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Elephant's Guide for Remembering Basic Grammar & Reading Facts Review by Renee Knoblauch

Sandra D. Lewis
Lewis Learning

Grammar and reading are important to learn for us to be able to communicate both in writing and orally. What I find difficult is helping my kids remember the information they are learning with grammar and reading. Elephant's Guide for Remembering Basic Grammar & Reading Facts and Educator Edition and Build Your Memory Flashcards is used to help your kids remember what information is important to be efficient in grammar and reading facts.

Elephant's Guide for Remembering Basic Grammar & Reading Facts and Educator Edition and Build Your Memory Flashcards is intended for fourth- grade to college level. Lower grades can focus on the basic concepts easily in this resource. For older students, there is also a section for adding more information that is relevant to your school with an “additional notes” section for you to write in information at the end of each section.

The author Sandra D. Lewis created this for educators and not just as a compiled resource for grammar and reading. She wanted a tool for educators to help your students remember the information. This is a supplement review resource to your current grammar and reading curriculum and therefore not a complete inclusive curriculum.

There are several games and activities suggestions to help your student retain the information. Some of the suggestions are: word walls, having your student recall what they remember in a lesson, Train Game, Memory Cards, I am thinking of a word that is…, and other ideas to help them master the concepts. The games and activities are diverse enough for all ages.

The book is a spiral-bound book that lays out flat. The book is laid out in two parts. The first half has the grammar and reading resources. There is a “Build Your Memory Cards” in the last half of the book.

The first half covers all parts of speech and a few other areas: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs and verb phrases, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, sentences, punctuation, and reading basics. Each page is laid out in the same format throughout that makes it a reader-friendly user layout.

The parts of speech have a definition and an example of the topic at the top of each new concept. The concept is then broken down to cover the different functions or kinds of the concept. Each part helps students identify and practice the concepts. For example, for nouns, it covers nine types of nouns and the ways each type functions in a sentence.

There are tips, valuable information, and hints highlighted throughout to aid in helping and remembering the concepts. Each section has an area for notes that you can add information.

The Reading Basic sections cover types of figurative language, genre, elements of fiction, poetry, elements of drama,  sources for locating information, graphics features, reading and writing terms, parts of words, reading comprehensive hints, and a few other topics.

Build Your Memory Cards in the last half of the book is printed on a heavy-duty cardstock. The cards are color-coded to the different concepts in the book. The cards will need to be cut out or you can purchase the Educator Edition and Build Your Memory Flashcards. The memory flashcards are much smaller in the book. There are instructions on how to implement them in gameplay.

Educator Edition and Build Your Memory Flashcards are the same as the ones from the workbook except you do not need to cut them out and they are the size of a large index card. I prefer the larger size and not having to cut out the flashcards. They are also on a heavy-duty cardstock that is colored coded. The cards are divided into Parts of Speech, Kinds of Nouns, Kinds of Pronouns, Kinds of Verbs, Figurative Language, and Sources for Location Information.

Build Your Memory Flashcards can be played by individuals or with two students. There are two ways to play the Build Your Memory Flashcards.

You place the cards face down on the table. The first person to turn over two cards must match the part of speech to the correct definition. If you do not match the cards you place them face down again. If a match is made you remove the cards from play. For each match, you get two points. To make the game more challenging you must make three matches instead of two with the part of speech, its meanings, and examples. For each match, you receive three points.

With the cards color-coded you can choose areas that you want to play and do not need to play all the cards at one time.

My fourteen-year-old son used this as a supplement to his grammar program. My son used this each day by going over the topics that he was working on in his daily grammar lessons. He felt it helped simplify the concepts of the parts of speech. He liked the Reading Basics section when he had to write reports. The steps made it quite easy to put together a report. I noticed the quality of his reports become more refined and concise.

We played the Build Your Memory Flashcards several times throughout the last few weeks. The card game took no more than thirtyminutes to play. With younger kids, this might take a little longer.

Overall, my son preferred the workbook. He has already worked through the workbook. Now he keeps the Elephant's Guide for Remembering Basic Grammar & Reading Facts on his desk when he needs to use it as a reference.

Elephant's Guide for Remembering Basic Grammar & Reading Facts and Educator Edition and Build Your Memory Flashcards is a nice addition to add to your teaching tools. This could be used easily with students who are struggling to master grammar and reading concepts. For students who are not struggling, I think it is important to review these concepts.

Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2020