Tech Tuesday: This summer, play “Duck Duck Moose” to consider narrative and expository language-building opportunities

One helpful strategy in locating apps useful in language intervention is to know and follow (via their Facebook page, Twitter or Website) the developers. We have previously mentioned developers such as Sago Mini, Toca Boca, Social Skill Builder, and LEGO®.

Duck Duck Moose LogoKhan Academy, the Edtech force known most for distribution of expository video related to curriculum, recently bought the development company Duck Duck Moose, and their terrific apps continue to be offered free of charge.

In this post I’ll talk about a few of them, along with great opportunities to use them as a context or context-builder alongside MindWing’s tools for narrative and expository language development.

Draw and Tell

Designed particularly for young students, Draw and Tell is a tech’d-up (but simple to use) coloring book! Choose your “paper” or a photo from your camera roll and you can draw with crayons, pencils or markers over it and even place “stickers.” Then, record over it to create a movie that is savable to the camera roll and then sharable. The simplicity of the app makes it ideal for use with early grades and in conjunction with Braidy, The Storybraid® and the language maps provided. Braidy could be used to help elicit and expand upon students’ narratives before recording, to “script” a recording with the help of graphic organizers, or as a reinforcing scaffold based on what children produce naturally.

"Huge Wave" Drawing
“I was at the beach on a sunny day when a huge wave came!”

Some ideas for using Draw and Tell:

  • Elicit personal narratives within a particular setting (this is one way photos can be used as backgrounds).
  • Model and use simple drawing tools and stick figures so that students focus on the language rather than the drawing.
  • Use as a motivating context to retell any storybook.
  • Incorporate situational awareness by creating stories relevant to daily events and interactions (which can become Action Sequences or Kick-Offs).

Chatterpix Kids

Chatterbox Sample Image
My icy hike up Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire gave me lots of stories to tell my kids!

Chatterpix Kids has simple features that allow you to “draw a mouth” on any photo and record a message so that the photo “talks.” It therefore is a fun tool to use to have students explain ideas or tell a story in context. Remember that you can save any image to the Photos app using Safari, so given this trick you can create a story or explanation about any topic (or take a contextually relevant photo with the camera itself). Simply choose a photo, tap Next, tap and drag a line to create a “mouth,” and record. Again, your “movie” (30 seconds total) will be exportable and sharable.

Some ideas for using Chatterpix Kids:

  • Use the Character Descriptive Map to develop a description, or any Story Grammar Marker® map to produce a biography.
  • Save an image related to an expository article and use a LIST, SEQUENCE, DESCRIPTION, COMPARE-CONTRAST or other language map to script a student’s expository language about the topic.

Wizard School

Wizard School Sample Image
“A safari might happen in a savannah, which is made of grassland and some watering holes. Animals that live in a savannah include gorillas, tigers, cheetahs and hippos.”

This is a very unique app! Wizard School provides themes (very helpful, as they can be hard to choose in therapy, and studies show that contextually relevant therapy is effective!) and related activities: videos, “challenges” and interactive scene creators. Recent themes in the Wizard’s “Feed” included Africa, Skateboarding, Father’s Day, and Environmental Awareness (with component challenges such as creating a safari scene, decorating a skateboard, and designing a Father’s Day card or packaging for a product). The videos provide a sort of “preloading” of information related to the topic, and as such are ripe for use with Thememaker’s® expository maps.

Many challenges can all be done in the app (some are hands-on) with a simple scene-creating interface allowing you to choose a background and add stickers related to the topic, as well as drawings. The ideas are all in the app, and you are sure to come up with other narrative and expository practice activities!

Duck Duck Moose’s apps are great to “practice” a bit in the summer, or use with the kids in your life if you are on break!


Sean Sweeney
Sean Sweeney

Author

Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, MA, and consults to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie (www.speechtechie.com), looks at technology “through a language lens.” Contact him at sean@speechtechie.com.



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