How to Host a Memory Master Survivor Contest!

Memory Master with Classical Conversations is one of the most amazing aspects of learning through CC! How about making a fun day of games for all of your friends to play outside of school for an afternoon? If you have ever watched one of the episodes of the TV Show Survivor, you know what this themed contest is all about – just a full day of fun competition among schoolmates!  You could break up into teams on your campus or even compete the top six kids from multiple campuses.  If you have a host with a big enough house or even could host this at the church you meet at, it would be fun to invite the entire campus – or multiple campuses! Here’s how it all works if you want to host one of these on your own campus.

1.       Gather Memory Master Candidates and parent volunteers at a home large enough 9am until 5pm, or a full working day however you calculate that.  We have a log cabin in the mountains and hope for a sunny, warm day to treat the kids to outdoor fun, learning, and eating.

2.       Open with excitement over the event (“Welcome to the First Annual Memory Master Survivor!!!  We will determine which team is the Ultimate Knowledge Master TEAM today!!!”).

3.       Start with a game that separates the kids into two teams and have them choose a team name from the vocabulary found in their memory work. (Team Romulus vs Team Remus, Team Appalachia vs Team Olympia)  I paired them up for a History and Geography scavenger hunt so their favorite friend would be with them, then as pairs came in I gave them a red stone or a blue stone so that the talent on the teams would be spread out. 

History and Geography Scavenger Hunt – No score, team selection is result of this game

(required: Complete the Geography Necklaces, maps, history memory work, and Chain Review Game cards, moms/parents to check answers)

  • Start outside.
  • Each team of two finds two previously hidden necklaces with Geography place names attached.
  • They come inside, prove to a parent they can find it on the map, (Map Volunteer) then the parent gives them their starting clue card (cards explained below)
  • Teams search the cabin for the sequential cards.  They must say the answers to a volunteer (Q/A Volunteer) to be able to search for their next card.  (again, see card explanation below).
  • They repeat this process until they reach their last card. (the card maker will have to write “Stop” on the last card.)
  • Pass out red then blue stones as each team comes in. This oscillating will balance the knowledge among the two teams.

Complete the Chain Review Game (3×5 cards)

COMPLETE THE CHAIN is a simple review game that we use for various subjects.

It works like this:

Using an index card or similar sized card, write questions and answers that are to be linked.  The first card should say “Complete the Chain” on the left side and the right side should have a question.  Your child will then need to find the answer to that question, which will be on another card.  He will need to place it next to the question. On the other side of the card with the answer, there will be a new question.  He’ll then search for the new answer which will also partner with a new question. Your child will continue linking questions and answers until he has no more cards.

I like to put a star sticker on the start card and a “great job” sticker on the last card.  This particular run was for History Sentences and had 15 cards.

*Make sure you write “Stop” on each last card, or they’ll continue on into perpetuity.

4.       Play one fast game as teams.  Math Kaboom Sticks is a great fast choice.

Kaboom sticks– sticks, one volunteer, standing around a table

Write different multiplication sentences (4 x 5) at the bottom of each popsicle stick.  For every 10-15 sentences you write, write the word KABOOM! on one popsicle stick. (I like to put between 30-40 sticks in, plus 3-4 Kaboom sticks.)  You can easily tailor this game to any level, simply by varying the multiplication sentences.  The set above is for working with factors 2-6.  I also have sets that only work on 1-3, and others that focus on 7-9 and 10-12.

  • Take all of the popsicle sticks out of the can. Place them face down so you can’t see what is written on them.  Or, reach into the can without looking.
  • First student pulls out a popsicle stick.
  • Read the multiplication sentence and then provide their answer.  If their answer is correct (determined either by a reference sheet or their peers) they get to keep the popsicle stick.  If they answer it incorrectly, the stick must go back in the cup.
  • The students continue around the circle, selecting one popsicle stick at a time and answering their question.
  • Any student who pulls a KABOOM! stick has to place all of popsicle sticks they have accumulated back into the cup, leaving them with zero.  (It may sound harsh, but it happens OFTEN, so all students will at some point get “Kaboomed!”

5.       Lunch on the grill.  Play on the mountain for 30 minutes. 

6.       After lunch prepare for the Timeline Dual. 

Timeline Dual (Two part Game) – two white boards back to back, white board markers, pirate booty for winning team

The first part of this game requires two white boards facing back to back so the two teams cannot see each other’s board.

  • Each team lines up and one at a time puts one word on the board then runs to the back of the line for the next person to write the next word.  Their goal is to write all seven Ages and the associated date ranges that are sung in the song.
  • The first team finished receives a prize.  We may use pirate booty for this.  This will be rocks or stones that can be turned into points later in the game.

Timeline Towers (blocks with timeline events) 5pcs booty (Talk / silent)

Write the timeline card titles from all of one Age on one Jenga Block each.  Have the students build a tower out of them in the correct order. Run both teams at the same time racing to beat the others with their tower completion.   While building, the tower will fall down several times, which gives them more practice in committing the order to memory.  Consider doing this series of towers twice, once allowing the team to talk and the second time doing it as a team in silence.  Teams must each have a leader chosen.

7.      Next get ready for the Latin Declension Egg Hunt outside (weather permitting).

Latin Declension Egg Hunt (Latin Declension Chart laminated and cut into 12 puzzle pieces)

  • Roll a big bag of Easter Eggs down the hill in the back yard.
  • Have the children race to find their color coded puzzle pieces.
  • Put their puzzles together.
  • As a team prepare to sing the Singular First Declension song.
  • Race back up the hill and sing it in unison for a parent.
  • First team to finish receives one piece of pirate booty each.

8.       Have a Pirate Booty counting ceremony where we calculate the winning Team or the Ultimate Knowledge Survivor Team!!!   Bid a fond farewell to everyone at 5!!

I know other CC campuses do something similar. I would love to hear about other games, settings, and ideas from others in the comments!!



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