Memorization Stimulates Learning

Kids are relying on Google as their memory. Not a good idea! The brain needs to be taught to memorize, by using memory exercises, and learning to memorize poetry and math facts. Memory is important in building relationships, establishing recognition of patterns, people and events. Then the brain transforms this information to problem solve. The more we use our memory, the better it becomes. Kids who practice memorizing favorite poems may find many benefits from the activity.

They are likely to:

  • Understand the natural rhythms and conventions of rhyming poetry better
  • Do better in classes that require memorization for tests or quizzes
  • Feel better and get more pleasure from reading
  • Focus and concentrate more effectively
  • Have better attention to detail and order
  • Have a greater appreciation for and understanding of poetry

This month, challenge your student(s) to memorize a quotation or a passage of poetry. There are many quotes in my Thought for the Day book that are beneficial to memorize. Begin with something short like this quotation by John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Or just memorize this silly poem by Jack Prelutsky.

Dora Diller

‘My stomach’s full of butterflies!’

lamented Dora Diller.

Her mother sighed. ‘That’s no surprise,

you ate a caterpillar!’

– Jack Prelutsky

This was my favorite poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, I memorized as a child:

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,

River and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside–

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown–

Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down!

– Robert Louis Stevenson

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