Lower Elementary Curriculum Memorization Strategies

Lower Elementary Curriculum Memorization Strategies

  1. Don’t mention ‘memorize’ at ALL!
  2. Have students echo a short phrase, i.e. 10 states, etc.
  3. Repeat regularly.   Build into part of every day.


  1. Fun poem monthly - begin first day of month when doing calendar.
  2. Longer recitations – i.e. “Builders for Eternity”(see link on Lesson Strategies page), 1st part of MLK speech,  "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost

Work on these for 2 months at the same time as short poem.

  1. Beginning of year – Do Nursery Rhymes,  i.e. "Wise Old Owl"  -  Create book of single pages with picture and do a 3D craft image related to rhyme.  Consider asking for a grant to purchase binders so each student has one to take home.

2nd semester -  Create nursery rhyme book with single pages with rhyme and illustration that gives them a 20+ book to read through that they already know.


Teach geography lesson daily with map:

We live in:

Start with 10 states in Sept.   Add a few each week. No song at this stage, but may use a hand clap, lap clap rhythm.   Finds it works better!

By Christmas students know them all and then teach "Nifty Fifty States" Lyrics  "Nifty Fifty States" song video,.
Learn corners (NE, SE, NW, SW) states of US.
Country to the north, south

By Lisa Dunaway, Great Expectations Instructor and Early Childhood Educator