say, the planets in order from earth - the hot sun shining so strongly
it breaks a thermometer, and all the Mercury spills out; this runs outside where a
beautiful woman, Venus, is standing on the Earth; it keeps running over the earth into the
next-door neighbor's red-earth garden; a warlike neighbor, Mars, appears and starts
hurling abuse. But just then a smiling giant appears, Jupiter - the biggest planet - and
on his superman-type chest he has the word SUN emblazoned, for Saturn , Uranus and
Neptune, and running alongside him is a happy dog, Pluto.
It can be rhyming and visual: like
memorizing numbers with rhyming pictorial words, and linking them up with the items to be
memorized: so that one becomes sun; two, shoe; three, tree; four, door; five,
hive; six, sticks; seven, heaven; eight, gate; nine, mine; and ten, hen. To
remember ten items, such as on a shopping list, link each one visually with the numbered
sequence - so that if your first three items are butter, cheese and milk, you visualize
butter being melted with the sun (one), cheese in a shoe (two), and milk being poured over
a tree (three).
It can use the initial letter principle:
as marketing people remember the key elements of advertising by AIDA: attract
Attention, arouse Interest, create Desire and urge Action.
But whichever association method you use, try to
make it outlandish, funny and preferably emotional - because the "filter" in the
brain that transfers information to your long-term memory is very closely linked with the
brain's emotional centre. And link your associations with as many senses as you can:
sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.
18. Have fun, play games
Ask a friend what images flash to mind when you mention
education or study. Now see how they tally with Tony Buzan's experience. He says: "In
my 30 years of investigating people's associations with the word 'study,' ten major words
or concepts have emerged. They are: boring, exams, homework, waste of time, punishment,
irrelevant, detention, 'yuck,' hate and fear."5
But ask a four-year-old fresh out of a good preschool
center and she'll talk about the fun she had. So nearly all progressive educators now
stress the need to recapture the fun-filled joy of early learning. And humor itself is a
great way to learn. So try to link humor with study. Think up games to play to reinforce
the key points with someone who's studying the same subject - even Trivial Pursuit-type
quizzes can be great aids.
Contents Page Preface