The Appropriate Way to Introduce Keywords in a Primary Classroom

Today's LDS Teaching Tip comes from JEN at Lexical Creations.  Read how you can submit a guest post.


Remember that game where you guessed letters and if you guessed the wrong one, your opponent put a little stick figure in a noose? That’s right, I'm talking about Hangman. Now the idea of hanging a man – even a stick figure – doesn't really belong in a Primary classroom in my opinion. But when I was in Primary, it was a regular time-filler activity after the lesson. The hidden words and phrases always pertained to gospel principles, but did we really have to hang a guy?

No. We don’t.

As an adult, I’ve been assigned to teach many primary classes. I can't count the number of times a lesson has suggested, “Write the word [keyword]‍ on the chalkboard.” then “Have the class say the word.” Remembrances of those old hangman games came creeping back into my mind, but the Spirit whispered, “The guessing letters part of the game is good.”

So I created a new game based on the old idea. Please welcome, SMILEY MAN

The idea of Smiley Man is that all of the parts are on the board at the beginning of the game. If someone guesses wrong, then you erase a piece of the face.

Whether Smiley Man disappears, or whether the children guess the word after the first correct letter, it doesn't matter. The point of the game is to introduce the Keyword in an interesting way. Once it has been guessed, then ask the class what it means.  

Your Turn- How do you introduce the weekly keywords in your Primary lessons? 


JEN Garrett cultivates a testimony of Jesus Christ, as she serves in two callings in her ward. She thrives on seeing light bulbs go on in others, which regularly happens in her Primary Class and at home with her children. JEN blogs over at Lexical Creations. Check out her Facebook or Twitter.