Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vocabulary Cartoons Homeschool Crew Review

Vocabulary Cartoons

3rd-6th Grade

Could also be used for older and younger students
depending on reading and interest levels.

Paperback Book $12.95

New Monic Books
P.O. Box 511314
Punta Gorda, Fl 33951


Also available from New Monic Books:
Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power $12.95
Vocabulary Cartoons II SAT Word Power $12.95
These are also available as Reproducible Masters, transparencies, and CD for varying prices

Mnemonic Vocabulary Rhymes $11.95
Coffin's Patch (a novel with vocabulary lessons) $11.95
Unofficial SAT Word Search Dictionary $9.95

Picture Speller for Young Writers $19.95

How can students learn words and their meanings? The traditional method has been worksheets and dictionary drill. Most students would say BORING! Now there is a different way. Cartoons!

What????? Cartoons are educational??

Yes, that is right. Cartoons can actually teach vocabulary and make it fun and long lasting in the process. The Burchers, the authors of Vocabulary Cartoons have taken two words; one that may not be familiar to elementary students and pairing it with a like sounding word and then illustrating both words in one picture to define the first word. Thus they have a mnemonic.

According to the introduction in Vocabulary Cartoons, rhyming mnemonics are a type of word association which employs a word you want to know with a word you already know. We already use mnemonics to teach other things, like to remember when Columbus sailed. So it seemed like a natural extension to use the same method for learning vocabulary. Vocabulary Cartoons takes the learning one step further and adds a picture.

Vocabulary Cartoons is a collection of 210 words and cartoons divided into 21 sections with a brief review at the end of each section. Each entry has the vocabulary word highlighted at the top with pronunciation and a brief dictionary like definition. Then there is a word that the entry sounds like. Next, smack dab in the middle of the page, is the cartoon. Then there is a caption for the picture that uses both of the words. Rounding out each page are several example sentences that use the vocabulary word in the proper context.

The New Monic Books website and back cover copy offer many glowing testimonials regarding how the book has been used by teachers and the extremely positive results they have experienced. Now the folks at New Monic wish to share the same great product with homeschooling families. Most homeschoolers are great at taking a product and tweaking it for their needs, but this may be a product that needs very little of that tweaking to make it a great addition to home education.

Vocabulary Cartoons would be a good resource for families with children of various learning styles as it presents the information in several different ways. Visual learners would benefit from the detailed pictures and auditory learners would most likely make a connection with the "sounds like" word. Those who like to read are going to find a lot of new, fun information.

How I used Vocabulary Cartoons

I read parts of Vocabulary Cartoons together with my children and worked through several of the quizzes a few days after going through a section. I could tell they had learned new words and their meanings just from the brief time we spent with it as they could easily complete the reviews. Even my 6 year old picked up new words and meanings that he would later use properly in conversation. They also recognize the words from Vocabulary Cartoons when we run across them in other studies and can define them as well as describe the picture in the book. My daughter pointed out that several of the 'sounds like' words didn't really sound alike to her. I also left the book lying around so they could peruse it when they wanted.

I also like this book as a means to learn/teach new words that may not be found in academic texts or in literature. In addition, because each page is a different word, Vocabulary Cartoons can be read and studied for a long time or picked up for just a few moments and still be enriching.

I really liked this book and found it very useful. There is a good mix of common and uncommon words at different levels, so it will be helpful for my family for a long time. It has some difficult to explain or define words, such as abduct. My children were familiar with the word and definition due to a number of abductions in the area we live, so the definition and picture helped to explain it in a less frightening way and giving them another picture for the concept. Now, to them the word also means a man taking away a pair of ducks.

Another word defined is shackle. When we visited the History Museum recently, my 6 year old found shackles in one of the displays and pointed out that he learned the word in Vocabulary Cartoons and then went on to describe what they were.

We also used it like a dictionary several times and were pleasantly surprised to find the word we were looking for in Vocabulary Cartoons. One thing which would make Vocabulary Cartoons even better would be having the 'sounds like' words also indexed.

Read what other Crew members had to say about Vocabulary Cartoons http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783111/

Disclaimer: I was given a free review copy of Vocabulary Cartoons to use with my family for the purpose of writing this review. I have not received any other compensation. The opinions expressed here are totally my own.

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