Vocabulary Cartoons

Vocabulary Cartoons

by Bryan Burchers, Max Burchers, Sam Burchers
Publisher: New Monic Books
Trade Paperback, 250 pages
Price: $12.95

Agood vocabulary is essential for learning, especially in the later grades. Unfortunately, it can often be so boring to learn (and teach) that many families simply skip over it. Even when it is taught, kids often forget the words as soon as they take a test because long-term memorization is so difficult. Vocabulary Cartoons has a solution to all these problems, providing vocabulary instruction that is fun, easy, effective and won't take up a bunch of your valuable time.

210 words are taught using a double-memorization system of pictures and mnemonic devices. Each word appears with pronunciation and definition at the top of the page, followed by an absurd cartoon illustration. The illustration depicts a situation using the vocabulary word as well as a word that sounds like it; beneath the picture is a sentence using both the vocabulary word and the homophone (usually a rhyming word) describing the scene above. The picture and the sentence combined greatly increase ease of memorization. At the bottom of the page are three sentences properly using the vocabulary word.

Following every 10 words is a review quiz. Students match each word to its definition, then fill-in-the-blank to complete sentences using each word contextually. Because there are no lesson plans and this isn't a curriculum per sé you can choose your own pace based on need and student ability. Some people choose to study ten words per week in order to be ready for the test on Friday, while others move at a much slower pace, studying each word on a daily basis and not moving on until it is firmly in the child's memory.

There is no grade attached to the use of this book. The words make it a good choice for grades 3-6 if they're learning them for the first time, or for older students in need of remedial work. This could also work well for kids with reading disabilities or other learning problems. If you like the approach and want more, there are two more books intended to help kids study for the vocabulary section of the SAT test.

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