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These games have been specially designed to help improve pupils' memory skills.  They are easy to set up, require little preparation or equipment, have few rules - and are ideal for playing in the classroom.


Spot the newby Give me the facts Picture this Bleep!

Read the class a list of 10 words - which they have to listen to carefully - and remember.  Read the list again but insert a new word that was not in the original list.  Pupils indicate when they hear the "newby" with a thumbs-up.  (Alternatively, pupils write down the new word.)  Gradually increase the number of words in the original list.


Variation:  Add each "newby" to the list - thus increasing the length of the list - and introduce another "newby".


You will be surprised how long a list pupils are able to remember in this way.

Write an item or object on the board (e.g. camel, pencil, socks.)  Ask pupils to tell you three "facts" about this camel (real or imaginary).  Do not write these on the board.


Get the class (or a specific pupil) to remind you of the three "facts" they suggested.  Add a second item to the list.  Ask for three facts.


Get the class (or another pupil) to remind you of the three facts about the first and second items.  Write a third.  Ask for three facts.


Repeat until the list is as long as you like (10 - 15 items).


Variation:  Ask for more than three facts.

Show the class a large picture with quite a lot of detail.  You could track this down on the Internet and display it on the IWB.


Give pupils several minutes to remember as much detail as they can.


Ask questions about the picture - even if you are not sure of the answers!  (e.g. "Was there anybody in the picture apart from the three men at the front?"  "Did anyone notice anything red?"  "What was in the bottom left corner?")


Refer back to the picture to check answers.


Variation:  Refer back to the picture after each question.  This provides another opportunity for pupils to reinforce what they remember.

Tell the class a number of "forbidden" words (e.g. blue, round, rain).  Then read a short passage or story that contains several of the "forbidden" words.  Pupils have to "bleep" whenever they hear a "forbidden" word.


Start with only two or three "forbidden" words (or only one for younger classes) then gradually increase the number of words to be remembered - and "bleeped"


Variation:  Select a volunteer to be the "bleeper".


Variation: Select a "forbidden" word (or more than one) that lasts throughout the whole day.

Market Action replay Magic memories Reverse gear

In this traditional game, the first person recites, "I went to market and bought myself a XXX," (inserting an item of their choice.)  The second person recites, "I went to market and bought myself a XXX and a YYY" (adding an item of their choice.)  The game continues with each new person reciting the previous list before adding their choice of item.


Variation (for younger players):  Instead of remembering the whole list, players recite just the previous item (or previous 2 or 3 items) and their own item

Starting with a single physical action - which pupils copy - add one more action with each repetition until you have built up  a sequence of such actions.



  • Left arm up

  • Left arm forward

  • Right arm up

  • Right arm forward

  • Clap twice

  • Touch your nose

  • Nod your head

  • etc.

Before the lesson, identify 3 or 4 "key facts" that you would like pupils to remember.  As these occur during the lesson, point them out to pupils, identifying them as "magic memories".


Each time a "magic memory" is introduced, you should indicate this with a special sound or sign (e.g. a small handbell) and take the opportunity to recall the other "magic memories" from earlier in the lesson.


Whoever can remember all the "magic memories" at the end of the lesson could be awarded a small reward.

Challenge pupils to remember a short sequence of (random) numbers - which they then have to recall in reverse order.


Starting sequences may contain only 4 or 5 numbers but pupils will soon be capable of recalling longer sequences.


Variation:  Alternatively, you can use letters - or words - instead of numbers.


Click here for

Memory Match

a simple but effective online game that will help to develop memory skills


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