Recency and Primacy Effects

Grade Level: 4 - 12 Age Range: 9 - 18 Lesson Length: 1 class
Recency and Primacy lesson at BrainU

The order in which information is learned determines how reliably it will be recalled. The first item in a list is initially distinguished from previous activities as important (primacy effect) and may be transferred to long-term memory by the time of recall. Items at the end of the list are still in short-term memory (recency effect) at the time of recall.

Students learn about short- and long-term memory by conducting an experiment where they try to remember a list of 20 words.

Adapted from Neuroscience for Kids website and the Brain Link Activity books developed by the Baylor College of Medicine

PDF icon Teacher Guide195.61 KB
PDF icon Student Guide47.42 KB
PDF icon Word List30.31 KB


Class Type: