To read a story and to imagine a story are two completely different things. I’m grateful that both my kids are able to read simple storybooks on their own. But, I was pleasantly surprised when my five-year-old Philip brought back a story he had drawn and written at school based on his own imagination.
His teacher had asked him to draw a picture and tell a story by writing three sentences in cursive. So, he drew a picture of a tent next to a big tree with him sleeping inside the tent. He wrote that one day we had gone on a camping trip on the mountains, and had seen many pine trees and slept inside a tent.
I never expected that he would be able to imagine a storyline like that because we have never been on a camping trip before. At that time, I wished there were an app that can help my kids to practice their imagination and storytelling skills. Fortunately, the team at Imagistory Publishing contacted us about their app: Imagistory: School Edition. It’s a special book app that encourages kids to create and tell stories about what’s happening in series of wordless pictures.
Imagistory: School Edition
When you start the app, you will see a gallery of images. Each image represents a story waiting to be told by you. At the time of this writing, there are six stories that you can re-imagine. Simply select the image of the story that you want to tell.
For every story, you can choose to read it quietly or read it aloud and let the app record your voice. The quiet reading mode is useful if you want to take a look at all the pictures and prepare how you want to tell your story. But, my favorite part — and also the most important — is being able to record your story and save it to listen, view, and share.
When you choose the recording mode, the app will start recording immediately. Whatever you’re saying as you flip the story pages will be recorded accordingly. And if you’re recording it as you tell the story to your kids for the first time like I did, everything that happens — including any discussion you may have with your kids — will be recorded.
The recording automatically stops when you reach the final image of the story. Shortly afterwards, you can listen to the recording. The app will automatically flip the pages at the exact moment where you had flip them during the recording.
Parents Need to Know
The stories that you have recorded will be available inside the app’s gallery. You can choose to render it to a video and save it to the Camera Roll. Once it’s in your Camera Roll, you can share it to anyone via any method you like.
Imagistory is available on the App Store as two separate apps. In addition to the School Edition that we review, there’s a free version with the first two books included for free. If you want to test out the app, I suggest downloading the free app and giving it a try. The School Edition offers a more convenient way for you to get all the stories in a single download. There are no in-app purchases, and you’d get any upcoming stories for free.
The School Edition is created with teachers and parents in mind. It’s designed to be easily distributed to the school’s iPads via Apple’s Volume Purchase Program. Even the ability to save the story as a video is designed to allow the teacher to share the stories with the parents. That way, parents can listen to the stories their children imagined at school.
Imagistory is only available for the iPad. Based on my experience, kids ages 3+ can already use the app. It also works without any internet connection, and does not include any ads or links to social networks.
Things I Like
The stories in Imagistory are illustrated by more than one artists. This motivated kids to appreciate different drawing and coloring styles.
I find the app to be just as fun when used at home as it would be in the classroom. I recorded the stories with two of my sons as I read the story for the first time ever. It is very interesting to see them debate over what they think will happen in the story. They also enjoyed listening to our recording and giggled over their own comments.
By listening to the recordings, I can learn how Philip is different from his younger brother. Each kid is different in their analysis. When the scene has several objects, different objects would attract different kids. Being able to record and analyze the recording is priceless.
Imagistory: School Edition is an excellent way for kids to practice their creative imagination and storytelling skills. Kids ages 3+ can use it to develop their language skills, vocabularies, and understanding of basic story structures. Because there is no text in the images, you can basically tell the stories in any language you like. My kids mix both English and Indonesian when they tell the stories, and I can't wait to try the app in a larger setting with more kids involved at the same time.
Get Imagistory: School Edition on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.