Paulette Bourgeois, creator of Franklin the Turtle, introduces the application via a video. She discusses fingerplays and what children can learn from them literacy-wise. She states that these promote learning vocabulary, patterns, rhymes, math, and concepts. Paulette shows a fingerplay that she developed to go along with Franklin. You can skip this intro by pressing the "Skip Intro" button. You can access it latter via Paulette Bourgeois' information page.
After viewing or skipping the intro, you will be brought to the "About" page of the application. Here, you will find information about the developers and contributors to the application. Press on one of the top four buttons to learn about Mulberry Media (visit their website, follow them on social media, view credits, or contact), Kathy Reid Naiman (follow on social media, purchase cds, and learn about her songs/fingerplays), Paulette Bourgeois (visit her website, view the intro, or learn about her), or First Three Years (visit their website, order their cd, and learn more about their organization).
Tap on the arrow on the left hand side of the page to view another menu which includes instructional videos, demo videos, the ability to unlock more content, and the ability to visit Mulberry FingerPlays on social media. Pressing the "Instruction" or "Demo" button will display five different songs:
- Five Little Monkeys
- Eensy Weensy Spider
- Here is the Church
- Where is Thumkin?
The difference between the instructional videos and demo videos is that the instructional videos show Kathy Reid Naiman in front of a white screen performing the fingerplay and in the demo she is shown performing the fingerplay with a group of children while they follow along. You can switch between the instructional and demo videos by pressing "I" or "D" as well. Pressing on a song name will cause a video to download (only once per video) and play. Each video has a short description of the video. Press the arrow to move between the videos. Press the "ABC" button to view the words to the fingerplay. The shopping cart allows the user to download more content. Finally, to return to the list of songs, press the squiggly arrow button.
To purchase additional content, up to 20 more videos, a user must press the "Unlock More" button or shopping cart button. This is locked to have a user press and hold the button for three seconds so that children do not accidentally press it.
What I Like About This Application
- Fingerplays are a part of many classrooms, but it is great to have this application to teach more educators and parents at home how to use these to enhance literacy skills.
- I like how there are two different types of videos. The instructional videos are great for those learning the song/fingerplay as educators or for children who need to view the video without distractors in the background.
- I love that you can get up to 20 more videos within the app for more application play!
- The instructional and demo videos are consistent with the same background and group of children.
- I would love to see more fingerplays in the future! Some ideas that I would like to see are 5 Little Ducks, We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and more!
- The application is a bit difficult for children to navigate on their own. The app is more oriented for adults, but it would be nice for children to have a way to watch the videos on their own without so many pages to switch between. Maybe just the demo videos in a child mode would make this easier to access! It might be great if the lyrics appeared along with videos as well so children learning to read can follow along!
- RtI/Phonological Awareness - Many of the songs include rhymes in them which are great for early literacy skills!
- Articulation/Voice/Fluency - Have children sing along/state the words along with the fingerplays using appropriate speech sounds/vocal strategies/fluency strategies.
- Expressive Language - When children are following along with the fingerplays, make sure that they are using complete sentences. Discuss each part of the sentences used in the fingerplay.
- Receptive Language - There are multiple concepts and vocabulary in each fingerplay. For example, in the Eensy Weensy Spider, different size words are used including eensy weensy, itsy bitsy, and great big. In addition, spatial concepts/prepositions are used such as "up", "down", and "out". The words of the song, rhymes, and movements help children learn and recall vocabulary.
- Sequencing - Have children place the parts of the fingerplay in order. For instance, in the Eensy Weensy Spider, the spider goes up the water spout first, then rain falls and washes the spider out, next the sun comes out and dries up the rain, and in the end the spider tries again.
- Pragmatics - Following along with a song in a group requires joint attention, following directions, repeating information, sitting in a group, and more!
- WH Questions - Ask children questions about the fingerplay. For example, you can ask what the spider climbed in the song the Eensy Weensy Spider.
Mulberry FingerPlays is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad for free with additional content available through in-app purchase for $1.99!
Consonantly Speaking was given a code to giveaway with this review. No other form of compensation was given.
Come back soon for a giveaway of this application!