It's simple. Where are the programs that provide integrated, highly engaging resources that can develop both
targeted and incidental word knowledge through happy Oral Language practice?
Without this targeted and incidental word knowledge combination, vocabulary poor children can never hope to
catch-up with class-mates from higher socio-economic status.
Extensive research has shown under 5.00% of all curriculum time is devoted to vocabulary.
One report indicates it as low as half a percent (0.05%) of Reading Lesson Time with virtually no vocabulary
development recorded in curriculum areas such as social studies. (Source: Durkin 1979) For those from low literacy homes and ESL/ELLs, this is significantly unfair.
What Needs to Change is the Way Vocabulary is Learned
Word poor children, including ESL, need far more than just
explicit word instruction as the following observations from Richard K. Wagner, Ph.D., Chair of the Advisory Board, National Institute for Literacy indicate:
"... 'Simple vocabulary' isn't really that simple. Vocabulary
isn't just a list of words people carry in their heads.
Rather, vocabulary is a byproduct of the ability to infer
meanings of words and the patterns of usage that contribute to
It's a byproduct of a lot of cognitive
activity and language exposure over the course of years."
"... Effects of vocabulary also go beyond comprehension. If
you know a word and are asked to use it in a phonological
awareness exercise, you'll find the task easier than if you
have to use an unfamiliar word."
"... Many researchers have discovered the 'not so complicated
news' that 'if you don't know the words, you can't comprehend
"... Developing children's morphological awareness and
showing them how to use this knowledge can multiply the
effectiveness of training.
For instance, if the word 'know'
is taught, then it can be used to figure out related words
like 'knowledge' and 'knowingly' and 'unknowingly'."
"... The best indicator of general verbal cognitive ability
is vocabulary knowledge."
"... Idiosyncratic vocabulary that only appears once or twice
doesn't provide enough exposure to develop long term retention."
Extracts of quotes from Richard K. Wagner, Ph.D. NIFL Advisory
Board National Institute for Literacy, Advisory Board Meeting,
Summary Minutes, February 2-3, 2005.
The Minutes also contain a report by Dr. Catherine
"Vocabulary," she observes "is always the
bottleneck for English Language learners."
The Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) provides
educators with quick and easy access to lesson plans, instructional
units and other educational resources, mostly freely available on
the Internet! GEM is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
CleverShow (Jazzles) is proud to be an approved
member of the GEM Consortium.
Jazzles company address:
CleverShow Corporation, 112 North Curry Street, Carson City, Nevada 89703-4934, United States. Phone or Fax is USA 1-530-687-6305.
Click here to Email Lesley Beth
Why? Why? Why? Vocabulary!
Jazzles is Life Changing for 'Word Poor' Kids
Few educators would disagree that developing a good vocabulary is the primary skill for reading, comprehension and communication. Consistently, reading research ranks vocabulary knowledge as essential for academic success.
It is a vital predictor of reading proficiency. Children with poor word knowledge avoid reading, lack comprehension and fall behind.
Children with poor oral language skills are also socially disadvantaged by their inability communicate well. Often they are thought as 'dumb'
because they can't articulate.
Jazzles 'Voconics' excels at Vocabulary!
The Jazzles 'Voconics' lyrics create a common oral language base. This base provides the scaffolding for word-building activities - always in meaningful connected text. It's all themed vocabulary, based on the content of each Jazzles animation. It's all in connected text that research proves is far more valuable because it provides the synergy for real comprehension without which vocabulary acquisition fails.
The lyrics provide explicit vocabulary instruction. The relevant Lesson Plans provide the teacher with strategies to build and practice incidental language via thematically related discussions, interactions, creativity, performance and cross-curricula activities.
Immediately all children, including the 'Word Poor', are 'Word Richer'.
Children perform with purpose to animated songs played on IWB. Using technology and performance, every child is a singing star, activating oral language and intuitively learning to read the 'karaoke' style text in the Jazzles Matching Captions.
One Example of the Word Power Jazzles Generates in a Week!
The Jazzles 'Why? Why? Why?' animation below is typical of all 26 Jazzles Animations - but its 'Why?' inquiry theme is ideal for showing how Jazzles creatively combines extensive integration of explicit and incidental vocabulary acquisition.
