Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Phonics Volume 1

Phonics Volume 1

Fall 2010 DVD
Ages: 6 & Up
DVD Price: $19.99

In this 70-minute program designed to build fluency skills in beginning readers, animated human and animal characters sing rock and rap selections that teach basic concepts such as vowel sounds and oral blending (i.e. sounding out words). The characters are dressed in the "cool" attire of rock stars, and the music is catchy and singable. With repeated viewing it really is reasonable to think kids will come to memorize the lyrics-and therefore, the lessons.

In addition to the musical selections, the program offers games that challenge kids to read words aloud, complete quizzes, and follow along with stories for extra reading practice. Phonics Volume 1 also has a feature called the "on-screen mouth," an actual mouth isolated to show the way to properly enunciate letters - a task animated characters just can't accomplish. In addition to the content on the DVD, jacket copy also directs viewers to a website with free phonics printables.

While this isn't the most advanced animation you'll ever see, the educational content is very effective. The tempo of the tunes is upbeat but not so fast that kids can't understand and absorb the instructive message of the lyrics. The DVD offers useful lessons at a comfortable pace to encourage beginning readers.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
Rock 'N Learn, Inc.
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers

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