- An acronym is a word formed from initial letters or a pre-existing phrase. E.g. National Aeronautics and Space Administration becomes NASA.
- A backronym is created to suit a word or phrase, and humour is often involved. E.g. Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants helps children remember how to spell 'because'.
Activity to try
Step 1 - Ask the child/group to choose the words they want to focus on. These should be words that are consistently spelled incorrectly.
Step 2 - Make up a variety of acronyms for each word. The sillier the better. When we involve emotion we are more likely to remember.
Step 3 - Make it fun! Can they act out the acronym or draw a picture to go with it?
Step 4 - Prompt them to use their acronyms when spelling, and see how they've improved.
Remembering whether to use 'there, their, or they're' can be tricky, knowing clues helps.
E.g. The word 'there' contains 'there' which relates to place so can aid memory. 'Their' contains an i - which relates to an individual.
Using visuals also helps. The word 'bed' looks like a bed, so can help children orientate their b's and d's. If they get the letters the wrong way round the shape is lost - 'deb'. Giving two thumbs up can also help for this as the hands form the shape of the letters.
If you have any mnemonic tips that you have found useful please share them in the comments.
*The first letter of each word stands for the colours in a rainbow - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.