English grammatical rules can often be confusing. Unlike hearing students who rely on the, "does it sound right principle?" for checking their grammar, many Deaf and Hard of Hearing students need easy to remember rules to help them correctly write English. Additionally those that are visually distinctive will be a strong link for most DHH students.
Mnemonic devices help students remember rules. Do you remember learning the order of the planets? You probably were taught a phrase like: My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas. Each of the letters represents the name of the planet in the correct sequence (e.g. My= Mars, very= Venus, etc.). Remembering the sentence is much easier than trying to remember each planet name in sequence.
A visual mnemonic devices make sure that all students have a visual representation for an English rule to help them remember when and how to use specific grammatical forms.
For example…..general time prepositions (in/on/at) can be very confusing. Without a rule to help them remember, students often omit these words in their independent writing. Through a series of lessons we teach students some basic beginning concepts for in/on/at. An example of how to remember the rules is provided below. The visual mnemonic (a clock) to help them remember the "rules" for using these words with time concepts is show at the top of the page.
IN means a large expanse of time (ex. Dinosaurs lived IN the Mesozoic Era.)
ON means a shorter duration of time. (ex. The party is ON Saturday.)
AT means a specific pinpoint in time. (ex. The meeting is AT 3:00.)
After teaching the basic concepts and doing various activities, students learn the visual mnemonic graphic shown at the top of the page. This can also be placed on the classroom wall in a "Grammar Section" to help as a visual reminder and resource.
IMPORTANT!!!! Not all lessons have visual mnemonic devices in the curriculum! Additionally since English has exceptions, the concepts developed in this curriculum are only intended to introduce the beginning or basic level, general concepts.