Wordly Wise 3000 is a vocabulary development curriculum available for grades K-12. I reviewed Book
5, which would be the fifth-grade book. I received the whole set for Book
5, which consists of a 168-page student workbook with 20 five-part lessons
(15 new words each); a teacher's resource book containing helpful information, review exercises, tests, and answer keys; and a set of five CDs that contain audio recordings of each lesson's
word list, definitions, comprehension questions, and reading passages with
the vocabulary words used in context.
At the beginning of the Teacher's Resource Guide is a lengthy (and persuasive)
section explaining the benefit of improving a student's vocabulary so that the student will improve in reading comprehension. In my personal experience, I found the use of audio books, increased reading time, and reading drill workbooks to be the best way to increase reading comprehension in our home (and, yes, I did try some vocabulary workbooks). What is impressive is the completeness of this curriculum. It includes many of these things that I tried, such as audio reading passages and reading comprehension drills. So if you feel that vocabulary study may be the way to improve your child's
reading comprehension, I am certain you would not be able to find a better-written
or more effective curriculum than Wordly
Each lesson for the student begins with a word list, which the student can
hear on the audio CD. Each word on the list is followed by its phonetic pronunciation
guide, its definition(s), and one or more sentences using the word in context.
Following the word list are five activities.
(1.) "Finding Meanings" instructs the child to combine two phrases (choosing from a list of four) to form a sentence that correctly uses one of the vocabulary words.
(2.) "Just the Right Word" lists several sentences, instructing the child to replace the highlighted portion of each sentence with the appropriate word (or its corresponding form) from the vocabulary list.
(3.) "Applying Meanings" is a section of multiple-choice questions confirming comprehension of the word meanings.
(4.) "Word Study" covers synonyms, antonyms, word roots, prefixes, suffixes, and more.
(5.) Finally, each lesson ends with a "Reading Passage" that
uses all the words in context. The passage, which can also be heard on the
audio CD, is followed by some comprehension questions.
After every four lessons, the student workbook provides a review
consisting of various activities, such as crossword puzzles and
hidden message activities. In the Teacher
Resource Book, there
is a fill-in-the-blank review for each lesson, as well as a test
for each lesson.
Wordly Wise is a program of the highest quality, and I feel it
most definitely would improve reading comprehension for every
child. The only drawback is the expense. On the company's website, the combined cost of materials for grade 5 is $110 (Student
Book, Audio CDs, and Teacher Resource Book). The student book is $11, the teacher book is $44, and the audio CDs are $55. However, the good news is that, in my opinion, the student workbook alone could be used very effectively (more effectively than many other vocabulary/reading comprehension workbooks I have seen), and the student workbook can be found on the Internet for less than $10 new. The next time I need reading comprehension help in our homeschool (five children), the Wordly
Wise student workbook will be on my list--sans teacher's
guide and audio CDs.