Assuming you teach one letter song a week, every one of the 55 words in this 'Why? Why? Why?' song
will be acquired and/or practiced with comprehension. Mesmerized as children are by the content of 'Why? Why? Why?', you will have created the opportunities for
lots of incidental vocabulary instruction. Every child will be actively engaged in curiosity driven extended vocabulary.
Vocabulary in Connected Text
Lyrics activating a vocabulary of:
55 Words in Connected Text.
17 starting with the wonderful letter w/W!
38 Sight Words practiced every time the 'Why? Why? Why?' lyrics
are seen and sung. 17 of these are different - 5 above Primer Level.
Sight Word learning is also reinforced using the Talking e-Books.
By placing the mouse cursor or using touch-screens, children can highlight sight words and learn them
by hearing, seeing and repeating them.
Click to play Youtube Video
See the 'Why? 'Why? 'Why?' Lesson Plans. Explicit Vocabulary Acquisition
All the following words are learned in connected text:
why– we –wombat –wobble –wings –wild –wolves –weasels –wait –watch –wander –worms –white –wiggle –water –winter –wonder.
Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition
The Lesson Plans include ideas for cross-curricular themes and inquiry prompted by the Animation.
Questioning and the use of a question mark.
Types of questions - why? what? when? where?
Seasons of the year.
Animals of the polar regions.
Types of flight, birds, planes.
Animal and insect camouflage.
Environment - rain cycles, water conservation.
Research and Inquiry - how to find out information.
Create a simple 'White Book' using black pages
and targeting focus Sight Words. Together construct sentences. Pages could be:
We like white snow.
We like white ice cream.
We like white cars.
We like white weasels.
We like white polar bears
There are 460 pages of Lesson Plans. All have a vocabulary focus
Comprehension and Visual Literacy.
What did you notice most about this Animation?
(It's all about questions.)
Why do you ask questions? (To get answers.)
Why does a weasel turn white in winter?
(For protection - it's camouflage in the snow.)
What do we call water falling from the sky? (Rain)
Why do you think wild wolves wait, watch and
Using the song or backing track for children to make up a dance routine.
Mime! Creating ideas for mime creates discussion! Imagine miming a wombat wobbling!
Creative activities - create an imaginary 3-D flying creature or object
JazzleOke - group performances with a cast of actors including a wobbly wombat, a wild wolf, a wiggly worm, a child with an umbrella,
a (white) weasel, a child dressed in winter clothes who observes the weasel!
Math Vocabulary Beginning with W!
Week, Wednesday, winter, whole, weight, width.
Time: concept of a week, the days of the week, seasons of the year e.g. winter as in the 'Why? Why? Why?'
Discuss how much things beginning with 'w' like watermelon weigh!
Compare and discuss the width of different items beginning with 'w' like watermelon!
Jazzles 'Multisensory Collage' applies prolifically rich alliterative oral experiences combined
with a range of multisensory activities. Often these ideas include the senses of smell, touch and,
where possible, taste. It's an activity that increases incidental vocabulary while helping children identify and learn letter shapes, clarify difficult letter shapes (e.g. 'b' and 'd'), understand sound-letter relationships and develop fine motor skills.
Person to Person Inquiries Call USA (540) 786-0630.
Jazzles Vocabulary Report Card
All this in 16 Weeks February to May 2010
"We have been busy 'testing' our Pre-K
students. I'm happy to report that 13 of my
15 students knew all the letters in the alphabet
and could name something that began
with each letter, such as "Munching on My
Their vocabulary scores also showed vast improvement.
Jazzles played a big, happy part
of our second semester, thanks so much for
allowing us to use it."
Head Start Teacher in a public elementary school with
95% Hispanic students. Although English is their first
language, all come from low income homes and most
from homes where literacy is not a top priority.
Jazzles - Research and Experience Based
With Jazzles, children focus on the true goal of vocabulary which is comprehension and communication. The combination of the animations (visual literacy), the lyrics, the imaginative ideas generated and the directed activities suggested by the Lesson Plans, enables easy comprehension without which vocabulary acquisition will not take place. (Ref: Krashen & Terrell, 1983, P155).
Among the many findings in its 2000 report on the Role of Vocabulary in Reading Instruction, the National Reading Panel, says that "Dependence on a single vocabulary instruction method will not result in optimal learning. A variety of methods was used effectively with emphasis on multimedia aspects of learning, richness of context in which words are to be learned, and the number of exposures to words that learners receive."
