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No-Glamour® Category/Definition Cards
Ages: 6-11   Grades: 1-6

Students develop clear word definitions as they learn to group words and analyze words by different features.  In the process, they build essential, life-long vocabulary skills.



  • Learn to categorize and identify relevant attributes of words
  • Increase overall vocabulary knowledge and create clear, concise definitions
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    Items are based on the curriculum and on their familiarity to students.  The stimuli on the back of each card ask questions about the pictured item according to various attributes.  Working through this series of attributes helps students state a clear definition of each item.  The attributes include:

    • function
    • association
    • location
    • description
    • composition
    • comparing
    • contrasting

    The cards are grouped by these categories:

    • animals
    • body parts
    • clothing
    • food and beverages
    • health and grooming
    • household
    • occupations
    • school
    • transportation

    Copyright © 2003

    200 4" x 6" double-sided, full-color, coated picture/stimuli cards; 13 instruction cards
    • Effective vocabulary instruction strategies actively engage the student and require higher-level cognitive processing.  These strategies include using new words in novel sentences based on connections to prior knowledge, analyzing word features, and using visual aids (Kester-Philips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).
    • Students need to understand semantic connections among words.  It may be necessary to target understanding of basic concepts that underpin the vocabulary required to access the curriculum (Taylor-Goh, 2005).

    No-Glamour Category/Definition Cards incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


    Kester-Philips, D.C., Foote, C.J., & Harper, L.J. (2008). Strategies for effective vocabulary instruction. Reading Improvement, 45(2), 62-68.

    Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech and language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.


    Nancy McConnell, Carolyn LoGiudice


    Nancy McConnell, M.S., CCC-SLP, was a marketing coordinator for LinguiSystems for 15 years.  She felt called to return to the schools as a practicing SLP and currently works for the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency serving students from preschool through grade 6.  Her passion is helping students communicate effectively and efficiently to reach their potential in school and in life.  Nancy is married to Michael Swartz and they are the extremely proud parents of two grown daughters, Taylor and Becca.  Music, wine tasting, travel, and taking her cock-a-poo, Harrison, to the dog park take up her spare time.

    Carolyn LoGiudice, M.S., CCC-SLP, wrote and edited products and tests for LinguiSystems for 25 years, incorporating her previous experience as an SLP in school and clinic settings.  She is now retired and savoring time with her family, friends, and hobbies.


    Students with poor vocabulary skills have poor defining skills.  They don't understand how words can be grouped or analyzed by different features.  The goal of No-Glamour Category/Definition Cards is to have students:

    • categorize words
    • identify relevant attributes of words
    • improve overall vocabulary knowledge
    • create clear, concise definitions

    These 200 cards offer pictures of items grouped by category.  The stimuli on the back of each card ask questions about the pictured item according to various attributes, including function, association, location, description, composition, comparing, and contrasting.  Working through this series of attributes helps your students state a clear definition of each item.

    The items for these cards were selected based on familiarity to students in the target age group as well as items these students encounter in curricular themes.  Suggestions for presenting these cards are listed below.

    • Present each picture and ask the student to name the object.  Then read each question, allowing time for the student to respond.  If necessary, provide a model.
    • Use the suggested answers as guidelines only.  Accept all appropriate, logical responses as correct.
    • Once students have answered all the questions on a card, encourage them to create a definition using those answers.  For example: A banana is a tropical fruit that has a thick yellow peel and white flesh, grows in bunches, and tastes sweet.  If students have difficulty remembering each attribute, encourage them to write their responses and use their written list to create a definition.  This strategy especially helps students determine which attributes of a word are essential to define that word clearly and concisely.