One way that I combat memory fatigue is by having students "jigsaw" their research on famous cattlemen of Texas. Each small group of students is responsible for researching their person, and then creating a visual to teach the class all about them.
We include pretty basic information about each person. Students are expected to know:
- When and where they were born
- What their family was like
- Why they are famous
- What has been their impact on history
- How do they affect us today
- When and where they died
- Any other important or interesting facts they find
Each group of students trace themselves onto a large piece of butcher paper. They then transform their outline into their research subject. Finally, they write all of their information about the person around the form. Year after year I am impressed by the quality that students create. They are also awesome, bright, colorful visuals that I can leave up during the STAAR tests so that our room doesn't look so plain.