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Create a Memory Palace

Minilesson Print

Create a Memory Palace

Buckingham Palace
Mario modesto, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Do you have trouble remembering things? You can create a "memory palace" in your mind where you store the facts you need. Just follow these steps.

  1. Choose a location that you know well, one that you can mentally walk through, knowing where everything is.
    • I know where everything is in my bedroom.
  2. Name this mental space, such as “Memory House” or “Memory Garden.”
    • I'll call this my "Memory Room."
  3. Select something you must remember.
    • I need to remember the phases of mitosis (cell division).
  4. Connect each detail to something physical that you imagine in your memory space.
    • On the shelf above my desk, I see a baseball trophy from when I went pro (Prophase).
  5. Put memories in order spatially.
    • Hanging behind my trophy is a poster of me winning the World Series with my team, the Mets (Prometaphase, Metaphase). Next to the poster is a congratulations card from my girlfriend Ana (Anaphase). Beside it is a television (Telophase) showing when I shook hands with the President.
  6. Return to your memory palace to relive this experience whenever you need to access the memories it holds.

Your Turn  Create your own memory palace and begin to store information in it. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a location that you know well, one that you can mentally walk through, knowing where everything is.
  2. Name this mental space, such as “Memory House” or “Memory Garden.”
  3. Select something you must remember.
  4. Connect each detail to something physical that you imagine in your memory space.
  5. Put memories in order spatially.
  6. Return to your memory palace to relive this experience whenever you need to access the memories it holds.

Teacher Support:

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Answer Key:

Answers will vary.

Standards Correlations:

The State Standards provide a way to evaluate your students' performance.

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