Alright, I bet a lot of people have problems with remembering the order of the 11 planets of the Solar System, the seven colors of the rainbow or the Great Lakes. What am I talking about? Order of increasing distance from the sun? Many don’t even know the items at random. But fear no more…there are some special memory tricks to help you remember. I suppose you already know about the “Homes” – the Great Lakes that is : Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior and about “Roy G. Biv” – the rainbow consists of: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet – but those damn planets! How will I remember those damn planets?
It’s called “Mnemonic” and it is in fact a word or a short phrase which replaces the things you want to remember in a logical way. Like with the rainbow and the Great Lakes, the first letters of each item composed a name, respectively a common word. It is in the very same way that a little girl of no more than 10 years has managed to make up a memorable phrase to help us remember the planets.
So, the 11 planets of the Solar System are (in order of increasing distance from the sun): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris (Ceres and Eris are dwarf planets). Learn those by heart if you can! Tough job huh?
Not anymore, as Maryn Smith, a 10-year-old fourth-grader at Riverview Elementary School in Great Falls, Mont. has managed to find a mnemonic in this regard. Inspired by a contest put on by the National Geographic Society, her class set about coming up with a mnemonic for the solar system’s 11 planets. Maryn won the contest with her thoroughly excellent phrase:
My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants.
Mnemonics work when they’re memorable, right? And Maryn’s, which she says was inspired by “Aladdin,” sure is. The magic carpet! Those palace elephants! How can you forget?
Believe it or not, this is a great achievement from the educational point of view, as the other above mentioned mnemonics have already shown their efficiency.