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Memorize the Periodic Table

To memorize the periodic table of elements is no easy task. They may look like a rag-tag assembly of metals, minerals, noble gasses, radioactive isotopes, etc, but there is some method to the madness if you know what you're looking for. Many people, in the hopes of memorizing the table, will try a rote memorization approach, but this seldom remains in your long term memory for any duration.


What I've found to be most helpful, and what I outline in the video, is converting the elements into sound-alike English counterparts. Let's say your trying to memorize the elements Barium, Cobalt, and Nitrogen so that you indulge in a lighthearted chortle when their abbreviations are paired to spell the word BaCoN. :)

To memorize Barium, we would think of a word in English that sounds similar. To me, it's relatively apparent; I would choose the words "Bury 'em". Ok, so we have our sound-alike words, but we need to take this a step further. We need to come up with representative images to remember those sound-alike words. I might picture an old western cowboy held at arrow-point by a band of Indian warriors. The chieftain casts a disdainful glance towards the cowboy and grunts "Bury 'em". Now, we have our image which will help us remember our sound-alike words, and those in turn will help us remember Barium.

In a similar fashion, to memorize Cobalt, just think of a similar sounding word, maybe "Co-bought", and then a representative image, perhaps of two men shaking hands over a piece of land that they just bought. Do you see how this works? I want you to try to come up with a sound-alike word and image for Nitrogen and fill your answers in the spaces bellow.

After practicing for a bit, you'll start to get the hang of it. Once you have your images, imagine taking place on different pieces of furniture in your home, work office, or anywhere really. The only limit is your imagination. Good luck!

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