What are good ways to memorize the cities and states on a U.S. map?


Quick Answer

Techniques for memorizing states and their capital cities include creating images associated with the information, playing memory games and even rote learning. The technique that works best depends on the particular learner.

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What are good ways to memorize the cities and states on a U.S. map?
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Full Answer

Learning the names and capitals of all 50 states requires a different approach from one student to another. Rote learning, or the repetition of information until it is memorized, is the simplest method. However, when this fails, other techniques may succeed.

For example, an easy memory game to learn the states and their capitals involves printing the names onto cards. The cards are then turned face down, and the player turns the cards over in pairs while attempting to match the state to the capital.

Another way to memorize information that might seem meaningless alone is to include it in a story or sequence that makes more sense to the student. With this technique, a short story or sentence includes one or more states and their capitals. The student can mentally recite the story or sentence while taking a test to help recall the information.

For more visual learners, associating a picture with the information they need to learn may be more effective. With this technique, the student thinks of images to represent the sounds in the name of the state and its capital. The student is then able to recall both upon visualizing the image.

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