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Reading Aloud And Memory

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Author: Judee Shipman

It's often said that reading aloud helps us better remember what we've read, but evidence in support of this theory is scarce. This project involves a simple, well-controlled scientific experiment to test and identify the effect of reading aloud on memorization skills.

Problem:

Does reading aloud affect memory skills?

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
  • Forty volunteers

Procedure:

  1. Carefully study the related literature (see bibliography below).
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Prepare a single list of 40 randomly chosen words, arranged in random order.
  5. Randomly divide volunteers into two equal-sized groups. Label them Group 1 and Group 2.
  6. Have Group 1 study the list quietly for 20 minutes.
  7. Have Group 2 study the list, reading the words aloud for 20 minutes. These volunteers must be tested individually, so as not to disturb each other when reading aloud.
  8. Ask each volunteer to recall as many words as possible from the list.
  9. Carefully record all results.
  10. Analyze your data.
  11. Prepare a detailed report.
  12. Include graphics, diagrams, lists and demonstrations in your science fair display.
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