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What Is Mnemonic Instruction?

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Mnemonic instruction is a set of strategies designed to help students improve their memory of new information. Mnemonics instruction links new information to prior knowledge through the use of visual and/or acoustic cues. These strategies have been proven effective with students at a wide range of ability levels (gifted, normally achieving, and those with mild and moderate disabilities) and at all grade levels. Mnemonics are particularly helpful in teaching students with disabilities who have difficulty recalling verbal and content-area information, as they are effective with any type of verbal content. There are three basic types of mnemonic strategies: • Keyword – A keyword is a familiar word that sounds similar to the word or idea being taught. Keywords are generally used with an illustration of some type. The teacher creates a picture or other graphic that links the old and new information in the student’s memory. For example, a mnemonic for remembering the definition of the word ... more
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