Smart Apps For Android: REVIEW: The New Animal Similes (educational Android apps for kids)

Monday, February 17, 2014

REVIEW: The New Animal Similes (educational Android apps for kids)

Bottom Line: An app to teach the meaning and use of similes through examples, quizzes and games. If your students are having difficulty remembering or understanding the use of similes, particularly those that reference animals, then this app will give them practice with that.

Price: $1.96                           Size: 34MB                     Number of activities: three in total

External links to other apps by the same developer

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Available on Amazon Appstore

   FREE (contains ads)                    $1.96
Get it on Google Play          Get it on Google Play

Samsung Apps Mobile

App explained: 34 different animal similes are presented in this app. The opening screen has a rolling menu of all the similes, each with an animated cartoon animal, an explanation and two examples of the simile used in a sentence. Every explanation is in the format, "[Simile] is to describe someone or something that is [description of simile]". Nearly all of the animals have an accompanying sound also.

The Quiz is set up as a timed game (120 seconds long) with the objective being to rescue a swimmer from sharks by choosing the correct animal (out of a choice of four) to complete the simile explanation or example. Each wrong answer plays a buzzer and students get visual feedback, "Oh no! Try harder!" Students need to complete enough similes to save the swimmer, with progress displayed as a percentage at the side of the screen.

The memory game can be set up as a single player time challenge, or as a multiplayer game with two, three or four players. The four variations of memory include matching cartoon animals with themselves, matching cartoon animals with their similes, matching pictures of real animals with themselves, or matching pictures of real animals with their similes. There are four levels of difficulty from six tiles up to 40 tiles. Color coordination of the tiles make it easier for children to find the matching animals and similes.

Pros/Cons: The presentation of this app is very good, obviously improved from the original version of the app (Animal Similes $0.99), there are plenty of similes and examples, as well as opportunities for students to consolidate their learning. The gamification of the simile completion activity made good use of the technology to provide innovative learning of a Common Core State Standard of Language. Students can share the app by playing the multiplayer memory game, however, there is no opportunity for students to create their own similes, or any final assessment/record of a student's knowledge and understanding of the use of similes.

Suggestions for updates: Different time lengths for the quiz, and/or less similes to complete to save the swimmer. Audio support in the form of narrating the similes and examples would be useful for children who are audio learners. A section where children could add their own similes would give opportunity to express creativity.

Summary: The New Animal Similes provides practice of similes in an innovative way that is well presented. The multiplayer game encourages children to engage with others and share their learning, which will probably keep them interested in the app longer than if they were using it on their own. Unfortunately, this app quit a lot during use to the point that the Quiz was not able to be completed. With this bug fixed, the rating will improve.

Device/s used:
Phone - Samsung Galaxy S4 (Android 4.3) Kept quitting.
Tablet - Samsung Galaxy Tab3 10.1" (Android 4.2.2) Kept quitting.

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Cas was as tired as a koala (which is known to sleep more than 20hrs per day) while she wrote this review.

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Be sure to check out our other reviews:

Learn To Tell Time - Fun Clock (4 stars)

Preschool Math Booster Zoo (4 stars)

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