Reviewed by Mary
Smarty Britches: Nouns, is an educational app by Sascyn Publishing, it was written by Cyndie Sebourn and illustrated by Manuela Soriani. It is designed to teach children about different types of nouns and does so via a story about a boy named Jackson who lives in Arkansas. Jackson has a pair of magical pants – his “Smarty Britches” which teach him all about nouns. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Kindle Tablets. The author is a National Board Certified Teacher, and has produced free lesson plans to accompany the app which can be downloaded here. The app is aligned with Common Core State Standards.
The story introduces Jackson and his family – his mom, dad, Poppy, and pet dog Charlie, and tells us a little about Arkansas and life in the South. On each page Jackson talks about a type of noun – people, place, animal, thing and idea nouns, and talks about examples of each. Interspersed through the story are various extra activities, which reinforce the different types of nouns. The app is illustrated by bright, colorful drawings, there is light animation and there are some fun interactive elements such as a light switching on or off, sound effects, a rabbit hopping, a lighthouse’s revolving light and foghorn plus many more. I like that these interactive elements can’t be triggered until after the narration is finished, so they don’t distract from the story. The app has read it myself or read to me options, the read to me mode is professionally narrated, and the words are highlighted by the phrase as it is read. It is also accompanied by lively background music that can be switched off independently.
This is very much an educational app – children really learn about all the different types of nouns by reading the story, but I like that is done as a story instead of as a dry list of facts, it is much more engaging this way, and I think children are much more likely to retain the information. There are six extra pages of activities including a find the hidden animal game to reinforce animal nouns, a cash register that you click on to have various thing nouns appear, a light bulb that lights up with different idea nouns and a series of postcards with discussion questions about place nouns. As well as learning about nouns children also learn about Arkansas and the South, as well as a little about art and classical music. The app is designed for children in grades 1-3, but I think Kindergarten and late pre-school children will also enjoy it. You can watch a video trailer of the app here. Overall, a well made, engaging educational app – highly recommended.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Cost: $3.99 (47.5MB)
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