A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that StoryPals is a reading-comprehension app that lets kids create their own stories. There are 24 short stories that target kids on reading levels from grade 2 to 6. Kids can hear the stories read to them or read them themselves. In the basic version, there is no text-to-speech or highlighting as the story is read, but digitized speech can be recorded. The included stories' characters are animals and cartoons, and the illustrations are animated when activated. Each story has a quiz attached; you can assign and track responses for up to six kids. Questions center on who, what, where, when, and why, and scores list how many correct answers users have out of a total and give a percentage. Scores also display dates so you can track progress over time. You can also create your own stories and quizzes with the backgrounds and characters provided or with your own images.
What's it about?
Kids can read short stories with picture illustrations that are animated when activated, or have the stories read to them. In the basic version, digitized text (recorded by a story creator) is read aloud; the full version also has text-to-speech and word highlighting as it's read. Kids then take a multiple-choice quiz to determine comprehension. The included stories target second- to sixth-grade readability levels. Parents and kids also can write their own stories with provided backgrounds and characters or use their own pictures.
Is it any good?
STORYPALS is a good app for supporting kids as they learn reading comprehension and how to respond to "wh" questions, which fosters a deeper understanding of content. But, with only 24 stories, ultimately kids will memorize them and the quizzes will become invalid. The ability to create your own stories is a nice feature, but it can be time-consuming. Both app options seem a bit pricey for the limited number of stories offered.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Device: iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading comprehension, storytelling
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, problem solving
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: October 24, 2012
- Category: Education
- Size: 387.00 MB
- Publisher: Expressive Solutions LLC
- Version: 1.1.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later
For kids who love to read and create
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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.