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Memory Exercise: Did You Catch That?

Memory Exercise: Did You Catch That?


Purpose

This exercise helps delegates to practice focusing, paying attention to detail and memorising. It can be easily customised to suite specific needs or even turned into a competition to address team work and leadership skills (see variations). It is ideal for all ages.

Objective

Recall what you saw in one or a series of pictures by answering specific questions.

What You Need

  • You have two general options:
    • A picture which has a lot of details. For example a cartoon depicting a busy life city life.
    • A series of pictures with lots of details in them. For example you can use a page from a comic book.
  • Prize (optional).

Setup

  • Show the image or images to all delegates for 1 minute. The most ideal way to do this is to place the image in a slide and simply project it to everyone.
  • Next, ask a series of questions from delegates and see if they can recall accurately. For example:
    • What was the colour of the car parked in front of the post office?
    • Did the man entering the shop wear glasses?
    • Was the woman crossing the road caring a bag? If so, in which hand?
  • Repeat the exercise with another image. Now that the delegates know what to expect, they will pay more attention and are more likely to answer accurately.
  • Highlight this to them and then follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 1 minutes

Activity: 5 minutes

Group Feedback: 5 minutes

Discussion

Were you successful in recalling? How many features did you miss? Why no one paid attention to these features? What does this suggest about attention to detail? Were you most successful the second time? Does this not suggest that if you want to pay more attention, you can indeed improve your performance and it is just a matter of focusing more by paying more attention to detail?

Variations

You can run this exercise as a competition:

  • Divide all delegates to two groups.
  • Give a different image to each group. Groups should not be able to see each other’s images and preferably not overhear each other. Make sure the images are similar in nature so the competition is fair.
  • Ask each group to come up with a number of questions that they would ask the other group when they showed them their image.
  • Ask one group to show their image to the other group for 1 minute. Then ask the group to start asking their questions and record the correct answers.
  • Next, ask the other group to repeat the same and then compare the groups’ scores to determine the winner who successfully answers more questions than the other group.
  • You can use this exercise for team building and leadership as well. A good team would quickly assign a leader who may then proceed to task different members of the team to focus on different parts of the image, thereby increasing group performance.