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Memory as a Time Filler for Classroom Management

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 4/5/2012

Here is a fun game to play whenever you have a few minutes in waiting to manage a class of twenty or more students. It helps improve memory skills using a game that requires no skill, but is fun to play. Add this to your collection of first grade time fillers.

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    Memory Game

    You know those moments. The ones when you are waiting with twenty five children and need to keep them occupied for a few minutes? Certainly life is less stressful when you can keep them occupied. Here is a game that can be played for just a few moments or can be played for a great length of time. It requires nothing but common knowledge and a decent memory. This particular activity can be modified over and over again, making it a great tool for developing more first grade time fillers.

    Here is how the game is played. Pick a topic from the selection below or make one up of your own.

    • Names of Superheroes
    • Names of vegetables or fruits
    • Various nouns or verbs
    • Names of a rock star or band
    • Names of countries
    • Names of the states in the United States of America
    • Names of cartoon characters
    • Names of characters in movies or television shows
    • Any other topics you can think of.

    The game is played by creating a topic and then everyone getting a chance to add to the topic. A name or item cannot be repeated or the player who repeats it is "out". For instance, if you picked the topic "Names of states in the United States of America", the players would have to each say a state name without repeating one that was already said.

    The game would go something like this. Tim says "Alabama" and it goes on to the next player, Rob. Rob says "Indiana". It is now the next player's turn. Tara, who goes after Rob, says "Alabama". Tara has repeated a word that has already been said. Tara is out of the game and it goes on to the next person. The goal of course, is to be the last person left in the game.

    One of the great things about this game is that it can be used to fill any amount of time. It can also take the attention away from what may be a stressful moment. Use it when you are waiting in line or waiting for a pep rally to begin, or when the children are getting antsy. Modify it to fit any topic you choose or the knowledge that the class happens to be working on.