I simply adore Martha Speaks Story Maker, an app for iPhone based on the hit PBS show and previously published storybook, Martha Speaks, about a talking dog – an educational show which teaches synonyms and new vocabulary to children.
I am a big fan of this PBS show because I think it is an effective and ingenious way of improving children’s vocabulary, as this show is liberally peppered with sophisticated words using both the context of the story as well as Martha explaining these words in ways most conversational.
Martha Speaks Story Maker opens with a series of questions for the players about the story they would like to create - be it characters, locations or items of interest to be used in their own unique and fun adventures. These choices are then used in a cute and creative story and there are enough variables to choose from that each story can easily be different from the last and can be stored in this app's library to be enjoyed in the future.
I also really appreciate the inclusion of traditional pop-up book taps that one can pull to see animations stylized as traditional pop-up book movements that I find utterly cute and charming.
Another section of this app is the Word Bone Zone where children are tested on the words that they have just learned by asking them to choose the correct synonyms, further emphasizing the new vocabulary that have been learned.
If needed, tap on Martha to hear the question again, but I wish the two possible word answers were also read out loud again for children who can comprehend these larger words yet may not be able to read them.
Even with this minor note, I really enjoy the time I spend with this app. The choices that are made by children fit seamlessly into this app to create really cute and funny stories that children can feel proud about constructing.
I can think of few better ways to introduce new vocabulary words to children, thus possibly making this app useful for English as a second language as well as an app for children with special needs who could benefit from learning new vocabulary as well.
This is the third app based on Martha Speaks for either iPad or iPhone. My family enjoyed each of them, and I have had the pleasure of reviewing the two most recent apps. If interested, please search for my review of Martha Speaks Word Spinner here at GiggleApps as well.
I hope that more wonderful apps based on this terrific show are developed. I have come to realize that an app based on a favorite TV show or magazine does not guarantee a great application, but after experiencing the other Martha Speaks apps that have become available, I will be very eager to explore any new Martha Speaks apps that may be released in the future.