Active sketching revision

I’ve just finished updating some Pilot resources for the 2009 exam that we’ll be using.

For the exam students need to be able to explain how a physical feature in Antarctica is formed, with the aid of a labelled diagram. As repetition is king when it comes to memory, I’ve adapted a technique I’ve used before when revising sketch maps.

Students have a piece A3 of paper which they fold into four. They watch the PowerPoint and copy the diagram and labels, when complete, they change their paper with another student who completes a second diagram on a new square of the paper, to promote a bit of challenge the PowerPoint increases in speed with each new attempt, this one is timed nicely to the William Tell Overture. Finally, after repeating the process until all four boxes are complete, students turn over their sheet and produce a diagram from memory.

Not sure how much learning takes place, but it’s fun to watch. 🙂

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  1. Ruth
    Posted April 27, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I think this is a great idea. I was doing memory maps with a class today in a more mechanical way but still with paper pencil :- they had to recall a diagram we had previously built up on the non -interactive (LOL) white board.
    While we were having fun with this we, I explained that their brains were like the hard disk in a computer and information had to be actively saved. just because something appears on the screen the computer doesn’t save it unless you do something.
    Teaching geography ad an interesting article about children’s memory. I have a theory that they aren’t so good at remembering anymore because they don’t learn stuff by rote when little nursery rhymes, tales etc and the circuits aren’t created in brain that enable them to do this. In much the same way as Primary Movement and Dyslexia are related. There is so much we just don’t know about the brain yet.

  2. Tony_Cassidy
    Posted April 27, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree and the research supports this, what has been deemed as traditional and outdated, is in fact effective at developing long-term memory.

    As always a balance is needed, memory aids, multisensory approaches and good old repetition.

    Thanks for the comment,


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