Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sock Puppets

Sock Puppets...yes, there is even an app for that!  And it's pretty good. You can get the FREE version, or you can add some upgrades (longer recording time, more puppets, more scenery, etc). I find the 6 or so puppets enough for me. So what therapeutic value could I possibly find in sock puppets?  Conversation, turn taking, asking and answering questions, maintaining topics, and other social language skills. The cool factor in this app lies in the ability to record conversation that is paired with each sock character.  You simply hit record, tap the sock puppet, and talk.  When someone else wants to talk, they tap their puppet. The app then 'scrubs' (with bubbles, ha ha) the recording and changes the voices.  You can then listen and see your conversation.  Kind of a fun and novel way for students to monitor conversation skills:
  • Did I stay on topic? 
  • How many questions did I ask? How many questions did my partner ask?
  • Did I answer my friend's question appropriately?
  • What other questions could I have asked?  
  • What was the other person thinking when I....?
Some other possible goals:
  • Describing: the student could record sentences describing their puppet or partner's puppet
  • Absurdities: students could formulate crazy/absurd sentences and explain why the sentence is not possible
  • Plus many more, be creative!
Note:  A fun tip/trick is in the settings mode, you can alter each puppet's voice so that it is high or low.  I am not entirely sure that this app would work well for articulation practice as the voices/pitches are distorted.  

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