What is a mnemonic 1

Learning with mnemonics: I'll remember that!

* This article was produced with the kind support of Haufe

Vocabulary, historical data, mathematical or physical formulas, terms and foreign words in biological processes and and and and: Children have to remember a lot of things in the course of their school days. This is not that easy at all and with pure memorization often not everything gets stuck. So-called mnemonic techniques help you to remember more things better - and then to be able to call them up. They challenge creativity and imagination, you can even be really silly with this learning method. An excellent solution to make learning easier, especially for primary school students, and to help them find fun in the matter.

Mnemonic: Isn't that somehow misspelled?

When you read the word mnemo, you usually think of memo automatically. It's not that far-fetched. As with memo games, in which images are usually searched for or compared, mnemonic techniques also work with visualizations and links.

Mnemonic techniques are usually aimed at capturing new learning content and facts more quickly and storing them in memory. Because: The human brain is capable of enormous performance, but its capacity is often not used sufficiently. With the right technique and regular training, however, even elementary school students can get their brains ready for big tasks. Four examples of how this works:

Learning with mnemonics: 4 techniques at a glance

I remember that: Mnemonics not only promote memory, but also creativity and imagination. | © TeroVesalainen / pixabay.com

Mnemonic 1: Memo sentences

Everyone knows mnemonics. Abstract facts are easier to remember if we wrap them up in an unusual sentence - or even in a rhyme. One of the most famous examples: "Every Sunday my father explains our night sky to me." With this mnemonic, the order of our planets, based on the distance to the sun, can be memorized quickly and easily. Each first letter of a word stands for a planet, which leads to Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Another popular example from elementary school lessons: "Anyone who writes with an h is stupid." Here, the rhyme also addresses the acoustic memory, so remembering is even easier.

Mnemonics 2: chains of associations

We know the application of chains of associations mainly from memory artists; it is often referred to as the "story technique". With the help of these chains, terms and different sequences can be memorized. Different terms are attached to each other like links on a chain and integrated into a story. The nice thing: the more absurd the story, the easier it is to remember it! A simple example: We want to remember the terms "eraser", "ink box", "exercise book" and "glue stick". The story for it could be: "An eraser hopped through the forest and stumbled into an ink box. It screamed over and over full of color that it could never again erase in a notebook. Annoyed by the screaming, a glue stick came by and stuck it Eraser shut your mouth. "

It helps to imagine the story with as many senses as possible, i.e. to let vivid images arise in the head and to imagine how it sounds, feels, smells or tastes. The principle works not only with single words, but also with whole sentences.

Mnemonic 3: Loci method

The so-called loci or route method was already used in antiquity and in the Middle Ages. With this method, terms are memorized by storing them as fixed points on a certain route. This fixed route can be real, such as the way to school or through the house, but fictitious structures are also suitable, e.g. levels in a computer game. Above all, it is important that the student knows the route very well. After the route is in place, suitable points on the route must be selected. A concept and / or an imaginary image is then connected to each point. An example: I would like to memorize the classic evolutionary classification "kingdom, tribe, class, order, family, species". For example, if the route goes through the house and starts in the bedroom, we can do that here rich of dreams and put down a picture in which it is night and we are asleep, then we go down a wooden staircase that leads from the tribe an old tree was carved, etc.

In a video, memory world champion Christiane Stenger explains how the story and route method works:

Mnemonics 4: The Alphabet Method (from 1st grade)

More and more elementary schools are working with display boards. This already lays the foundation for the effective alphabet method. With this mnemonic technique, each letter of the alphabet is linked to a suitable image. This link creates a permanent framework. For example, the "M" could stand for "mouse", the "Z" for "lemon" and the "B" for "bear". If, for example, a list has to be learned by heart, each word to be learned is assigned to a letter in sequence and linked to the associated picture. An example: The first term in the list to be learned is "light bulb", so it is assigned to the "A". The matching picture for the "A" is, for example, "monkey". To remember the term, one could imagine a monkey hopping around with a lightbulb on its head. This way, many terms can easily be memorized one after the other. The alphabet method can also be combined with many other mnemonic techniques, for example with mnemonics and chains of associations.

Mnemonics for improved academic performance

Mnemonics of any kind require imagination and creativity. Children usually have more than enough of it and for the most part find it extremely exciting to just "spin something". This mental nonsense facilitates the application of various mnemonics enormously. However, it should be noted that this learning technique also requires a little practice. Many mnemonic techniques are not suitable for every child or every age. Here, each child must be addressed individually.

Would you like to know more about mnemonics? The book "Memory Training" from Haufe is a detailed guide to identify suitable mnemonic techniques and apply them successfully.