Wednesday, September 29, 2010
If you or your kids are "word lovers" (or would like to be) then you will love New Monic Books' Vocabulary Cartoons! This book uses one-frame cartoons to teach the meanings of new vocabulary words by associating a familiar word and a silly picture along with the new word. Above each cartoon, you will find the "new" word and its definition along with the "familiar" word. Then you will see the cartoon frame with a caption underneath it. At the bottom of the page are several sentences using the new word in context. These sentences are usually "regular" sentences, not silly ones.
My 7-year-old daughter just loves this book! In fact, she reminds me to get it out and use it every day because she enjoys it so much. She has been a "word lover" since she was tiny, and I had no idea that books like this one were available. I'm sure this won't be the last New Monic Books book that we use in our homeschool.
I think the thing that Mary Grace likes so much about the book is the cartoons. Most of them are really silly, and that makes them easy for her to remember. I like that each new word is introduced by referring to a word that is probably already familiar. This combination seems to work very well!
Some of the word associations are kind of a stretch, but to me that doesn't matter. It seems that the sillier and more far-fetched the associations are the better they are remembered. For example, when teaching the word "remainder," the familiar word that is associated is "reindeer." The cartoon shows a reindeer at the North Pole being left behind as the other reindeer fly off with Santa in his sleigh. The caption says, "Because Santa couldn't take all the reindeer, Comet became the remainder." Although the word "remainder" doesn't sound an awful lot like "reindeer," it is close enough (and funny enough) to make it easily remembered.
There are books for older students as well which I didn't get the chance to review, and I think the older students' books are meant to help prepare students for SAT tests. To me, though, it is a great idea to begin introducing new words and instilling a love of learning new words in the elementary years. If we can do that while our children are still young, I think they will seek out new words and enjoy learning them for the rest of their lives.
If you are interested in ordering a copy of this book (or the levels for older students) you might want to take a look at the Vocabulary Cartoons website. You can see samples of the cartoons at this link. This book is sold for $12.95.
You can see more reviews of this product here.
NOTE: I received this book in exchange for writing this review. I did not receive any other compensation. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.