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Peg Memory Technique

Updated on February 3, 2016

Peg Technique

PEG MEMORY METHOD. The Peg memory technique is most suitable for recalling information that you need to organize in a specific order. Let us say that you are given some instructions on how to fix an appliance or to put together a recipe for baking. Perhaps you did not have some written material to record the information. You would then need to remember the steps in a particular order to successfully complete the task. The simplest form of the peg memory technique is the attachment of mental pictures to things which you will always likely to remember. Examples of this is pegging mental pictures to letters of the alphabet. This is also applicable to basic numbers as you make a similar association. This association creates a visualization pattern that goes from abstract to concrete. Here is a list of the more commonly used peg learning techniques:
 Alphabet Pegs
 Number Rhyme Pegs
 Number Shape Pegs
ALPHABET PEG SYSTEM. The Alphabet pegs can be used in two ways in its simplest form. The first is through the association of letters of the alphabet with a similar sounding word. The following list will help you to better understand how it operates.
A- Hay

P- Pea

B- Bee


C- Sea


As you can see from the list, the association of the letters with the objects will make for a more concrete representation. These examples would be good exercise for students who are learning to read. A great way to use this is to visualize a mental picture of the letter b having a bee perched at the top of it. This would assist the child to visualize the association between the letter and the object. Another example is to visualize a guy with a large hoe standing between the empty spaces in the letter o and tilling the soil.

NUMBER-RHYME PEGS. The use of the number-rhyme peg system is largely used at the kindergarten level and the reason comes from the idea that it is one of the easier memory techniques to learn. It works by associating a number and an object that rhymes. A very common memory gem which I was taught in school depicts the way in which the number-rhyme technique is used. This is how it was recited:

One, two buckle my shoe.

Three, four shut the door

Five, six pick up sticks

Seven, eight lay them straight

Nine, ten a big fat hen.

You can apply the number –peg technique in other scenarios using the same model like the above recitation. Here is how you could do this: The following numbers that are associated with a rhyming word should be used as a guide as you do this exercise. Examples are 1-won, 5-dive, 2-shoe, 6-sticks, 3-Tree, 7- heaven, 4-poor, and 8- wait. Let us say that you visited a neighbor and they gave you some instructions on how to make cherry drink. If you did not have anything to document this information, you would then need to retain it in memory. Say the items that were given were 5 cups of cherries, 4 tablespoon sugar, 2 limes , 6 pieces of ginger diced.
The first thing you could do is to associate each item with the number of each item that has to be a part of the recipe and it could be recited. Example, 5 cups of cherries could be rhymed with berries and you could visualize 5 children each having a cup of cherry after returning from school. This could be used to remind you of the 5 cups of cherries to use. The next association would be to visualize 4 poor men each carrying a large bag of sugar on their backs. As you try to remember lime, you can visualize the two nostrils on your nose smelling the rind from the limes after your shoe accidentally stepped on them.

There is also another variation to the peg memory technique. Here is how it works. Instead of using the quantity of the ingredients in each item to remember how to make the drink as in this case, you could sort each ,item by item. You would instead say item#1 are the cherries, item#2 is sugar and so on. This would be better used if you are trying to remember things in which the quantity to be used is irrelevant. If on the other hand you are trying to remember quantity, it becomes more important for you to use the quantity of the items given. In order to better retain the information, ensure you do this: Review the information after the first minute. As you do so, hold the information in your minds eye for the next 3-5 minutes so that it will become more rooted. After about 15 minutes, review again to solidify this mental image.If you require the information to be stored for a longer time period hold the mental picture and return mentally to review it every 1hour . You may then extend it to every two to three hours as you practice.

Please note that in order to use this technique you must first have a representation of each item assigned to a number mentally. If you follow the example above you will begin to understand that you will have to memorize and know the numbers from 1-8 at the top of the page that had a rhyming word assigned to them.

NUMBER-SHAPE PEG SYSTEM. The number shape-peg system is the use of symbols or shapes to associate with numbers. You will now find a list below of the numbers 0-9 with a symbol assigned to each. It is best that the object that you associate with the number closely resembles the appearance of the number. For example, Look at the list below and see if there is any resemblance.
0- doughnut
1- light pole
2- duck
3- breast
4- Ship
5- hook
6- rabbit
7- walking stick
8- hourglass
9- snail
As you study and remember the list of the numbers and the words with which they are associated, you will now discover how the technique is applied. Let us say that we associate a word such as “sausage” to number 1 on the list we would associate light pole with a sausage. We could do this by visualizing a giant sausage leaning against a light pole. Another scenario is if you associate another word such as “eye glasses” to number 8, you could imagine a snail crawling over an eyeglasses lying on the ground.

It is essential that the information be re- read at least five times and practiced repeatedly to gain a good command of this technique.


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