An Interesting Take on Vocabulary Words {Timberdoodle Review!}

Learning vocabulary words was always the most tedious and boring lesson for me when I was in school. I hated looking up the definitions, writing them all out, etc. to just forget them all after the test. It would take me hours to do a simple assignment because I always put off doing it. As a result, I have been more lenient with Mr. B because I didn't want to put him through the same torturous classwork! Well, that all changed when I discovered 101 Doodle Definitions from Timberdoodle

101 Doodle Definitions is a great vocabulary exercise book that features 101 of the most-used words that you will find on standardized tests. Folks, these aren't your average vocabulary words. These are the words that are at the end of the test that most everyone just guesses on because you're never really sure what the definitions are. Each word is arrange alphabetically the book, and they feature a little cartoon-like drawing, the definition-along with what part of speech it is, the word usage in a sentence, and then.....a doodle! The doodle helps you to put a visual picture with the word and definition. THIS IS GREAT! It's great for those who "think in pictures" like myself, and my son. It's great for those who are visual learners, and those who just love art in general. Part of the 5th Grade Curriculum Kit, 101 Doodle Definitions can certainly be used by students of a wide range of ages and grade levels. 

About the Book:

Intended Age Group: 10 and up
Page count: 96
Illustrator: Deborah Zemke
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
Publication Date: 07/12/2011
Size: 7.3(w) x 9.4 (h) x 0.6 (d)
Type: Paperback (glossy cover, thick pages.)
ISBN: 978-1-60905-641-4
Current Timberdoodle Price: $13.99

Our Experience

We were both SO excited when this arrived in our mail box! Mr. B couldn't wait to get started once he saw just how cool this is! Before I saw it, I wondered if the pages would be too cluttered, but they aren't! The word is located at the top of the page, along with the definition and the cartoon drawing. Then there are directions that break the drawing down into smaller steps. After that, the bulk of the page is drawing space that allows ample room for your student to full the space with their doodle art. There's not an over abundance of flashy graphics at all, so overall I am very pleased with the initial appearance. 

Each day I have Mr. B choose a different word. He learns the definition, and then I have him repeat the definition back to me. I also have him learn the spelling of the word, and also repeat it back to me. At the end of the week, these words are his bonus words for the week. He has to spell them correctly, write out the definition, use it in a new sentence (to work on developing his OWN creative thinking skills,) and as an extra credit I have him draw the doodle for one or two. Having him recall the drawing to draw it again helps to develop his memory recall and coding skills. Sometimes I have him do it alone, other times I will complete the drawing first so he can see exactly how to do it, in action. 

This is definitely one of those "Two-For" products that I love. The intent is to teach vocabulary words in a unique, more creative manner than the traditional fashion. But, beyond that intent, there's so much more offered here for typical students, as well as special needs learners. Does your child need to work on follow directions or just one-step commands? Then this is great for you! Mr. B is actually do much better with following multi-step commands after having used this book for the last few weeks. Why? Because he's been tasked, daily, with having to stop and think about each step in order to complete the overall picture. This is training his mind to think in steps in a different way than it normally does. What about fine motor skills? The doodle drawing is a natural means of building fine motor skills since the student must utilize those fine motor skills to make the drawings. I love when an educational product doubles as a therapy tool! 

Here are some photos so you can really get an idea for yourself. 

I like how the word is in bold face print so that it is the focal point of the sentence. 

This was Mr. B's favorite page. This helped spark a lesson on the history of counterfeiting, including how currency has changed over the years to combat counterfeiting. I would also like to point out that a lot of these words are tricky to spell. That's another great bonus to this resource. 

Like I said, this book has all those words at the end of the test that most people have to guess on!

Overall, I highly recommend this book to others. I have mentioned it to several of my friends already, encouraging them to add this to their own homeschool. We spend maybe 10 mins a day on this, so it's not a lot of time, but the lessons really stick with him. If you have this book already, or you decide to purchase it, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! 

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

This is a physical book with no schedule or anything like that. You can choose to work as little, or as much, as you want. For us, we chose to do a little each day. You can adapt it to fit your needs. I used this as a way to bring in bonus words where he would learn a word each day, then at the end of the week we would do a review quiz. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

There are no hidden fees. This is intended for ages 10 and up, and it works very well with my 13 year old.   

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

This is really great for ADHD/Autism in that it is colorful enough to not be boring, but it has just enough to add interest. The pages are not cluttered at all, and the step by step break down of the doodles is great.  

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

These are just high-use vocabulary words, but it could spur other learning avenues the way it did for us. 

**I received this product in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I'm disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.**