Mnemonics in Science
Mnemonics is something framed like a word, phrase, song, etc. to remember easily a large piece of information or content. Generally, students are asked to learn the concepts by understanding the subject but sometimes we come across certain concepts where in there is a need to remember the concepts in a certain order.
In such a situation the short form of mnemonic helps to recollect the concepts easily. Few mnemonics in science are given here which can help the high school students to remember some science concepts easily.
- The hierarchy of classification of living organisms is Kingdom→Phylum→Class→Order→Family→Genus→Species. This can be remembered easily by a phrase ‘King Peter Called Off Family Gathering Soon’ or by a single word ‘KPCOFGS’.
- The various bones of human skull are Sphenoid, Temporal, Ethnoid, Parietal , Occipital, Frontal. These can be remembered as ‘STEPOF’ or Sheena & Teena entered park on Friday.
- The metals of reactivity series are to be remembered in the same order as reactivity of metals decreases down the series. The series of metals are : Potassium→Sodium→Calcium→Magnesium→ Aluminium→Zinc →Iron→Nickle→Tin→Lead→Hydrogen→Copper→Mercury (Hydrargyram) →Silver (Argentum)→Gold (Aurum)→Platinum It can be remembered by ‘P.S.C Mazintl Hchaap’ name by taking first letter of either general or latin name of the metals.
- The nature of the images formed by concave mirror or convex lens can be learnt easily in the following way:
Note: C=centre of curvature, F=focus, P=pole, O=optical centre, R=real, i=inverted, d=diminished, s=same size, m=magnified, v=virtual, e=erect.
- The first 10 elements: Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon can be learnt with a sentence – Happy Hari Leaves Benz But Catches Nano On Fourth November.
- The five steps of Mitosis part of cell division – Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase can be represented by IP-MAT.
- The statement of Modern periodic law is Properties of elements are Periodic functions of their Atomic numbers. Mendeleev periodic law is Properties of elements are Periodic functions of their Atomic mass. Both the laws can be remembered as PPA.
- The human heart is four chambered with two auricles and two ventricles. Oxygenated blood from lungs is carried to the left auricle and then to the left ventricle and all parts of body, simultaneously de-oxygenated blood from all parts of body is carried to the right auricle and then to the right ventricle and lungs for purification. It can be represented with names of two friends like Ob.llavb and Db.ravl.
- The connection of ammeter & voltmeter in electric circuits should be always series and parallel respectively, which can be learnt as as VP.
- The Whittaker five kingdom classification –Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia can be learnt in the same order as M.P. for people administration.
- A few Mnemonics related to the topic of Tissues in biology are: a) The three types of meristematic tissues in plants are Apical, Lateral & Intercalary tissues and can be learnt as ALI. b) The three simple permanent tissues, Parenchyma, Collenchyma, Sclrenchyma can be represented by PCS. c) The animal tissues: Connective tissue, Muscular tissue, Epithelial tissue and Nervous tissue can be learnt as C-MEN.
- A few laws of ‘states of matter’ shown in various mnemonics are:
a) Boyle’s law: Volume of a gas is inversely proportional to Pressure: BVP.
b) Avagadro’s law: equal Volumes of all gases have equal Number of molecules: AVN.
c) Charles’ law: Volume of a gas is directly proportional to Temperature: CTV.
d) Gaylussac law: Pressure of a gas is directly proportional to Temperature: GPT.
e) Ohm’s law of electricity: voltage in a circuit is directly proportional to current and formula is V=I xR represented by ‘VIR’ , where V=voltage, I= current and R=resistance.
- The five classes of vertebrata are: Pisces, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves & Mammalia, which can be easily remembered as ‘PARAM’.
- Loss of electrons is Oxidation and Gain of electrons is reduction. It can be learnt as ‘leo’ & ‘ger’.
- In the periodic table, Groups are vertical columns containing similar elements and periods are horizontal rows containing dissimilar elements. We shall learn it as ‘GVC’ and ‘HRP’.
- If the current flows from north to south in a straight current carrying wire the magnetic needle brought near it deflects towards east and if current flows in south-north direction, needle deflects towards west. So the word NEWS can explain this by →NE WS
- The order of colours in spectrum formed due to dispersion of light are Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and they are represented by ‘VIBGYOR’ or ‘VI B, Gyor’ is genius.
- The group Animalia comprises Porifera, Coelenterata, Platyhelminthes, Nemathelminthes, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Echinodermata, Protochordata & Vertebrata.It can be learnt by taking the first letter of every word in reverse order: V.P.Emaan ,P.C.P (like name with designation).
These are few examples of Mnemonics in science, but students and teachers can frame their own Mnemonics for any concepts for easy learning and long term retention.
Surekha Nayani, M.Sc (Chemistry),B. Ed has fifteen years of teaching experience in CBSE schools and has been teaching Physics and Chemistry to secondary school students. Presently, she is working as Head of the Department of Science and also as CBSE Co-ordinator in Delhi Public School, Nacharam, Hyderabad. As HOD she trains teachers in teachinglearning processes like developing and presentation of content, preparation of worksheets and question papers, designing CCE etc. and also conducts workshops on various aspects of teaching science. She has written articles on teaching science by focusing on creative methodologies which arouse interest in the subject. She strongly believes that every teacher should emphasise proper planning, preparation and effective presentation of subject matter, every day and in every class with commitment which influences and empowers student learning.