Video: Physical memory techniques – using hand gestures to memorise concepts

In his second video for Teacher, English and English Language teacher, Steven Kolber, shares a memorisation technique using your hands to help students effectively memorise important concepts.

In case you missed it, Kolber’s first video outlined how teachers can use dance and movement to support students to memorise concepts. In this video, he focuses on a technique involving your hands.

‘The famous expression, “I know that like I know the back of my hand”, well today is the time when we teach our students something as well as they know the back of their hand,’ he says in the video.

Using your hands as a memory technique works particularly well with chronological concepts, he shares. ‘And, of course, you want your students to be able to actually retrieve this. So once you’ve mapped it to the hands, you probably want to make sure that your students can replicate these motions themselves. And then of course the final step is giving them time to actually practise it out. And keeping in mind, in an exam, students will have their hands.’


What strategies do your students use to memorise important concepts? Is there a range of strategies utilised? Do any students utilise their bodies, or do they rely on writing and repetition? Do they find these strategies effective? Is there room to introduce the hand strategy described by Steven Kolber in this video for an upcoming topic?