Grade 6 Vocab Audios and Pics

App review by
Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media
Grade 6 Vocab Audios and Pics App Poster Image
Quirky cartoons and audio make learning words fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn 218 middle school-level words such as "deluge," "gainful," and "nonconformist." As with any study of vocabulary, tweens also can improve their spelling as well as reading-comprehension skills. Grade 6 Vocab Audios and Pics will especially help kids understand how words are used in speech while they practice listening skills. This app gets it right -- vocabulary practice rich with fun and meaning.

Ease of Play

The app is fast, crisp, clean, and very intuitive.

Violence

Some words have violent concepts such as "abase" and "barrage."

Sex
Language
Consumerism

A menu button links to more apps from the developer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Definitions -- such as the one for "abstain" -- sometimes mention drinking, drugs, or smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grade 6 Vocab Audios and Pics makes learning words fun. It gives tweens the ability to study using entertaining cartoon depictions and humorous audio examples of usage. The app also offers flexible features such as search, the ability to save entries to a list of mastered words, and a flash cards mode. The graphics are crisp, navigation is intuitive, and the audio feature is nice for kids who struggle with reading or who are auditory learners. Entries also feature spot-on definitions and parts of speech. The iOS version includes the option to connect to Game Center.

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What's it about?

In Study mode in GRADE 6 VOCAB AUDIOS AND PICS, kids search or scroll for particular words, read the part of speech and definition, enjoy a cartoon, flip the page for usage text, or press the audio button at the bottom (a triangle) to hear the definition and usage spoken aloud. The Flashcards mode shows only the word and part of speech, but kids can tap to see the cartoon as a hint or flip for the definition. Twenty-word quizzes give five definition choices. Correct answers are highlighted in green with a check mark; incorrect are in red with an "x." Flashcards mode also allows kids to categorize words as mastered at any time, and, if kids correctly identify a word in a quiz, it's moved to the mastered list automatically. Kids choose among groups of 20 words for quizzes and from mastered or "don't know."

Is it any good?

Grade 6 Vocab Audios and Pics is one in a series of vocabulary-building apps featuring cartoon illustrations, extensive audio definitions, and examples in context. What makes these apps stand out are the quirky cartoons depicting each word, the "short stories" or usage examples usually three to four sentences long, and the ability to listen to both in coherent, fully formed sentences at the touch of a button. The app adapts to individual kids with a simple yet effective method: separating words into mastered and "don't know" lists. Though Study and Flashcards modes might seem redundant, Study gives access to most information up front, but Flashcards gives only the word and part of speech, then allows tweens to tap for the cartoon as a hint or flip for the definition.

Even with all these great features, there's room for improvement. Definitions are generally right on, but cartoons are sometimes a bit off. For example, the word "intensive" shows a bunch of business people resting on the beach in their suits and skirts assumedly after some kind of conference or business meeting, not during it -- cute, funny, but a bit confusing (and adult-oriented). Settings don't seem to work well, and performance statistics are only available at the ends of quizzes. With a scant 218 words, kids will be left wanting more; if they're ready, they can move on to Grade 7 Vocab Audios and Pics.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the best ways to study. Challenge your tween to make a set of pictorial flash cards for weekly vocabulary tests.

  • Play a form of Pictionary: Draw pictures of vocabulary words for teams to guess.

  • Ask your tween to analyze any pictures that don't make sense. What kind of drawing would work better?

App details

For kids who love words

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