Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
Most people have used the cliche’, “that’s Greek to me” when they come across an unfamiliar word, or something doesn’t make sense. Well, there’s a good chance it was Greek, or at least some of it. Did you know that about 40% of our English language comes from the Greek language? That number is even higher if you include science terms. That’s enough about math, let’s speak some Greek, and check out It’s NOT Greek to Me! from Ready to Teach that we had the opportunity to try over the summer.
What is It’s NOT Greek to Me?
It’s NOT Greek to Me! is a vocabulary program that focuses on morphemes, the smallest unit of meaning in a language. Maybe the terms root, prefix, and suffix sound more familiar. When you know the meaning of these small word parts, you can figure out some real doozies and become a real word nerd! A fun example on page one is m i c r o a r c h a e g y n o p h o b i a c. Think about it, and if you are still unsure, read the rest of the review, and I’ll reveal the meaning.
What’s unique about It’s NOT Greek to Me! is that students use small word parts and small definitions to form word meanings. By using over 200 word parts in this program, students will be able to unlock the meanings of many other words. Several typical vocabulary programs I’ve seen for higher grades involve big words with bigger definitions, only to be remembered long enough to pass a test. Using the tools and techniques given in It’s NOT Greek to Me! , students should not only find the morphemes easy to remember, but a practical association as they see and hear these word parts in everyday vocabulary.
How does the program work?
It’s NOT Greek to Me! from Ready to Teach is very open and go. The author and developer, Dr. Alene H. Harris, has everything laid out for the student as well as the teacher. The Instructor’s Set I received includes an instructor’s manual, student workbook, a USB flash drive with PowerPoint lessons, color-coded study cards, and a hole punch to prepare them for your own ring or string – Dr. Harris really did think of everything! The happy fella in the middle of the above picture is a cutout for a bulletin board idea that is also included. I think we will call him Vasilis.
The instructor’s manual includes detailed lesson plans that clearly lays out what needs to be done each day for the 12 lessons. The manual also includes review activities, tests, answer keys, and a set of your own color coded morpheme cards to cut apart. The consumable student book contains lessons with a variety of activities for learning each set of morphemes. The USB drive contains a PowerPoint presentation of all the lessons.
A lesson walk-thru of It’s NOT Greek to Me!
A suggested lesson follows a five day lesson plan. Lessons take from 10-20 minutes each day. The steps are clearly spelled out in the student book and the instructor’s manual. In a nutshell, lessons follow this pattern:
- View the PowerPoint presentation, and take notes on the set of morphemes.
- Make review cards.
- Work half the words (find the morphemes, and identify the meaning to form a definition).
- Work the other half of the words.
- Complete a variety of word analysis activities.
- Review words in context from reading an ongoing mystery story.
- Take a test.
What I thought of It’s NOT Greek to Me!
I like the set-up, ease of use, and content itself. I find this program to be helpful not only for SAT prep, but more importantly, to broaden and recognize words we use in everyday vocabulary. Through my own use of the program, it came in handy just the other day when I saw the word anthropomorphic. I immediately recognized the morphemes, and through context I was able to form a definition. Speaking of definitions – did you figure out what microarchaegynophobiac meant? I left a hint in the photos, but if you overlooked it, it means a person who is afraid of little old ladies. Is that really a word? Dr. Harris thinks so, if enough people start using it!
Other things to mention about It’s NOT Greek to Me! is how it uses multiple learning techniques, challenges the mind, and crosses over to multiple subjects. My daughter and I were the ones to try the program and we both liked it so much, I purchased another copy of the workbook for my son to use as a part of our high school English course! It will be fun leaning these morphemes along with my teens this year. I may even let them test me!
Several team members from the Homeschool Review Crew used It’s NOT Greek to Me! Click on the banner to see what they thought!