Junganew: A Herd of Sounds “S” by Junganew LLC, brings a magical world in which to play and practice sounding out that pesky /s/. With its beautiful watercolor graphics, original music, and powerful therapeutic strategies, kids will soon be mastering their articulation goals. Junganew promises this to be the first in a series of apps, with articulation in mind. In the land of Junganew, the characters, their habitats, and their activities drive the lesson plan for sound production. Miss Snake, and her students, Theo the tree frog, Sal A. Mander, Miss Buzz the bee, and Skeeter Skunk (to name a few) guide you through the land all the while listening and imitating the letter /S/. Sounds are learned in not only first, middle and last positions but also in learning to blend /s/ with other sounds. Eight activities, along with 5 interactive models for mirror play compose the land of /s/. I love how carefully this game was thought out, covering all the details for skill acquisition by presenting activities in a finely tuned sequential manner. It is clear that the developers know how to engage children and are passionate about teaching. But enough talk about the app, let me take you there!
On opening, we begin our travels to Theo the tree frog’s school, where his teacher, Miss Snake, gives the assignment of bringing in something to represent the letter “S” for Show and Tell. In Miss Snake’s classroom, kids get plenty of practice being able to isolate the /S/ sound. The given instructions by Miss Snake in a song during the mirror play are invaluable reminders as they come from a friend at the student’s level and not necessarily from the adult sitting next to them. SSSneaky sssneaky Junganew LLC, in not only recording kids with a playback feature so they can see themselves formulating sounds, but also getting them invested in the activities by making them a part of this beautiful world! In the game Seashells by the Seashore with Theo’s friend Sal A. Mander, kids sort shells with the sound of /s/ from the often substituted /th/. It is not as easy as you think, but really hones in on listening and discrimination skills which ultimately lead to better phonemic awareness and overall auditory processing.
“S” in the first place is in a hide and seek game, where the goal is to help Sal find Theo. SSSlowly ssslowly the /s/ sound expands to how the /s/ is presented in words, and beginning phonological awareness emerges. Next up is a visit to Rissy Rosie at Cocoon Coliseum to learn /s/ in the middle placement. Theo thinks about a costume for his show and tell project while helping Rosie to accessorize her outfits. Tracing forms with both hands is an alerting activity that further emphasizes /s/ in the middle position.
Ferris the monkey, teaches /s/ at the end of a word through the arcade game “Balloon Pops” using rhyming words, and Mother Gosling prompts all in the game “Guess the Goose”. Mirror play continues throughout these 5 activities and helps bring an element of familiarity and helps kids integrate and expand on what they are learning in a real and meaningful manner. It also teaches kids to take turns by waiting, listening, and following someone else’s lead. A lot of kids have difficulty letting go and not being in control, but Junganew has created a safe world to practice this skill.
The blender game is loads of fun, and Theo helps learn about blending sounds by whipping up treats in the blender. Making Blender Cookies in the shapes of a skunk are just plain fun for learning to combine the /s/ with other sounds. Once you’ve mixed the chips, cookies are made to feed Theo. Blender Cupcakes teach kids how to sound out plurals by adding matching toppings to the treats.
In the café, watch the Theo refine his awareness of sounds by jamming tunes with the band the Vocal Chords. This is such a cool addition, and it gives Theo just the right spark in creating his piece for show and tell. Watching Theo’s final project is a must see, and kid’s will be eager to jam along.
This is one well-crafted app, and one that will surely enhance any Speech practice or classroom. Used for pre-reading and listening skills, it will quickly become a favorite among kids. Highly Recommended – Check it out on either iPad or Android devices!
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play everyday; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.