The teacher inside me can’t help keeping an eye out for engaging and interesting ways to keep little brains ticking over during the long summer break. This year we did the Summer Reading Challenge at the local library, which was brilliant, but we managed to complete it in the first couple of weeks of the holidays, so we were really excited when Mrs Wordsmith asked us to review their Narrative Journey box.
Mrs Wordsmith is a 6 month subscription box that aims to bring words to life and improve your child’s vocabulary. The creators identified commonly used words then sought the help of Hollywood illustrators and the result is a colourful, fun, research-based and easy-to-follow home learning programme.
The Mrs Wordsmith Narrative Journey box is designed for children aged 6 to 13 years old. The resources are beautifully designed and have a real quality, even the bright orange box features a quirky illustration of a tongue-tied giraffe. Inside we found a pack of word pair cards, a daily workbook, a folder to keep all that hard work safe and a stand to display the word of the day.
We really like the Mrs Wordsmith approach… just five minutes a day to help your vocabulary grow. Every morning as I get the boys breakfast, Mr 7 sits down to complete that day’s worksheet. The worksheet has a colourful cartoon illustration of the word (great for visual learners) and it also includes a description and a definition. Turn the worksheet over and there are a collection of words that relate to the word of the day, some of them are synonyms (words that mean the same thing) and some are word pairs (words commonly used together).
The first word in the daily workbook was vacant, the synonyms were empty and blank and the words pairs were stare (as in a vacant stare), eyes (vacant eyes), house (a vacant house) and so on… It’s fantastic that the worksheets put the words into context with the word pairs. Having an understanding of how to use new words helps to ensure that your child will use the words in their own vocabulary.
Finally, you choose your favourite word pair and use it to write a sentence. We’ve had crocodiles baring their dazzling teeth and thieves stealing a flawless diamond… it’s fantastic how quickly the Mrs Wordsmith vocabulary gets sentences sparkling. Then, you can put the word of the day on your Mrs Wordsmith stand or stick it up on a wall or a door, somewhere you’ll walk by a few times that day, to help the word sink in.
There’s also a really handy pack of Word Pair Cards which have the word and illustration on one side and the meaning and word pairs on the other side. The game is to see how many of the common word pairs you can remember and then you can even make up your own word pairs. The cards are great as they’re easy to take out and about and make words part of every day. They’re also laminated, durable and I expect them to last.
The Mrs Wordsmith character box includes 24 words. The aim is that in one month you learn expressive words to describe a character’s eyes, dazzling words to describe beauty, colossal words to use instead of big, audacious words to describe confident characters, hesitant words for shy characters, bumbling words for clumsy characters and a few others to complete the list. All for just five minutes effort a day!
Mrs Wordsmith is an achievable programme for us and one that I can see could transform a child’s vocabulary. Every time Mr 7 completes a worksheet we add it to the Mrs Wordsmith folder and at the end of one month we’ll have a fantastic bank of wow! words that he can refer back to. The Mrs Wordsmith Narrative Journey includes six different boxes: character, weather, settings, emotion, taste & smell and action and you can order them as one full set or a 6 month subscription. We’ll look at starting the 6 month subscription so that there’s some extra motivation to complete each day and get the daily workbook finished before the next box arrives and there’s also the added excitement of a new box arriving every month. Mrs Wordsmith are also currently offering an illustrated dictionary in the monthly subscription.
You can find out more about Mrs Wordsmith on their website and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
We were sent the Mrs Wordsmith Narrative Journey character box for the purposes of this review.