National Memory Master competitors, start your engines! Here is your 2017 entry video prompt! It is located in Cycle 3 and covers American History.
Please tell us a history story containing facts from Cycle 3, Weeks 13-24, beginning with the Preamble to the Constitution and ending with the Bill of Rights. For your reference, here is a two-page document with the facts and a refresher of the requirements for the video.
What is the National Memory Master Competition?
National Memory Master is a nationwide memory competition for Classical Conversations® students, ages 11-12, that culminates in a national championship for 16 finalists on a cruise and a chance to win $10,000. Because memory master begins with the local licensed community, contact your local director about the details of Memory Master. On Feb. 10, National Memory Master will announce the story prompt for qualified students to retell on video an interesting story using history facts from the Foundations program in Classical Conversations®.
"You all were such a blessing to our family over the last week. Your children are articulate, kind, and just fun to be around. It was so THERAPEUTIC to sit around and talk with all of the moms… a welcome peaceful time during the roller-coaster of emotions that went along with the competition! It meant a lot that so many of you opened up during our talks together, helping me to relax. Thank you. Wish we could all hang out more. :-)
—April P., NMM finalist's mom
“May I take this moment to let you all know how thankful I am to the Lord for having had the opportunity to spend the cruise with you all. I echo April in saying that your children are genuinely kind and delightful. I enjoyed getting to know them as much as I enjoyed getting to know you! Brushing shoulders with you has left its mark on me and I am certain I am the better for it.”
—Sarah S., NMM finalist's mom
See example videos from 2016
National Memory Master 2016 video submissions from Hannah Tully, 11 (left) and Christopher Rodriguez, 11 (right).
How does the competition compare to Memory Master in Foundations?
Parents and tutors support students aged 4–11 in the Foundations program as they learn facts from history, geography, English grammar, Latin, math and science, plus portions of the Bible. They use memorization resources such as the popular audio CD and timeline cards. (For a more detailed description of the Foundations program and associated memory work, please see our Foundations program page.)
Directors in licensed communities bestow the title "Memory Master" on students who successfully recite ALL of the memory facts from the current year's memory work. They get awards, such as a Memory Master t-shirt, certificates, and candy.
Celebrating Memory Work
The canon of memoria, or the art of memory, originates from the five canons of rhetoric. It is a fundamentally human activity because it provides a basis of information from which we may ask “why?” and begin to reason. Young students memorize easily through intensity, duration and repetition.
The art of memoria is distinct from rote memorization. Memorizing a set of facts for a test or music for a recital is not the same as developing skills to retain information long-term. For instance, knowing multiplication tables through the 15s allows a budding algebra student to focus on equation solving without the distraction of having to think very much about simple math. Knowing a timeline of historical facts from both Western and Eastern civilizations equips a high school art student to better understand philosophical and political influences on the artists.