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Britannica Kids: Snakes
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).
Editor's Note: Britannica Kids: Snakes is no longer available.
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.