25 September 2007

A Mnemonic

Kid1 was reading a zoology book to Kid2. They were discussing taxonomy. They were discussing figuring out their own mnemonic to remember classification -- kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.

"Okay, we're supposed to come up with a sentence that uses the first letter of each of those words, see? So the first word will start with K."

K
P
C
O
F
G
S

For pete's sake, it was time for Star Trek! Do you know how long kids can linger over a puzzle like this? It was a crisis, and I felt I simply had to intervene.

"Klingon!..." I exclaimed (since it was time for Star Trek), pointing to the K, "...potty chairs!..." (always a popular phrase to insert) ...

"Klingon potty chairs on freighters glow softly! See, sometimes the lights on the Klingon freighters are low...wait a minute, do Klingons even have freighters, or do they just fly around on Birds of Prey?"

"Yes, they have freighters, " my Trekkie daughter assured me.

"Okay, then, sometimes they keep the lights low, so they have the potties glow in the dark so they can find them." Those Klingon ships always do seem sort of dark to me, you know.

Kid2 danced around the room repeating the sentence over and over. KLINGON POTTY CHAIRS ON FREIGHTERS GLOW SOFTLY. KLINGON POTTY CHAIRS ON FREIGHTERS GLOW SOFTLY.

I feel confident that she will remember this mnemonic the rest of her life. Can you picture her chanting that in college?

Best of all, they were able to finish up the project, turn on the TV and watch Star Trek. Which, wouldn't you know it, featured Klingons.

6 comments:

Ami said...

Okay, that's hysterical. I wasn't able to come up with a good one for those letters. I think I'll ask my kids. I'll get back to you.
:)

Julie said...

Being a trekkie myself I was enchanted with your use of such a worthy show in your schooling. I'll have to emulate your methods!

KPCOFGS

Ami said...

My daughter helped me figure out one for you... not that you need it.
Kick Foolish Chickens Over Fences... Go Slowly

:snicker:

GailV said...

Ami, that's a good one. But I think that the Klingon potty chairs have made a deep impression on my 7 year old.

Weaver said...

You are my homeschooling hero and my trekkie hero too :) Congrats on finding such a great one!

Tara, Walkabout said...

Much more fun than Kids Favor Candy Over Fancy Green Salads...
Cute post!