Activity: Memory Acts

Theme: Memory/ Key Words

Activity: Memory Acts

 

A very simple, but effective, aid to memory. This can also be considered a “group” activity and demonstrates progress throughout the lesson. There is a little plenary at the end too! It is a really good first lesson for a new topic – but can be used at any stage in the teaching of a topic.

 

Aim: to help students remember a long list of Key Terms which can then, of course, be used when responding to questions on the topic.

 

Before the lesson:

  • Find a text which would be useful to your lesson. It could be from a text book or other article.

  • Find, and highlight, enough key terms so that you can allocate ONE to EACH pupil in your class.

  • Print enough copies of the article so that the pupils can have one copy each.

 

In the lesson:

  • Stand the whole class, including you, in a circle.

  • Explain that you are going to read the article but each time you come to a key word the next pupil in the circle will say that word/term instead of you.

  • By the time you have read the article once each pupil will have their own key word/term.

  • They must now put their papers aside.

  • You “narrate” again but each time you come to a key word the pupil must say it AND do an action that links to the word/term.  The actions should be as memorable as possible.

  • Now you put your paper aside and you go round the group – moving quickly in order. There is no text this time – just the key words. Each pupil says and acts their word but this time the whole class must say every key word WITH the actor.

  • Now you have come to the penultimate round. This time you go round the circle but the actor does not say the word, he/she simply acts it and everyone else says it.

  • Last time round EVERYONE acts and says each word.

  • Now send them back to their seats and, in silence, get them to write down as many key words as they can remember. Most pupils will get all – or nearly all of them. You will see them looking round the room at people to try to remember the actions.

  • Now leave the activity and get on with teaching the rest of the lesson.

  • Two minutes before the end of the lesson get them to try to write the list again. They will surprise themselves how many term they remember.

 

Hints:

 

Make the activity as fun as possible.

 

Pick a text which is not too long but is packed full of key terms.

 

Keep it moving quickly – it should only last about 10 minutes.

 

This works well with all ages and abilities.

 

You could adapt it in several ways: by allocating one sentence of the text to each pupil and getting them to choose the key word from that sentence; by not giving them the text at all – just giving them a key word and nodding to them when you have reached their word in the “story”; by varying the number of times you go round the circle.

 

 

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