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No-Glamour® Vocabulary Cards
Ages: 5-11   Grades: K-6

Students develop semantic thinking for word organization and recall with this card set.  They learn much more than simple vocabulary words and gain vocabulary skills for life.


  • Establish semantic knowledge in functions, categories, attributes, associations, multiple-meaning words, and more
  • Form life-long vocabulary building skills
  • Improve expressive language skills
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The cards are organized into ten major vocabulary skills and sequenced in order of complexity.  You get twenty cards for each skill area.  Each card has six questions.  Present a picture and talk about it with the student.  Relate the picture to the student's personal experience and information.  Then read a question on the card and let the student answer it.  The ten vocabulary skill areas are:

What do you do with a garden?

What group do these things belong to?

What shape is a caterpillar?

Which of these don't go with an elevator?

How is tape like plastic?

Compound Words
What is a motorcycle?

What is another word that means the same as scared?

What means the opposite of a piece of something?

Multiple-Meaning Words
What does each picture show?

Does this make sense? Park the car in the chimney.


Copyright © 2004

200 4" x 6" double-sided, full-color, coated picture/stimuli cards; 10 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, identifying synonyms and antonyms, analyzing word features, and using visual aides (Kester-Phillips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).
  • Neuropsychological studies provide convincing evidence that semantic knowledge is organized categorically and functionally and these are important elements of semantic knowledge.  Semantic knowledge is thought to drive the processing of meaning in language (Rhodes & Donaldson, 2008).

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


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

Rhodes, S.M., & Donaldson, D.I. (2008). Association and not semantic relationships elicit the N400 effect: Electrophysiological evidence from an explicit language comprehension task. Psychophysiology, 45, 50-59.


Carolyn LoGiudice


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 rich, flexible vocabularies have the semantic knowledge to learn and reason well.  They are more likely to succeed in school and in life.  The goal of this 200-card set is to strengthen and expand students' vocabulary and expressive language skills.  The ten skill areas included are sequenced in order of task complexity.  Mastering these tasks should enable students to generate solid definitions of words and to acquire new vocabulary words efficiently.

  • Before presenting a skill area, talk with the student about this vocabulary skill.  Explain how this particular skill helps people learn, store, and retrieve words efficiently.
  • Present a picture and talk about it with the student.  Relate the picture to the student's personal experience and information.  Then read the first question on the card and let the student answer it.  Repeat the question, if necessary, or ask the student to repeat the question to check for comprehension.
  • Common responses are given for most questions.  Also accept other logical responses.
  • Use your own judgment about how many questions to present to a student for each card.
  • Encourage your students to create new vocabulary questions for each picture.  Use these stimuli in a group setting.  Then do the same thing with words from your students' textbooks, with or without pictures

Students need to organize the words in their vocabularies efficiently.  One good way to store object names is to group them according to the objects' functions—what we do with them, how we use them, and/or what they can do.

The cards in this section focus on the functions of the pictured objects.  Most of the questions ask students to think about what each object does or how it is used.  Questions also ask what an item is made of, what parts it has, and how the parts work.  Additional questions ask where you would see or use the item and who uses or repairs it.  As you present the questions, guide your students to think of other objects with similar functions, parts, etc.

Teach your students to think about these questions as they learn new words that name objects:

  • What does the object do? / What is the object for?
  • What else does the same thing or something similar?
  • What parts does it have?
  • How does it work?
  • Who would use it?  Why?