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How to Memorize a Numbered List Using Memory Pegging

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How to Memorize a Numbered List Using Memory Pegging

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How to Memorize a Numbered List Using Memory Pegging

    Memory pegging techniques are particularly useful for remembering numbered lists. Every list can be treated as a numbered list. We ‘peg’ each item to a visual symbol for its number. The method I would recommend is a rhyming approach.

    In fact, I’ve mentioned the list below in my book, How to Be a Brilliant Thinker:

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    1. Ton – One ton
    2. Zoo
    3. Tree
    4. Door
    5. Hive (with bees buzzing around)
    6. Sticks
    7. Heaven
    8. Gate
    9. Line (fishing line)
    10. Den (e.g. the lion’s den)
    11. Soccer 11
    12. Shelf
    13. Hurting
    14. Courting
    15. Lifting
    16. Licking
    17. Leavening (baking bread)
    18. Hating
    19. Lightning
    20. Plenty (horn of plenty)
    21. 21 Gun Salute

    Say our task was to remember the first 12 elements in the periodic table. They are:

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    1. Hydrogen
    2. Helium
    3. Lithium
    4. Beryllium
    5. Boron
    6. Carbon
    7. Nitrogen
    8. Oxygen
    9. Fluorine
    10. Neon
    11. Sodium
    12. Magnesium

    Most people would find this a fairly difficult list to remember in sequence but we can do so by associating the image of the number with an image for the element. For example:

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    1. A hydrogen bomb with a one ton weight hanging below
    2. Laughing hyenas at the zoo. They are laughing because they inhaled helium gas.
    3. A tree in our garden lit at night. (Lit gives us Lithium)
    4. Who is at the door?  It is Beryl
    5. We imagine ourself boring into a hive full of bees – suddenly they swarm out.
    6. We have some very old sticks which we are going to date using carbon dating.
    7. The heavens at night. We think of a star-filled night sky. (Night gives us Nitrogen)
    8. Behind the gate is a tent.  It is an oxygen tent and there is someone inside.
    9. We pull up our fishing line and find several tubes of fluoride toothpaste.
    10. There is a flashing light in the lion’s den.  The neon tube in the light needs to be replaced.
    11. Next week we have to play Sodium United. Their nickname is the Sods.
    12. On our shelf in the kitchen is a bottle of Magnesium Salts.

    The more dramatic or ridiculous the image, the easier it is to remember.  Now we can easily remember any of the first 12 elements and give its Atomic Number. If you have to remember 40 or 60 items then you can do so by using a red list, a blue list and a yellow list. So 5 would be a red hive, 22 a blue zoo, and 51…a yellow soccer team.

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    Try this method when you next have an important list to memorize. After a little practice, you will be surprised at how well it works.

    (Photo credit: Plenty on His Mind via Shutterstock)

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