First World War. I have written elsewhere about using Top Trumps cards in lessons but this mainly focused upon creating your own packs rather than using existing packs. Thinking about how to use this potentially engaging resource in an effective non-gimmicky manner, I thought perhaps the best way was to present students with a copy of the card on a PowerPoint slide and ask them questions based on judgements based on the criteria shown on the cards using the knowledge they have gained in the lesson if it was a plenary or if it was a starter then perhaps a card that covered a previous lesson’s content which links to the current lesson.


Such Challenge the Trumps! questions could be –

  • Has the card got it right about [Insert relevant criteria here]?
  • Overall, justify the judgements presented on the Top Trumps Card?
  • Which judgement is the most accurate?
  • Which judgement is the most inaccurate?
  • Which criteria would you remove and what would you replace it with?
  • Has the card got it wrong about?

To save you time, you could have a slide with the Top Trumps card on it with the six question frames above on it – each question is numbered. Then present the slide to your classes. Ask a student to throw a dice and they then have to answer, as a class, the question which corresponds with the number thrown on the dice. A link to an exemplar slide with Top Trumps card is below.

Top Trumps – Challenge!

Alternatively, if there are no Top Trumps cards that fit your topic, you can always make your own and frameworks for this can be found on my first Top Trumps blog post on this site. This may help you explain the task and outline what the criteria is and what the judgements mean [for example – are they rated out of ten, twenty or one hundred].