Memory and Learning

Mary A. Mason Clay Elementary School
13233 South Burley
Chicago IL 60409
(312) 535-5600


The teacher will introduce primary students to the various parts of the brain
and provide specific activities and a plastic model designed to help improve

Materials Needed:

One gallon plastic water container (for each student)
A child's silhouette (for each student)
A drawing of a brain, that can be divided, into three puzzle pieces of the
three science words below, (for each student)
Science Words, Medulla, Cerebellum, Cerebrum (for each student)


Activity One


Teacher will ask three (3) volunteers to come up, close their eyes and put their
hands behind their backs. Teacher will prick one with a pencil. The student
should make an involuntary movement. Teacher will touch another student on the
neck. Teacher will touch the other student lightly on the hand. The medulla is
responsible for respiration, circulation, muscle tone, nerves, reflexes, and it
controls all internal functions.


Teacher will draw a line on the floor and ask a student to walk in a straight
line while the class observes. The cerebellum is responsible for balance,
muscular coordination and motor skills.


Teacher will discuss students' various emotions. When students feel sad or
happy, the cerebrum is stimulated. The cerebrum is also responsible for higher
level skills and critical thinking.

Activity Two

Teacher will whisper a nonsense sentence to a student. The student whispers
the nonsense sentence to the next student. This continues until every student
has heard the sentence. "Cherry Berry is my favorite fairytale for toddlers" is
a good choice. Rhyming and alliteration with the "F" and "T" sound help the
memorization process even though the sentence is a nonsensical one.

Activity Three

Song to teach the Continents

When teaching a song, the medulla and cerebrum are at work. The medulla allows
a person's muscles to perform in such a way that she/he can pucker so air can
pass, thus forming the lips to sing. The cerebrum is responsible for the part
that allows students to "know" the words and the tune to the song.

"Continents, continents, what are you?
Continents, continents, what are you?
Continents, continents, what are you?
You are a great big world.

A is Africa
A is Australia
A is Asia
A is Antarctica
E is Europe
N is North America
S is South America

You are a great big world."

This song is sung to the tune of any familiar nursery rhyme.

Activity Four

This song is sung to the tune of any familiar nursery rhyme.

"I know the five great lakes.
I know the five great lakes.
I know the five great lakes.
All I need to know is HOMES.

H is Lake Huron
O is Lake Ontario
M is Lake Michigan
E is Lake Erie
S is Lake Superior

All I need to know is HOMES."

Activity Six

Each student is given an empty one gallon water container and a silhouette of
a child's head. They will color the picture, cut it out and paste the silhouette
on the container. Each student will be given a "brain puzzle". He/She will
match each puzzle piece with the original copy that they received earlier.
Teacher and students will discuss and label the 3 (three) parts of the brain.
When a child can say the vocabulary words and demonstrate an understanding of
the functions of the brain, then he/she can place the words and brain parts into

The container will be used for the entire year to collect data that the
students have learned. The students can put the five Great Lakes and the Seven
Continents into the brain (container). Students can also put math facts and
times tables into the container. This is an excellent source of recall for
students to use to review skills already learned. I emphasize reviewing the
information in the brain (container) frequently to put knowledge into long
term memory.


Student will demonstrate mastery of material in the brain through a periodic
checking system set up by teacher. If student forgets material that he/she has
already learned, he/she must take it out of the brain. This is an ongoing
process. Checking can also be done by another peer. Peer tutoring is
strongly encouraged.


The knowledge that we have acquired as teachers and techniques for teaching it,
if combined with what I believe to be a "true calling", is the greatest formula
for becoming an effective, highly motivated educator.

Memory and learning go hand in hand. All students do not learn at the same
rate, but all children can learn. Using different strategies and creating a
safe and positive learning environment will enable students to learn and
be successful.
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