WT 424 Learn it with a story

A friend of mine, Janet, recently enrolled in a program with Jim Kwik to enhance memory and learning strategies. Part of her homework was to teach someone what she was learning. Of course I was a willing participant, both from a learning perspective and also to support her and be her Accountability Buddy.

Since I too am required to share, I thought it would be a good topic this week. 

Here’s a little story I made up. Read the story and I’ll explain what it really means. 

“The SALT got poured over the chocolate coated MAGNUM icecream and fell into the TIN FOIL that was buried in the SAND. At night the glow worms glowed PHOSPHORESCENT YELLOW and stunk like BLEACH, which made us all go “ARRGGGHGHHHH”, until Peter came along with POTATO chips and chocolate MILK which was good for our bones. 


These words relate to the elements in the Periodic Table numbered 11-20. 

The trick with memory according to Jim and Janet is to make it relevant to something you know so you can remember it easily and to make up a story.

Salt – Sodium, Magnum – Magnesium, Tin Foil – Aluminium, Sand – Silicon, Phosphorescent – Phosphorus, Yellow – Sulfur, Bleach – Chlorine, Arrggghghhgh – Argon, Potato – Potassium, Milk – Calcium.

You could make up any story. Janet’s story was quite different to mine because she has different triggers.

It’s a cool little tip if you have to remember steps in a process or a list of items or even names. I’m still working on it for bigger chunks of information. I’m keen to learn so I can pass this to participants in my leadership program when they have to recite a very special poem.

Your homework this week is to give it a go. See if you can make up a story to remember the first 10 elements: Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon. As a hint, your story could include balloons and batteries or trees or diamonds.

See how you go.