Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

1997 Spring

Fun and Games, part 1

  • Use mental imagery to get a point across particularly if the class is having a hard time grasping an idea. The more bizarre the images used within the images, the more readily people remember the information.
  • To reinforce new information, hold a trial: Have a ‘judge,’ ‘jury,’ ‘prosecutor’ and ‘attorneys’ introduce new products, new policies and defend management practices; have a gavel and robe; and call witnesses.
  • Enhance memory recall while at the same time helping people get introduced to one another. If room is circular or a similar setup where each person can physically see the entire group, the leader starts by saying “My name is (Ed).” The first person to his left then says, “My name is (Sarah),” repeats the first name and restates her own (Ed, Sarah). The process is repeated throughout the group. Reassure your participants that they can actually accomplish this feat. It has been successfully done in groups as large as 100.
  • For brainstorming encourage the free exchange of all ideas among the group. Initiate a non-judicial, non-threatening, creative exercise where small groups ideate goals and solutions. Basic brainstorming ground rules:
    1. No critical judgment permitted.
    2. Free-wheeling welcomed. The wilder the idea, the better.
    3. Quantity, not quality, desired.
    4. Combination and improvement of ideas are sought.
  • To maximize information sharing in short time spans break up the group into smaller sub-groups of about six people. Have them discuss a given topic for six minutes. Each group reports on shared ideas. To maximize participation choose a chairman, a secretary and maybe even a third person as a “reporter” to speak to the larger group.