If you follow my blog, then you know that I think LEGOs are great for speech/language development and for use in therapy. I previously have discussed the LEGO web site and you can find that post here. Today, I want to talk about LEGOs newest app, the LEGO Super Hero Movie Maker.
I have to start by telling you my 9 year old son loves this app. When I showed it to him and asked him if he wanted to make a movie, he ran up to his room and was back in 2 seconds with some LEGO men and a LEGO scene in hand. He was excited before he even knew what he could do with the app. This app has the potential to be an excellent motivator for children in therapy.
So, here is a little about the app.
The LEGO Super Hero Movie Maker is an app for your iPhone that allows you to make stop action movies. The app also works on the iPod Touch and the iPad. Essentially, kids pose their LEGO figures, take a picture with the iPhone (or iPad), move the LEGOS a bit, take another picture, etc. The app is easy to use and allows you to include a title card, add and remove frames, add in a movie sound track (currently 5 soundtracks to choose from) and add a color filter. When you have finished creating your movie, you can share it with your friends.
One of the best features about this app is that it is FREE. Adults have to love a FREE app that kids will love, that is easy to use, and that taps into creativity. There are so many language applications for this app. The most apparent use is for story telling. If you use this app within a group, you can also target team work. Other targets can be following directions, spatial concepts, and sequencing skills. Problem solving skills can be targeted when setting up the figures and taking the photos. My son found he had to be creative and problem solve when he wanted a figure to fly through the air. He couldn't hold the figure up in the air because his hand would be in the photo. He decided to suspend the figure from a small "rope" that came with one of his LEGO sets.
The one con for speech/language use is the lack of a voice recording feature. In other words, you can not record your voice to tell the story or record "dialogue" between the figures. To work around that, you can get creative and add in dialogue by photographing dialog boxes or pieces of paper with dialogue written on them. The fact that you can't add in voice is a great way to challenge the students to discuss non-verbal communication. The students may need to focus in on a figure's face, or try to pose it's body to demonstrate a particular feeling or emotion. I think it would be fun to tie in a lesson on silent movies. You can download old silent movies from silentmovies.org. Silent movies are a great way to discuss body language and non-verbal communication.
The possibilities for story creating are endless with this app. While the app was developed with the LEGO Super Heroes in mind, you can use any LEGO figures and sets to create your movies. You can also use other action figures or figurines.
Here is a great You Tube video tutorial that demonstrates how easy it is to use the app.
Here is our first attempt at a video. It is definitely not as good as the one posted above. Some of our pictures are blurry and we didn't even include a soundtrack. I wanted to share our first, less than perfect attempt because I wanted you to see that it really is easy to just open the app and use it.
Overall, I was please with this free app. It is easy to use and encourages children to develop story lines. It also encourages creativity, team work and problem solving.