Instruction Model - Creative Memorization


When faced with memorizing mathematical equations such as
logab = c ↔ ac = b
most students resort to memorization by repetition, if the attempt the task at all. This model gives students more advanced memorization tools in a format that all students can excel, not just those who are good at math.

This model allows each student to pick a method of memorization, either from a list provided by the class, or a method they pick. This allows the student to pick a method that fits their skills or interests. They also have the opportunity to display their talents to the other students. Some just take this type of lesson as an appropriate opportunity to be silly.

When to Use the Creative Memorization Model

This model is useful when students are required to memorize math equations or other pieces of information that might seem like a jumble of characters to them.

Steps in the Creative Memorization Model

  1. Give students a basic understanding of the equation or fact to be memorized. This might employ other lesson models.
  2. Ask students to name some ways to memorize things. Some of the things that might be in the list are:
    • Songs
    • Stories
    • Poems
    • Pictures
    • Acronyms
  3. Explain to the students that they are going to memorize the particular equation or fact. Ask them for some ideas that they like. This usually turns into something resembling a disorganized brain-storming session. This is a sign of the students' enthusiasm.
  4. Explain the grading for the project. I usually give points for coming up with a reasonable method, plus extra credit points for creativity.
  5. At a later time, usually the next class period, ask the students to share their creative memorization methods. I make this part optional.
  6. Collect the methods to verify that the student has come up with a valid method.
  7. Over the next several class periods, ask a few students at random to state the equation or fact.
  8. A quiz asking the students to state the equation or fact allows for formal assessment of their progress.

Lesson Evaluation Checklist

Check boxDo the students have a basic understanding of the equation or fact?

Check boxHave the students identified a way to memorize?

Check boxAre the students actively using their method?

Check boxHave the students actually memorized the equation or fact?



Other Resources



David E. McAdams. Instruction Model - Concept Attainment. 9 August 2007. Life is a Story URL: