With the pressure from school administration to make sure that a student’s communication disorder has a direct impact on their academic abilities, it is important for SLPs to work on classroom goals within the speech therapy room. Learn the States and Learn the World are two apps from Merge Mobile that can be used to help work on Social Studies goals during therapy.
Learn the States Overview: This app will help student’s learn the 50 states in a fun and creative way. On the opening screen, the player is given four options: Text Quiz, Drive Quiz, Map Quiz, and Map Learn. From the main screen you can also select the settings you desire and view “my coins”. Let’s start with the different settings. When you select the settings, you are given the choice of what information you want to be quizzed on. These areas include: Abbreviations, Capitals, Nicknames, Statehoods, Flowers, Birds, Trees, Landmarks, Border States, Major Cities, and Show State Name on Quiz. You can also reset earned coins on this screen. Now here is a deeper look at what this app contains starting with Text Quiz. The Text Quiz opens up with a billboard displaying four choices depending on what you chose from the setting screen. For every six correct answers in a row, the player earns a state coin.
The Drive Quiz is really fun and challenging. When the quiz opens, the player is three locations to drive through. The challenge is that depending on what settings you choose determines what the direction is based on. Here is a note: to complete the series you must keep your finger on the screen until you end your travels. At the end of the trip, it tells you how many you got correct. As the car drives through different states it displays the state’s name.
The Map Quiz is just that. The screen shows a map of the United States of America and ask you to identify the state based on the criteria you chose in the settings. The final choice on the main screen is Map Learn. The screen shows a map of the United States of America. The player can select a state. The app voice says the name of the state and a box is shown. The player can read additional information about that state by pressing the more info button in the box.
Players earn state coins whenever they answer six questions correctly in a row. The state coins resemble the quarters. What I like about this app:
- I like the bright colors of the app and the amount of information available for the student.
- The different quizzes are beneficial to different learners. My personal favorite is the Drive Quiz.
What I would improve:
- The would like to see the ability to track how well a student is doing. The state coins allow the student to see their progress but it would be helpful to know what area they struggle with.
- I would like to see some additional information added to the setting choices such as natural resources and historical attractions.
SLPs can use this app to support classroom curriculum. Learn the States can be used to target articulation skills and language skills. Quizzing nicknames of states can trigger a discussion about how the states got their nicknames. Articulation skills can be used by quizzing the capitals and states abbreviations.
Learn the World Overview: Learn the World has similar features to Learn the States. When the screen opens, the player has a choice of Text Quiz, Fly Quiz, Map Quiz, and Map Learn. You can also access the collection of flags earned and the games settings. The settings for this game are simpler than Learn the States. The settings can be adjusted to add more details to certain quizzes such as currency to the Text Quiz and capitals to the Fly Quiz and Map Quiz. The earned flags can also be reset within the settings screen. The Text Quiz opens to a map of the world where the player selects which continent they want to be quizzed on. After selecting a continent, the quiz begins with a question and 4-5 choices, either pictures or words.
On the Fly Quiz, a player can select a continent to fly around or the world. Three destinations are given and the player must fly “nonstop” to each location without lifting their finger.
The Map Quiz offers the same map choices, continent or world. This quiz is played by touching the correct country that matches the question. Map Learn is a nice feature of this app. When selected the player can choose a continent or the world. Once a choice is made, the player can select a country to learn more. A banner is displayed at the top of the screen with the country’s flag, capital, and currency. A button is also on the banner which says “more info”. By selecting this button, a new screen opens up with a connection to the Wikipedia page for that country. This provides more information then what could be added to this app.
What I like about it:
- This app contains great practice for those learning world geography.
- The link to Wikipedia can aid in learning about a country.
- The Fly Quiz is a neat way to learn the information as well.
What I would improve:
- It would be nice if the questions for the quizzes were read to the player.
- A flash card section could be helpful for learning the countries.
Like I mentioned before, SLPs are pressured to only qualify students with a communication disorder that impairs their learning. The goals of the therapist and IEP is to help the student in the least restrictive environment. By targeting standards that are addressed in the classroom such as country and world geography, students can practice these standards in the therapy room. The Common Core does not have standards yet for all grades in Social Studies but I am sure that will be coming soon. The low-cost of these apps at $1.99 each are a good deal for all the information and practice they contain. Here is the link to the iTunes store for Learn the States and Learn the World.
I would like to thank Kristen from Merge Mobile for providing me with these apps to review and for generously donating 6 more codes (3 of each) to give away to my readers. Please enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
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Disclaimer: A copy of these apps were provided to me for my review. No other compensation was provided and the opinions are mine.