Learning States by Rote
Simple repetition bollyflix or learning by rote is the old-fashioned, hair-shirt approach favored in the past by schoolteachers steeped in a belief that suffering was good for the soul. There is no doubt that it works, and probably has a longer-lasting effect than more trendy methods. However, will today's spoilt-for-choice-kids take to that idea if there is an alternative?
States Word-association technique
The states bollyflix word-association technique involves having a numerical list linked to an object using rhyme. For a long list like the 50 states it helps to subdivide into groups of ten further distinguished with the use of color as another memory aid. A good example is explained here.
A mnemonic is a word or phrase where its individual letters are the starting letters of the words to be remembered. For example: the colors of the rainbow can be remembered with "Roy G. Biv". The list of 50 states and capitals is a more daunting challenge. The author has devised a mnemonic for learning the 50 States of America.
States Census-Bureau Region Chunking
Dividing the American states into Census-Bureau regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West, and learning by chunking is probably less stressful. Progress can be seen as each region is mastered. An excellent example with mnemonics can be found from the link below.
States Song Lyrics
Song lyrics are a good way to go as an addition to the other methods. The memory is supported by the melody and it is a lot of fun. It also helps to teach the correct pronunciation.
50 States Videos
There are a number of videos that combine visual and sound. In the Animainiacs video you see the outline map of the states and as the Wakko song progresses with each name you see the state filled in with color to identify it. There have been a number of videos on this theme and many are worth checking out.
A list of individual state limericks with the state and capital can be found here. These provide humor and are well written to standard limerick format. This gives a nice sing-song quality to aid retention.
Learning States Games
- Grasp the USA this combines various games to teach and reinforce the states and capitals. Includes a jigsaw and time zone explanation.
- Flix Animations' Animated States and Capitals game is a long-established, award-winning game to teach states and capitals with a full-screen click-able U.S. Map. It teaches names and locations of states and capitals in a number of colorful ways. Flix Productions
You are spoiled for choice in methods but whatever you choose a certain amount of hard work is involved. However, it is worthwhile because knowing the 50 states and capitals is beneficial to most people and not just Americans.
My vote for best way to learn the 50 states of America goes to the regional chunking method.Promising yourself or junior a reward for learning all the 50 states and capitals is a good study booster. Why not consider that proud symbol of America - a new felt cowboy hat?