Mnemonic Devices Term Paper

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Mnemonics

Acrostics and Acronyms as Mnemonics: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the Nine Planets of our Solar System

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient world include the Pyramids of Egypt, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, along with the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and the Colossus of Rhodes. Because of the unfamiliarity of these sights to modern eyes, and the strange-sounding names of these wonders to modern ears, these marvels may seem difficult to remember. However, one mnemonic device to learn these wonders is that of an acrostic: "Seems Like MataHari Picked Her Targets Carefully: (Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Colossus of Rhodes). Memorizing them as follows is more effective than trying to picture the hanging gardens, or trying to remember these complicated names by rote. Although associating lists of words with pictures can indeed be effective for some lists of words that need to be memorized, because no living individual has a picture of most of the wonders in his or her mind, this relatively easy-to-say sentence that depicts the famous female spy shooting at targets is more useful to a student learner.

Another common list of things that often needs to be remembered is the order or names of the planet. An effective acrostic for this is that of: "My very educated mother just sent us nine pizzas." Thus: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and (controversially) Pluto. Again, few individuals have a clear image of what planets look like in his or her daily life, but everyone can imagine his or her mother holding nine pizzas!

These examples show how: "Acrostics support recall by creating an entire sentence with the first letter of each word being the prompt for the to-be-recalled information" ("Mnemonics: Acrostics," 2000, Learning disabilities). The usefulness of acrostics is… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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