Normal education apps are fairly similar. They have a subject, they tell you about it and they might have some sort of games or quiz attached. Mingoville Storytelling is different, though. Instead of having a specific goal, like teaching children how to add or spell, the developer Savivo has chosen a more unorthodox approach. They call it “whole language learning”, where the emphasis lies on learning to read by writing.
2 in 1 – Reading and Listening Stories
First the child listens and tries to read the stories narrated by the Mingoville flamingo characters. The stories range from everyday happenings, like the tale of the red sock in the washing machine, to the more adventurous, like the one where the flamingo Jonathan is attacked by a shark. Narrated by American and British voice actors, the stories are quite fun and will surely appeal to both boys and girls. The accompanying pictures are drawn in a simple, cartoony and charming style. These pictures are as important to the stories as the spoken words. They all contain elements that directly tie into the stories, and this becomes important in the next section of the app.
Becoming a Storyteller
When the child has been told a story, it is asked to retell the story. The pictures are the same, but there is no narrator or written text. Instead, the child has to rewrite the story itself, using only the pictures as a guide. This activity will challenge the memory of the child, not to mention its vocabulary and writing abilities. The pictures with their clear focus on important elements do however make this a manageable task.
Creating Your Own Stories
The last part of the app, and probably the one that will see most use, is the ability to create a new and unique story. Using any of the unlocked 160 pictures, the child can write a story using their own words. The app even has the ability to record spoken words, so if the child wants to supplement the story with dialogue, sound effects or just supplementary narration, it can do that. When a story is finished, it can be shared using mail or auto-generated “Book codes”. To children, this aspect of the app is very appealing, as they can suddenly share their creations with parents, grandparents and friends in an easy and simple way.
If Savivo wanted children to learn to both write and read better by doing it, they have succeeded. It isn’t hard to get children to sit down and begin the work of making up their own stories, and it speaks to reason that the more they do it, the better the end result will be.
- 160 descriptive pictures
- 10 different stories
- Share stories using mail or Book codes
- Encourage reading through writing
- Supports voice recording, for even more incredible tales