Another one of the NRP's eight findings is: "Vocabulary can be acquired through incidental learning. Much of a student's vocabulary will have to be learned in the course of doing things other than explicit vocabulary learning. Repetition, richness of context, and motivation may also add to the efficacy of incidental learning of vocabulary."
These strategies, indeed all eight, is exactly the pedagogic model developed by Kindergarten Teacher, Lesley Beth for Jazzles 'Voconics'.
Jazzles combines explicit instruction of 417 words, including 77% of the 100 most commonly used words in
contemporary English. Over 500 more words are added through interactive games used for individual and group learning. Finally, the 460 pages of supporting Lesson Plans guide teachers
though ways to build knowledge of 1000's of words incidentally through Oral Language, with an emphasize on alliterative words.
Research shows that it is more probable that children will consistently remember expressions that alliterate
than those that don't. Children love alliteration because it
is 'tongue-twisting'. Its a fun way to develop vocabulary that appears to be almost intuitive! And its all in a matter of weeks - not semesters!
Helping ESL Children With Abstract Word Understanding
This learning cycle also benefits ESL/ELL children by developing their oral language while simultaneously providing the contextual clues for comprehension.
A particular benefit is grasping understanding of abstract words such as change, clever, joy, jump, friend, good, frighten, interest, kind, never, sleep, walk, etc.
By using the Jazzles animations pause function, teachers can help ESL children make the connections between abstract words they hear in the audio and see in the 'Matching Captions' with graphical representation in the animations. For example the word 'kind' (which has no physical reference like a 'bus' or a 'tree'), can be visually demonstrated in the Jazzles 'Kind Kid' animation.
A Variety of Techniques to Reach Every Child.
From the first to the last day of the school year,
Jazzles Voconics creates an extraordinary range
of opportunities to effortlessly develop every
child's vocabulary knowledge irrespective of their
This is only possible in a scalable manner because
Jazzles Voconics uniquely combines extensive
Multimedia Resources with its own imaginative, and
fully integrated Pedagogy that intellectually and
emotionally engages at impressive levels.
Using this Pedagogy incorporating visual and
performing arts, essential questions and directed
discussion, children self initiate fun practice of oral
Jazzles Animations provide numerous ways of
experiencing and exploring the English language
successfully! Cross-curriculum themes ensure a
recurrence of related themed word usage (e.g.
tigers, zoos, jungle, etc).
Reinforcement draws upon various intelligences:
No 'Dumbing Down' or Limiting of Language.
Limiting vocabulary merely stunts strong vocabulary development
and ultimately children's reading.
That is why there are no-babyish words in Jazzles
Voconics. Instead Jazzles is full of expressive and
descriptive words like 'extraordinary', 'astonished',
'volatile' and 'interview'.
With Jazzles, children from the age of three are
understanding and mastering these words,
perfecting their use through happy, automatic singing and discussion.
The Value of Unfamiliar Words.
Unfamiliar words, as defined by the Spache
Readability Formula, are those not found usually
on lists of common words for 4th graders and
Unfamiliar words form under 4% of the Jazzles
total vocabulary but, as is often the case,
today's children find them more 'interesting' and
'memorable' than simple words.
Unfamiliar words require more concentration,
Experience shows children are able to sing these
easily and with a perfect accent.
Watching the Animations, reading the Matching
Captions, seeing contextual clues in story lines,
collectively singing and moving to the beat,
all children (including English Learners, autistic
and disadvantaged students) experience an
unbeatable combination of ways to absorb and
internalize words and their meanings.
When you sing, you remember everything!
The Jazzles Voconics range of Animations, Songs,
Games, Performing and Visual Art activities provide
endless cross-curriculum opportunities to rapidly
increase children's 'beginning reading' and 'word
recognition' as well their Oral Language skills.
Far Outpacing the Curriculum! And No Rote!
Children have no reader level boundaries
with Jazzles - enabling them to build a strong
vocabulary foundation and a richness of
'Interview', 'interesting' and 'Indian' are examples
of 'unfamiliar words' that children
easily remember. With 'interview', they can
relate the actions in the 'Interesting Insect'
Animation with what they see and experience
All of the words in the Jazzles Lyrics will
be readily familiarized by children in their
speaking and listening vocabularies within 26
weeks or less - far outpacing the curriculum
requirements including sight word knowledge!