Geography Mnemonics to Help Learn About the Great Lakes

| |

The Great Lakes are five lakes that form a single, naturally interconnected body of fresh water.  Located in the upper mid-east region of North America along the United States-Canada border, the Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, holding 21% of the world’s fresh water by volume.

There are five lakes belonging to the Great Lakes basin: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.  Of these five, only Lake Michigan is fully within the United States. 

The remaining four, Lakes Huron, Ontario, Erie, Superior are bisected by the international border separating the United States and Canada.

Map of the Great Lakes.

Learning the names of the Great Lakes can be aided through the use of mnemonics, a learning device that uses patterns to help with recall.

Mnemonic to Memorize the Names of the Great Lakes

To learn the names of the Great Lakes, the acronym HOMES can be used with each letter representing the name of a Great Lake: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.

Geographic Spread of the Great Lakes Mnemonic

To remember the order geographically that the lakes occur traveling from west to east, learn this phrase: Super Man Helps Every One (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario)

Order of Great Lakes According to Size Mnemonic

The mnemonic to remember the lakes in descending order according to surface area is: Super Heroes Must Eat Oats (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, Ontario).

Great Lakes Mnemonics Video


Other Geography Mnemonics


Photo of author
About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.