Word Joust for 6-8

Common Sense Media says

Brief vocab quests should hold preteen attention.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Some mini-games seem more a test of how fast kids can read as much as of their understanding of the vocabulary. The maze word-find game is pretty challenging, as many words are presented diagonally and backward.

Violence

The hangman game doesn't feature the expected stick figure but hangs a realistic-looking cartoon man, body part by body part.

Sex

Spoon is defined as "to engage in petting or kissing."

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

Words like champagne and wine are included in the vocabulary lists.

Privacy & safety

Kids can optionally enter their email addresses or connect using their Google accounts. Scores are shared on a leaderboard but can be turned off (the default is on) in the settings.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Word Joust 6-8 requires an Internet connection to play. Words are compiled from lists of most-used words in sixth- through eighth-grade literature. The hangman game hangs a cartoonish, yet realistic-looking, man rather than a stick figure. Though kids can log in with their Google accounts or submit their email addresses, there's no reason to do so as their progress is saved in the app. The default setting is to share scores on the global leaderboard, but that option can be turned off.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The quest theme draws kids in. Fun games keep them playing.

Learning Approach

Encountering the words in different games helps solidify learning, but memorizing the same definition for each encounter does not give much depth or transfer knowledge.

Support

Games are intuitive, so not much help is needed. Excellent data tracking of words mastered and words still being learned ("apprenticed"), as well as of times and scores.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Kids can learn the 3,000 most popular words used in middle school reading materials. They'll master words like alligator, guitar, sympathy, correctly, and emperor. Neuroscience research shows that word games build brain power, so kids will expand their minds through games like word searches and scrambles. In some of the games, kids have to spell the words after seeing only the definitions, which will improve spelling as well as vocabulary. Word Joust 6-8 makes learning words fun and effective with short, fun games that keep kids engaged.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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What's it about?

Kids become knaves in a medieval joust where they can either enter a quest and learn vocabulary from a list of 3,000 age-appropriate words or train by playing games with the words they've encountered in their quests. Games include Scramble (unscrambling mixed-up words); Troll Trickery (matching words to definitions); Labyrinth of Letters, a word search that is quite challenging; Cohorts of Swords (identifying the correct word as it crosses the screen); and Hangman. Kids move up from infantryman to archer and so on. Mastered words and "apprenticed" words (those introduced but not yet mastered) can be reviewed in Stats and on the Global Leaderboard.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

WORD JOUST 6-8 is a fun way for kids to practice word skills and develop their vocabularies. The mix of five games is varied enough that kids can practice different skills and use their brains in different ways. The words and definitions reflect varied meanings that could be encountered in YA lit. The short quests, which are only five words at a time, easily will hold preteen attention spans, and kids will stay challenged by the increasing difficulty of words as more quests are mastered.

Families can talk about...

  • Read to your kids and encourage them to read. Reading is the best vocabulary builder. Read our tips on How to Raise a Reader.

  • Some of the mini-games in Word Joust 6-8 are classics, including the word search and hangman. Challenge your kid to a pen-and-paper duel with one of these.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:April 13, 2012
Category:Education
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Size:11.90 MB
Publisher:Root-One, Inc.
Version:1.5
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Word Joust for 6-8 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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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