Metamemory in Children

Locate a child who is at least 5 years old, and ask the following questions about his or her memory. Compare the accuracy and the completeness of the answers with your own responses. If the child is young, you may need to modify the wording

1. Suppose that a child named Katie is supposed to bring her favorite book to school tomorrow. She is afraid that she might forget to bring it. What kind of things can she do, to make sure that she brings the book to school?

2. Suppose that I decide to read you a list of 10 words. How many words do you think that you could remember, in the correct order? (Then read the following list fairly slowly, and count how many words the child recalls correctly. If the child is young, substitute the number ‘‘5’’ for ‘‘10’’ and read only the first five words.) dog chair flower sky ball bicycle apple pencil house car

3. Suppose that you memorize a friend’s address. Will you remember the address better after 2 minutes have passed or after 2 days have passed?

4. Two children want to remember a list of words. One child has a list of 10 words, and the other has a list of five words. Which child will be more likely to remember all the words on the list correctly?

5. Suppose that a boy named Bob is telling you a story about a birthday party he went to. Later on, you tell this story to a friend. Would it be easier for you to tell the whole story word for word? Or would it be easier for you to tell the main idea about the story?