What we love…

Brings history to life and immerses the student, comprehension questions help retain what is learned.

What we’d love to see…

Optional narration of comprehension questions to help those who are not yet proficient readers.

Summary

It is an animated, immersive, interactive, history lesson and an innovative and engaging way to make history come alive – highly recommended.

Our Rating

Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere's Ride

Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride is part of a series of educational iPad apps from Cognitive Kid. Ansel is a cute little alien from the planet Virtoos and Clair is the friendly robot who accompanies him on his mission to learn about life on Earth. In their previous apps they have learned about Africa and Dinosaurs, this time they are learning about American history and the events leading up to the Revolutionary War.

This educational game is an animated, immersive, interactive, history lesson. It contains four player profiles and tracks each player’s progress in the app. The app is accompanied by lively music from the period, and there are options to control its volume and to switch it off. An optional tutorial is accessible from the home page, which introduces Ansel and Clair and explains some of the apps features; a page-by-page help guide is also available.

20121030-103936.jpgThe scene is set by teaching the student about the Thirteen Colonies, and then having them complete a map puzzle of them. The action starts in Paul Revere’s silversmith shop where the student learns about Paul Revere and about some of the historical events that led up to the American Revolution, such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. It goes on to tell the story of Paul Revere’s ride telling about events that led up to that night, the ride itself, as well as introducing the various historical figures involved. At the end it also includes a recitation of the famous poem by H.W. Longfellow “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”.

20121030-103904.jpgOn each page there are a number different events, the first time the student uses the app they are prompted to go through these in order, but once they are unlocked, they can return to them at any time. For each event the characters are animated and tell their part of the story. There interactive elements and mini-games integrated into the events, such as tossing cases of tea from a ship in the segment discussing the Boston Tea party, throwing sacks of money to King George when discussing taxation, and tracing Paul Reveres route on a map when discussing his ride. Periodically the student is asked multiple choice, comprehension questions about the part of the story they have just experienced. The app also asks them to use Clair’s camera to take pictures of important people and events, when they do so they can see photos of original historical documents or artwork. In Ansel’s Travel Log they can drag their pictures into the right spot (alongside the completed comprehension questions) and then add their own notes about the event. At the bottom of the screen there is a photo booth where they can send in any historical figure they have taken a picture of, and see a short biography of them. Touching Clair, or the light bulb at the top of the screen, will also bring up more detailed facts about the event or person.

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Navigation between pages is done via a map of the part of Massachusetts where the events occurred, you can watch Paul riding his horse along the route and you can also look at the locations on current day maps. If you are unsure what to do next on any page a big blue hand with a pointing finger appears to show you. Within the mini-games if the student gets stuck they can always get help by touching Clair.

20121030-103913.jpgOverall, this is a really engaging way for students to learn about History. I used the app with my Kindergartener and 3rd Grader and they both really enjoyed it and spent a long time exploring the app. Most of the app can be enjoyed by a child who can’t yet read as it is narrated, (the main story is narrated only, there is no text,) but the comprehension questions are not narrated. I would like to see optional narration of comprehension questions added in a future update to help those who are not yet proficient readers.it would be nice to see this . With this app the student is totally immersed in the story, the animations and mini-games make it fun, and the comprehension questions and journal help them to retain what they have learned. The professional narration and period music really set the scene well, and I found my boys were totally engrossed in the app, not even realizing they were learning history at the same time. This app is recommended for ages 6-12 years and some Kindergarteners will enjoy it too. It is an animated, immersive, interactive, history lesson and an innovative and engaging way to make history come alive – highly recommended.

Ansel and Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride is available on iTunes for $4.99 and is compatible with iPad 2 and later.

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Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

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