|Publisher: Perfection Learning
Review last updated: August 2014
This is one of my 101 Top Picks!
|Instant KeyPublishers InfoPricing|
Vocabu-Lit E for grade 5
The Vocabu-Lit series begins each lesson with an excerpt from a book, story, essay, poem, or speech. Within each literary piece, ten vocabulary words in bold become the focus of each lesson as students encounter the words in a number of ways to develop a nuanced understanding of each word’s meaning. After the literary piece, the layout in the first four books (B through E for grades 2 through 5) differs from that of the rest of the series (Books F through K for grades 5 through 12).
In Books B through D, students first copy definitions for each word from the dictionary in the back of their books. The next exercise focuses on context clues as students fill in the blanks with the correct words; in books for grades 3 and 4 students also circle the context clue within the sentence. Students identify synonyms and antonyms and work with word relationships in the next two sections. There are still two more activities for each lesson! One of them uses a graphic organizer to work with words. For example, one graphic organizer presents a word web for students to identify words or phrases from the story that relate to a particular topic. The final activity is a puzzle of some sort that uses the words from that week’s list. Grade 2 exercises differ from those in the other two lower-level books. They are simpler with students doing such things as circling yes/no answers or selecting one of two answers by checking a box. They skip the graphic organizers, but they do include puzzles and some composition activities. Book E steps up the level of difficulty with more lessons and some activities more similar to those in Books F through K. However, it has puzzles, games, and drawing activities for the final lesson exercise rather than introducing a writing assignment. Books B through E have three or four reviews and no assessments. You will need the separate text booklets for testing if that matters to you.
Vocabu-Lit I for grade 9
There are six review lessons, with one after every five lessons, and each review is followed by an assessment. You will likely spend at least one or two days on the review and a few days on the assessment. Both reviews and assessments use a variety of question formats. Reviews often require students to write full sentence responses. Assessments include questions in the same formats that students will encounter on both the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exams. In addition, assessments always include a written assignment. Interestingly, for the assessment composition tasks students are supposed to work through the writing process with peer review, revisions, and rewrites. And some writing assignments require research. Clearly, these extend the time required for the assessments beyond a single session.
Note that previous editions of the upper level books used to conclude with puzzles and games rather than the writing assignments at the end. In my opinion, the new exercises are much more substantial and worthwhile in the new editions.
For all levels, teacher editions are the same as student editions but with overprinted answers.
You can easily skip the teacher edition for second grade, but you will probably want them for other levels to save you time even if you can easily figure out the answers yourself. Separate text booklets are available for grades 5 and up, but you shouldn't need them.
I particularly like this series for a number of reasons: the use of literary excerpts, the variety of activities, the selection of words (challenging yet more practical than in some other resources), and reasonable cost.
Sample pages are available at the publisher’s website.
- Suitable for: independent work
Audience: grades 2-12
Need for parent/teacher instruction: minimal except for upper level writing assignments
Prep time needed: none
Teacher's manual: answer key on CD-ROM
Religious perspective: secular
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