If you teach the metric system, there’s a mnemonic device to help your students remember the prefixes from milli up to kilo.
King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk is used to remember the order from largest to smallest: Kilo, Hecto, Deka, Deci, Centi, Milli.
Long ago in my student teaching days (I had a lot more time on my hands), I wrote this poem to introduce the mnemonic. Feel free to use it with your students.
King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk by Matthew S. Ray
One upon a time, in the country of Metricland,
There lived a king named Henry, and one thing he couldn’t stand
Was regular white milk – whole, low fat, or skim.
Only chocolate milk ever appealed to him.
He’d call on his servants, “Bring me my milk!”
“And don’t get it on my robe made of silk!”
“And make sure it’s chocolate, not white, and not red!”
“If it’s not chocolate, then OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!”
So every day he’d wake up with a glass of the chocolate treat
Sitting on his nightstand with a plate of cookies to eat.
He’d gobble them down, then swallow the drink,
Then get up and walk down to the bathroom sink.
When he turned on the faucet, instead of water there would be
Chocolate milk a-flowing from a chocolate milky sea.
After brushing his teeth, he’d start on his path,
To his chocolate bath tub for his chocolate milk bath.
While bathing in chocolate, Henry would sit with a straw
Drinking up the bath milk and the filth that he saw.
He drank up the whole bath: soap, milk, and all.
And one day was his last bath, it was King Henry’s fall.
The queen came in that day and no, she couldn’t stand.
Lying dead in the bath tub was the king of Metricland.
Never again would he wear his robe made of silk:
King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk.
King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk by Matthew S. Ray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.