What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that X is for X-Ray (iPad) is a beautiful alphabet-book app that contains descriptions and x-ray images of everyday objects. Each of the 26 objects is accompanied by a poem, a sound effect, a description of its history, an explanation of how it works, and a photo. Swiping, tapping, and pinching allow kids to view the photo as an x-ray, make it larger, spin it around for 360-degree viewing, or view it in 3-D (requires the purchase of glasses). There's a fair amount of text in this book, so it's most appropriate for older kids, although younger kids will enjoy the sound effects and images. Some users have expressed difficulty with the app crashing, but we didn't experience that.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- substance properties
Thinking & Reasoning
Engagement, Approach, Support
X-ray images, witty poems, and information-packed text engage kids' sense of wonder, sense of humor, and curiosity about everyday things. Prereaders and readers will find ways to engage.
One page per object explains all about each image, helping kids expand vocabulary and science and history knowledge -- although not deeply. X-ray-enhanced photos allow kids to see the inner workings of objects they're familiar with.
Lots of text makes this well-suited for readers; images and audio poems make it accessible for prereaders. You'll get great ideas for extension activities, but kids will need to use trial and error to learn how to expose the x-ray images.
What's it about?
Tap an object -- such as a drum, teddy bear, or toaster -- organized in alphabetical order. The image gets larger, and a poem appears. Tap the speaker icon and hear the poem read. Swipe the object to view 360 degrees around it. Tap it for the x-ray image to appear. Tap the page icon at the bottom of the screen for a detailed written explanation about the object. Don't forget to go all the way to Z for an inside peek at an iPad.
Is it any good?
The x-ray images on X is for X-Ray show density, not the inner workings of objects as you'd see in a book such as David Macaulay's How Things Work. Still, it's a beautiful and engaging app. The text encourages scientific curiosity, particularly by recommending such activities as cooking almond biscotti or using onion juice to write in invisible ink. Sound effects and poems enrich the app for younger kids, and everyone will love the treat at the end: unzipping the zipper to get a peek at an x-ray of an iPad!
Families can talk about...
Read the longer bits of informational text with your prereaders.
Consider trying one of the extension activities, like making almond biscotti or performing a recommended science experiment.