Mnemonics are tools which help us remember, e.g., various grammar rules. Sometimes, people remember them all life as they help us recall grammar rules. Eighth-graders tried to devise, create, and use such tools.

          The activity was participated by 8.A (25 pupils). The pupils created mnemonics for English classes. In the preparatory phase, the teacher explained the concept of “mnemonics”. On, they found out mnemonics are commonly used for teaching Czech, for example using the sentence “„Befeleme pes se veze.“ which makes it easy to remember ambiguous consonants.

In the next phase of the activity, pupils tried to invent, create, and use their mnemonics in practice. They made cards with key words from a simple English text. The actual use of mnemonics is simple: when reading the text, the person teaching emphasizes certain words by intonation and shows a card with an image of the word (it can be a noun, verb, etc.). Thus a connection between text, emphasized word, and image is established.

            The effect of using mnemonics is hard to prove, but for example Jan Amos Comenius in the 17th century argued that the best way to remember things is through employing multiple senses (sight, hearing, haptic).

            Pupils jointly researched and investigated the nature and principles of mnemonics and looked for examples of their use in language teaching. They experimented and tested the effect of practical teaching techniques that combine intonation and visual perception.

                We also discovered that mnemonics are used to quickly memorize the table of elements, that Ampere’s right-hand rule (describes the orientation of magnetic field lines when electric current passes through a straight conductor) is also a mnemonic, or that the above mnemonic for ambiguous consonants is called acrostic.


Zdena Pertlová

Mnemo tools (PDF cards)

Opinions of students:

The biggest problems during the task solution:

The biggest problem was to understand the principle how the mnemonic device works.

I had problem drawing some definite thing.

Did you work with digital technics?

No, I didn’t.

I used the Internet because I had to draw some definite image and picture.

Did I learn anything new?

I learnt how to work with a group of children.

I learnt how to teach other pupils, that was the target.

I learnt how to explain something that pupils didn‘t understand.

I understood that if you want to learn something, it is very important to choose the right method of learning.

I learnt the new way of studying, which I hadn’t known before.

What shall I do better next time?