Saturday, July 30, 2011

Classical Conversations Review Games

Because no one has yet stepped up to the plate for this tutoring position that's open for our Classical Conversations Community, I've been on a mad dash to find or create a few games that we can play for memory work review time (while still praying for God to send someone else, mind you.  You can read all my reasons why God should send someone else here.)

First of all, I decided to create a few homemade review dice as something I can just use and wing it if I don't have my ducks all in a row because, inevitably, I don't have all my ducks in a row from time to time.  The boys liked the idea and actually helped me to decide what would go on the "voice" die and what would go on the "actions" die.  You can pick and choose which dice to use, as the download includes a subject die, an action die, a voice die, and a weekly die.  (Note about weekly die:  During review time, tutors are supposed to review the previous six weeks' memory work.  The weekly die is just a way to randomly select the week from the previous six weeks, but it is optional.) You can download the Review Game Dice here. 

CC Review Game Dice
If you have not yet subscribed to CC Connected (the online subscription service on the Classical Conversations website), I highly recommend it.  This is the type of stuff you can find, in addition to PowerPoint slides, worksheets, copywork, and mp3s of our memory work put to music.  It is my lifeline - I've downloaded hundreds of files from there.  It's only $6/month for those who are enrolled in a CC Community. 

Other games you can use for Classical Conversations:
This is not an exhaustive list, as you can usually figure out some way to incorporate our memory work into games. Just wanted to provide some ideas to get your brain cranking about how to make memory work fun!  If you have a board game, think of a way you can ask questions from review instead of questions from the game.  You don't have to have a template to do this, though it's really nice when you do! 

For Candyland, a tutor or parent had made some card templates for Cycle 2 - the front side had the squares, back side had the questions. I still have not seen them up on CC Connected for Cycle 3 yet but am hoping to see them soon!  You can just use the cards that come with the game and assign certain color/number combinations to particular categories (e.g., 1 red square = Math question).

You would probably want to create memory cards for things like fine arts vocabulary (e.g., matching "half-note" with a picture of a half note).  Someone has already created resources like this on CC Connected.  Susan Paradis has Piano Teacher Resources that can also be used for general music theory, including this memory game (though it's not created to go with our particular memory work).  Check out all of her downloadable games here.

Trivial Pursuit
I've made a Trivial Pursuit game for CC for Cycles 1 & 3 and posted it to CC Connected.  I'm not sure I'll make a board for it (which means you'll need to own the game), but I'm making the cards.  Here's a sneak peek:
I'm not sure when I'll have Cycle 2 cards available.  This summer has proven to be a busy one and I've just not had the time!  When (or If ever) I finish, I will upload them to CC Connected.  But you don't need my cards to use Trivial Pursuit!  You can just use a Trivial Pursuit game, reassign each color to a certain memory work category, and ask questions from that particular week.

Jeopardy & Sequence
For Jeopardy and Sequence, visit Karin at JKDewey.  (I'm not sure if she still sends the materials for a small fee, but her stuff is GREAT!)

Jeopbardy Board in a Box from Karin in Orlando.
Sequence gameboard from Karin in Orlando.
For Jeopardy, you can also just print and laminate (or place in page protector) a file called JEOPARDY.pdf on CC Connected.

Family Feud
Split up into two teams, have one member from each team come to front.  Place a bell or buzzer or "that was easy" button between them.  Ask the question and play just like Family Feud.  But be careful - some children do not like games like this because of the competition.  You can make taking score optional, or create some "Will the Winners Lose" cards so that you never know if they're going to earn points, subtract points, or give points to the other player.  (The "Will the Winner Lose" game is another fantastic download from CC Connected.)

Connect 4
Ask students a question, if they get it correct, they place the checker in the Connect 4 slot. I know, I know, I know. It's not profound, but just to show you that you can incorporate memory work into almost anything...

Now, if you are feeling creative, there are tons of different games you can create.  Try your hand at using the gameboard templates at this site, or create a Bingo card template here.

Also visit our updated list of review games here.


