Theoretically, rhymes are my “art.” But, these are NOT NECESSARILY GOOD. Some of them intentionally so. HA! I want them to each stand alone. If we memorized them as a whole poem, the child would have to recite the whole thing to get to the correct date.
Varying the meter and whatnot, while irritating to the reader, will make the verses unique. That is necessary because THREE dates end in a 9, TWO each in a 7, 5, and 1. If the verses are too similar, those dates can be easily mixed up. We want similar dates to have DIFFERENT rhythms.
Also included, in parenthesis, are the map locations. Sometimes the added sensory experience of pointing to a location helps.
1620 Pilgrims (Massachusetts):
The pilgrims came in sixteen-twenty,
Plymouth was their Land of Plenty.
1776 Independence (Pennsylvania): Say the date slowly for this one to accent the TEEN in seventeen.
In seventeen seventy-six,
Independence, Congress picks.
1787 Constitution (Pennsylvania): My kids have a terrible time keeping this one separate from the previous. They even happen in the same city on the map. I intentionally monkeyed with the rhythm. This time when you say “seventeen”, rush it in before the next beat. If you do it right, there will be a rest at the end. This one is also four lines to contrast with the previous.
In Seventeen eighty-seven, (rest)
They signed the Constitution. (rest)
None wrote Bob or Kevin, (rest)
Archibald or Lucian.
1812 War of 1812 (Indiana): Do we need a rhyme for this one? Here you go anyway.
The War of eighteen-twelve’s the name,
the date is just the same.
1849 Gold Rush (California): There’s half a pause in between each of the last three words to make them accented. If you say “goldrush” you will have a beat left over.
Gold Rush miner.
1861 Civil War Begins (South Carolina): same rhythm as that old, well-known Columbus rhyme
In eighteen-sixty one,
The Civil War had just begun.
1865 Civil War Ends (Virginia):
In eighteen sixty-five,
Lee and Grant arrive.
Civil War ender.
WWI 1914 (France): I HAVE NOTHING but a rhyme about it not rhyming
World War One starts in nineteen fourteen
Nothing rhymes, not even, “horse bean”
WWI ends 1918 (France): Two options, a rhyme about it not rhyming, and a non-rhyme.
World War One ends nineteen eighteen
Rhyming world wars, I am hating!
Fun fact that would have helped my kid this past year. World War 1 cease fire was signed at 11 o clock, on the 11th day, of the 11th month. He would have enjoyed pretending to wind down like a robot out of batteries.
End of World War One
1929 Stock Market Crash (New York): I know this one is weird, leaving out the 19 and using near rhyme, but I figured having those imperfections would make it stick out from the other nines.
Market Crash in ‘twenty-nine,
Great Depression Time.
1941 US enters WWII (Hawaii):
Nineteen forty one, World War Two.
Pearl Harbor , our debut.
1945 WWII ends (Japan):
The A-bomb stopped the second world war
In nineteen forty-five they cried, “No more!”
1950 Korean War:
Korean War in nineteen-fifty,
Communists were being shifty.
1957 Sputnik: Again with the near rhyme (blech), but that will make it stick out from the other “seven” rhyme.
In nineteen fifty-seven,
Sputnik pierced the heavens.
1963 Vietnam War:
Vietnam War in nineteen sixty three,
Fought in the jungles, swamps and trees.
1969 Armstrong on the Moon: Silly like a cheer.
One! Nine! Six! Nine!
Armstrong walks on moon shine.
If anyone else has mnemonics to share, I will add them to this list under the right dates.