Memory Tricks for Learning the 50 States
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Chef MIMAL is your guide!

   To start learning the 50 states, first find the figure we'll call Chef MIMAL.  He is colored green in the maps below, and I've added an eye to his face to make him easier to recognize.  Look for his hat, face, belly, pants, and boots.  Each letter of his name helps you remember the states just to the west of the Mississippi River. 

   Next, look for the states that tell you about Chef MIMAL's story:

  • He eats too much Kentucky fried Chicken.  (It looks like a leg of fried chicken.)
  • He doesn't play enough tennis in Tennessee.  (It looks like a tennis court.)
  • He is so out of shape, he became ill in Ohio.  That helps you remember the states Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio in the correct order.
  • He spends too much time reading magazines.  The first three letters of the word magazines help you remember the states Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

   The pages below give some more map memory tricks.

Memory tricks for the
western part of the U.S. map

   Chef MIMAL is shown again on this map, still colored green.
  • The first letters of the far western states, California, Oregon, and Washington, spell COW - so picture them with a dairy cow giving milk.
  • Nevada has a "V" shape at the bottom, and has the letter v in its name.
  • Look for the face of old mon (man) Montana.  He is always forgetting his neighbor, even though he is always looking at it, and says, "I don't know Idaho."
  • Kansas is the shape of a can of soup, so remember it with the word "can."  It it pouring into Oklahoma, which is shaped like a pan with a handle.
  • North Dakota and South Dakota are so similar in size and shape that we'll call them the "twins of the North."


As you learn the 50 states, try to come up with
 some new memory tricks of your own!


Copyright Notice

   Copyright 2010, 2012 by David Burns.  All rights reserved.  As a guide to the Virginia Standards of Learning, some pages necessarily include phrases or sentences from that document, which is available online from the Virginia Department of Education.  The author's copyright extends to the original text and graphics, unique design and layout, and related material.