Memory Games

Room 6 play memory games in class. Some of them are online:

Find the Suspect, memory game

Memory Game: Flip

Number Sequences

Simon – The Memory Game

We play a memory game in class called ‘As I went into Tesco’s. It is good for developing concentration and memory. It is explained on the following link:

I went shopping and I bought a…

The following is a game I enjoy playing in class because for me as a teacher it is a useful reminder of the amount of information a child may retain from a lesson depending on
level of concentration
the children’s ability to retain information
and certainly how engaged or active the child has been in the lesson.

It is a reminder to me as a teacher not to forget the wise saying:

We remember 90% of what we do…

75% of what we see…

and 20% of what we hear…

This game also illustrates how stories can evolve as they are passed
from person to person;
how myths and legends were added to from generation to generation.
It can also show children how rumours start or misinformation be passed.

I choose four children.
Three wait where they can’t hear what is being said.

I tell a short story to the first child.
We then invite one of the waiting children to come back
and the first child tells the second the story.

Then child number three returns and is told the story by child number two.
Child number three in turns tells the story to child number four.
Child number four tells the story they have just heard to the class.

In general the story becomes much shorter.
A lot of the detail is lost and there are many inaccuracies.
But with practice the children improve. It is a game the children enjoy

Even with your own child, tell them a short story
and see if they can relate the story back accurately.
I often use the ‘blurb’ on the back of a book for this activity
or a simple recipe.

A picture by Alexandra, to put us in a summery mood 🙂

2 thoughts on “Memory Games

  1. I remember when we were children we used to remember facts by weaving them into a rhyme, or even into a song.

    The rhyme does not need to be complicated. Who does not remember “i before e, except after c”?

    How about –
    “One, two, buckle my shoe
    Three, four, knock at the door”?

    Regular rhythm and beat are the triggers to memories tied to tunes. The tune can be Happy Birthday or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or even some up to date song or theme song of a favourite television programme.

    In fact I remember the words parodying the Colonel Bogey March, being –
    “Be kind to your web-footed friend
    For a duck may be somebody’s mother.
    She lives all alone in a swamp
    Which is always cold and damp….”
    which is all nonsense, but the words remain engraved on my memory. Hearing that tune never fails to trigger that memory.

    Playing a memory game over and over again carves a neural pathway for our memory, just as surely practising playing a musical instrument carves a neural pathway for our fingers, which at times seem to follow the path without our even thinking about where they should be going.

    There are some good memory games available on which can help both young and old sharpen up their memories.

    Repeating your shopping list in your head, over and again in the same order, or even weaving them into a nonsense sentence is another trick which can sharpen your short-term memory.

    For younger children, try encouraging them to remember the contents of their lunchbox.

    If they need to remember their home phone number, split it into a regular rhythm.

    So many different tricks – so many easy ways to regain your confidence in your memory.

  2. Thanks Darwinian for all that advice and observations about ways of improving memory. I had just put down online ideas here on the blog and of course there is a wealth of other great ways that don’t involve a computer that people must have been using for hundreds … if not thousands of years. I find I agree with everything you said! Certainly too, some of your reminders brought me back to my own childhood. Then ‘Be kind to your web-footed friend’ was a song I used hear when watching an excellent Canadian children’s programme: ‘The Elephant Show’ (from the 80s but shown here in Ireland in the early 90s) With regard to the benefits of learning a musical instrument: in school here we learn to play the recorder and certainly I find that doing this has an overall positive effect on the children in terms of their learning and indeed their social development as a class group. Thanks again, Merry Beau

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