A developed power of observation ensures easy and fast flow of information to the brain. But, we must have the proper storage facilities to store the information, so that it is available for processing as and when required. It was earlier thought that memory could not be developed. People used to think that repetitive use of the facts ensures memorization of facts. Although continuous practice does help in keeping any information in memory, various scientific techniques can be evolved for proper storage of information in the brain. Memory experts have shown that with better techniques memory can be enhanced. A trained memory can have better storage and reproduction of facts.
Hence, activities have to be designed to develop memory in such a way that the information can be stored and reproduced at will.
We all remember the seven colors in a rainbow by a simple Pnemon VIBGYOR, each letter of which is taken from the color of the rainbow in the same order. Learning the art of those techniques should be one of the main objectives of new learning system.
It is just like working in a library system. In a library, information are stored in the form of books, magazines, journals, audio and visual cassettes and CDs. For better storage, they have to be kept in separate shelves. Further, the books have to be classified and labeled as per their contents and subjects. Similarly, a better and scientific development of memory would require
Proper classification of information
Proper labeling of information
We shall try to explore some of such techniques for better storage and recall at will.
It has been a common experience that information can be easily stored in brain in form of poems and songs. In ancient India, there was a long tradition of reduction of information into poetic forms and, then, it was easily committed to memory. It was through this method that Vedic hymns were passed on from generation to generation. That is why Vedas were called Shruti (transmitted through listening), because it was preserved and transferred through listening mode only. Hence, as far as practicable, information should be converted into couplets, songs and poems for better retention and reproduction of information.
People have developed many puzzles in the form of poems to teach various information, which are easily memorized. To teach about a year, a puzzle was designed in Hindi.
Keeping pictures as an aid also enhances memory. A simple picture can convey what thousands words cannot. We have seen that in Science and Mathematics these pictorial representations are of great help in retention of information in the brain. A picture of digestive system can easily remind us the entire anatomy of the digestive system. In geometry, we have symbolic representations of ideas in the form of points and lines. In Tantras, various geometrical designs were used to symbolically represent complex ideas. In Mahabharata, pictorial representation of Chakravyuh was used for denoting military arrangement on the battlefield. Even now this picture is preserved in Mithila region of India in the form of folk floor paintings Aripan. The picture is drawn on the floor to indicate the complex character of womb, from which the concept of the unique military arrangement has been derived. Geometrical designs are of great help in retaining complex character of machines, bridges, buildings and other masonry structures.
It is also a common experience that information can be better stored in memory, if it is properly and sequentially arranged. Mathematical solutions, being arranged in a logical sequence, can be retrieved even after long interval of time. Then, one of the tasks of CLM would be to teach children to arrange information in the form of logical sequences. Let's illustrate through some examples.
gives the list of months having 30 days.
Planets (Mercury-Venus-Earth-Mars-Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune-Pluto) can be symbolized in the form of MVEMJSUNP. Some people frame sentences beginning from these letters.
My very educated mother just showed us nine planets.
Colors in a rainbow can be memorized easily by the symbol VIBGYOR
Children with good spatial intelligence may find it important to link facts with geometrical designs. This way they are able to remember facts for a longer time. At School of Creative Learning learners are asked to present facts in the form of various designs to memorize them. This way they are able to memorize.
Properties of Chemical Symbols
If any information is arranged in form of a story, it can be retrieved at will even after a long period of time. In our folk tradition, this method was used to convey certain eternal values from generation to generation. That is why we find tradition of listening to stories on the occasion of various festivals. So conversion of information in form of story would be a major task in the context of CLM.
At School of Creative Learning even information of science such as body systems like digestive system, circulatory system etc. have been converted into stories having symbolic connotations. This has been found to arouse great interest in children about the body system without having any formal introduction about anatomy.
It has also been found that if any information is properly symbolized, it is easier to commit them to memory. As we have seen different colors in a rainbow can easily be remembered, if their first letters symbolizes different colors and then they are arranged in the order of their appearance in the rainbow.
However, this symbolization is different for different persons. Some may create symbols in the form of letters or words, others may create symbols in the form of pictures, some may convert them to songs or couplets, some may develop kinesthetic symbols for remembrance and so on. Some of them may prefer to have combination of words and pictures or logical arrangement of words and kinesthetic activities. These symbolic representations are highly learner specific.
