Friday, September 17, 2010

Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power TOS Product Review

Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power 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. An example given by the publisher likens it to "Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred ninety-two." Other examples might include rhymes, songs, and pictures.

I remember a number of years ago when my children came home from Sunday school and were learning all the names of the books of the Old Testament. They did this by singing a simple song with a very upbeat tempo. To this day, they have never forgotten the names of the books of the Old Testament. From time to time, I find myself singing the song in my head trying to figure out where I can find the book of Hosea!

This is the same premise Vocabulary Cartoons makes except instead of singing a song, they are linking together a rhyming word associated with a humorous cartoon.

Here's an example:

Capacious (roomy, able to hold much)
Link Word: Cap Spacious
A spacious cap is capacious.

You really need to see the cartoons in order to make the connection.

Here's another one:

Cower (to cringe in fear; to shrink away)
Link Word: Cow
Bessie, the cowering cow, never could stand the sight of her own milk.

Each page in the book contains five elements: the main word followed by the phonetic pronunciation, part of speech, and a definition, the link word, the caption (or linking sentence), a funny cartoon, and several examples of the word used in a sample sentence. In addition, this book is divided-up into sections of ten words each, followed by a word match and a fill-in-the-blanks quiz.

Vocabulary Cartoons has sold over one million copies nationwide and is currently being used in over 5,000 schools across the country. They claim that school tests have proven that students learn 72% more words with 90% retention. In addition, Vocabulary Cartoons makes learning vocabulary fun.

I'm not sure if it's because my children have usually learned new words in the context of reading classic literature, but this method of learning just did not appeal to them nor me. Sorry about that. We found it difficult to understand why we would study a picture and a sentence rather than just study and memorize the word and its real definition. But then, that's the way we've always done it...Old School. Unfortunately, in this case, Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power's method of learning just did not click with us.

Obviously, thousands of people have found Vocabulary Cartoons to be of great help, especially while trying to learn hundreds of SAT words. One really can't argue with the numbers!

For additional information, on Vocabulary Cartoons, go here.

Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power is 347 pages long, is geared primarily for 7th through 12th grade students (although it can be used by anyone wishing to build a stronger vocabulary), and sells for $12.95 (a very reasonable price for such an extensive book that covers 290 words).

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.


  1. Good post. Thanks for your honesty too.

    God's Blessings

  2. Awesome, awesome, awesome...!!! :)