Common Sense Review
Updated April 2015

Grammar Wonderland (Elementary)

Games bring some fun to customizable grammar practice
Common Sense Rating 3
  • The space bear must eat the correct answer.
  • Fly the plane into the correct answers.
  • Fling the correct bucket of water onto the camel's back.
  • Brief instructions explain how to play each game.
  • Students can practice specific skills or follow a more random path.
Choose from nouns, verbs, and adjectives plus four challenge levels.
No in-app instructions or teacher reports make this one just for practice.
Bottom Line
Three games may not engage students for the full curriculum but are a fun way to practice occasionally.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Three different arcade-style games are a fun way to test kids on grammar concepts, but kids may tire of the same three games for every concept.

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

Highly customizable practice section lets kids work on nouns, verbs, or adjectives at an easy, medium, hard, or expert level. Kids can even focus on a specific concept, like proper nouns or demonstrative adjectives and pronouns.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2

Multiple students can have accounts on a device, tracking their progression through the map of skills. No reports for teachers, though.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

With all the customization options -- from concepts to skill level -- Grammar Wonderland makes differentiation within the classroom easy. Most of the students can use the same app for grammar practice, working at their level on the concepts they need to review. Since there are no teacher reports or in-app help or instruction, teachers will need to introduce the concepts and have students track their scores themselves or use the app just for practice and choose another tool for assessment. Also, keep in mind that playing the games isn't always easy or intuitive: The games require fast reading and quick motor control, so incorrect answers may say more about the interface's limitations than about whether or not kids grasp the concept at hand.

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What's It Like?

After setting up an account with a first name and last initial, students choose to practice skills or explore worlds. Both options feature the same games: navigating an airplane to touch the correct clouds while avoiding obstacles and wrong answers; feeding a polar bear in space the right food packets; or tossing the right water buckets at a camel in a desert. When practicing skills, students choose between easy, medium, hard, or expert levels, and they select nouns, verbs, or adjectives as a skill. They can then choose a specific game from the three or a specific concept -- like possessive nouns or subject-verb agreement. The Explore Worlds section features a map that students progress through by successfully completing the game, earning one, two, or three stars based on their score. The games and skills covered are more random in the explore worlds mode, with players advancing through several stops in four different worlds.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Grammar Wonderland packs quite a bit of grammar content into its games, covering common, proper, concrete, abstract, singular, plural, and possessive nouns; adjectives, pronouns, verbs, verb phrases, verb tenses, irregular and progressive verbs, linking verbs, indirect objects, and subject-verb agreement. Each game handles incorrect answers differently -- the camel game offers only two options, so the correct answer is obvious; the airplane game penalizes incorrect answers by slowing the plane down a bit; and in the bear-feeding game, the bear gets a sick, sad look when fed the wrong answer. Kids do have to focus on several unrelated skills to play successfully, like reading the question, moving the controls correctly, and choosing the answer. The games move pretty quickly, so all of that can be distracting for kids, making the game frustrating. Overall, this is an amusing tool to bring some extra grammar practice to your classroom.

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