Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ansel & Clair: American Bowling

Ansel & Clair- American Bowl
Ansel & Clair: American Bowling by Cognitive Kids, Inc. (Universal 99 cents- intro price, FREE Lite Version available)  

Another great Ansel and Clair app is out, this time an American history app with a whole new type of game play - arcade meets trivia.    My boys have learned so much from the Ansel and Clair apps, and now it is time for Mom's American history/ government schooling to begin! I should have paid attention more way back when, but I am a language arts type gal. No worries, this will help me catch up to my peers.  This newest app has a different retro cartoon feel with bowling as a reward for correct answers. We just started playing and my 9 year old has already schooled me on several answers, no need for me to tell you which level we were playing!

To play, read the trivia question and pick from one of four answers displayed.  (You can choose from a bank of easy, medium or hard questions)  If you are correct further information to support the answer pops up- press the green check mark when you are ready to dismiss it. Then comes the fun! You get to bowl!  String together three correct answers in a row and you'll earn a power up; as you choose correct answers you also earn new themed bowling balls to add to your collection. The bowling balls have iconic images like The Statue of Liberty, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks- you can click on each one in the bowling ball gallery to learn about what each ball represents.

 If you are wrong the answer will turn red and the correct answer box will turn green- this may be too fast for some- I would like to see a pause feature so this information can be absorbed at a slower pace. One feature I would love to see for more kid solo play is narration. It is a feature in another Ansel and Clair app, Little Green Island, that I really appreciated- my 6 year old needs help from his brother or I to read many of these questions. Not that I mind joining in- this is fun.
There are settings to control background music separately from sound effects too, for when you've heard one too many eagles screeching. A hit with the kids.

Perfect road trip material!

What I love

Educational content with embedded historical media to support trivia questions!

Bowling fun!

Retro cartoon style with a mixture of real images and cartoon style drawings

Family friendly - gated links to App Store for example

Visual Cues to guide user

Scoring- View a percentage total of your responses

Wish List

Narration- this would be helpful for students with dyslexia or vision impairment.  I don't mind acting as narrator, but it would be a useful option. Developer Note: The app is designed and ideal for kids who can read independently. However, younger kids can enjoy the app with an adult.  We are considering the possibility of including a narration option.

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