Sight Words Hangman
by Marcel Widarto
What kind of kid friendly games can you play with just a piece of paper and a pencil? Does hangman come to top on that list? The game of hangman has recently had a makeover for your mobile device. From the developer, Marcel Widarto, Sight Words Hangman can be played on all Apple devices running iOS 4.2 or later and can also be viewed on an Android phone as well. The traditional way of playing hangman which requires you to choose individual letters in order to reveal a hidden word is now even more applicable to your early elementary child or student. Whether you are traveling in the car, waiting at a restaurant, hanging out at home or school, Sight Words Hangman incorporates meaningful connections to words for children ages 5-7. Without the use of sounding out words letter by letter, developers have indicated on their site that through the use of Sight Words Hangman, children will be engaged and learning as they develop their vocabulary, spelling and reading levels.
Sight Words Hangman is a very clean and easy to manipulate educational app. This application provides users the normal paper and pencil activity feel as they have incorporated a yellow lined notebook paper background, but now the only thing your child requires is just their ears and a fingertip. For a minimal fee of .99¢, your student or child will have access to 290 of the most commonly used English language words. Each list contains 10 unique words. Of those 29 lists, 25 of them are based on the Dolch Sight Words List that children should be familiar with at the end of certain grade levels. In addition, there are 4 bonus word packs that are holiday based: Valentine, Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Upon entering, users will see two large buttons: the name of a word list and a play button. If the word list that is currently selected needs to be changed, simply tap that button and select a new list, theme or choose a random list. A note to the developer – might it be possible to categorize the sight word lists based on a reading or even age level. Having this categorization would support both parents and educators in a variety of academic ways. In addition, Applicable2U wonders if in a future update, will the option of a reporting or tracking system be put into place.
Once a word list has been chosen, it is now time to play. The gaming screen has the “now” empty wooden structure at the top of the screen, a scoring calculator, four possible choices and a repeat button. Upon entering a professional recorded voice over will indicate the sight word that is to be tapped. If that word is not understood or missed, simply tap the repeat button. Although developers have included colorful and comical graphics, the object of the game is to not see the hangman. Happily, young players are not timed, so they can easily read and review each of the four choices before making a selection. If an incorrect sight word is tapped, an item (string, head, body, hands or feet) are added to the wooden structure. From the multiple choice list, incorrect words are faded out and an additional turn is given until the correct answer is chosen. Be careful not to make too many mistakes, or the game will be over very quickly. If at the end of the 10 words within the list is successfully completed, users have the option to try the list again or to move on to the next word list. An additional note to developers – might it be possible if the replay option is chosen, can the 10 words that are in that list be in a different order from their experience prior. Applicable2U wonders whether they will soon realize the similar order and now the skill is just memorization rather than true comprehension of those difficult sight words.
Overall, Applicable2U likes the playful approach that Marcel Widarto has taken to teach early elementary children their sight words. Who knew that a personal connection game that all children are familiar with could be turned academically appropriate for your mobile device. If you would like to learn more about Marcel Widarto, please visit their website here. To begin downloading kid-tested, parent approved educational app, Sight Words Hangman, to your iTunes library today simply click here.