Loose The Confusion…Turning Homophones into Wordtoons!


Another idea that can really help with the learning and spelling of new words are ‘homophone’ Wordtoons!

What exactly is a homophone?

Homophones are words pronounced the same as others but differing in meaning. Some homophones are spelled the same
and some are spelled differently so this is a great way to use a Wordtoon to establish the difference.

By turning the word into a cartoon that represents the words meaning it becomes more concrete and memorably distinct
from the the spelling of the other word/s.

I have started compiling a list of many homophones that are often confused and will eventually create a book full. Although
there is a lot of value in simply taking the idea to mind and then applying it in how ever you can regardless of any drawing ability or how the end product looks. Just going through the thought process and adding some drawing related to the word will create the memorable difference and should ensure you never mix the words up again.

If you see a child (or even mix some words up your self ) give it a try!



The word ‘sing’ can’t be made into a Wordtoon?


I gave up on the idea of making a Wordtoon out of the word sing because it just didn’t seem like it would work.

I remember saying to my oldest son Calvin, ” Yep this is one that just won’t work”…Famous last words!

Although a week later I tried again while on the bus and it actually started to shape up so I kept at it during the next few days on the bus  to and from Uni. What you see is about 2 hours worth of thinking and scribbling to get to the end result.

Although I have an actual court order to never sing….because I truly am THAT bad,  I’m please to say that I can now do the ‘sing’  Wordtoon.

I see the bus ride as a valuable and enjoyable time as I have started to build up a collection of great new Wordtoons to fill a another book. I don’t expect to finish the new book to be ready until 2011 some time and so will keep most of the new ones a secret until then. But some times I just can’t wait to share a new one like this.

This is one of my new favorite Wordtoons and will be available  as a step by steps worksheet in the second book of full word Wordtoons and in powerpoint slides for  teachers to use in the classroom, although anyone should be able to remember how to do it after watching the last part of the video a few times.

Pigeon Guided Missiles…..

Does $25,000 sound like much for testing out a missile guidance system to you?…how about if it was 1944?…fair enough you might say, war toys are not cheap to develop and build, it’s serious business. Would you believe me if I told you that Uncle Sam laid down twenty five large for research on a guidance system run by pigeons!?! ( I can’t type that with a straight face)

The pigeons were trained to peck away at a little target and doing so would keep the missile on course.
The research was eventually abandoned by the army, considered to be too ‘eccentric’ ( really!?). The Navy took it up again until Radar came along, putting an end to the kamikaze control pigeon’s place in war history!

BF Skinner and his experiments with animals comes up in in every educational paper at uni. Usually you hear all the same stories, but today the lecturer mentioned ‘pigeon guided missiles’ so I hit the big G up to see if it was true. Plenty of videos, photos and articles as well as Wikipedia all confirm this is now the coolest most crazy thing I have learned at Uni!

I hope they screened the pigeons to make sure none were ever previously trained as ‘homing pigeons!’

Ok, the video is in Russian…but you see that this stuff is the real deal……or is it?

Yo Miss…can I have an extension?

This is my ‘notes’ from a Language Teaching 300 lecture recently. The lecture was about Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). The lecturer was explaining the idea of ‘pragmatic competence’ and gave a great example to illustrate the concept. She told us how a student emailed her asking for an extension on an assignment and the email began with ” Yo Miss..whats up!..hey I need an extension…”, This totally cracked me up and as you may well guess this is not ideal ‘pragmatic competence’ given the formal setting of Univiersty.

This is how I take notes at Uni, mind map doodle cartoons. Sometimes I will do my best to record the lectures key points, others I record my ideas and impressions of whats being presented but sometimes I will doodle something that comes to mind, either a related idea or even my own spin on the concept. Usually if there is an interesting story told.

I believe this way if note taking works well because I have to actually process the information and restated my understanding of the concepts rather than simply record or transcribe the lecture.

This Blog Is A Shark!

Have You Got A Shark In Your Fish Tank ?

Here is a photo of my overly elaborate white board, although it is just a piece of paper in an expensive heavy frame. Its hung on the wall when ever I hear an inspiring story or a quote I will draw a cartoon about it.

I leave it there until another story grabs my attention but this one has been up for ages.

Japanese people love fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for many years so fishing boats got bigger and went further out to sea. The boats had to go out so far that by the time they returned from the long trip the fish was not fresh.

The fishing companies put freezers on the boats freezing the fish as soon as they were caught.

Japanese people really like fish. they noticed the difference between fresh and frozen fish.

The fishing companies installed fish tanks.

Japanese people really like fish, they noticed the difference between fresh fish and fish in tanks.

When they caught the fish they would stuff them into the tanks fin to fin. The fish would thrash around for a while but then get tired and bored and just give up and lay still…loosing the yummy fresh taste.

Japanese people love fish so loosing the fresh fish taste was quite a crisis.

How did they solve the problem?….Sharks!

They put sharks in the tanks and fish stayed lively ( I’m guessing the sharks ate a few ) and more importantly the Japanese people gave the shark tanked fish the thumbs up!

You have  to have sharks ( challenges ) in life to feel alive and stay fresh. So this blog is going to be a shark for Wordtoons.