We received the opportunity to review an app from Star Toaster called Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree. I am always interested at looking at educational apps for the kids. This one is an interactive storybook that involves reading, we had David (10 years old, going into 5th grade) use it. He has been a very reluctant reader until just recently. Given his track record of not liking reading or online “school”, I was not sure he was going to use this without a lot of encouragement and help from me. I was very pleasantly surprised that very shortly after he opened the app, he did a lot of it on his own. It probably helped that he got to use my iphone to play it.
This 122 page book is about a flying squirrel, named Abba, that takes care of 6 orphaned animals (orphs) after a flood destroys the area. The orphs live in Abba’s treehouse with the help of the reader and Abba’s friends. Readers help with the orphs care by reading and completing jobs. There are more than 130 jobs to do. Stars are earned by doing jobs. These stars are used to buy the orphs what they need, like food, shelter and clothes. There are 75 lessons in these educational categories: math, science, language arts, thinking, life skills and arts.
I think Star Toaster did an awesome job creating an engaging book with games in many educational subjects. It kept my reluctant reader engaged and entertained while still learning. Their goal is to created life longer readers and they have positively influenced David!!!
This app is available on iTunes for apple devices running iOS 8.4 or later. It’s recommended for ages 9-11. This can be used for multiple players by creating different user names.
David started by reading chapters in the book. There is no option for it to read it to you. He was a little disappointed at first, but decided it was worth it to go ahead and read it. He’s happy he did. He said the story moves quickly, he was not bored by it and he was enjoying it.
After reading, there’s a few activities to do. This one asks vocabulary/comprehension questions about the chapter that was just read. David thought this was hard, but realized it was fun and he did pretty good on it.
There were some grammar questions. I was worried that these types of questions in a “game” would make David stop playing it, but he answered the questions and kept on going.
I was pleased to see there was a parents section. This area told me what David had already done, how he did and what was left to complete. I could let him play the game on his own and I would visit here to see what he had done.
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