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Pyramid Words
Pyramid Words - Image1
Posting Details
Country of origin United States
Created by Elise N. Khanijao
Posted by Elise N. Khanijao
Date first posted February 10, 2014
Game details
Game genre Language
Game summary Build a pyramid of commonality. With random nouns and adjectives placed at the base of a pyramid, build the upper levels of the word-pyramid by finding a word common to the two words below it.
# of players 1 to 3
For ages 6 to 12


Other details


Game Designer / CreatorEdit

  • Created by Elise N. Khanijao

Game SummaryEdit

Build a pyramid of commonality. With random nouns and adjectives placed at the base of a pyramid, build the upper levels of the word-pyramid by finding a word common to the two words below it. For example, suppose two nouns (e.g., fruit and rocket) and two adjectives (e.g., moody and elegant) are randomly selected. Players place them across the base in the order of noun, adjective, noun, adjective (see Figure).

Pyramid Words - Image1

Players then try to find a common word for each noun-adjective pair and then place it above the pair. Sour is common to both fruit (i.e., some fruits are sour) and moody (i.e., one can be in a sour mood). Rockets are literally uplifting and experiencing something elegant can be uplifting. Finally, find commonality for the two words of the middle level (i.e., sour and uplifting) to create the word at the top of the pyramid. A lemon is both sour and refreshing (or uplifting).

This example uses a pyramid with three levels. If students want more of a challenge, they can use a four-level pyramid as shown in Section 7.

Players / ModeratorsEdit

  • 6 to 12 years old.
  • Can play individually or in small groups (2 or 3).
  • A moderator helps players select the random nouns and adjectives. Every player has the same role: they look for words to construct the pyramid.

Game Set-up and ConstructionEdit

Detailed step-by-step instructions on how to set-up and/or construct the game.

  • Players either draw or printout the pyramid template from Section 5.

Details on materials needed including alternatives if possible.

  • Paper and pens OR whiteboard and markers
  • Dictionary OR Online Random Word Generators (see Section 6 below)

Estimated cost to get the game up and running and to operate on an ongoing basis.

  • Cost of pens and paper (or markers).

How to Play / Game RulesEdit

  1. Moderator divides the whole group into small groups of 2 or 3.
  2. Moderator gives each small group a template of a pyramid.
  3. Moderator asks all players to think of a noun and raise their hands when they have one. Moderator picks two players who share their nouns. Moderator instructs each team to write down the two nouns along the pyramid’s base in the appropriate locations. OR, a dictionary or online random word generator (Section 6) is used to select the nouns.
  4. Moderator then asks all players to think of an adjective and raise their hands when they have one. Moderator picks two players who share their adjectives. Moderator instructs each team to write down the two adjectives along the pyramid’s base in the appropriate locations. OR, a dictionary or online random word generator (Section 6) is used to select the adjectives.
  5. Each small group works to fill in the remaining blank boxes of their pyramid by finding a word common to the two words below it.
  6. Each small group shares how they filled in their pyramid.
  7. A point is given for each word filled in correctly. Also, a point is given to the team that correctly finishes the task first.

Templates / DiagramsEdit

Pyramid Words - Image2

Here is a three-level blank pyramid that can be used as a template.

Pyramid Words - Image3

Here is a four-level blank pyramid that can be used as a template.

Related Web LinksEdit

Here are the random word generators that help find the base words.

http://www.desiquintans.com/noungenerator.php http://www.wordgenerator.net/adjective-generator.php

Other DetailsEdit

Here is an example of a four-level pyramid using the same base words (e.g., fruit, moody, rocket, and elegant).

Pyramid Words - Image4

We will only describe the connections not yet described from our first example in Section 1.

  • Moody + Rocket = Up: If one is moody, one goes up and down. Similarly, a rocket goes up.
  • Sour + Up = Lemon: Lemons are sour and grow in trees, so they could be up above you.
  • Up + Uplifting = Crane: A mechanical crane lifts things up.
  • Lemon + Crane = Yellow: Both mechanical cranes and lemons are often the color yellow.

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