Memory Activities

The activities below need to be specifically taught and practised regularly before pupils become proficient at using them.

Repetition and Rehearsal

By hearing and/or seeing information repeated several times will help it to be stored in a pupil’s memory more permanently.  When possible giving the pupil opportunities to rehearse information and revisit it regularly will help it also to be stored more permanently.


Using visual imagery in a conscious way can help in remembering spoken information or instructions.

Visualisation will be personal, by asking prompt questions to the pupil about how they can visualise it (e.g. how does it look, is it associated with a colour, shape or sound etc.) can help a pupil form a strong visual image.


Mnemonic is another word for memory tool. Mnemonic are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to remember to recall: An example is the ‘30 days hath September’ rhyme for remembering the number of days in each month. Pupils can make up their own mnemonics that are specific to them and the required information.

You can do the following things to make you mnemonics more memorable:

  • Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones
  • Use vivid, colourful, sense-laden images - these are easier to remember than drab ones
  • Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, tough, movements and feelings as well as pictures.
  • Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions.
  • Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image.
  • Use humour! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones.
  • Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.

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Last updated: 26 October 2015

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