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Shakespeare in Bits: Romeo & Juliet iPad Edition
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Shakespeare in Bits: Romeo & Juliet iPad Edition presents the full text of the play enriched with extra goodies to help facilitate deeper understanding and enjoyment of the material. Kids can click on highlighted words and phrases to get their modern translations and historical context and to understand how certain lines tie into the play's larger themes. There also are scene notes and synopses, character profiles, notable quotes, and a bio of Shakespeare; however, the app's crowning achievements are the cartoon reenactments of every scene that literally bring the play to life, complete with lines that highlight in red as they're being spoken so readers can easily follow along. There is a similar version for the iPhone and iPod Touch called Shakespeare in Bits: Romeo and Juliet that costs $7.99. You also can try each version for free with the Lite versions.
What's it about?
The full text of the play is featured side by side with an animated reenactment with professional actors reading the parts. Within the text, vocabulary is highlighted and can be tapped to view a more modern-day wording. Tabs at the top of the text let kids move easily among the text, section notes, a synopsis, and their own notes. A navigation bar at the bottom of the screen shows all options: viewing by scene, examining characters, reading analysis, and reviewing notes.
Is it any good?
SHAKESPEARE IN BITS: ROMEO & JULIET IPAD EDITION, as with the other Shakespeare in Bits apps, is an invaluable study guide for students or anyone looking to immerse themselves in one of Shakespeare's most famous works. As if the annotated version of the play wasn't enough, you can follow along with cartoon videos and hear every line read by professional actors (Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen), which enriches the experience considerably. And, unlike some Cliff's Notes-type books, you don't get the impression that the only purpose of this app is to help students write essays. It was truly designed to help people get the most out of a classic piece of literature.
Talk to your kids about ...
Talk about the characters' choices and how they affect the outcomes of the play. Why do they make the choices they do? What would have happened if the characters had made different choices?
Since Shakespeare's plays were really meant to be seen, talk about the differences between reading the play and watching it. Consider going to a live production so kids can experience the play on a stage.
- Device: iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling, text analysis, vocabulary
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, thinking critically
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: October 30, 2014
- Category: Education
- Size: 488.00 MB
- Publisher: Mindconnex Learning Ltd.
- Version: 2.0.1p
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 7.0 or later
For kids who love reading and learning
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.