BeingDifferent is a cute interactive storybook from developer Beemates Media focusing on individual differences and teaching acceptance of everyone. With an engaging story line about a bee named Bee-Different with vertical stripes, young readers will be able to relate to his troubles in the hive.
BeingDifferent focuses on individual differences and how people who are different should be treated. The story follows a young bee named Bee-Different who has vertical stripes and a terrible allergy to pollen. The other bees tease him for walking instead of flying and constantly laugh at him throughout the pages. Friendly bees Bee-Nice and Bee-Kind decide to befriend Bee-Different and learn that his allergy to pollen will actually help the hive in an essential way.
The interactive pages of this story have cute graphics and just enough animation to engage but not distract the reader. Tap on glowing bugs or laughing bees to start short animations or sound effects. Tap around the screen to fly Bee-Different and his friends around. Tap on drops of honey to have them fall off the hive. Each animation fits the story delightfully.
In addition, there are several games that go along with the story. Crab Shapes is a shape matching game where players have to match the shape that a crab digs out of the sand. Baby Bee Wallpaper asks the player to choose a bee and then choose to have the bee play peek-a-boo, suck a pacifier, or wave. Players can take pictures of their baby bee. Create a Scene has many stickers for players to choose and decorate various backgrounds to fit the story. Take a picture of the created scene and save it to your device’s image gallery. There is also a Matching Game with directions, however I was unable to get the cards to show up when I attempted to play.
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This storyline is one that fits in well with young readers and school age children learning about individual differences. It’s also a story that could easily be used in primary classrooms addressing the issue of bullying. The Create a Scene game in the games menu might be a good product based activity for parents or teachers to use to extend the child’s learning. By asking the reader to create a new scene, they could then also make up a story to go along with the scene fitting the story’s theme of acceptance. As a parent, I also liked the detail that the page buttons and menu buttons had to be pressed and held down to use. This means no more “happy clicking” through the pages without actually reading the story.
Overall, this app has nice graphics and a good story line that parents and teachers alike can use to address acceptance, teasing, and individual differences. The extension games were alright, though I wish they had connected with the theme a little better. The animations and sounds were just right to be engaging but not distracting for young readers.
BeingDifferent - Beemates Media is available for download via the iTunes App Store - iPad App
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, a special education teacher, and a technology coach. She is a self proclaimed nerd with a passion for incorporating technology into education and you read her findings at The iLesson Lady
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