Memory Exercise: Recap on Lessons Covered So Far

Memory Exercise: Recap on Lessons Covered So Far


This exercise helps to refresh delegates’ memory about what you just taught them. It encourages them to think about the training lessons covered so far and make a few statements about what they have learned. Specifically, it allows delegates to draw up a number of actions to do after the course to get more from the lessons.

Ideally you should run this exercise just before going to a tea or lunch break. It helps to summarise the points covered in the current lesson or all previous lessons (depending on your choice) and also acts as a closing exercise on a particular topic.


Identify a number of actions based on lessons you have learned and share them with other delegates.

What You Need

  • Whiteboard or flipcharts. Ideally you need two separate surfaces for two groups to use. You can use two whiteboards, two flipcharts, one flipchart and one whiteboard, or divide a large whiteboard into two parts.
  • One blue and one red marker pens.


  • Divide the delegates into two groups.
  • Allocate each group to a whiteboard or flipchart. Give one group the Blue pen and the other group the Red pen.
  • Ask the group with the Blue pen to title their area as one of the following. The choice is yours based on how you want to reflect back on lessons:
    • “Things I will do based on what I learned in this lesson”
    • “Things I will do based on what I learned so far”
  • Ask the group with the Red pen to title their area as one of the following:
    • “Things I won’t do based on what I learned in this lesson”
    • “Things I won’t do based on what I learned so far”
  • Now get each group to queue up to their whiteboard. One person at a time, they should think of an answer to the title and write a statement on the whiteboard.
  • They should remember the order that they write their statements as this will be needed in the next phase.
  • Allocate one minute on average for each person to write their statements.
  • Delegates cannot repeat what has already been stated. Hence, those at the end of the queue must be aware of what others have written and may need a bit more time to come up with something that has not been covered already.
  • Once both groups have completed their sections, swap their roles while keeping their respective pens. So the Blue group will now think of things not to do and the Red team will think of things to do.
  • Ask each group to go to the right whiteboard and follow as before.
  • Each person must contribute a statement. However, this time they should queue in the reverse order of how they queued in the first part of the exercise.
  • Allocate 1 minute per person.
  • If the people at the end of the queue find it difficult to contribute more to the current list, other delegates in the group can provide help as well.
  • At the end, bring everyone back together and get both groups to review all the statements that have been written by both groups.
  • Encourage a discussion and get commitment for future actions.
  • Take a photo of the statements on the whiteboard and flipcharts and print them during the break. You can give these prints as a handout to delegates when they come back from the break. This will become a handy summary of the lessons covered which is expressed in terms of actions to do and not to do which is quite effective in changing future behaviour.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 4 min phase one + 4 min phase two + 4 min review = 12 minutes for a group of 8

Group Feedback: 5 minutes


Is there a pattern in the actions you have identified? If you had to choose three critical actions from each list that you will certainly commit to, which three would you select? 

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