If not for F.A.N.B.O.Y.S., I would be a lost cause in recalling these seven grammatically significant words. (Especially since the part of my brain that is supposed to store such information seems to be shriveling up to a raisin, as I enter into my [ahem!] early thirties). See visual below:
My 30-something-year-old brain
God bless the mnemonic device! Come on! You know you use them, too. Remember I before C, except after E? Or how about, Thirty days hath September. April, June, and November? Mnemonic devices were used by the Ancient Greeks, and I think they were definitely onto something. Now that it's standardized testing time, my students and I are preoccupied with mnemonic devices. My students love them, and as their Language Arts Captain who wishes to reach Literary Proficient Land - so do I. See examples below:
Author's Purpose = P.I.E. - Persuade, Inform, Entertain
Reading Comprehension = R.A.F.T. = Role, Audience, Format, Topic
Proofreading = C.O.P.S. - Capitalization, Overall Appearance, Punctuation, Spelling
Or just handy little one-liners, such as
Desert v. Dessert = I'll have seconds on dessert.
Further v. Farther = Further exploration takes your farther.
Mnemonics rule! If there isn't already a Mnemonic Device Holiday, I think there should be. I wish there was a mnemonic for everything. But I will settle for the aforementioned helpful ones, and a few more that I present in this handy little PowerPoint available on the wonderful website: TeachersPayTeachers: