Parents' Guide to

Grade 7 Vocab Audios and Pics

By Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Fun cartoons and audio engage tweens studying new words.

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Grade 7 Vocab Audios and Pics is one in a series of very effective 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. It adapts to individual kids with a simple yet effective method: separating words into mastered and "don't know" lists. Though having both Study and Flashcards modes might seem redundant, Study gives access to most information up front whereas Flashcards gives only the word and part of speech and 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 "resume" shows a team of baseball players standing on a field holding umbrellas during an electrical storm, presumably before play resumes (in the future). Though the usage "short story" on the back explains how the picture relates to the word "resume," the image does not stand alone as it should. Settings don't seem to work well, and performance statistics are only available at the ends of quizzes. With a scant 226 words, kids will be left wanting more; if they haven't already used Grade 6 Vocab Audios and Pics, they could explore those words as well.

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