This is my first app review and giveaway! I am excited to talk about this great app from hamaguchi apps, You’re the story teller: The Surprise. This app can be used for so many different therapy goals and it is very engaging for the students, so they get totally into telling a story and participating. First off you can get the home edition which is a single user for $5.99 (that is what I had purchase), but they have a pro version that you can store up to 30 users in which you can save their writing sample or story which is $9.99. My students have been loving it and are now feeling comfortable with having their voice recorded (some of them got a little nervous).
This app is a wordless story about a boy who brings home a dog that he tries to hide from his mother. There are 8 chapters in the story and each animated story clip runs about 15 seconds. The child watches each scene and can then record and/or write their very own narration. The cool thing about this app is that there are “challenge” vocabulary words for each scene that the student has to try to use when creating the story. It also has additional questions that the student or group can answer and discuss before moving on to the next chapter.
This is an awesome feature because it allows the therapist to stop and check for understanding and/or giveaway feedback to the student about his/her response. It also helps break down the story, so it is a great activity for children who need activities broken down in chunks. The user may replay the entire narrated story from beginning to end via the Table of Contents. You can also watch the original story with or without music accompaniment, email your story including the voice file, or print it out! When a new recording or writing is provided for that user, it erases whatever was previously recorded or written for that user, so you need to make sure you have emailed or printed out the previous story response if you are trying to measure improvement over time.
What I love about this app:
1. I think purchasing the Pro Edition would be a great asset to any speechie’s material bin because you could use this app to measure a student’s progress over time, and share with the IEP team about the student’s strengths and weaknesses. That is a great feature of the Pro Edition!
2. You can use this app for SO many goals. Just off the top of my head, you can use this for practicing fluency strategies, articulation carryover into spontaneous utterances, syntax development, problem solving situation, oral narration, reading body language and making predictions based on the clues from the story, answering comprehension questions and vocabulary development.
3. This app is very interactive and engaging, so keeping the student’s motivated and enticed to learn is EASY!
4. The story is culturally relevant and easy to relate to because many students have pets at home or have a desire to have a pet. The background vocabulary is also user friendly because the setting is “a person’s home” and the characters involve a mother and son. I find that some of my students who have not had many enriched world experiences have a hard time with stories that they have not experienced.
5. The buttons and features of the app are easy to understand and teach to other students. It takes minimal prep time to complete this activity with students.
6. You can scaffold the exceptions for each child if you have kids with varying abilities. For children needing a challenge, you can have them answer the comprehension questions and attempt to use the “challenge” words.
7. I love all the non-verbal cues the character’s use as it is a great way to target inferencing, dialog, and reading body language.
8. The kids love hearing my voice or their voice. There are lots of giggles when they hear themselves. It has been very motivating and some of my “shy” students have perked up wanting to participate and record their voice. It also gives the students feedback about their performance.
How I use this app in therapy: I have been using this app to target language, inferencing, articulation, and fluency! Lately, I have been working on oral narration and remembering to insert all those wonderful key elements from a story. As a group, students are able to “earn” points towards their dollar challenge boards. They can earn points by using key elements (character names, location, feelings, dialog, events that happen, etc.). Sometimes, I give a specific element to a student to really try and get in the story. They can also earn points for getting the “challenge” words in their story and for answering comprehension questions correctly from the story. I like to first have the student’s watch the clip 1-2 times. We then discuss the “challenge” words and how we could use them in the story. In some cases, I first record the story for the students, so that they can hear how I would tell the story. We then listen back to my story and talk about what I included in the story. I try to keep all the kids engaged, so when one student is telling the story, the other students have to comment about what the student included in the story. We first start off with what the student did well such as used a challenge word or used dialog. Then as a group the students tell the story teller what he/she can work on for next time. I feel like this app is a great way to teach the story telling process and targeting narration skills in both oral and writing narration. It is also a good tool to evaluate what the student is missing from their oral or written narration. My only wish is that their were more of these story apps from Hamaguchi apps because my kids love this app!
The creators from Hamaguchi apps were gracious enough to give me a FREE copy of the Home Edition app to giveaway to all my followers! Enter below for your chance to win You’re the storyteller: The Surprise Home Edition.