|Magazine Home I Links I Contact Us|
|Home Mnemonics: What Are Acrostics?|
Mnemonics: What Are Acrostics?
Defined in broad terms, a mnemonic is a device, procedure, or operation that is used to improve memory. Defined in narrow terms — and what is usually meant by the word — a mnemonic is a specific reconstruction of target content intended to tie new information more closely to the learner's existing knowledge base and, therefore, facilitate retrieval.
There are a variety of mnemonic techniques, including keywords, pegwords, acronyms, acrostics, loci methods, spelling mnemonics, phonetic mnemonics, number-sound mnemonics, and Japanese “Yodai” methods.
Acrostics support recall by creating an entire sentence with the first letter of each word being the prompt for the to-be-recalled information. For example, the planets in the order from the sun correspond to the first letter of each word in the sentence “my very educated mother just sent us nine pizzas.” Below are several more examples.
It should be noted that there are at least two problems in teaching mnemonics to children with learning disabilities. The first problem is that it overlooks the sequential fashion of learning. Mnemonics instruction is, to a large extent, instruction in memory techniques, which should be taught only after the skill of memory has been learned. It can be compared to a child being taught soccer tactics, such as the “wall pass,” while he has not yet adequately mastered the skill of passing the ball. As stated in Knowabout Soccer, “No matter how good your passing technique, if the quality of your passing is poor, your technique will not be effective.” The second problem is that by teaching the child to use memory crutches, the result is that, “on more complex applications, generalization attempts [are] less successful.” If the skill of memory is taught, however, the child can apply it in any situation.
Edublox programs teach — among other skills — the skill of memory, which makes it possible for a child to apply his memory in any situation.
Examples of Acrostics:
Bones of the skull:
British rank order below Kings and Queens:
Cranial nerves (function):
Directions of the compass:
Great Lakes in order of size:
Metric system in order:
New Testament order:
Planets in order from the sun:
Taxonomic classification system of living organisms:
Taxonomic classification for humans:
Seven deadly sins:
Seven wonders of the Ancient World:
|Home A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|