Unit Plan: Memory (General Psychology)

This unit is intended to cover the psychological process of receiving, encoding, processing, storing, and forgetting memories. It is designed in such a way that the concepts build upon one another to produce a firm understanding of memory for the student. First, we have a general introduction to the way that psychologists think of memory by discussing the various types of memories humans can have. On our second day, we will learn about sensory and working memory systems in more detail. Day three and four will deal with long-term memory. Students generally find this information very interesting because it is directly applicable to the way they live their lives. By attaining an understanding of how we process and retrieve long term memories, students will better appreciate how to maintain accurate long-term memories as well as the deficiencies that are inherent in the average person’s long-term memory systems. This unit, while intuitive, is largely new content for students in high school – unlike other classes that can presuppose general content literacy, the task of a psychology class is to transfer students’ thinking from the colloquial terminology that we use to describe memory events to more academic vocabulary that psychologists have proven and defined. Therefore, I have chosen to use direct instruction to prime students for psychological thinking in the four major themes outlined above (memory systems, sensory vs. working memory, long-term processing, and long-term retrieval) followed by hands-on activities that lead students to apply these concepts authentically to their own lives.


Unit Overview:


Daily Lessons:

Introduction to Multiple Memory Systems:


Sensory and Working Memory


Shallow vs. Deep Processing


Long Term Memory, Forgetting:


Unit Exam and Brain Games Activity:


Unit Reflection:


Individual Lesson Plans:

Concept Lesson Plan:


Inquiry Lesson Plan:


Structured Academic Controversy Lesson Plan:


Socratic Seminar Lesson Plan: