A “fishing” game for multiple players

Educational Objectives:
  • Players become familiar with primate species
  • Players become familiar with primate habitats
  • Players learn which primate species live in which habitats
  • Players learn, from the cards, the country of each species and its habitat (world geography)
  • Players teach each other about the world’s primates and their habitats

A “fishing” game for 2, 3, 4, or 5 players of all ages.
​The twist? Players teach each other about the world’s primates and their habitats while playing.


36 game cards include 27 primate cards and 9 habitat cards.
Note: There are three times as many rainforest cards in the deck because most nonhuman primates live in the world’s tropical rainforests.
1. Download the printable game cards. ​

2. Print the cards. For best results, print on card stock. Laminate if you wish.

3. Cut to create a 36-card deck.

Win the most “books” of cards. A book is any four of a kind, such as four rainforest habitat cards, four rocky cliff habitats, four savanna habitat cards, and so on.

​A dealer is designated. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals five cards clockwise one at a time, face down, beginning with the player to his or her left. The remainder of the pack is placed face down on the table to form the stock pile.

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1. Each player gets five cards. 
Hold your cards up in front of you and do not let the other players see your cards.

2. If you are dealt four of a kind (four of the same habitat suit cards = a book), remove them from your hand and lay them on the table in front of you. You get a point. Announce, “These primates (specify the species) from these regions (name the geographic region) live in this habitat (specify the habitat type)” and show the pictures to the other players as you describe them.

In the example to the right, with 4 urban habitat cards. Announce: “Common marmosets from Brazil, chacma baboons from South Africa, and rhesus macaques from central, south, and Southeast Asia live in urban habitats,” showing the primate cards as you name them and showing the urban habitat card

3. Moving clockwise, players take turns asking one specific player for a given habitat card. If someone asks you for a habitat that you have, you must give all of your cards of that habitat to that player. If you do not have any cards of that habitat, tell your opponent to “go fish.” He or she takes one new card from the stockpile of cards.

4. If the stock pile gives the player their fourth habitat card, the player has a “book,” announces the primates, geographic regions, and habitats to the other players, and places the habitat “book” in front of him or her. A point is earned.

5. When it’s your turn, select a player you think might have a card you need. If the player has the desired card, he or she must pass it over to you. If that player has more than one card for the habitat that you seek, he or she must give them all to you. If not, you must “go fish.” If you receive the card you asked for, you go again.
After taking cards from the pile, you may have more than 5 cards in your hand

6. When you receive a card you requested, show the card to the other players. Announce to the other players the name of the habitat, the primate, and the geographic region he or she is from, and show the photos of the primate/s and/or habitat depicted in the cards.

Please note: since most non-human primates live in rainforests, there are three sets of four rainforest groupings. A book of four rainforest cards must consist of three primates and one habitat picture card.

7. When you get the fourth card of a book, show all four cards to the other players and announce, “These primates (specify the species) from these regions (name the geographic regions) live in this habitat (specify the habitat type)” and show the pictures to the other players. Then place the card on the table face up in front of yourself, and take another turn.

In the example to the right, announce: “Sumatran orangutans from Sumatra, Indonesia, common squirrel monkeys from South America, and white-headed capuchin monkeys from Latin America, all live in the rainforest,” showing the primate cards as you name them and rainforest habitat card.

8. If you run out of cards and there are still cards left, you may draw five more cards from the deck.

9. Play continues until all hands are empty and there are no more cards to draw from. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game.

10. Find out more about Who’s In the Cards?

Two “books” of cards—rainforest habitat and urban habitat = 2 points

Copyright © New England Primate Conservancy 2018-2022, You may freely use, copy and share these Learning Activities for educational purposes. 
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