A quirk in my personality is that I will not relinquish my right to be proficient at and use grandiose language. Have I piqued your curiosity? Well, look no further than this book, Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power.
Vocabulary Cartoons is a book of hundreds of words and their meanings along with “Easy Memory Techniques”. The vocabulary words in this book are arranged alphabetically, one word to a page. Each word includes a pronunciation guide, part of speech and definition. The key to learning the word comes next with the “link word” and a humorous picture. The “link word” is a word or words that sound like the vocabulary word you are studying. Then comes a cartoon, the sillier the better, with a caption using the vocabulary word with the link word. This technique is a proven memory technique call mnemonic. “A mnemonic is a device that helps you remember something by associating what you are trying to remember with something you already know.” (Burchers, pg. 9, 2007)
For our family, the strength of this book is the humor. My kids all enjoyed reading it on their own and laughing at the pictures, then coming to me to tell me what word they were reading. After a week or so, I then assigned my high school kids 10 words a day to read. After another week, we then went back and took the quizzes that are included in the book. I did it in this manner in order to ascertain whether the retention was there. I found that the retention of the definitions was there. My kids liked the low-key approach to vocabulary. Each day only took 10 minutes or so, with no written work. I was surprised at the amount of words they remembered. They attribute it to the “link word” and picture.
There were some features of this book that I really appreciated. The first was the pronunciation guide. To begin with, I was letting my daughter read all by herself, and found that while she knew the words written out, she did not always pronounce them correctly. So I started listening to her read aloud her ten words for the day. This way I could refer her to the pronunciation guide when she mispronounced a word. Another feature I would like to point out is the three usage sentences that accompany each word and cartoon. These sentences are great because they use the vocabulary word in various forms. For example, verbs are used in different tenses. This book does not teach spelling of the words however, only meanings and pronunciations. So you will have to add this skill in yourself.
This book is published by New Monic Books, Inc. It retails for $12.95. The age range for this book is 7th-12th grade. That being said, my eight year old son enjoyed the book and has great fun using some of the new “big” words he has learned. The website for New Monic Books, Inc is www.vocabularycartoons.com. While I reviewed the first of two high school/college level book, the company also has vocabulary books for elementary age students.
To see what my other crew members thought of this book click here.
As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received Vocabulary Cartoons for free in exchange for my honest review of the product.