Showing posts with label Vocabulary Skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vocabulary Skills. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TOS Crew Review: Vocabulary Cartoons Book

Before I pen much more here, I need to do some defining (just in case you honestly never heard the correct term-although I am sure you have used one or two in your lifetime) of the basic premises for this review item. 

Do you know what a mnemonic is? 

Basically a mnemonic is some sort of device; whether it be a picture, song or silly rhyme-that is used to help one remember something else, such as a historical date, or scientific notation or yes-even a vocabulary word.

So now that we have the whole mnemonics thing all figured out, we can discuss the Vocabulary Cartoons book I was sent to review.  Now I am sure many can probably figure out what it's main purpose is, but alas-I felt it necessary to draw a picture with some words to explain it....[mind you, I have two words on this example, but you only get one per page in the book. To condense and shorten the situation-I did a 2 for 1 special. Also, since my computer does not have those fancy above the letter signs-I added how one should say these words properly after the phonetic pronunciation notation, just for clarification.]. This is typical of how the book is laid out.  So without further ado:

(vo kab' ya ler e) n.
 [the o and the last e should be said using the long vowel sounds] 
a list of words or phrases a person frequently uses
Sounds like:  VOLE CAB + YOU + LARRY

(kar tuns') n.
 [the ar and u should be said as "r" and "oooo" like an owl]
a likeness of a real situation, animal, person, or place
-usually drawn or animated by a series of pictures
Sounds like:  CAR TUNES

"A VOLE CAB with YOU and LARRY sped along, while the silly CAR TUNES played; so you could truly understand what a VOCABULARY CARTOONS book is for."

  • We had a VOCABULARY test on Friday, after recess.
  • The little boy watched CARTOONS all day and never went out to play.
  • Using the VOCABULARY CARTOONS book is a great way to learn new words.
Yes folks-there really are critters called "voles". See the *** for copyright info.
Wasn't that fun?  Just an example of how this gem works. And talk about a creative way to memorize those pesky words that can leave you tongue tied or (yes, I have been know to pull this trick off a time or two) doing a quick inspection of the ole memory cells to find a "replacement" word, because the truly needed one is well-MIA. 

We decided that we would select two words a week, to see just how effective this concept is.  Not that I hadn't heard of this technique, or tried it here and there, during the many years we've homeschooled-I just never really found anything we particularly liked-until now.

The Vocabulary Cartoons book contains 210 words all noting the: pronunciation, grammar use, definition of it; with a word or words similar to the vocabulary term, along with a quirky picture, a sentence using both the "sounds like" and actual word,  and a couple of additional sentences that are usually silly and fun.  There are also 21 review pages scattered about in there, to help the child refresh their memories with what they have been learning.  In my opinion-I see this as a world view source-which may be an issue with some of you. Especially those of you who prefer to avoid things which depict skeletons, ghosts, some other "scary" images [and there is also one with "Jason", the character from the Halloween movies that were so popular in the 80s and 90s-but obviously, if you child has never seen that-they wouldn't "get" the connection].  I felt this needed to be mentioned, so you can make a decision based on what best suits your family.  I counted about 13 pictures that could be deemed "less than favorable".  We just skipped those, and moved on to a different page.

Would I have purchased this for my family?  I am not sure-mainly because I find my kids tend to have a wide vocabulary range due to the immense amount of literature we read, and wouldn't ordinarily have vocabulary skill curriculum at the top of my "to get" list.  I do find it to be a fun way to infuse the words into their tender gray matter and since we have it, we'll use it. The children have enjoyed the word(s) to pictures concept, and my son (who is in the target range for this level) was able to recall some of the info we have discussed so far.  This is actually a better fit for my teen-since she leans toward the visual way to learn.  As for my son, well-since he is more tactile and less visual, we'll have to wait and see if it is a good fit or not.  Regardless-we can enjoy it and will continue to go through it this year.

Now, if you have a child who does not enjoy reading "living" literature or much of anything-this could be a great way to introduce a slew words to increase their vocabulary collection. Or if they need a different way to cement those words into their heads, the Vocabulary Cartoons may be the perfect solution for them.  

My best advise, is to peek at the sample before buying.
And for the more detailed-oriented purchaser, check out the complete list of words used in book.

***Please note- albeit a poor rendering- Larry the Cucumber is a registered and copyrighted image belonging to Big Idea, Inc. I have no claims of being a part of their art department team, or serving as a spokeswoman for their company.  And no "silly songs" were song by Larry, whilst riding in the Vole Cab.

if your child has adequate reading skills-otherwise, you'll need to assist.

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New Monic Books, Inc.

Vocabulary Cartoons:  $12.95  PB
3-6 grade level
volume purchase discounts available

Don't forget to visit our TOS Crew Review Homepage to see what my crewmates had to say aboutthis and many other fine homeschool products.

***New Monic Books, Inc. provided me a free copy of the Vocabulary Cartoons book, to read through, test out-and enjoy with my family-so that I could write this review.  I did not receive any financial compensation for my honest and mnemonic review of this product.