It’s been a little over a year since I had the opportunity to review Defining Twilight, the Twilight-Saga-based vocabulary book by Brian Leaf. Mr. Leaf has hit another homerun with his latest series, Name That Movie.
In this latest series, which currently has two editions: comedy and action and romantic comedy and drama, kids can practice over 1,000 SAT, ACT, GED and GRE vocabulary while also brushing up on their movie trivia skills.
Who says studying vocabulary has to be boring or tedious? Each Name That Movie book contains 100 excerpts from popular movies within each title’s genre. Students read the scene expert and try to name the movie, the scene that the excerpt is from, and define the vocabulary words based on their context.
We got a copy of each book just before Christmas and Brianna actually carried them around with her during Christmas break. Sure, she was more interested in the trivia part, but the vocabulary is still getting tossed in there. Similar to the Defining Twilight and Defining New Moon books, the vocabulary words are given in context and students are asked to make an educated guess as to their meaning based on the context. The following page gives the actual definition, often including synonyms or antonyms.
One of the best benefits of these books, to me, is that they give the reader a point of reference:
Depravity? Oh, Watson said that to Holmes in Sherlock Holmes…or
Indigenous? Oh, yeah, that’s what they called the native people in Avatar.
Now, I will say that some of the movies referenced were not movies that I would let my kids, even my fifteen-year-old, watch, but it’s not like there is anything inappropriate in the scene excerpts. There were plenty of movies in both books that Brianna had seen and she’d just kind of skip around to scenes she recognized. The book isn’t set up in a way that requires it be worked through in any certain order, other than maybe the quizzes, but that could also work to a student’s advantage in practicing narrowing down possible answer through the process of elimination.
There are quizzes after every ten groups of words, allowing kids to practice their vocabulary skills, along with word parts (common prefixes and suffixes), and even synonyms.
Overall, we found Name That Movie to be as entertaining and useful as we found Defining Twilight (and you know we were fond of that one). Reasonably priced at just $9.99 each, these little books make a fun, interactive way to study vocabulary and give it relevance to today’s students.
I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary.