Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Learning with Cartoons

My 10 year old son and 12 yr. old daughter love to read the comics in the Sunday newspaper each week. They both also balk at doing traditional vocabulary lessons, which was what I was planning for this year. So when I got a copy of Vocabulary Cartoons in the mail, I was excited to see if this would be a good fit for my kids.

What is Vocabulary Cartoons?
They are silly cartoons with rhyming key word reminders that help students remember the meaning of the vocabulary word.

Vocabulary Cartoons works on the principle of mnemonics. A mnemonic is a device that helps you remember something by associating what you are trying to remember with something you already know.

So students can "see" the cartoon (which is very helpful for visual learners), and hear the rhyming key word (great for auditory learners) to help them remember the new word.

How We Used It:
First of all, both kids sat down and read through the book right away. In fact, I caught them trying to draw the cartoons on their own.  I decided that we would learn two words a day and use their drawing interest to my advantage. Each child had a spiral notebook where they wrote the word, definition and key word and then drew the picture. For some reason adding in that drawing part was a big motivator. I did not have to nag my kids to do their vocabulary homework at all. After they drew the picture, they had to write a sentence using the new word. Then after 10 words they were given a quiz (the quiz is included in the book).

What We Thought:
I've now added this book into our curriculum for the year. My kids love the cartoons and are remembering the meanings. The only improvements would be to have PDF downloads available for the quizzes. The quizzes are included in the book after every set of 10 words. I don't have easy access to a copier, and don't own a scanner, so I've been typing them out. There are blackline masters, PDF formatted disks and overheads available, but they are very pricey and seem to target schools not homeschools.Overall, we are very pleased with Vocabulary Cartoons and find that it is a nice resource to have on hand.

Disclosure: I was given this product for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Blogger Guiding Light said...

Hi! Stopping by from the crew to check out your review as this will soon be coming to our house. I'm also now following you. Have a wonderful evening!

October 1, 2010 at 8:51 PM  

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