Vocabulary is an important part of any subject, from literature to science to math. When children fail to master this vocabulary, they tend to do poorly in school, even though they may understand the underlying concepts. For example, a child may be competent with addition skills, but if he or she doesn’t know the terms, “sum” or “increase,” the child may not be able to interpret what he or she is being asked to do.
The “Get the Picture” vocabulary cards from Lone Star Learning provide a great way to help children master this vocabulary. We tried out Set 1 of the math (Target Vocabulary Picture Sets) and Set 1 of the Science Vocabulary Pictures. Each vocabulary word is presented in a pictorial form that is designed to help the child remember the meaning of the word.
- $29.99 (5.5”x 4.25″ cards), $34.99 (8.5” x 11”)
- 57 math vocabulary cards including terms such as “acute angle,” “diameter,” “divisor,” and “octagon.”
- $29.99 (5.5” x 8”)
- 40 science vocabulary cards including terms like “lever,” “gear,” “conifer,” and “precipitation.”
Emily was familiar with most of the math and science vocabulary words, so we used them as a review tool. I found that, although she knew the context of many words, she couldn’t necessarily define them clearly. so this became not only a review of previously learned science or math concepts, but an exercise in clearly articulating word meanings. I also found that she was a bit fuzzy on some terms or concepts that we had studied a year or two ago, so the cards became a good vehicle for briefly revisiting these topics.
The way the words are depicted on the cards is quite clever, with graphics giving the reader cues to the meanings. As we looked at each word, we talked about the graphics and discussed how they helped to show the word meanings. I also had Emily divide the words into categories…seasons, simple machines, types of rock, and so on.
For a younger child, I would use the cards a little differently. I would pick out just the vocabulary that corresponded with the topics we were studying in math or science, discuss, and display the cards, and possibly use them to make a vocabulary test for the unit. They are also BIG—definitely large enough to use with a group or to display on a wall. And just look at the pictures to see how attractive they are!
Lists of the vocabulary included in each card set can be found at Lone Star Learning. Card sets are not grade-specific, but include a variety of words useful for elementary through middle school ages.
My verdict: A fun way to practice vocabulary!