I did a little memory exercise with the class on Friday. I brought out a little tray that was covered with a cloth. I announced that I would hold up each item on the tray for a few seconds, tell them what it is, and then cover up the tray again. The challenge was to remember all that I showed them.
The tray held some normal and more unusual items - a squashy peach, a whoopie cushion, a timer, and a cap from some applesauce squeeze bottle (used as a Minpin hat) were just a few of the items. There were probably 20 things in all.
Each child wrote down (or drew as many things as they could) - and they were encouraged to share ideas and memories with their tablemates. Whereas each child could think of several things on their own, by combining their answers with their tablemates, the number got much larger. Then, when we ALL shared our answers as a large group, it turns out that together they remembered every single thing - except for one. Many of the details (like color, or size) were also remembered.
Not only was this a fun game, but I know the students realized how much help they could be to each other - 14 brains are pretty powerful when they are all engaged on the same task!