Children who struggle with describing items or following directions containing descriptive vocabulary can face serious stumbling blocks in their academic progress. The Virtual Speech Center app Describe with Art was created by a certified speech and language pathologist to help therapists address these issues in preschool and elementary aged children. It can be downloaded for $9.99 on the iTunes app store.
Visiting an Art Gallery
Children and art class tend to meld together well. Describe with Art is built around an art gallery theme and students are welcomed by a jaunty artist with a friendly smile, an easel and a colorful palette of paints. As they make progress, children earn their own palettes for correct responses. When they accumulate enough points, they can paint the own picture.
- Describing is a common objective in academics. For instance, younger students are typically asked to describe objects and experiences, while older children are charged with describing procedures, characters or story lines.
- In addition, students need to consistently follow directions containing multiple descriptors. Youngsters with language disorders or delays may have difficulty formulating accurate descriptions or keeping up with multi-step directions. For instance, they may be able to name an object but struggle to elaborate on it or effectively organize their thought process.
- Describe with Art addresses this two-pronged challenge. Its purpose is to teach children how to describe the things around them and help them follow directions with descriptors in a fun and motivating way.
“You Definitely Get Your Money’s Worth”
Describe with Art is simple to navigate and enables users to:
- Enter multiple students.
- Change settings and use randomization.
- Select auto-scoring.
- Track correct and incorrect responses.
- Email results.
Also featured are excellent graphics and animation and professional voiceovers.
The app includes:
- Receptive tasks: Children learn to follow directions using multiple sets with pre-recorded instructions. Students also can give direction to others using a descriptive vocabulary with the audio feature turned off.
- Expressive tasks: Youngsters are asked to describe people, animals, objects, food, clothes, places and transportation. A cueing system guides them along: They can use up to five questions or prompts to help them determine what to say.
Among the “pros” of Describe with Art, as noted by therapists who tried it out and reviewed it, were the use of photographs, which were described as “more easily relatable than drawings or symbols” and the app’s built-in reinforcement and data collection features.
“Describe with Art is a great app for targeting understanding and using descriptions, building descriptive vocabulary, and following directions,” said one expert. “You could also use this app to target articulation/voice/fluency carryover, syntax/grammar and WH questions. You definitely get your money’s worth with this app … It has proven to be both engaging and motivating for my students!”
For additional resources, tools and direction to advance your school-based therapy career, read our related posts or contact the team at Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services today.