Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2012
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Britannica Kids: Snakes

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Slither into the world of snakes with fact-filled resource

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Grades
2-5 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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4 images

Pros: Magnificent images of snakes make them more fascinating than scary.

Cons: Online store is accessible within the app.

Bottom Line: Good source of snake information presented in video, text, and interactivity.

Science and nature lessons often benefit from visuals like bright photos and videos, especially those related to animals that are usually too dangerous or unpredictable to bring into the classroom. This app has excellent visuals, as well as interactive elements like puzzles and quizzes that help kids repeatedly reflect on what they've read and seen for better retention. Teachers may want to present some of the videos or pictures just to spark interest at the beginning of a lesson on snakes or camouflage in nature or predator-prey behavior. Or, a teacher may want to assign one snake per student or small group to research and present a report. This can also be a good supplemental app for lessons on reptiles, animal habitats, and personal safety related to avoiding venomous snakes (relevant only in certain areas, of course).

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From the most dangerous mamba to the common garter snake, Britannica Kids: Snakes is a science app that's packed full of videos and photos, articles, games, and quizzes about snakes. Kids can learn amazing details about almost 20 snakes. Kids can also learn potentially life-saving information about identifying venomous snakes. From the main page, kids choose a topic from an options wheel at the bottom of the screen, such as snakes and humans, life cycle, food, and more. Then they can read the related articles, watch videos, look on an interactive map, or play games, such as a memory match game. A simple shake of your mobile device scrambles the puzzles; other games use the standard swipe of a finger or a tap to maneuver. Quizzes are timed.

Users can connect with Twitter and Facebook from the app, and you can opt in to location tracking for a maps feature. It would have been helpful if this app warned kids that some videos show snakes eating small animals and can otherwise be a bit scary. Britannica Kids: Snakes helps kids identify types of snakes and understand snake behavior.

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Britannica Kids: Snakes will capture students' attention. It's a fun science and nature app that will especially appeal to kids who aren't squeamish about snakes; those who are may want to avoid some of the more dramatic snake videos. There's a lot to learn here, if kids really want to dig into the info about one type of snake for a report, or they may just want to browse and learn general information and play some games. Kids will learn mostly by watching videos and reading, so they need to have a good command of reading to learn a lot of the information. Other learning occurs when kids play the fun games and look at the maps and images. The information here is accurate and relevant to helping kids gain an overall concept of snakes and their habitats. Quizzes help kids reflect on how much they've learned as well as any misinformation they may need to learn more about to correct. This well-organized app has excellent depth of information and lots of interactive, visual fun.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Kids who loves snakes will happily sink their teeth into Britannica Kids: Snakes as they learn more facts, play games, watch videos, and test their knowledge about these fascinating creatures.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Relevant information about snakes slithers throughout. Nature videos, photos, articles, games, and quizzes give details on popular snakes. Kids can also learn potentially life-saving information about identifying venomous snakes.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Lots of directions are offered for navigating around this app. There are options to connect with Twitter and Facebook from the app, and location tracking for a maps feature extends learning.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Kris E. , Other
Other
4
Great app for kids who want to learn everything about snakes

I think kids can learn a lot from this app. It is easy to navigate, and has multiple spots to learn about snakes. After exploring the app, I think I know pretty much everything there is to know about snakes, including where they live, how they reproduce, what they eat, how they get around, and much more.

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