10 Memory Tricks for Elementary Students

10 memory tips that will help your child excel in school and in life.

It’s not just parents who could use a memory boost; children can brush up on their recollection skills, as well. From kindergarten through third grade, your child can use memory techniques to remember lists and simple grammatical rules. Below are ten memory tips that will help your child excel in school and in life.

The alphabet system. Help your child associate images that are represented by the letters of the alphabet. This is a great method for remembering long lists of items in a specific order, and a useful tool for your child to practice alphabet order. For example, “A is for apple, B is for boy.”


The link/story method. Help your child invent bizarre or funny stories to link items he needs to remember. For instance, if he needs to learn primary colors, have him develop a story such as: “The yellow bird grabbed its red parachute and flew into the blue sky.”

Acronyms. Have your child make a word out of the first letters of the item to be recalled. For instance, the letters that spell HOMES represent each of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.

The journey system. This system uses landmarks on a journey. To remember the first four presidents of the United States, take this journey: On our way to Washington, we saw our friend Adam, who wanted to go to Jeff’s house to play a new video game called Mad (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison).

Movement learning. Songs that include movement help children remember the song’s vocabulary. “Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes” is very effective.

Excitement and sound. When reading a book aloud, adding inflection and excitement to the story will help your child remember it. “Fee, fi, fo, fum,” boomed the giant in “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Children will pick up the emotion of the story through the words that you act, and their increased interest will help them retain more of the information.

Rhyme and rhythm. This is an effective tool for remembering dates or simple grammatical rules. Example: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Or: “I before e, except after c.”

The number/shape mnemonic. With this system, your child builds imaginary pictures and uses numbers to represent the shape of the object. The number seven could be a boomerang, for instance.

Color code. The use of color is linked strongly to memory. If your child needs to remember the original 13 colonies, have them color-code a United States map.

Acrostics. In a poem that is an acrostic, the first or last letter of each line combine to spell out a word or phrase. Here’s an example:

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. 
Earth needs us to do our best to keep things clean. 
Caring for the planet is everyone’s job. 
You can do your part to save the environment. 
Collect metal, paper, and plastic for recycling. 
Litter free is how it has to be. 
Everybody should work together to keep the planet clean.


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