So, symbolic representation of information properly customized to suit one's learning style would be one of the most important aspects of CLM. Children must be taught to make new symbols for proper storage of information. For example, a spatial child should reduce information in the form of pictorial symbols or colors for easy remembrance. On the other hand, a kinesthetic child would find it easy to remember any item, if he links the learning matter to a kinesthetic symbol.
While designing activities one should take care to see that children have opportunity to design new symbols and their combinations particularly from the point of view of recall and recognition.
Both from the point of view of memory and understanding those activities are found to create maximum impact, which use multiple learning techniques. In a simple lecture method, only verbal channel is used. Lecture becomes more effective, if pictures, songs or kinesthetic activities support it. Transmission of information in the form of story would be more effective, as it uses both verbal and logical methods besides being joyful. Children prefer pictorial stories, as compared to simple stories as it caters to the need of spatial learning also.
Learners bring lunch in the lunch boxes in the school. These boxes can be used for development of visual memory.
5 to 10 lunch boxes should be collected on his table.
Now, each lunch box is shown to learners one by one. Learners have to remember contents in each lunch box.
Then, each learner is asked to say or write the name of eatables in different lunch box.
Learners should be given a new name like Jawahar Lal, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. This can be done by asking each learner to pick up a name one by one from slip creating these names.
Learners sit in a circle.
Now, each child tells his new name written on the slip one by one
Thus, each child has to say or write the old name and new name of each child.
Learners are asked to sit with their eyes closed.
Teaching leader tells them different numbers one by one. The number may be chosen depend upon the level of children. For example 9,16,7,19,24,28,78,35,6,????.
Now, learners have to recall the numbers in the same order.
Learners may be asked to memorize telephone numbers, Bus/Taxi number, etc.
Different shapes should be prepared on a card, which should be colored in different colors.
This card should be shown to learners for two minutes.
Then the learners should be asked to draw those shapes and color them in the same color as shown in the card.
Instead of asking the children to draw the shapes, a new card may be shown the children, which may have some of the shapes in the original card and children may be asked to identify them.
Two set of cards should in prepared one having the full picture and the other with a part missing. For example, if the first card has elephant, the second may have a picture of elephant without ear.
Learners should be shown the first set of cards and then second set of cards should be shown.
Learners are supposed to find the missing cards.
Gradually, as the learners mature, frequency of display of cards should be enhanced.
Cut a big picture of poster depicting different types of objects; for example, chair, tables, books, pens, etc.
Divide the class into two groups. Show the picture to the two groups for two minutes. Thereafter, hide the photographs.
Now keep ready few questions on the picture. These questions may be related to color, number, type etc. of objects. For example,
Which objects were red?
Which object was blue and kept in the north-west corner?
Which object was triangular? and so on.
Ask questions one by one from each group. If any group is unable to answer the questions, the question should be referred to another groups.
Two photographs/ pictures of similar settings should be shown to the learners as in the above activity. Now the questions should be framed in the following way
Name the object, which is of different color in the two pictures.
Name the object beginning from 's' present in the first picture and absent in the other. and so on.
When we read a passage. We read each sentence one by one. However, in the present age, when a large amount of books have to be read, one needs to develop habit of photographic reading. For example following could be done:
A paragraph should be prepared in advance. The paragraph should consist of simple sentences.
The paragraph should be shown to the learners on an overhead projector for two minutes. If there is no overhead projector or electricity, each child should be given the passage to be read within two minutes. Thereafter, they should overturn the paper.
Then, they should be given questions based on the passage to be completed in 3 minutes. The questions may be multiple choice questions.
The kind of exercise not only helps in increasing reading speed, gradually learners develop photographic memory.
A large number of articles should be kept on a table. These articles may be objects like brush, pen, cream, etc.
Children should be shown these objects for two minutes. Then, a cloth should be kept on the objects to cover them completely.
The children should be asked to write the name of objects seen.
In order to test a slightly long-term memory, learner should be asked to write the names of objects after 30 minutes.
For details and other activities
see Shaping Mind Creatively or Consult a Creative Learning Volunteer.
Last changed: Wed Jan 30 22:48:14 2013