To improve memory, I use a simple acronym, “SAVER.”
The “S” refers to seeing the image in the mind’s eye.
“A” refers to associating the image to some action.
“V” refers to being vivid. The more colorful and clearly defined the image, the easier recall will be.
“E” refers to exaggerate. The more extraordinary the better!
“R” refers to reviewing the image periodically. Reviewing assists long-term retention.
Visualization should be encouraged regularly. It is a simple technique to improve performance in reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and other areas. Most important, because imaging increases comprehension and recall—two of the most tested skills in schooling—it gives students considerable confidence and faith in themselves.
Take every opportunity to simplify the written word so that information can be created in a picture or experience. One way to do this is to convey information in story form. When we use this approach, we help create meaning and improve retention for the listener. Stories are retained longer than facts because they create visual images. Images touch emotions because they arouse sensations, which are remembered longer than facts.
When the history teacher was asked the secret for making the subject so interesting and students so enthused, the response was, “I can tell you in two words: Tell stories.”
An old storyteller’s tale makes the point:
TRUTH walked around naked, and everyone shunned him.
STORY walked around in colored clothes, and everyone liked him.
TRUTH inquired of STORY, “What is it that you do that people like you?”
STORY lent TRUTH some colorful garb and interesting clothing.
Everyone began liking TRUTH.
The more we share approaches to have students remember, the more successful they will be and the more effort they will put into their learning.