Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary REVIEW

The Critical Thinking Co.™

I just love The Critical Thinking Co. ™  I was so happy for us to have a chance to review their Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary.  I am always up for increased vocabulary in my children and this book sounded like a lot of fun.  I received a physical copy of this 38 page paperback book.

It is recommended for grades 5 - 12+.  I like the + part as I have enjoyed working these with my soon to be 9th-grade son.  Each lesson is a mystery case you need to solve and it includes about 18-25 new and challenging vocabulary words.  Per their website, "The vocabulary in these mysteries is taken from the Sat’s most difficult word lists and top look-ups for Merriam Webster online dictionary."  If you do not understand or know what the vocabulary words are, you will have a VERY difficult time solving the mystery.  There are a total of 12 cases in Vocabulary Book 1.  The book is also available as an electronic ebook download and the copyright license allows you to copy pages for your family use.

There is a guideline at the beginning of the book that gives you pointers on how to solve the cases. They are challenging but once you have the definitions of the unknown vocabulary words, the pieces start to fit together and solving the mystery becomes a little easier.

The cases begin with the premise that the story and the suspects' statements are true.  The story/case is presented in a couple paragraphs, then any further helps like customer statements might follow and finally, the suspects are listed with pictures and information.  Your student must use all the available clues and information to slowly eliminate the innocent and narrow down the guilty suspect.  It's a lot of fun and really gets their mind working.  If you really get stumped remember, the answers are in the back of the book.  We've had a lot of fun working through the cases.

Other skills learned include:
  • observation skills
  • reading comprehension
  • deductive and inductive thinking skills

After each case, there is an additional activity that uses fill in the blanks to further use your newly learned vocabulary words.  If there are any synonyms in your word list you may use either word to fill in the blank. Remember, the answers are in the back of the book to both the mystery case and the fill in the blank section.

Fill in the blank work sheet

Since I wanted my son to not only learn new vocabulary words but also to work on his dictionary and alphabetizing skills, I broke each case down into separate lessons.  The first day I would have him look up all the words from the vocabulary list and write the definitions down.  Then I would have him write the list in alphabetical order.  The next day he would work on solving the case.  Finally, he would use the vocabulary list to fill in the blanks.  Doing it this way kept it from being overwhelming and allowed him more time for the new words to sink in.

word definitions looked up in dictionary

He was very reluctant at first and he definitely does NOT like looking words up in the dictionary (his dysgraphia also poses a challenge when I make him write the definitions down), but he agrees that solving the cases is kinda fun.  I really like the way these are done and think it is a great way to get kids thinking deductively.

The Critical Thinking Co.™

I definitely recommend Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary by The Critical Thinking Co. ™  It is a wonderful language arts supplement that teaches them so many critical thinking skills. You can connect with them on FACEBOOK, GOOGLE+, TWITTER, and PINTEREST.

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Please also be sure to check out more reviews on this book and some of their other products that my fellow Crew members reviewed.

Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}
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