teaching kidsPart five of 5 Easy Review Tricks series — See the other parts at the bottom of this post.

5. Talk about it. Another way to elaborate–to do something with the information you’re learning–is to put it into your own words. This simple act not only forces you to recall it, it makes you process the information at a higher level. “How can I phrase that? What metaphor can I use?” BONUS: If you say it out loud, you’ll hear the information as well as seeing it written in your notes. Cha-ching! Recall cash-in.

But don’t stop at talking to yourself. Any teacher can tell you that the best way to learn anything (except maybe how to tease bears) is to teach someone else. That is absolutely true, and it’s solid gold.

Find a study partner or three and take turns reteaching one another. Have the “learners” play dumb-but-interested. They should ask questions for clarification and force you to devise new metaphors and verbal illustrations to explain whatever you are teaching.

Supercharge this by turning it into a game. Pick the three or four most commonly used words that people use to describe whatever concept you’re explaining and make those words taboo (like the game Taboo). Have your learners try to catch the teacher using one of the taboo words. For instance, try explaining the concept “mammal” without using the words, “animal,” “fur,” “milk,” or “warm blooded.” The “teacher” also can’t use any variation or portion of the taboo words. So in that example, “blood” and “furry” would be out too. Learners will listen more carefully and the teacher will think harder to explain the concept.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.



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