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App review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2013
Kerpoof Tell A Story: Dino Edition

Kerpoof Tell a Story: Dino Edition

Creative dinosaur adventures help kids learn storytelling basics

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Grades
Pre-K–2
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity
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Pros: Lots of options for props and background scenes to encourage creativity.

Cons: More built-in support for emerging readers would be an improvement.

Bottom Line: A fun way for young dinosaur enthusiasts to dig into storytelling.

If introduced to dinosaur enthusiasts at just the right age, Kerpoof Tell a Story: Dino Edition can be a great way learn about storytelling. Be advised, pre-readers will need assistance to use the app without frustration. In a classroom setting, it's probably best used for individual work -- although with some scaffolding, it could also work in a whole-group setting. After you introduce lessons on basic narrative structure, the app could make a fun extension activity.

Read the cute starter stories and model for students how to include their own ideas. Remind kids of different skill levels that they can use different tools to tell their stories: Adding both voice recording and written text are just options, and using pre-loaded images with or without text or recording is also possible. The dinosaur roars and other background sounds may cause distractions, especially in a classroom setting, but you can have kids turn off the sound.

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Editor's Note: Kerpoof Tell a Story: Dino Edition is no longer available.

Kerpoof Tell a Story: Dino Edition is a storytelling app for kids that features cute dinosaurs. With 13 dinosaur characters, 20 backgrounds, and a bevy of cute dinosaur-era nature props, this app is a fun way for kids, especially dinosaur lovers, to dig into storytelling. Created by Disney and the makers of the creative website Kerpoof, the app lets kids tell stories using pre-chosen visual elements. Kids can also add voice recordings and text boxes with their own typed words (with optional spelling autocorrect).

To create a new book, kids choose a background, tap to add dinosaurs and objects to the scene, pinch characters to resize, and then add text or voice. Kids can use the pre-made stories as springboards for their own stories, and then change them to their liking. It's a simple way for young kids to explore their storytelling skills.

Even though Kerpoof Tell a Story: Dino Edition was created as an entertainment app (not educational), kids can learn storytelling skills as they practice writing stories. Kids can also practice using multiple forms of expression; they can narrate the stories using the voice-recording option and assess their own storytelling in playback mode.

This app will likely work best with kids who can already read, but it may also work for emerging readers if someone can read them the pre-paid stories. There's also an audio tutorial that can help kids feel their way through the app and may help them create stories without reading the intro. Beyond narrative storytelling, the pre-written stories on Kerpoof Tell a Story: Dino Edition can be endearing, and offer positive messages about friendship and self-acceptance.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Very engaging for young dinosaur lovers, although possibly frustrating for pre-readers without adult assistance. Kids old enough to read may find the childish look and design a bit young for them.

Pedagogy

Kids can use the existing dinosaur tales as springboards to create stories, or they can write new ones. An option for auto-correction helps weaker spellers, and visuals can be adapted to a kid's imagination of a scene.

Support

A good textual and verbal tutorial helps teach kids how to use all features. Pre-readers may be frustrated that they can't hear existing stories, even though they can record their own.


Common Sense reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

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