I can remember back to junior high school when I took earth science from Mrs. Garrett. One of the lessons we worked through was an introduction to the periodic table of elements. Mrs. Garrett diligently divided the table into their appropriate categories and assigned us memorization work for each segment. It was hard.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Mrs. Garrett was a good teacher and I remember her fondly throughout my schooling years, as she was the homeroom teacher for my class and in our small rural area our school was a combined junior and senior high school. So I had her for several classes. She was a good teacher who cared for her students. But, learning the periodic table is hard and memorizing those elements is even harder.
In fact, ask me today to name 10 in order and I couldn’t do it.
I do think it’s important to have a good understanding of the elements and their function in nature. Which is why this year we are doing a Chemistry study. My Young Man is so different from me! He actually likes memorizing facts and the periodic table is no exception. I would venture to guess that when he is my age he’ll be able to name every single element, and even the ones they keep adding.
Yet as a homeschool teacher I still want to present lessons to him in a fun, encouraging way that will help him to expand his knowledge on any given subject. The Periodic Table is no exception to that desire.
One of the advantages of being a homeschool blogger is being able to share products and services with you by doing compensated reviews. I was granted use of Memorize the Periodic Table for free and am being fairly compensated for my time reviewing the product. All opinions are my own and I am not required to write a positive review.
Combining Auditory Learning with Visual Learning
A Great Way to Memorize the Periodic Table
When I first learned of the Memorize the Periodic Table I was instantly intrigued. Because they utilize mnemonics I knew that the videos would serve as an excellent resource for our homeschool science endeavors. I often use word association to remember things. I do this when I meet someone new. I do a quick name association in my head. I think of another person with the same name and then when I encounter that person again I am able to remember their name because I think of the other person I know with the same name.
So considering the word association method as a way to memorize the elements on the periodic table I instantly thought it was a great idea. Then I realized that not only does it do so with word association but also with a visual animation, thus creating a visual memory. This means that whether a student is an auditory learner or a visual learner they will have not one but two associated prompts to help them to remember. (For more information on how to utilize visual memory to grow recall memory, see these short visual memory videos.)
I especially like that these lessons incorporate some words that may be new to a student, like the word, polo which is a British game but isn’t very common in the U.S.. Blending common words with lesser known words as part of word association coupled with a word picture not only allows the student to remember the element, but also allows them to have a visual reminder of a new word.
When I first showed the introductory video to Jonathan, he was instantly hooked! I couldn’t tear him away. After proceeding through the first 20 elements, which by the way you can view for free, he asked if we could do the rest. So after his Chemistry lessons, he gets anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes to work his way through the videos. There is no pressure from me, he can learn at his own pace.
He enjoys the videos and looks forward to completing his science lesson so they serve as an encouraging bonus for getting his work done. This also allows me to log extra time (we are in a state that requires us to track homeschool hours) while at the same time helping him to shore up his memorization skills, his recall of the elements on the periodic table, and broaden his knowledge of word usage.
How Memorize the Periodic Table Works
By combining word association with video animation the creators of Memorize the Periodic Table have constructed short animated videos to demonstrate each word. Each video is short at about 7-10 minutes and they contain about 10 elements. Where possible the animation links elements together as part of the overall animated series. They take the visual image from one element and link it throughout the video to complete a series of animations for a series of elements. For example, the video containing elements 41-50 centers around an animated squirrel. This allows the student to remember an overall story with additional word prompts to remember each element.
Remember, here the goal is to memorize the elements of the table. The videos are not designed to be a complete lesson on the function of each element. Although, if you watch closely, they have cleverly included a bit of the science behind each element. For example for the first element, hydrogen, the visual reminder is a water hydrant. Since water is made up of H2 O, with 2 parts being hydrogen, having a reminder of a water hydrant for the hydrogen element you are also reminded that hydrogen is a key element in water.
A word of caution: These videos while harmless in content might surprise you occasionally with some words chosen to represent an element. For example the element Thallium is represented by the word Valium and the description on the video is “a common drug which makes people to be relaxed and spaced out.” Another is the use of the word “ass” which might be shocking to some, but it is used as a representation of a donkey, the true use of the word. Therefore it is harmless. While harmless, I did want to caution you to preview each video before letting your kids watch especially if you are more mindful of the words that your family uses as part of your common vernacular.
How to get Memorize the Periodic Table
You can get access to Memorize the Periodic Table and help your students learn all the elements of the periodic table (don’t worry, they are currently working to update their videos to include the 4 newest elements) by visiting the Memorize Academy.
- You can learn the 1st 20 elements for Free, this will give you (and your kids) a chance to see how it works. It’s so fun, they’ll be begging for more.
- Learn 50 Elements for just $1.00.
- Learn all the Elements for $19.95.
- 2 Bonus Videos focus on memorizing the Atomic Numbers.
- You get a lifetime access so you, your kids can learn at their own pace.
- Mobile and web friendly videos are available on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
Seriously, just $19.95 for lifetime access to Memorize Academy, is well worth it! All the kids in your homeschool will be able to utilize this resource and perhaps mom and dad too.
Be sure to follow Memorize the Periodic Table on Facebook for regular tips for improving memory, fun facts about the periodic table and updates, such as the latest addition of 4 elements. You can also subscribe to Memorize the Periodic Table on YouTube where you will find great video tips for practicing memorization.
Do you remember the elements of the periodic table, past the 1st 5? What are you doing to help your homeschool students learn the elements? I do think it’s important for them to learn the overall purpose of the table and how it works, after all, the elements are the building blocks for the world in which we live.