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.
Martha Speaks Story Maker
Developer: PBS KIDS
Released: 2012-10-11 00:00:00
Description from the DeveloperWrite your own pocket-sized adventures with Martha!
Make your own stories with Martha and her friends! Then, play with the characters in your storybook while Martha reads. Or, play in the balloon-popping Wordbone Zone. Martha Speaks Story Maker is like having an adventure with Martha wherever you go.
With Martha Speaks Story Maker you can make eight different interactive stories with Martha, who reads the story you’ve just made. Your stories will be saved in your own private library to re-read with Martha anytime you like. You can also test out all the new vocabulary you’ve heard in your stories!
Table of Contents:
As with the Martha Speaks television show and website, the Martha Speaks Story Maker app is designed to increase oral vocabulary. There are 128 words (like turret, sturdy or confused) spread throughout eight different stories to be made. As players make different choices in their stories they’ll hear up to sixteen different words and their definitions in each. These words are then reinforced in the Wordbone Zone quiz and revisited each time they re-read their stories from the Library.
The Martha Speaks Story Maker app from PBS KIDS was developed and produced by WGBH Educational Foundation, the producers of Martha Speaks. Aimed at viewers between the ages of four and seven, the TV series’ educational goal is to teach kids new words. Based on the children's book series by Susan Meddaugh and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the series stars Martha, a beloved family dog. She is accidentally fed alphabet soup — this gives her the power of speech and the chance to speak her mind to anyone that will listen. Visit the series website at: http://pbskids.org/martha/