Lone Star Learning is an award-winning Texas-based company that specializes in educational products for science, math and reading. We received the Science Vocabulary Pictures, Set One for review. Because of an error in shipping, we also received Target Vocabulary Pictures, Set One, which are math-based vocabulary cards. Kudos for the customer service of this company from the very beginning. Allowing us to keep both sets because of a shipping error was quite gracious.
The Science Vocabulary Pictures come in sets of 40 very colorful, coated cards, 5.5″x8.5″. Each card represents a vocabulary word with pictures to give hints at its meaning. The set also includes definitions for each word, but these definitions are found nowhere on the cards.
There are many ways these cards can be used in a homeschool (or afterschool) setting. But here’s how we used them.
The first thing I did was gather some large index cards and have Ben spend the first week writing the definitions only on to them. He wrote about 10 cards a day to accomplish this task. I had a dual purpose for this assignment. First of all, I wanted him to have had exposure to these definitions before he ever saw the cards. And, let’s be honest here, it was great handwriting/copywork practice. I’m always looking for ways to sneak that in!
In week 2, I introduced the cards to Ben. When I first handed them to him, he thought they were silly, but as he looked through, figuring out what the cards said (some are more challenging to read that others), he began to recognize that these cards matched up with the definitions of the cards he had made the week before. While he was familiar with many of the words, some were new to him, and others he was unsure of how to define. He immediately went in and grabbed his hand-written cards and began matching up the words he knew. Having had exposure to the definitions made the process of learning all 40 much less intimidating.
Over the next couple of weeks, we divided the cards into groups based on different fields of science (ie: botany, physics, geology) and he practiced matching up the definition and picture cards. It was interesting to observe him trying to figure out the unfamiliar words (conglomerate, permeable) based on the pictures. He actually did quite well!
The next thing I did was plug the words and definitions into an online spelling site we use so that he could also practice spelling with the words as well. So now, we’ve covered a bit of science, vocabulary, spelling and handwriting. How cool is that?
I do believe Ben has a handle on all 40 words now, and it was a really fun way to learn. Any time he was stumped by a definition, the word picture helped jog his memory. This really is a brilliant way to teach vocabulary and I look forward to creating even more uses for these cards as we delve into the math set.
You can purchase the Science Vocabulary Pictures for $29.99 per set on the Lone Star Learning website. There are 4 sets for grades 3-8 and one larger set for grades K-2.
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