by Dr Shen Li-Lee


Side Note: This is useful as a method for Studying

Although the method for teaching Peg Memory is similar to Linking Memory, the purpose of peg memory is somewhat different.  Linking Memory helps you to remember a list of items in order, however, if you wanted to remember item number 6 in a list of 10 things, you would have to repeat the entire list in order to recall what item 6 is.  Peg memory helps you recall what any item in the list is without having to repeat everything.  The down side is that it is a little more involved to learn the peg memory system because you first have to learn the images associated with specific numbers.  But once you have learned the peg list, it is easier to recall new items in future.

How does Peg Memory work?

The first step is to memorise the peg list, that is, a list of pictures to be associated with numbers.  The pictures selected should be easily associated with the numbers, such as words that rhyme:

1 – sun
2 – shoe
3 – tree
4 – door
5 – hive
6 – sticks
7 – heaven
8 – gate
9 – wine
10 – hen

You can use any method required to remember the associations, for instance, rhyming:

One played in the sun.  Two wore a shoe.  Three climbed a tree.  Four knocked at the door.  Five in a bee hive.  Six picked up sticks.  Seven went to heaven.  Eight shut the gate.  Nine drank some wine.  Ten is a big fat hen.


In Heguru, they use linking memory to remember the order of the pictures, for example:

The sun wore a shoe to climb a tree.  The tree knocked on the door to the bee hive to ask the bees to pick up some sticks on the way to heaven.  At the gate to heaven was some wine that was being drunk by a hen.


Once you can remember peg list, you can use it to help you remember any other list.  Here is an example from Wikipedia:

The peg list is:

  1. gun
  2. zoo
  3. tree
  4. door
  5. hive
  6. bricks
  7. heaven
  8. plate
  9. wine
  10. hen

The example is to remember a grocery list of 10 items:

  1. Apple: Picture an apple being fired from a gun
  2. Butter: Picture a gorilla stomping up and down on a stick of butter
  3. Razor Blades: Picture a tree with razor blades for leaves
  4. Soap: Picture a door made from soap
  5. Bread: Picture bees flying from a loaf of bread as if it is a hive
  6. Milk: Picture a brick house with milk jugs where the bricks should be
  7. Cat food: Picture an open can of cat food with angel wings and a halo
  8. Bacon: Picture bacon on a plate
  9. Batteries: Picture a wine glass filled with batteries
  10. Orange juice: Picture a hen being squeezed, and orange juice coming out has another example:

In this example, we’re trying to remember the seven ancient wonders of the world:

  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  5. Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria

The peg list is:

  1. tea
  2. new
  3. me
  4. ear
  5. owl
  6. gay
  7. cow
  8. UFO
  9. bee
  10. dash

Remembering the list:

  1. Tea: Great Pyramid of Giza – imagine that the pyramid was not really meant to be a tomb, but actually it was a tea plant. But the ancient Egyptians weren’t allowed to know this, so they also put a real tomb in it…
  2. New: Hanging Gardens of Babylon – did you know that they are rebuilding the gardens of Babylon? Brand new. Try to visually see that people are building these gardens.
  3. Me: Statue of Zeus at Olympia – no, it’s no Zeus, it’s me on that statue!
  4. Ear: Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – they used this temple to bring sacrifices to gods: they cut off the ears of people and then sacrifice these ears.
  5. Owl: Mausoleum of Halicarnassus – they had so much problems with this mausoleum: owls kept flying between all the pillars of the mausoleum, it was a real owl plague.
  6. Gay: Colossus of Rhodes – think of a story where apparently the colossus is gay. I wouldn’t sail with my boat between the legs of someone who’s gay…
  7. Cow: Lighthouse of Alexandria – memorizing the picture below should be sufficient: the island is full of cows. also has 1000 Pegs you can use.

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