Shakespeare in Bits: Julius Caesar
By Stacy Zeiger,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Accessible app brings the Bard to life with animation, text.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn plot, character, and literary analysis with Shakespeare in Bits: Julius Caesar. The comprehensive app takes readers back to the Roman Empire and helps them discover a fictional account of some of the politics and other drama at play. The illuminating animations, helpful summaries, and clear analyses can really help teens improve their understanding of the both the play and the author's writing style and language.
Ease of Play
Each section is clearly labeled, and icons let teens know what features and special effects are available in each. However, the lack of a tutorial may cause some teens to miss beneficial features.
Violence & Scariness
Characters are killed, and other mild violence takes place in the text. Readers can see some violence, blood, and gore in the animations, but it's not over the top.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild sexual innuendos exist in the text, but they don't stand out in the play or the animation as a whole.
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Characters sling insults at one another, although some may be lost in translation. Words such as "damn" and "hell" are used to express frustration or to describe where characters may end up.
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Products & Purchases
Icons leading to the developer's website and Facebook and Twitter pages appear on the main page. "More Plays" leads to other apps for purchase.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few mild references to drinking are in the text but aren't highlighted in the animations.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shakespeare in Bits: Julius Caesar is a comprehensive guide that lets kids read the play, watch an animated version alongside text, view scene summaries and analyses, and take their own notes all in one place. Not only does this make it convenient, it helps reluctant readers and those with special needs engage deeper with the play. As with most Shakespearean plays, there are some violent scenes and some mild language issues, which means kids can see some violence, blood, and gore in the animations, but it's not over the top.
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Shakespeare in Bits: Julius Caesar
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What’s It About?
In SHAKESPEARE IN BITS: JULIUS CAESAR, the play isn't performed on a stage but rather through animated characters who read the text of the play line by line. As the characters speak, readers see lines of dialogue highlighted. Kids also can tap on confusing words that are highlighted to reveal a definition. The play is organized by scene, with the animation and text sitting side by side. Separate tabs contain plot summaries and analyses for each scene, as well as a place to take notes. Those looking for an overview of the play as a whole can find a general summary, themes, and character overviews to help them understand the Bard's classic work.
Is It Any Good?
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar becomes exceptionally engaging in SHAKESPEARE IN BITS: JULIUS CAESAR. Animated characters do more than simply speak the text; they bring to life the backstabbing, jealousy, and other themes explored in the play. The read-aloud aspect shows kids the importance of words and rhetoric, especially during the oft-quoted "Friends, Romans, countrymen" speech and the "Et tu, Brute?" uttered by Caesar during his assassination. Character maps give readers insight into the complex relationships among Cassius, Brutus, Caesar, Antony, and other major characters in the play. Detailed analyses also connect these characters' actions with the actions of their historical counterparts.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the web of troubled relationships explored in Julius Caesar. Ask your kids if they can name any parallels in real life or current entertainment where ambition or bad decisions create big problems.
Ask your kids if they think politics have changed since Julius Caesar's time. What's different? What's the same?
- Device: iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension, text analysis, Social Studies: historical figures
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: thinking critically
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: June 9, 2012
- Category: Education
- Topics: History
- Publisher: Mindconnex Learning Ltd.
- Version: 1.1.2p
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
- Last updated: July 19, 2018
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