  1. As soon as you get the Trivial Pursuit game done, I want to be one of the first in line to get it!!! :) LOVE your ideas! Here's another: The first week is always hard because there is only 1 week of information. For the first week, I choose 8 different colored plastic Easter eggs and put a slip of paper in each one with a subject on it (example: history, timeline, english, etc.). The kids each have to pick an egg out of the basket then open it up and recite the memory work from that morning. This works very well with a 6 sided dice anytime during the first 6 weeks. They pick and egg then roll the dice to see what week they must recite. (For week 2, have odd numbers be memory work from week 1, have even numbers be memory work from week 2, etc.) Human tic tac toe in chairs is also fun during the first 6 weeks. 9 chairs and 2 teams = GO! :)

  2. Your ideas are so great. This will our first year in CC and we are so excited. I even shared your site with our yahoo group for our location. We haven't purchased our supplies yet but should next week. Do you have work to memorize for the first week? I will use your site as a major help throughout this year. Thank you for what you do. Oh by the way I have a question about the board that you create for your weekly memory work. Did you create pockets or do you pin or tape everything up.

  3. Thank you!

    For the first week, you can review what you just introduced. In class, our tutors use the time to familiarize everyone with the games they'll be playing or go over class rules or other information. Our weekly memory work board has 8.5" x 11" page protectors taped onto it, along with some 8.5" x 5.5" page protectors for the timeline cards. I can't remember if I bought those on-line or at a store like Staples. Normally, Wal-Mart does not carry page protectors in odd sizes like that. But you can go here to get some (at a rather large discount, I might add): I actually use these to store my timeline cards in a mini-binder that's 3-inches thick. I'm not sure if this is the right size, as I can't remember where I got my binder, but you can try this from keepfiling as well if you don't plan to laminate your cards:

  4. Thanks for the ideas, Karin! You're the best! And... you're already on the list. :)

  5. I would love the trivial pursuit card file when it is done! I'll have to look for a used Trivial Pursuit game at garage sales!:)

  6. Wow!! This is so awesome! This is our first year with CC and I never would have thought of any of this! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  7. I am slightly confused with the dice game. (It could be because I am coming off of vacation and it is 1:00 am.) For the die that says current week -1 and so on, when the child rolls the die do you as the tutor subtract that number from the week that you are on? Sorry it is probably very clear but again it is 1:00 am and I am running a little brain slow. :-)

  8. During review time, tutors are supposed to review the previous six weeks' memory work. That's just a way to make it random which week is selected. (It's optional - you can pick and choose which dice to use.) I'll update that in the post. Thanks for your feedback!

  9. I would love a copy of the trivial pursuit cards when they are finished as well! What a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing. my email is

  10. I would love a copy of the trivial pursuit cards too, if you don't mind. Thank you!

  11. I would like a copy of your trivium pursuit cards please. email:
    Thank you

  12. These are fantastic ideas! I would also love a copy of your Trivial Pursuit cards, if you're willing to share them!

  13. Too funny Brandy and thanks for the info! I'm new to CC this year with my 5 year old daughter. I was so thankful that I didn't HAVE to be a tudor...I was even remarking to a friend during a recent playdate, "The # 1 reason I'm doing CC is so I don't have to worry about doing science and art projects!"...TWO DAYS LATER (and less than 2 weeks until school starts) I'm a TUTOR worring about science and art projects for not 1 child...but 7! My friend thinks it's hilarious! God's ways, right...
    Anyway, thank you again SO very much for all this info! I'll be using it!

  14. Hi there! I'd love your Trivial Pursuit cards when they are available!

  15. My blog also offers many resources for Classical Conversations that you may want to check out!

  16. Hello,
    I would love to have a copy of your cycle 3 trivial pursuits cards. I tried using your contact button but it wasn't working for me. Would you be willing to email me at ? Blessings, stacy

  17. Could you send me your Trival piursuit document please? I am a 4th year director and think that this would be fun to play on extra MM review days. My e-mail is


  18. My daughter's tutor recommended your site in class today and I've been on here all night! Wow! What a lot of great resources! I'm currently working my way through this year's list. It's my daughter's first year in CC and my official first complete year of homeschooling with her in K. I'd love the Trivial Pursuit cards too if you'll email them out. Thank you so much!

  19. I find it so difficult to even get our new grammar in each week--the time we have goes too quickly, even as I try to keep us on task & on time with each subject. Review falls completely to the side pretty much every week (except in geography, b/c every time we trace the map we review the states as we cross them, and when we sing the geography song we're reviewing all the capitals to date...). Thank you for these great ideas. Here we are 10 weeks in & I'm just feeling desperate for REVIEW time!!

  20. Thanks for posting such great ideas! We are always looking for creative ways to review. I would love to have the Trivial Pursuit cards if you could email them to Thanks again!!

  21. Where did you get those wooden desks? They don't look that small. All the ones that I have seen look like they will grown out of them by 5th grade.

  22. They actually are pretty small - my 4th grader still likes it, but the are mainly meant for the primary grades. We ordered them here: