Johns Hopkins University Secondary Support Initiative (JHUSSI)  

FIRST-Letter Mnemonic Strategy



Purpose of Strategy


Use FIRST-Letter mnemonic strategy to improve student’s recall of factual information when taking tests.


Rationale of Lesson


Students will examine through a variety of print, non-print, electronic, and other media the effects of “cultural integration” described in The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, an Asian American author, to develop their understanding of and grapple with the conflicts inherent in the fusion of Chinese and American cultures as well as to explore the themes, motifs, and symbolism in mother-daughter relationships.


Acknowledgement of Content Expert


Pam Mayette and Dr. Mary Ellen Beatty-O’Ferrall



  • copies of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan in the unabridged text version, the abridged sound recording (of the author published by Dove Audio in 1989 available on two cassette tapes or an audio compact disk running 3 hours long), and the movie version released by Hollywood Pictures in 1993
  • overhead projector or computer with projector
  • FIRST-Letter mnemonic strategy slide
  • FIRST-Letter mnemonic strategy poster (at least one)
  • copies FIRST-Letter mnemonic strategy pamphlet that can fit on an index card
  • index cards
  • glue sticks
  • tape
  • English journals or pieces of paper
  • pencils and or pens
  • model of talking aloud how to apply FIRST-Letter mnemonic strategy
  • FIRST-Letter mnemonic strategy flashcards
  • computer(s) with Microsoft Excel software
  • graph paper
  • colored markers
  • highlighters