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Thomas Adam Johnson ict-design.


How to use mnemonics (memory strategy) to encourage the different learning styles of

Visual – For the visual learner:

• Method of Loci: The student thinks of a very familiar set of locations, such as rooms in his
or her house and then imagines each item on the list to be remembered in a specific
location. This can be taken further in a sense that a learner could think of specific areas
in a drawing or picture and remember items that pertain to said area.

• Imagery: These are mental images to help remember associations. An ancient method
of enhancing the memory is the creation of stories to weave together information. For
example, the items to be remembered: (dog, envelope, thirteen, yarn, window) could
translate to “a dog stuck in an envelope, mailed to an unlucky black cat playing with yarn
by the window”

• Elaboration: Refers to the process of thinking about materials to be learned in a way that
connects the material to information or ideas that are already in the learner’s mind. An
example might be: Learning the muscle “Sternocleidomastoid” which can be broken
apart because it attaches to the Sternum, the Clavicle and Mastoid Process. The
chances are that the learner has already learned the bones if they are moving on to the

• Conceptual Models: Diagrams showing how elements of a process relate to one another.
A good example of this is a timeline. Pictures of different computers or peripheral
devices can be placed on a timeline to show the order in which they were invented.

Auditory – For the Auditory learner:

• Paired-associate Learning: The learner must associate a response with each stimulus.
For example, learning a different language adapts itself that the native language user will
automatically pair the new words up with words already in the students vocabulary
(English RED – Spanish ROJO vs. Thai SEE-DANG – Spanish ROJO, if the learner is an
English learner)

• Serial Learning: Involves learning a list of terms in a particular order. I did this with the
books of the bible back in Bible-school. We learned a song that went along with it.
Another classic example is the “Alphabet Song”.

• Link system: If we took the example again of having to learn (dog, envelope, thirteen,
yarn, window) which translated to “a dog stuck in an envelope, mailed to an unlucky black
cat playing with yarn by the window”. This could also be adapted to add a little tune or
jingle that went with it, especially if the learner was musically inclined.

• Questioning Techniques: To learn from written texts, lectures, and other sources of
information is the insertion of questions requiring students to stop from time to time to
assess their own understanding of what the text or teacher is saying. A great example of
this would be to use Bloom’s Taxonomy with regards to the type or level of questioning
that would be applied and the scaffolding that might be built into the teaching and
learning environment so that the learner indeed comprehends the material that he or she
is processing. For recall, certain key questions may be asked of the learner that may
Thomas Adam Johnson ict-design.org

spark the memory for the event of recall.

• First Letter Mnemonics: One common mnemonic for remembering lists consists of an
easily remembered word, phrase, or rhyme whose first letters are associated with the list
items. An example of this could be CLAP (Please remember to turn the Computers
Lights Air-conditioning and Printers off)

Tactile/Kinesthetic – For the Tactile learner:

• Free Recall Learning: Involves memorizing a list, but not in a specific order. This can be
adapted to touch if the learner is learning parts of the body in another language, or if a
learner is trying to learn certain types of movement in kinesiology, like dorsiflexion versus
planterflexion it might be useful for the learner to physically move the body while free

• Method of Loci: This method can be taken steps further from the visual model mentioned
above. The learner can physically move around a room to remember certain items of
recall. I have actually seen a little girl who used a huge map against a wall and
remembered the place on the map because she had to move in certain directions to point
them out.