Why does the Great Minds Wheatley Portfolio emphasize memorization and recitation?

Recitation requires close reading and therefore nurtures deeper levels of students’ understanding. Students also benefit from the satisfaction of making a poem or piece of prose one’s own for life. In addition, many teachers observe that memorization and recitation help develop a student’s experience and confidence in public speaking, which could help students marshal evidence and make effective arguments in other contexts. Keep in mind that our suggestions for memorization activities are not meant to be mandatory in every unit.