by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
What Are Memory Strategies?
Memory strategies are tools we use to help us remember things. Some memory strategies
are helpful for how we learn information, while other strategies are helpful for
how we recall information that we have already learned. Using memory strategies
can help children remember information like directions, facts, and assignments.
Here are some strategies and tips you can use with your children to help them learn
and remember important information:
- Review and Repeat – The more you repeat information, the more likely it is that
you will remember it. It also helps you remember new information if you review it
along with information you already know.
- Say It, Write It – Involving multiple senses (e.g., seeing, hearing, touching, doing)
helps you learn and remember information by giving you different ways for your brain
to get the information, as well as by repeating the information.
- Personalize It – Children are more likely to remember information if it relates
to them. If they can relate it to something they already know and have experienced,
they are more likely to remember it.
- Rhymes and Songs – Rhythm, rhyme, and music can help us remember information. For
example, many children know that "In fourteen hundred ninetytwo, Columbus sailed
the ocean blue." because it has rhythm and it rhymes.
- Tell a Story – Stories allow us to create a picture in our minds that is easy to
remember later. Children can make up a story using the information that needs to
- Prediction – If children are actively involved in learning, they are more likely
to remember what is being taught. One way to involve children in learning is through
prediction. Ask children what they know about a topic and what they would like to
- Chunk It – Chunking is a way of learning information by breaking it up into related
pieces. Telephone numbers are often learned through chunking, by grouping the numbers
into sets of three or four.
- Acronyms – Acronyms can help children remember information they’ve learned by using
the first letter from a group of words to make a new word. For example, the Great
Lakes are Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior—or HOMES.
- Acrostics – Acrostics use the first letter of words to make a saying. Acrostics
are especially useful when you have to remember information in a specific order.
For example, you can remember how to spell "rhythm" by using the acrostic "Rhythm
helps your two hips move."
- Stress, Sleep, and Brain Overload – It is more difficult to remember information
when we are stressed-out, tired, or have overloaded our brains with information.
Children should get plenty of sleep and should take study breaks before they reach
the point of overload when learning a lot of new information.