Helping Students to Remember What We've Read

Am I the only one that finds that kids don’t remember what they’ve read through the year?

Also… who out there is a Supernatural fan?

Warning: When I thought of this idea, I had been watching a whole lot of Supernatural. And I had become pretty absorbed in all things Supernatural. Like… it bordered on obsession.

At the beginning of every show, there is a text card that says “The Road So Far” as a way to recap the show. I decided to use my love of Supernatural as a way to recap what we had read in the classroom. So I made a poster (actually it was a few sheets of letter paper) and I posted it at the back of my class.


Every time we read something, I posted the first sheet of our reading next to the poster. It was a running list of the things we read in class that year. Whenever I mentioned a piece and the kids looked at me like I had grown two heads, I would point to the back of the room and then be pleasantly surprised by the collective “oh, yeah. I remember that!”

When I taught SF and Fundamental classes it helped students with cognitive and memory disabilities by having something tangible that they could look at. When I taught SCIOP classes, the visual (the first pages of our reading usually had pictures within them) was helpful. And with the PreAP kids, it gave them a running list of examples they could use for test prep.

I included larger works, poetry, short stories, non fiction… anything and everything that we remotely analyzed during class. While this isn’t a fix all, I did see that I had less foggy stares than I had previously.

I guess that in and of itself is a win.

If you’d like my poster (I was also pretty obsessed with Chevron) you can download the pdf here.

Happy Teaching!