Saturday, October 8, 2016

Little Alchemy- a fun game-based context for describing objects

A key feature that is required for games to be useful in speech and language intervention is an appropriate pace-- meaning a controllable and slow pace. Little Alchemy (free, available for iOS, Android and on the web) will let you pace the game with plenty of room for discussion, which would be the point of using it! The goal in Little Alchemy is to combine objects to make new objects, at first in nature but veering into weather, geographic features, engineering and inventions.

You start with earth, air, fire and water, naturally. Combining fire and water makes steam, earth and water make mud, and so on. In the process, many language targets will arise naturally or with your cueing:
-causals: Water is wet so...
-conditionals: If I combine air and fire...
-descriptors: Lava is melted rock...
-academic vocabulary: solids, liquids and gases, and so on

Little Alchemy is simple and easy to use. It could make a good reinforcement tool at the end of a lesson or serve as an interactive lesson to target language around science and chemistry. The app allows students to sign in and save progress via a google account, and you can also reset progress within the settings to use with a different group or student. So you know what combinations create what, giving you the power to control the discussion a bit more as students play, a walkthrough is available here. Hints are also available in the game.


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