Graphing Memories

K, 1, 2

The children tell stories about their family memories and the special “memory items” brought from home. (See Lesson One: Traveling Back in Time.) They meet their senior friend in person or through writing and share and compare memories. 

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Session

The learner will:

  • take turns sharing and listening to memories.
  • sort and compare memory items on a graph.
  • One memory-related item from each student (See handout from Lesson One: Traveling Back in Time)
Teacher Preparation 

Arrange for each child or pair of children to meet a senior from the retirement community. This may be through an in-person visit, a video call, or a written exchange. In the first exchange, they learn names and each share a memory. 

Home Connection 

Obtain appropriate permission (and transportation, if in person) for children to meet and talk with a senior friend. 

  • Fox, Mem. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. New York: Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 1985. ISBN: 0916291049


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Pair up children so each child may tell a brief story about the memory object they brought in. Tell them this is practice for sharing their memory with a senior friend. 

  2. Make a floor graph with the memory items and compare and discuss the attributes of the memories.

    • As a group, recall the five definitions of memory from the book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. Write the definitions as headings for a floor graph: makes you laugh, makes you cry, from long ago, as precious as gold and makes you feel warm. Make a grid large enough for the memory items to be placed in rows and columns. The five headings are placed in the first row. 

    • Each child takes a turn placing their object on the graph in the most appropriate column. When the items are place, discuss the statistics of the graph with questions like the following:

    1. How many children brought in an item that makes them cry? Makes them laugh?

    2. How many children brought in an item that is as precious as gold and is something from long ago?

    3. How many more are in ______ column than _________ column?

    4. What is the most common type of memory for our group? Do you think it will be the same for our senior friends?

  3. Describe the logistics of the first meeting you have arranged with the senior friends. If the first meeting is in writing, guide the children to write or dictate a letter with this template:

    Dear Friend,

    My name is _____. I am __ years old. How old are you? 

    One memory I have is __________________________. Tell me about one of your memories.

    Please write back. I hope I get to meet you in person so we can share stories.

    Your friend,


  4. In later meetings, the children may ask the seniors to tell stories of their philanthropy. What do they care about most in the community, and in what ways do/did they use their time, talent, and treasure for the good of all?

Cross Curriculum 

None for this lesson.