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8 Mnemonic Devices Every Student Should Know


When we need to remember something, we use strategies called mnemonic devices that help translate information into forms that the brain can remember better.   If we can make the information relatable, instead of abstract or impersonal, the brain is able to store the information more easily.   Some devices work better for certain information and for particular students, and it helps to know what the most effective strategies are.   For instance, some students can remember anything if they put it into a song.   The examples below show how some of these mnemonic devices can be used, but students should experiment with these to find the ones that are the most effective for how they learn and remember.



1.  Orders –
The order of planets (Mars, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)
My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles.
The order of math operations (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction)
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.
2.  Acronyms –
FACE for the notes on the spaces of the treble clef.
HOMES for the great lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior).
3.  Names –
ROY G. BIV for the colors of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).
Pvt. TIM HALL for the essential amino acids (Phenylanine, Valine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Isoleucine, Methionine, Histidine, Arginine, Leucine, Lysine).
4.  Rhymes –
30 days hath September, April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31
Except February my dear son.
It has 28 and that is fine
But in Leap Year it has 29.
5. Music –
The ABC song to learn the alphabet.
The Skeleton song to learn the bones of the body.
6. Spelling –
Spell a word as it sounds for words like Wed-Nes-Day (Wednesday) and Feb-ru-ary (February).
Remember an expression for words like ARITHMETIC: A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream
and NECESSARY: Not Every Cat Eats Sardines. Some Are Really Yummy.
Remember the difference between two words like dessert and desert.   Dessert has the SS, like Strawberry Shortcake.
7. Loci –
Imagine placing items in specific locations in a familiar room.   When you look around the room in your mind, you can see the items that you need to remember.
The MILK is on the couch.  The EGGS are on the coffee table.  The BREAD is on the rug.
8. Chaining –
Create a story where each word or idea will cue the next idea to recall.
To remember the freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, the press, and the right to bear arms:   The group of people gathered in front of the church.  They began to give speechesabout the right to have guns for protection.  Reporters arrived and began videotaping the event.