**FREGE**: **F**undamentals
of **Re**asonin**g** for the **E**lectronic Age

The Sense or Nonsense Game

Students who are new to
formal thinking often have a hard time getting straight:

·
The syntax of the
new language(s) they’re using.

·
The type constraints
on the new operations. (You can OR
logical propositions and you can UNION sets, but not the other way around.)

But to win the Sense or
Nonsense game, you’ve got to get all of those things right.

The essential part of every
version of the game is a collection of problems (possibly suitable for printing
on cards.) See below for how to download
ours.

Sense or Nonsense is a game
for two, three or four players. To play
the game, you need:

·
One deck of game
cards. Each card has a logical expression
on the front. Some of the expressions
are “sense”. Some are “nonsense”. The reverse is either green (for the sense
cards) or red (for the nonsense cards).
You can use a deck of between 20 and 40 cards, depending on the number
of players and how long you want to play.

·
(Optional) A pile of
double-sided tokens for each player. You
can use colored poker chips or coins.
All that matters is that each player’s tokens are different and that
there is a “sense” side and a “nonsense” side.

**To Play the Game**

·
Spread the cards on
a table, face up (logical expression side up), being careful that none of the
players sees the backs of any of the cards.

·
Call start.

·
Each player attempts
to claim as many cards as possible.
There are two ways to do this (and maybe others we haven’t thought of):

·
Use tokens: In this mode, players cover cards with
tokens. The goal is to mark the sense
cards with the sense face of one’s token and to mark the nonsense cards with
the nonsense face.

·
Make piles: In this
mode, players grab cards. Each card goes
into one of two piles, one for sense, one for nonsense.

·
The game ends when
all cards have been claimed.

An alternative game
plan: Players take turns. Each player has some amount of time (maybe 15
seconds) to choose a card and mark it as above.
This way may be a bit calmer.

**To Score **

Each player:

·
gets one point for each sense card correctly claimed as sense
or nonsense card correctly claimed as nonsense.

·
loses one point for each card claimed incorrectly.

**A Classroom Alternative that Uses a Classroom Response
System Like iClicker**

Instructor displays a
formula. Students click sense or
nonsense.

**To Download our Materials:**

·
To print game cards:

We
have produced Word files (listed below) that use the template provided by Avery
for printing on standard business card stock.
You should buy cards that are designed to be printed on both sides. Run them through once to print the
formulas. Then a
second time to print the backs (making sure to print green backs on the sense
cards and red backs on the nonsense ones.

Each
set contains 10 cards. So you can make a
20 card deck by combining one sense set and one nonsense set. Or you can use more sets to make a larger
deck.

If
you use different logical symbols than we do, you can easily edit the word
files to match your conventions. You can
also change the problems by simply editing the formatted Word files.

·
To display problems
and use a classroom response system:

Use
the same files as for cards. You can cut
and paste from the cards to whatever system you like.

**The Files**

·
The Backs:

·
Just Boolean Logic:

·
Combination of
Boolean and Predicate Logic:

·
Combination of
Boolean and Predicate Logic and Set Notation:

·
Sense Deck 1 (one sheet of 10 cards)

·
Sense Deck 2 (one sheet of 10 cards)

·
Nonsense Deck 1 (one sheet of 10 cards)

·
Nonsense Deck 2 (one sheet of 10 cards)

·
Combination of
Boolean and Predicate Logic, Set Notation, and Relation/Function Notation: