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Mnemonics Is the name for prompts we use to remember things. They can be used for many different things and come in different formats.

Such as Rhyme Mnemonics:

30 days hath September, April, June and November,

the rest have 31 days clear,

except February which has 28 and 29 in each leap year.

In spelling mnemonics are useful for irregular sight words we find tricky to remember. For a list of these see our section on 'Irregular Sight words'

Spelling Mnemonics use a phrase to remind us of the sequence of letters in a word.

These work best if they are:

- linked to a visual clue

- feature the target word, ideally at the start

- are colour coded to highlight the letters to remember

- have the word written alongside them

Involving learners in thinking up their own mnemonics forges better links, making them easier to remember.

This link takes you to a short clip to demonstrate.

Here are some other examples

Caution - some learners who find memory and/ or processing challenging may be confused by mnemonics as they can add to memory/ processing load. If the mnemonic is too complicated with no link to the actual word it can become an unwelcome distraction. It is trial and error to see if they help.

Here is a link to some other mnemonic pictures.

It is always worth having a go with this strategy - but watch for warning signs of added stress and use appropriately.


If you want to learn more about mnemonics and visual prompts to support spelling this book might be useful, it can be borrowed from Glasgow Libraries.