Explain the significance of the following two phrases:
1. Richard Of York Gives Battle In Vain
2. Battle Ends and Down Goes Charles Father
As a supply teacher, I'm always looking for easy ways for kids to memorize lists and learn things by rote (even though there seems to be active discouragement of this sort of behaviour in the public school system these days).
This is better known as the study of Mnemonics. Mnemonics are devices that aid us in remembering lists and specific orders of things. They come in many varieties and styles and aid in memorizing many types of information.
Where there is something to remember, mnemonics can be put to use. You will find them in every discipline from music, medicine, biology, and electronics to spelling, physics and geography.
For example, let us examine the following phrase:
NESW -- Never Eat Soggy Waffles (also Never Eat Slimy Worms -- that one from my daughter) This one aids students in remembering the clockwise orientation of the cardinal directions on a map's compass rose -- North, East, South, West.
Super Man Helps Every One. Figured that one out yet? It is the first letter of each of the Great Lakes of North America in order from west to east.(Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario)
Let's move on to the subject of Science. There are many different mnemonics that aid in the memory of lists and concepts in all the areas of Science. Here is a list of a few of them:
a. Kids Prefer Cheese Over Fried Green Spinach
b. My Very Easy Method: Just Set Up Nine Planets
c. Happy Henry Likes Beer But Could Not Obtain Food
d. the first example from the pop quiz above
Let me explain. The first one is the order of classification of all forms of life: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. The second is the order of planets starting at the sun and moving outward: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. I know there is ongoing debate about poor Pluto, but if it helps you to remember the other eight, just drop Pluto off the end. The third one is the first nine elements on the periodic table. And have you figured out why Richard of York Gives Battle in Vain?
Moving on to the Mathematical world. We have the very basic BEDMAS or PEDMAS depending on which school of thought you came from. This is the order of functions that you undertake to solve an algebraic equation (Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition and finally Subtraction). PEDMASers just prefer the more snooty parentheses as opposed to humble old brackets.
I also have a wonderful visual mnemonic for remembering the nine times tables that I will demonstrate further on.
The Music world has long made use of mnemonics to help students in remembering the orders of notes. There are many fine examples, I will list a few.
Every Good Boy Deserves Fun (EGBDF) -- The order of the lines in the treble clef.
All Cows Eat Grass (ACEG) -- The order of the spaces in the bass clef.
Good Boys Deserve Fun Always (GBDFA) -- The order of the lines in the bass clef.
I Don't Play Like My Aunt Lilly (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolodian, Aeolian, Locrian)
Language has a few examples that we need to look at. Coordinating conjunctions are used when we join two clauses together. These are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
Drop your 3rd finger down (to represent the 3). To the left you have 2 fingers. Let that represent the tens digit. To the right you have 7 digits up. Let that represent the ones.
Pretty simple you have 2...7 or 27.
Here are another quick couple of visual mnemonics. I think they are both pretty self explanatory.