Common Sense Review
Updated November 2013

World's Worst Pet - Vocabulary

Hip games help kids learn words they'll actually use
Common Sense Rating 4
  • Kids go through different levels as they try to help Snargg get home.
  • Words are specifically chosen and leveled.
  • The word categories are relevant to kids' lives.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to learn how to play.
  • Different modes of play help students gain a thorough understanding of words.
Pros
Music, cool characters, and relevant words keep students interested.
Cons
The story doesn't always connect with the vocabulary words.
Bottom Line
Kids can learn the meaning of vocabulary words they can put to good use as part of their everyday conversation through fun games and multiple learning opportunities.
Stacy Zeiger
Common Sense Reviewer
Homeschooling parent/instructor
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Hip music and characters make kids feel like they're doing something cool. High-quality graphics and fun games keep them engaged as they learn.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Vocabulary lessons focus on words kids actually use on a daily basis, and kids use the words in many different ways ways as they play the games. Missed answers come with an explanation.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

On-screen instructions help kids play the games, and characters provide helpful tips. Multiple levels make it accessible to a variety of users. Parent and teacher sections provide guidance.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers can incorporate World's Worst Pet - Vocabulary  into their vocabulary instruction in the classroom. They can have students start at Level C, Set 1, and go through each set one by one, monitoring their progress as they go, or they can choose specific sets related to what students are learning in the classroom. Individual sets are not labeled by topic, but teachers can tap through the various levels and sets to find word lists that fit a specific unit or general subject area. The design makes it ideal for use by individual students, but teachers may also have students study vocab sets in small groups or go through a set as part of a whole-class vocabulary review session.

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What's It Like?

Students follow the story of Snargg, possibly the world's worst pet, as they attempt to get him home. In order to get him there, they must complete a series of vocabulary challenges and watch Snargg get into various antics. The vocabulary words are organized into levels and sets. Students first select a level, and then select a specific set within the level. Each set has a different theme -- for example, students may see words related to music, life cycles, or shopping. According to developers,  World's Worst Pet targets Tier Two and domain-specific words, which simply means it focuses on relevant vocabulary words. Kids will find that they can actually put the words they learn to good use as part of their daily lives. Within the app itself, they also have the opportunity to put the words to good use, using the words and definitions to play four different games.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Along with introducing students to Tier Two and domain-specific vocabulary words, World's Worst Pet has students practice using the words in four different ways. They play games and answer questions that require them to use the words in context, identify synonyms and antonyms, and use the words to complete sentences. During a set with music-related words, for example, students may be given the word performance and must complete a sentence using the word, select a synonym of the word, or answer a question such as "Where would a performance most likely take place?"

The app focuses on ensuring that students fully understand each set of words. Before even playing the games, they're given the opportunity to review the words, their definitions, and Spanish cognates. When they incorrectly answer a question, they are shown the word's definition and additional information to help them understand why their answer wasn't correct. After students complete a set of words, the app also encourages them to take learning further by suggesting writing prompts that incorporate the words.

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See how teachers are using World's Worst Pet - Vocabulary

Lesson Plans