Lists for Writers

Common Sense Media says

Simple, extensive tool keeps writer's block at bay.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The main page is a list, and subpages are lists all controlled by the device's back button.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lists for Writers is a handy reference for creative writers. There is no free version, but this app is worth the small price if you have a devoted writer in the family.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • vocabulary
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Arts

  • script writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort
  • initiative

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The presentation is spare without graphics, audio, or activities, and it works; however, the app might benefit from a brief tutorial that allows users to select words and put a sentence together.

Learning Approach

This app could be the basis for writing activities for a range of ages and could stand on its own with only brief explanation.

Support

While it lacks a tutorial and there are no references to other resources, the navigation is as simple as can be.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • vocabulary
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Arts

  • script writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort
  • initiative

Kids can learn to improve their vocabulary, sharpen storytelling fluency, and include a variety of word forms and plot lines in their writing. Forms like poems, scripts, short stories, and novels are all supported by these brainstorming catalysts that identify emotions and help characters move beyond obstacles. The Plot section will help developing writers understand the traditional characteristics of stories and apply them to new pieces. Lists for Writers is a handy educational and reference tool for writers of all ages.

This Learning Rating review was written by Leslie Crenna

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's it about?

Upon launch, the main menu list offers about 50 items in six categories. Some, for instance "phobias" and "plots," have additional information. There are no in-app controls or buttons. All navigation is controlled by tapping text in lists or going back with the device's back button.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LISTS FOR WRITERS serves its purpose well: "Emilia Horn decided to wear her bathrobe to the supermarket this Saturday just to antagonize that gaunt clerk at check stand four, who always asks for her ID to write a check. Every. Single. Week." Lists for Writers supplies long lists of essential words writers need to spark creativity like character names, personality words, settings, action verbs, rhyming words, vehicles, engaging colors, emotions, and more. Both budding and experienced writers can put together sentences that are rich and detailed like the one above (the italicized words were pulled from the app in a matter of seconds). A plot section adds a bit more depth with "the 7 basic plots" (one sentence description each), 36 dramatic situations (also one sentence), 7 conflict types, and a huge list of "issues" from "abandonment" to "yelling."

While it has no fancy bells or whistles, these would likely detract from the app's purpose. The only improvements would be consistent capitalization in the plot section, a disclaimer not to overuse too many unique dialog verbs, a brief tutorial that directs users to select words and put a sentence together, and, finally, references to basic writing resources. Otherwise, the app is well worth the price. You want to know what happened to Emilia Horn at the supermarket, don't you?

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage your kids to develop a two-paragraph character study using at least three words from each section under Character.

  • Ask your budding writer to further research the seven basic plots.

  • Suggest that your kid's next creative writing assignment include at least seven action verbs from the app.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Android $1.99; iOS $2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:November 8, 2012
Category:Education
Size:1.20 MB
Publisher:Thinkamingo
Version:Android 1.2; iOS 1.5
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.2 and up; iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Lists for Writers was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old June 19, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

B-O-R-I-N-G

I tried this out and it was B-O-R-I-N-G! This might be helpful for some people, but not for me. It seems like a well made app, but it's not really for kids. People have DIFFERENT views and opinions on things.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families