“You’re The Story Teller: The Surprise” App!


From Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory
Development and the makers of Fun with Directions App, they now bring us an app
that works on vocabulary, narrative skills, sentence structure, recalling and
expressing sequences, questioning and reasoning.  For only $5.99 you can address all those
goals using one app!!   With cute
animations and easy to use, this app should definitely be one to look into purchasing
for your speech and language students.
Hamaguchi was generous to provide me with a code so I can try it out and
review it for all of you.  But the ideas
and opinions are all mine!


The app is broken in to chapters.  For each chapter, the student is shown an
animated scene.  They are provided with
space to take notes (or you to provide cues for them).


They are provided key vocabulary words which they should try
and incorporate into their stories.  The
vocabulary varies in complexity and familiarity.  I definitely recommend reviewing all
vocabulary ahead of time.  See below for
ideas on how to do so!


You can record their stories and play it back along with the
scene.  I used my story telling rope to
remind students of what should be included in their stories.  Prompts I provided included: “Who is
that?”  “Does he have a name?”  “What is he doing?”  “Tell me why.”  “All stories and parts of stories should have
a beginning, middle, and an end.”  It was
very interesting to see how difficult it was for my students to provide a
concise, meaningful story using the animations.
They wanted to stray away and tell me what they wanted to tell versus
what they were watching.  My students
benefited when I played the animation once, let them brainstorm individually or
as a group using the story telling rope, and then let them record their
stories.  We had to review the sequence
of events in the animation provided to help them recall and develop their


After we watched, discussed, planned, and recorded each
chapter, we clicked the questions tab on the bottom to work on our questioning
and reasoning skills.  These questions
encourage making predictions, drawing conclusions, inferring, and discussing
cause and effects.  It was a great way to
review all these skills and strategies at the end of the school year!  This feature is also great when you have a
group of students with mixed goals.  If
you have a student with articulation goals, you can encourage them to tell a
story using their target sounds (name of characters, places, dialogue,
etc.).  If you have a student working on
auditory memory and comprehension, they could listen as their peers tell a
story and they will be responsible for taking notes on a graphic organizer
(such as the one from the story telling rope activity) and answering questions
based on what they heard.  If you have
students working on understanding sequences, it is their responsibility to
retell the events in order before deciding on the story to narrate.  If you have students working on syntax goals,
you can encourage them to tell the story in the past, present, or future
tense!  If you click on the “info”
button, you can get lesson ideas as well which are provided by the app
developers.  You can input users and
email/print from the app as well!

You can
visit their website to learn more about this app and others they have developed
for speech-language pathologists.  www.hamaguchiapps.com

One area I find my
students struggle most with is vocabulary.
They may recognize a word but have a difficult time providing
definitions or using them independently.
I decided to create materials to go along with the vocabulary provided
in this app.  I reviewed these vocabulary
terms prior to using the app.  I
introduced by doing a KWL chart (which do you know, want to know, need to
learn).  For the words unknown, I
introduced with a picture and simplified definition.  We drilled, play memory games, hangman, Pictionary,
and practiced using independently.  I
like to encourage my students: say it in your own words, write in a sentence,
and draw me a picture.  I have created a
simple worksheet to encourage this strategy to help comprehend and recall new
vocabulary.  You can cut the worksheet in
half to use for one term only or make multiple copies into a packet to review
several terms at once.  I find the more
repetition and variety of ways to present and review the same words, the better
the carryover and retention of the skill.  Grab the vocabulary picture cards here! and here!!

I have
provided the words and picture definitions to help introduce and review the
vocabulary from the app that may be unfamiliar to your students.  I hope you find it useful and helpful!  Grab it here!


forget your handy dandy strategies for teaching telling narratives:
Preparatory sets: review title, pictures, and vocabulary before
presenting a story
Model how it’s done!  “Once upon a time there was a little boy
named _____.”  Provide sentence strips as
a guide.
Cue for a problem and solution, cause/effect, grammatical
structures, etc.
Reminder to be aware of the listener’s needs in order to
understand and follow the story: what information must be shared, what
important to provide, what can be left out.
Make sure students have mastered story retelling before they
generate their own stories.
Create discussion webs to generate vocabulary lists related to
the topic or main idea of each scene.
other strategies do you find useful when teaching story telling?!  Have you tried this app yet!?  Share your thoughts and opinions!