The main page of each application shows the title and cover of the book. You can turn on and off the background music by pressing the microphone at the top of the application. Press the "Start the Adventure" to begin reading the story.
Press the "Menu" button to adjust the text size, choose a language (for both narration and text), view information about the author/illustrator, and send feedback to the developer.
After you press "Start the Adventure", a narrator will read the application and the words will be highlighted as they are read. Press the pause button at the top of the application to pause the narration and automatic movement between pages. Press on the screen to hear different sounds and see various animations. If you press, hold, and move your finger around, the illustration will move in 3D! To move between pages if you have turned the narration off, press the arrow keys on either side of the page.
Luca Lashes is a young boy who is experiencing many new events for the first time such as visiting the dentist, getting his haircut, and taking his first swimming lessons. At first, Luca is anxious, but he blinks his magical eyelashes twice, and his anxiety is alleviated. His parents also teach him about what he will do at each appointment prior to arriving to help alleviate anxiety as well.
Each book application deals with a different subject:
- Luca Lashes: The Brown Eyed Boy With the Magic Eyelashes - an introduction to the character Luca Lashes, especially his magic eyelashes; discusses what Luca does when he is scared/anxious (blinks twice)
- Luca Lashes Learns to Brush His Teeth - brushing his teeth on his own; learning that bristles and floss are not painful to use; learning the steps to brush his teeth
- Luca Lashes and His First Trip to the Dentist - first trip to the dentist; learning about the different tools used at the dentist; learning the routine at the dentist's office; talks about future check-ups
- Luca Lashes and His First Haircut - learning about why it is important to get your hair cut; learning about different tools used for cutting hair
- Luca Lashes Has His First Swimming Lesson - discusses what to bring to the pool for a swimming lesson; discusses how the water will feel; discusses pool and swimming safety; talks about how long a swimming lesson is; discusses how children are accompanied by an adult/parent for their first swimming lessons; talks about a few key features of swimming (holding your breath underwater, kicking, and moving your arms)
Suggestions for Parents
At the end of each application, there are suggestions for parents. Generally, these have to do with healthy suggestions, ways to reduce anxiety, activities, and more.
There are coloring sheets available on the Luca Lashes website to download and print for students to use.
The Luca Lashes series is also available in printed books! If you would rather order printed books of these applications, you can do so on the Luca Lashes website.
What I Like About These Applications:
- These applications are similar to social stories in the fact that they help alleviate anxiety and prepare children for common events.
- Each application goes through the steps of visiting a new place, vocabulary related to each place, as well as tools used. The applications are interactive, so children can touch the different tools or images to hear environmental sounds and see animations.
- The idea of Luca Lashes taking time to blink twice is great for talking to students about different strategies they can use to alleviate anxiety.
- Each application shows past experiences that Luca Lashes was brave during and shows him visualizing what he did which is another helpful strategy to reduce a child's anxiety.
- From time to time the transition between pages is a bit harsh. I would like to see a little bit more time between pages.
- I would love to have the narrator and automatic page turning turned on/off in the settings menu.
- Articulation/Voice/Fluency - Have students read the stories without the narrator using their best speech sounds and fluency/vocal strategies.
- Receptive Language - Read through the application and learn vocabulary related to various places such as tools used at the dentist's office, tools used to cut hair, steps to learn how to swim, and more. Children can also learn about the people in the community and their jobs.
- Expressive Language - Have students write a story about when they first visited the dentist, hair stylist, or other a different business. Have them write about what they expected to happen and what really happened.
- Inferences - Have students guess how Luca will feel after visiting the dentist, swimming lesson, or hair salon.
- Social Skills - These books are similar to social stories in the fact that they are meant to alleviate anxiety, discuss topics and steps of various tasks that will occur at an appointment, and vocabulary related to the appointments. You can read the stories and then create a more personalized social story or visual schedule if you would like.
Luca Lashes: The Brown Eyed Boy With Magic Lashes is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and Nook for free! The other Luca Lashes applications are available for the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and Nook for $1.99!
Consonantly Speaking was given a copy of the Luca Lashes applications to give away with this review. No other form of compensation was given.
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