Memory Aid

At some point we have all used rhyme to help our memory. How many of these do you recognise? -

'i' before 'e' except after 'c'   A rule to help with spelling.

East increase, West get less   A rule to help with Time Zones

Latitude is fatitude   To help remember which is latitude and which is longitude

Thirty days have September
April, June and November.
All the rest have thirty one
Except for February alone   To help in remembering the number of days in each month.

Poor old Fred confused his drink
So now he is no more
Instead of H2O he drank
H2SO4.   A rhyme to help remember scientific formula

However, this is not the only reason why rhyme is important to us. It is already accepted that nursery rhymes help in the development of language, by helping children discover sound similarities, which in turn lead to the development of phoneme awareness. Psychological research has shown that both rhyme and rhythm are therefore important for reading development, and it is no co-incidence that so many children's picture books are written in rhythm and rhyme.
Cambridge University's Neuroscience department is currently researching this aspect of the way the brain works, and one of their research students (Kate Prentice) is applying the evidence showing that rhyme and rhythm affect the way the brain learns at Histon and Impington Infant school in Cambridge. As poetry naturally incorporates rhythm and rhyme, the aim is to use it to see whether it translates into improvements in reading, as research has so far suggested. For myself I am already convinced, apart from which rhyme and rhythm some how feel so much more fun!

Language Development