Memory Pegging As a Study Aid

By | June 4, 2016

Often when students are studying, they have to memorize lists or cause and effect relationships. That can be easy to do if the list is small, but when the list has more than three or four items, it becomes more challenging. One way to make this kind of studying easier is to use pegging techniques. Pegging is an associative skill where something new is associated with something familiar, and word "pictures" are created in the mind to learn the new material.

Pegging can be done with numbers, and this is most often how it's used. But another way to create these word pictures is with body parts. For instance, lists or sequences with five or ten items can be pegged to fingers or toes, or both. Lists of eight items can be pegged to body joints (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders). Lists of six items can be pegged to facial features (eyes, nose, mouth, ears). Students are only limited by their imagination on using body parts for pegging tricks.

Let's illustrate how this might work. Let's say that your student needed to remember the last six presidents in order. Working backwards, they are: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter. Your student could begin by drawing a face on a piece of paper, and instead of putting details around the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, they could lightly place these features, but then write the president's name over the facial feature. This creates an image that they will remember. Visual images are much easier to remember than plain words. Then, they should practice on their own face, while looking at the picture they have drawn. As they point to their eyes they would say, "Barack Obama, George W. Bush." When they get to their nose, "Bill Clinton." The mouth is, "George Bush," and the ears are "Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter."

With a few repetitions of the movements across their faces while looking at the picture they've drawn, they will have the list memorized in no time. Then, no matter where they are, they will have their hands and faces with them to practice and review the list. They can review the list while they're in line at the store, while riding in a car, etc. No notes or papers are needed to keep this list active in their minds. And, if there are added items related to the presidents that they need to know, they can stop at each facial feature to review those things too.

Pegging is easy to do, and takes very little time to utilize. Because you can peg to tactile objects such as body parts, you can engage the sense of touch too, and any time that the senses are used in studying, retention is much greater. Teach your student how to use this technique, and see if it does not improve their study skills!

Source by Camille Rodriquez

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