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Lesson Plan

The Mysteries of Memory: Memorization Techniques That Work

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Loraine Woodard

Loraine Woodard

Berkeley, California


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



A guided tour of a website about memory introduces students to the different kinds of memory (working, long-term, and skill) and to some techniques that can aid in memorizing information, such as visualization and making mental associations. Online memory games illustrate various features of memory and demonstrate the value of specific memory strategies, as students note their results before and after learning the techniques. Class discussion guides students in applying these new skills to improve their schoolwork and reading comprehension. A class memory game encourages students to develop and share their own memory strategies.

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Mysteries of Memory Worksheet: Students can use this extensive handout to explore how memory works and helpful memory strategies.

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Hibbing, A., & Rankin-Erickson, J.L. (2003). A picture is worth a thousand words: Using visual images to improve comprehension for middle school readers. The Reading Teacher, 56(8), 758770.

  • "Research on mental imagery demonstrates that comprehension of text is enhanced when students are prompted or taught to use mental imagery." (760).

  • Proficient readers naturally create a mental image of what they are reading.

  • Nonproficient readers are often too preoccupied with decoding and fail to create an image of what they have read, thus hampering comprehension.

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