An alternative list – the Animals Alphabet
Here’s a different alphabet list, and one that you might find more useful. It’s based on the animal kingdom, and includes an extinct animal (a dinosaur), and a mythical animal (a unicorn). As you can see, there’s no rules to these things, apart from any rules or guidelines that help your memory work more effectively.
And I’ve included a suitably daft story which, hopefully, will make it easier to remember the list.
Here’s the list:
|THE ANIMALS ALPHABET LIST|
And here’s the story:
One sunny day in the middle of the night, an Awesome and Aggressive giant ANT was scaring a Brawny Brown BEAR, who paid him no attention because he was busy getting his bum nipped by a Colossal, Cruel CRAB.
He shook the crab off and it landed in the sea. As it sank, it passed a Dramatic and Deeply Debonair DOLPHIN who was swimming swiftly up to the surface. He soared out of the water, imagining he was an Enormous and Elegant EAGLE.
The eagle was hungry and couldn’t see anything better to catch so it though “Mmm … I’ll have to settle for that Fat, Flabby FROG – not very tasty but it will have to do.” So the eagle swooped down, but he didn’t know the frog had a friend … a Gargantuan, Gruesome GORILLA, who always looked after him.
The gorilla, holding the frog gently, galloped away on the back of a Huge, Hungry HIPPO, which started to chase an Innocent yet Impressive IMPALA. The impala (because it was a magic impala, and because it was in danger!) transformed its appearance in a flash so it looked like a Jazzy Javanese JELLYFISH (nobody messes with a jellyfish!).
But it saw a Caring and Cuddly KOALA and, being a deadly jellyfish, couldn’t resist stinging him! The koala went to his friend, the Likeable and Lumbering LION, and asked him to help. The lion gently put some ointment on the sting, but then he heard a squawky, screechy voice: “Aaaachh … looking after your cuddly little friend, Lion, you wimp!”, and he got angry.
He looked around and saw that it was that Moody and Menacing MACAW, the largest and cheekiest of all the parrots, who was forever teasing the lion (he thought he could risk doing that because he was so big, and because he could fly). Even so, he took off quickly when he heard the lion roar, and landed at the edge of a lake, where he saw a Nervous and Nondescript NEWT climbing out of the water.
He was shocked to see the newt immediately swallowed up by an Obnoxious and Objectionable OCTOPUS that slithered out of the water just long enough to snaffle the newt. The octopus thought to himself “Shouldn’t have done that, I’m just a Paunchy and Pathetic PIG“, and the pig, being a very greedy pig, tried to catch a Quiet and Quavering QUAIL that was passing peacefully by, a tiny little bird, to eat that as well.
Too late! The quail was swallowed up by a Rank and Ravaging RAT, which in turn was swallowed by a Slithering, Serpentine SNAKE. Suddenly, the snake heard B-O-O-M, B-O-O-M, B-O-O-M, and started to slither away in fear. He knew that sound; a Terrifying, Titanic T-REX was coming!
The snake wasn’t the only one trying to get away, everyone was panicking. The Unusual and Unique UNICORN was galloping away, with a Vengeful and Vigilant VULTURE on its back. The vulture was looking forward to feasting on whatever the T-Rex killed, but a Watchful and Wicked WOLF had other ideas.
He leapt up onto the Unicorn’s back and grabbed the vulture and ate it greedily, tearing it to shreds. It wasn’t his first meal of the day, he’d been gorging himself and he now felt a bit queasy. He went to the doctor for an x-ray, but when it came back all the doctor could see was an image of an eXciting and eXcellent X-RAY FISH, which confused him.
He had felt bad all day and this just made his day seem that much worse. “YAK“, he said, Yawning and feeling Yucky, and looked again at the x-ray, but all he could see now were the black and white markings of a Zany, Zigzag ZEBRA.
Why did I write this daft story?
Mainly because it links each animal to the next. If you’re learning something like this it’s easy to hit a roadblock; you get to a certain point and you just can’t remember the next item, and the more you struggle to recall it, the less likely it is to jump into your mind.
The purpose of the story is to …
- create a vivid sequence of events, with imagery, sounds, action, etc.
- link one creature to the next
- link the letter indelibly to the creature (hence the adjectives … I know, it’s laying it on a bit thick, but if it helps you remember that the Eagle is Enormous and Elegant and if that helps you remember that the letter E is key to the whole thing, then it’s done its job)
- take you from ‘knowing’ the Alphabet List to actually having it available for use instantly
- help you to learn the list so well that you can fairly quickly learn to say the entire thing as easily as you can recite the alphabet – and that’s when it becomes really useful!
Obviously, you don’t need to know the story. You don’t even need to read it, if you prefer not to. It’s just there as a memory aid, and you can use it if you want, or create something more useful, if you choose to do that.
In fact, you don’t even need to use this list. You could make up an alphabet list of your own design, based on, for example, sports … or history … or famous landmarks … or films.
For example, your list might start like this:
A – Acropolis
B – Brandenburg Gate, or Big Ben
C – Colosseum
D – the Duomo in Florence
E – Eiffel Tower
A – The Apartment
B – The Birds, or Bride of Frankenstein
C – Captain America, or Clash of the Titans
D – Day of the Jackal, or The Day the Earth Stood Still
E – The Evil Dead, or Escape from Alcatraz
There’s no shortage of material to choose from, it’s just a matter of what works best for you.
So why did I choose Animals?
Because I wanted to create an interesting list for a young friend of mine, Daniel, and animals seemed the perfect choice. Specially since it includes a T-Rex! Danny, like most kids his age, is fascinated by dinosaurs, and of course the more interesting you find something the more likely it is to be a useful memory aid.
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NOTE:I had some feedback that two of the animals could sometimes get confused, so I’ve replaced them. Instead of Akita which could look a bit too much like a wolf, I’ve put in ANT. And instead of Bison, which looks a lot like a yak, I’ve put in BEAR. I hope this isn’t confusing anyone – the idea is to avoid confusion!
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