Tell A Story!
Here is a fun, fast-paced, group memory workout adapted from our TBH MEMORY Toolkit. This activity teaches Storytelling, a complex verbal association strategy shown to improve learning and recall.
Time 15 minutes
You Will Need Flip chart or white board, markers, stopwatch or timer
Cognitive Skills Worked Attention, verbal skills, memory, reasoning
Pair Up! Break your class into groups of 2 or 3
TEACH THE TBH SCIENCE. Say This: Research shows that we can learn and remember better when we use memory strategies to boost our retention. We are going to learn a strategy from Total Brain Health called Storytelling. Storytelling is a complex verbal association technique. It asks us to take the information we are learning, pay attention to it, then give it more meaning by creating a narrative, or short story, with that information. The odder, funnier or more unusual that story is, the better. Storytelling is a powerful technique that takes advantage of our tendency to remember a good tale!
Here’s an example: I need to remember the words Dog, Red, Bike, Hat. I can just try to remember that list. Or I can use them in a story, like this: “The red dog rode the bike wearing a hat.” Which one will be easier to remember? Certainly that story, right?
NOW DO IT! TELL A STORY. Say This: Now let’s try Storytelling. We will do this exercise in pairs so let’s break up into groups of 2 (if there are an odd number of attendees, you can have some groups of 3).
In a moment I’m going to put a list of words on the board here. You will have 1 minute to work together and use the Storytelling Strategy to make up a story that helps you remember the words on the list. Keep in mind that the best stories for this purpose will be simple yet focus on the funny, odd or unusual aspects of the words on the list! OK ready? Let’s tell some stories!
Write the first list below on the flip chart or board. Then give your class 1 minute to work in pairs and come up with a Storytelling Strategy-based story for the list. Allow each pair to share their story with the class. Repeat as time allows with the additional lists provided.