Shake-N-Tell is an interactive storytelling app that encourages parents and children to be the storytellers. Basic story structures including characters, plot and actions are given to the storyteller. The storyteller then tells the story out loud by adding description, expression and dialogue. To get to the next story element, simply shake your device. If you need to finish a story, you can select to end the story quickly. And, if you don’t like the story element that pops up, you can simply shake it again for another story component. The basic app is free, and additional story packs can be purchased. In addition, stories can be recorded and shared via youtube.
What Emily Liked
There is so much to like about Shake-N-Tell. First, and foremost, it is a silly and fun app that can be used over and over again with success. Even the same story beginning can be a completely new story when told from a different storyteller. Also, the stories can be very silly. Both my 4 and 7 year old laugh a lot when we tell stories with Shake-n-Tell. While some of the story characters and plotlines connect to known stories (e.g. we told a princess story that started a bit like Brave, but went in a very different direction!).
My absolute favorite part of this app is that it is truly interactive. Unlike many apps that claim to be interactive, this app combines oral storytelling with screen supports while also encouraging parents and children to tell stories together. This type of technology builds important language skills as well as strengthening family unity.
As an educator, I appreciate that this app is teaching children writing skills such as adding details and dialogue. Doing this orally helps children understand the concept before applying it to their writing. Often, these skills are not taught in classrooms until children have mastered many other elements of writing. Classroom teachers could use this app to show the power of details and dialogue to children who do not yet have strong writing skills. I have shown this app to elementary teachers, and they have been excited about trying it out in the classroom this year.
Finally, make sure to check out the Shake-N-Tell website. The app developer, Rick Polito, has a list of suggestions that I found to be very useful with regards to using the app to create excellent stories.
There are a few things that would make navigating this app a bit easier. First, my daughter frequently requested specific stories, yet we couldn’t figure out how to find a specific character. If there was the ability to cycle back through all of the titles before selecting, that would be helpful. Second, If pictures were placed next to pack names, this would make access easier for younger children to know the choice (i.e. picture of ghost or castle next to ghost pack or princesss pack).
This is a must-have app for every family. Building on digital technology, Shake-N-tell supports oral storytelling and family bonding.
To learn more about this app, you can check the complete features of Shake-N-Tell or Download it below.
Developer provided promo codes to facilitate the review.