Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I read (with fascination) one time that in order for lawyers to memorize all the things they need to know for the bar exam, they build knowledge houses in their heads. The way I understand it, they visualize a room and attach facts to all the objects. Then, when they need to retrieve it, they mentally walk into that room to that object, and there it is! I don't know if they all use this method but it gave me an idea.
Updated to add: After some Google research, I found this is called "The Method of Loci" aka The Memory Palace.
One night at bedtime, instead of a story, we started this pillow game: Who's sleeping everywhere? It wasn't originally called that, the name just evolved. The idea was to verbally walk through the house and see who was where. We used our house and the boys' favorite characters. It started small and has grown into a predictable pattern. Both Bubba and Stump can name all of them when I prompt with the location. So, for posterity, here we go:
Who's in the closet? R2D2
Who's in the shower? C3PO
Who's in the tub? R14 (what Stump calls one of the other Star Wars androids)
Who's in the hall? R5D4
Who's in the vent? Shimmer and Bounce (from Miss Spider's Sunny Patch)
Who's in the ceiling fan? Astro Boy's robot mosquitos
Who's in the other vent? Mr. & Mrs. Spider
Who's in the pool? Ponyo and Quack
Who's in the chair by the pool? Chewbacca
Who's patrolling the yard? Johnny5
Who's in the tree? Daphne, Curious George, and Chirp
Who's on the front porch? The Backyardigans
Who's at the kitchen door? The Little Einsteins
Who's in the van? The Wiggles
Who's on the roof? Wall-e, Eve, beautician-bot, painter-bot, gopher, punching-bot
Who's in the tv room? Freddy and Caillou
Who's in the computer room? Kipper
Who's in mommy's room? Velma
Who's in the kitchen? Shaggy, having a snack
Who's under the kitchen table? Scooby-doo
Who's under the train table? I don't know
Who's in Samantha's room? Just Samantha
Who's in Bubba's room? Astro boy
Who's in the closet under the stairs? Peep
If a 5-year-old can retrieve this amount of information, I think, as a method, it is a success. Stump has started adding information, like, listing all the foods that Freddy and Caillou might be eating in the tv room, but I'll save that silly list for another day.
Posted by The Editor.