Ahoy, mateys! I be writin’ a blog message fer ye ’bout apps to use on Speak Like a Scurvy Pirate Day! (Translation: Oh boy, who the heck convinced me to do this?!) Kookoo bananas Bill Binko ‘o LessonPix shanghai’d a few ‘o us bloggers to do pirate-themed posts to celebrate ’tis “holiday,” so here’s me best spin on it. (Thanks postlikeapirate.com for the goofy pirate talk translations.) This post is a bit different than my usual, but I’m hoping it’ll give y’all some fun ideas for Talk Like a Pirate Day on 9/19! If you’re one of those scoundrel SLPs that loves to get kids hyped up then send them on their way, this post (and holiday in general) is for you! I’m going to discuss three apps: one new (to me) pirate-themed one and two that I’ve already reviewed but am adding a “pirate twist” to. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions or other pirate-themed ideas!
What It Is: A series of pirate-themed minigames by Education Services Australia.
How It Works: As the title suggests, the app has eight games. Make words out of a collection of letters to rescue Pirate Jack. Order words from hottest to coldest to let him climb the ladder. After this, you are taken to a “map” scene, where you complete the following activities: Set a clock to the appropriate time to wake Jack up to get the booty during low tide. Use basic mathematical problem-solving skills to figure out how much gunpowder to load into the cannon. Put together a broken statue to find a plan to find the treasure. Fit together the pieces of the cave to block the bear and grab the scroll. Use a visual of a raft to build one from the materials provided. Match the pattern of the key with the pattern of the lock to unlock the treasure.
Therapy Applications: This app has its limitations but can be a fun way to address a number of goals. Use the first game (making words) for early literacy and phonemic problem-solving skills. If you have any clients working on final consonants, guide them to find appropriate combinations to practice (there are plenty). The letters involved are t, f, c, a, d, s, h…so it’s easy to practice working on articulation of any of the resulting phonemes as well as some clusters. The second game (coldest to hottest) is a fun test of comparatives–have your students discuss how many of these words essentially mean the same thing (e.g. hot, boiling) but have slightly different implications. The entire map is rich with reasoning/problem-solving activities based on a wide variety of abilities including telling time, adding, non-verbal reasoning, and matching same/different patterns. I think it might be best to use many of these activities to jump-start other fun. For example, have the children figure out the correct order of coldest-hottest but then do a related activity using other adjectives, or use the clock game to start a discussion about time management skills. Oh…and the entire app is awesome for practicing /r/ (or “Arrrrr!”) articulation. 🙂
Pros: 1. Price! Gotta love free. 🙂
2. Verbal and visual instructions and reinforcement. All instructions and any word answers are read aloud. Plus, there is a button next to each word/direction if the child needs to listen again. This is great for children that are not yet able to read.
3. Variety. The theme is fun, the games address a wide set of skills, and (if adapted as necessary) children from ages 4-10 could easily enjoy it.
4. Self-check. The games and puzzles do not automatically tell the child if s/he is correct. This reduces random guessing and allows the child time to think about his/her answer before checking it. This is wonderful for children who struggle with impulsivity.
5. Resume feature. The app saves your spot.
6. Fun! The app does not feel like school work.
Cons: 1. The user has to go through the entire app–you cannot just pick one game. This is my only disappointment with the app, but it is a bummer. My advice would be to either get to the game(s) you want to play before the session starts (this is another place where the resume feature comes in handy) or to use the entire app and only spend extended amounts of time on the particular games you’re interested in.
The Take-Away: Th’ app isn’t perfect, but it be so much a fun ruckas ‘n a free way to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day! It would be more ideal to be able to choose individual games instead ‘o goin’ through th’ entire app, but I reckon ’tis problem be relatively easy to get around. Download it, even if ye only use it ’tis one time! (After all, it be free.) Also, considerin’ recommendin’ it to parents as a a fun academic app.
What It Is: A fun spin on the game of 20 questions by all4mychild. I have actually already reviewed this app before, so check out that post for more details on the app, how it works, other uses, and pros/cons. This review will just focus on how to use it for this marvelous holiday!
How It Works: The developers of this app actually just updated it, and it now includes an awesome feature: add your own pictures. You can, of course, use any pirate-themed pictures. I, however, went to the LessonPix website, downloaded their pirate-related images in JPG format (which is super quick and easy, even on your iDevice). When you open the Bag Game app, the images are automatically available when you touch “Hide Photo.” Hide any image in the bag (or have your client/student hide it from you, family, or peers) then pinch to open it when it has been guessed correctly.
Therapy Applications: You could use this app for articulation (particularly /r/) or phonology if you’d like, but I think the language aspects of it are the most fun. Have your clients work on descriptive vocabulary (pirates and related objects make for hilarious descriptors), answer and ask wh-questions, and categorize (e.g. person/place/animal/thing). Sneak in some social skills practice (after all, this is the game that can’t be played alone) by working on turn-taking and theory of mind (What is the other person thinking of and trying to describe? How could the other person understand what I’m trying to describe?). Work on cognitive skills like memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. (See my original Bag Game post for more details).
The Take-Away: I loved th’ previous version ‘o ’tis app, but th’ updated version ‘o ’tis app be just phenomenal! ‘Tis be a must-have, whether ye use it fer Talk Like a Pirate Day or not. Plus, wit’ th’ new ability to add pictures, ’tis easier to use th’ app wit’ a wider audience (because it can be tailored to be more functional ‘n age-appropriate). Use LessonPix images fer easy incorporation ‘o th’ scurvy pirate theme, ‘n ye ‘n yer clients gunna have so much fun!
What It Is: A PDF reader/annotator for both Android and Apple by Unidocs. Again, I have already reviewed this app, so check out that post for more details on the app, how it works, other uses, and pros/cons. This review will just focus on how to use it for Talk Like a Pirate Day!
How It Works: Instead of using LessonPix’s color images like I did with the Bag Game, download the outline versions. Open it with the ezPDF Reader app (on your iDevice or Android device), and color away!
Therapy Applications: I’ll admit, I’m not a huge “coloring therapist.” (Some therapists love coloring and crafts activities, which is awesome…I just tend to be more of a book and tech person.) However, I think this can be a perfect way to begin or end a pirate-themed session. Use it for articulation, descriptive vocabulary, naming skills, discussing feelings (see my drawing of a very sad, sad Johnny Depp), and more.
The Take-Away: Thar be so many ways to incorporate ’tis PDF annotator (as well as LessonPix) into therapy activities. I reckon colorin’ be a great way to brin’ both ‘o these thin’s together, ‘n usin’ them wit’ a scurvy pirate theme be particularly awesome!
General Wrap-Up: As you have likely figured out by now, there are probably an infinite number of ways to mesh Talk Like a Pirate Day with some great apps and images. Big thanks to LessonPix for organizing the bunch of us bloggers to write about ways to do pirate-themed lessons. Their artwork and services makes doing things like this so much easier and fun! (I promise I’m not getting anything out of saying this…just love their product!) Check out other ideas on their blog.
My Questions for You: Gunna ye celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day wit’ ye kiddos? How could ye use any ‘o these apps wit’ ye kiddos? Do ye have any other apps that could be used? Let me be knowin’ ye creative ideas below! If ye’re another blogger that has written ’bout scurvy pirate-themed ideas, feel free to link below!