07 Jan

How to Remember School Facts with Visual Stories

Ever get stuck? You may have tried flash cards, iphone apps, chanting and more.  you still can’t figure out how to remember facts like the atomic weight of Molybdenum for your Chemistry class.  Why?  Because it doesn’t connect to anything meaningful or connected to your life.  Sure … there might be some Molybdenum somewhere hidden in your car or buried inside your cell phone, but what does that have to do with anything?

Memorizing this information will have hard time ‘sticking’ in your brain.  It lacks a connection to you or your experiences   It also has no emotional excitement.  In fact it’s fantastically boring.

Try this. Imagine yourself meeting a lady named Molly Bdenum.  She is 42 years old and hates the water.  She loves, however, to go to parties and mix with other people.  Her image and story will stick in your mind and … guess what?  Her story contains the key facts that you need for Chemistry class.  The metal Molybdenum has an atomic weight (age) of 42, has low solubility in water and is generally mixed with other metals to form carbides and other compounds.  Just like Miss Molly.

You could expand this imaginary story to include more facts about the metal.  Just weave them into Miss Molly’s story. Where does she live?  What does she do with her time? Your brain contains powerful cells for memorizing people and their life stories.  In fact, your brain has more capacity for visual memory than for printed chemistry fact lists. So don’t guess how to remember.

Use a mental story to help yourself remember the hard stuff.  Like Molybdenum.