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Mnemonic Devices


A mnemonic device is a little phrase or rhyme used as a memory tool. These devices can by used by students of all ages and all levels of study. This list includes mnemonics for many common lists or orders that students need to memorize.

1. Order of Operations

In mathematical expressions, the order of operations is important. You must carry out operations in a very specific order to solve a math problem. The order is: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. You can remember this order by remembering:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.

2. Great Lakes

The names of the Great Lakes are: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario. You can remember the order from west to east with the following:

Super Man Helps Every One.

3. Planets

The Planets (without poor Pluto) are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.

4. Order of Taxonomy

The order of taxonomy in biology is: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. There are many mnemonics for this:

Kevin’s Poor Cow Only Feels Good Sometimes.
King Phillip Cried Out For Good Soup.

5. Taxonomic Classification for Humans

So where do human beings fit in when it comes to the order of taxonomy? Animalia, Chordata, Mammalia, Primatae, Hominidae, Homo sapiens. Try one of these mnemonic devices:

All Cool Men Prefer Having Heavy Sideburns.
Anyone Can Make Pretty Healthy Hot Stew.

6. Mitosis Phases

The phases of mitosis (cell division) are: Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase. Although it sounds rude:

I Propose Men Are Toads.

7. Classes and sub-classes of Phylum Mollusca

Need to remember classes and sub-classes of Phylum Mollusca for biology class?

  • S- Scaphopoda
  • G- Gastropoda
  • C- Caudofoveata
  • S- Solenogastres
  • M- Monoplacophora
  • P- Polyplacophora
  • B- Bivalvia
  • C- Cephalopodia
  • CAN - (sub-classes of Cephalopodia)Coleoids, Ammonoids, Nautiloids

Try: Some Grownups Can't See Magic People But Children CAN.

8. Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are used when we join two clauses together. They are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. You can remember FANBOY as a device or try a full sentence mnemonic:

Four Apes Nibbled Big Orange Yams.

9. Musical Notes

The musical notes in the scale are: E,G,B,D,F.

Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge.

10. Colors of the Spectrum

Need to remember all the visible colors in the color spectrum? They are R – red, O – orange, Y – yellow, G – green, B – blue I – indigo, V – violet. Try to remember:

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.

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