Thursday, June 16, 2011

Primary Pyramid

I will be out of town for the two weeks following this Sunday. So this Sunday I'll be doing a review of all the  Program songs we have learned so far, as if it was the last week of the month.

I was feeling uncomfortable about doing a lot of Father's Day stuff during my singing time this year on Father's Day, because of a little family in my ward that lost their daddy about a year ago.  I learned that the family I was concerned about is going to be out of town this weekend, so I feel more at ease asking some fathers to participate in this game. So if you do this activity, you can adapt it to fit with or without dads.

It's called ......*drum roll*...... 
Primary Pyramid

The name comes from the famous game show, $25,000 Pyramid. You can watch it on YouTube if you are not familiar with it. I have created my own simple version of the game:

First let me apologize if you had to get your reading glasses to read this disclaimer. The small font is 
simply for the dramatic effect I hoped to create. Now on to the REAL disclaimer:
My version of this game is specifically created to review songs learned from January through June of 2011. I have two songs that may be different from what you are learning, as we have been instructed to choose our own songs for the months of April and June. You should be able to easily adapt this game to any set of songs. Just get creative! Use your computer or draw your own game set. It will be fabulous!

  •  You'll need a way to keep track of time. I am going to use my 30 second sand timer.
  • Set up two chairs at the front of the room. The chairs should face each other.
  • Open and print this PDF on card-stock or plain paper. ( I think card stock would be best, but plain paper will be okay, too.) Primary Pyramid.pdf  The first page is a key to what song each symbol represents. Don't let the children see this page, it's just for you to refer to. After the first page, all the even pages have a symbol on them, representing a primary song. The odd pages are the playing cards to go along with the song symbol it follows. Cut the playing cards out along the solid lines and put each set in an envelope, making sure you know which song goes with each envelope (maybe write it lightly in pencil or use abbreviations). Save the even pages for your white/chalk board display. 
  • Using the even pages, set up the white/chalk board like this:
 The symbols are in no particular order. Scramble them if you want to. (The Pharaoh is probably the weirdest one there. I thought I'd throw the kids off a little. Pharaoh represents the "kings" in the song Praise to the Man.)

To Play:
Two contestants come to the front and sit in the chairs. (A dad and child, a teacher and child, or two children.)  Ask them to choose one of the symbols on the pyramid on the board to start the game. Explain that each symbol represents a primary song learned this year.

After they have made their choice, show them the stack of cards that goes with the symbol they selected, (without letting them see the picture clues on the cards, of course.) Explain that one of them will be the "clue giver", and describe the word on the card to their partner, "the guesser".  YOU will set the 30 second timer, and hold up the cards for the audience and the "clue giver" to see, so the "guesser" will not be able to see the cards.  If the "guesser" guesses a card correctly, they move on to the next card (you'll flip to the next card). The goal is to try to guess 7 clues in 30 seconds, for 7 points. There are 8 clues so they can have one "pass" without risking losing their 7 points. After the round is finished, give them an extra 10 points if they can name the song the clues were all about. If they can not guess, let the children in the "audience" guess what it is, as you show them all the clue cards.

Have all the children sing the song, then choose two more contestants for the next round. Continue until all 6 songs have been sung.

You might want to explain the relevance of some of the clues. For example, I have a TV as one of my clues. I'll explain that we watch a television screen to see a broadcast or dvd of the living prophet at General Conference time. I have a phone as one of my clues to illustrate the word "commune".

Have fun!

Here is a second version of the game that replaces Reverence is Love with Scripture Power:
Primary Pyramid II.pdf

Afterthoughts: Alrighty then. This was a really fun activity for the kids. But it gave me a little bit of stress, LOL. Mostly because:
  • the 30 second timer seemed like it was 5 seconds long! I ended up turning it over three or four times and then just tossing it aside.  
  • some of the clue words were just too big for the Junior Primary, so I would suggest for Jr. Primary that you cut it down to 3 easy words per song to guess (and no timer). With the 3 and four year olds, (luckily)  a presidency member helped them while I ran the flash cards.
  •  in Junior Primary I think we spent too much time guessing the words and not enough time singing. After all, it is called "singing time", hehe. So again, cut it down to 3 words for Junior Primary.
  • the Junior Primary had a hard time guessing what the song was from just the clue cards. My pianist played a little bit of the song and then they were able to get it. 
What I did like about it was:
  • for Senior Primary it was much less stressful and the kids and dads picked up the game much quicker.
  • the Dads were awesome!
  • the song/picture key was invaluable to me AND my pianist. So print and an extra one for your pianist. 
  • one of the girls in Senior Primary came up to me after church and said she hoped we could play Primary Pyramid more often. Golden words. :)
  • the kids knew all the songs well so I was not stressed about having to really hammer any of the songs over and over. 
  • it was fun!


  1. Ok I just have to let you know that I think your blog is amazing. I look at it every week and still ideas from you. Thanks so much for putting so much time and effort into your blog. You bless my life and the lives of cute little children in my primary. I am grateful for you and your talents!

  2. Woot! I bet my kiddos will love this. Thanks so much for all your work!!

  3. Thanks ashleestout and Little Yancy Family! Woot!

  4. Did you see that they had to take the clipart down from the sugardoodle website?? I was using that a ton! I am so bummed!

  5. Hi Jennifer May,

    Thanks for the heads up!