Like the game's name implies, Memory is a game that requires the player to focus on visual memory to win the game. In the traditional game, players match pictures of animals or objects that are face down by only flipping two up at a time. The players keep the pairs they match, and whoever ends up with the most pairs at the end wins.
Often teachers revert to the traditional study skill games such as jeopardy and bingo. Those are fantastic games, but it relies on either limited interaction or group knowledge. The memory game is a good way to change up the routine. It also gets the students who are visually intelligent to have a moment to shine.
How To Make Memory Cards
The best part of this game is that it requires very little to make! All that is required is the cards. First you need to decide if the subject matter will work for this type of game. Memory really only works if you are testing vocabulary, locations, or pictures. There are many ways to adapt this game, but first decide if it'll work.
My example is creating a memory deck on geometry for a third grade classroom. Feel free to discard suggestions or add to my directions as you see fit for your needs.
- First you need to come up with a list of terms or concepts that you'll match up. For example: acute angle to a picture of an acute angle, line segment to a picture of a line segment, and hexagon to a picture of a hexagon.
- Use Microsoft Word (or another writing program) to create the cards. I first set up the margins to that they are only 0.5". This way I can maximize the amount of space on the paper.
- I click on the "table" tab and then click insert followed by table. I usually make 6 columns and 10 rows. Depending on your needs you may make them bigger or smaller than that.
- The sections will be short, so in each row you'll need to press enter a certain amount of times to make them tall enough and even. Play around to see what works.
- Insert the terms and pictures. Pictures can be pasted into the boxes and resized to fit. You'll more than likely need to right click on the picture, click on format picture, and then change it so that it sits "behind the text." This way it'll stay in the boxes instead of pushing the boxes around.
- When you've finished editing it and getting all the information you want in, then you are ready to print them. Print half as many copies as you have students (i.e. if you have 24 students make 12 copies).
- Save the document in case you need to make extras later. Plus, you can modify this document if you want to make more memory decks for other tests.
- To make it last for years to come, I highly suggest cutting out the boxes, pasting them onto thicker colored paper, and then laminating them. You can bind them together and save them after they are done using them.
How to Play
Divide your class into groups of two. Give them each a deck of cards. Spread them out so they have room to play. Students should know how to play, but remind them that the deck should be shuffled first and placed face down in rows and columns.
Walk around as they play to make sure they stay on task. If a group finishes too early, let the group shuffle the cards and play again!
This post is part of the series: Classroom Games
- Play This Memory Game to Review For Any Test
- Salute: A Game to Reinforce Math Facts
- Break up Boredom and Break Out Boggle in the Middle School Classroom