Picture the Sentence HD by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development ($9.99 at time of review for HD/ iPad; $5.99 iPhone, .99 for Lite version)
Reviewed by A. Taylor, SLPAs
Picture the Sentence is one of five available apps from Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language and Auditory Development. (Picture the Sentence, First Phrases, Fun with Directions, More Fun with Directions, and First Words International) Picture the Sentence helps the user assemble sentences through picture, audio and text cues. The child “pictures” the parts of the sentences through the pairing of images to auditory instruction, or “voice commands”, attaching meaning to the words. There are 3 levels and a variety of settings to help the child eventually form mental pictures on their own without visual support.
Formulate sentences through visual, text and auditory support
Work on pronouns, spatial concepts
Measure comprehension with or without visual cues, text or voice commands to get an accurate picture of comprehension difficulties across modalities
Flexibility and Scaffolding to accommodate various learners
Great for English Language Learners as well
From the Main Screen you can Access Users, Settings, Info, More Apps.
Press the green Play button to start a session without specifying a User (If you saved Profiles, your last User will be selected)
Watch a YouTube demo of Picture The Sentence
Add new Users or view data for existing Users here.
Before using the app, read the Info button for methodology and helpful tips.
This will take you to the App Store to view other Hamaguchi Apps.
Easy (Slow presentation rate, visual icons presented after pause and stay on screen)
In easy mode, a field of three pictures are displayed.
Intermediate (Moderate presentation rate, visual icons flashed)
In Intermediate mode, a field of five pictures are displayed.
Advanced (No visual support, moderate-fast presentation rate)
In Advanced mode, a field of ten pictures are displayed.
(None, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 40 seconds)
The wait time feature is stellar. I have noticed a few reviews in the App Store from people who are not aware this is adjustable. Even if it seems like a long time, you may be surprised, or even shocked at the wait time a child may need to process information. If your child/student is not successful at smaller wait times, see if increasing the wait time will increase his/her success. On the other hand, increasing the wait time may present a challenge for other students.
This game is so sweet and a big hit. Each round of play brings a new animal hiding behind one of the doors. Each animal has its own unique way of saying “You found me!”
After 3 Correct Responses
After 5 Correct Responses
After 10 Correct Responses
No Door Game
Pronouns- he, she, they
Nouns- the boy, the girl, the children
Random (any combination of the examples below)
Subject + Verb ”He is drinking.”
Subject + Verb + Object “The boy is watching TV.”
Subject + Verb +Prepositional Phrase “The boy is sitting under a tree.”
Subject + Verb+ Object + Prepositional Phrase “They are eating carrots under the bed.”
You can turn the following On/Off:
Turn the text during Sentence Presentation On/Off
Using Picture the Sentence
For purposes of demonstration, I chose the following settings: Intermediate Difficulty, 15 second Wait Time, Color Drawings, Door Game After 3 Correct Responses, Mixed Subjects, Random Sentence Types, Progress Tracker/ Scores On, Text Off. (See Settings for more details)
It’s time to play picture the sentence. I will tell you a sentence. Think about what the words mean, and find the matching picture.*
(Sentence is presented) “The children (pause + visual of ‘the children’) are eating (pause + visual of ‘are eating’) carrots (visual of ‘carrots’)”
“Now picture the sentence in your mind and try to remember it.”*
(An hourglass shows on the screen while the child waits)
(An empty picture frame is shown, with five similar pictures shown below it i.e. a girl eating a carrot, children eating carrots, children eating apples, etc…)
( child drags incorrect picture to the picture frame- a clicking sound is made)**
(child drags the correct picture to the picture frame- a clicking sound is made)
(The sentence is voiced: “The children are eating carrots”)
(Praise is given- “great job!” or “nice work” etc.)
* only said when a new session has started.
**You can press the green arrow in the bottom left hand corner of the screen to hear/see the sentence again, but if an incorrect answer was already chosen, a point will not be awarded for a correct answer from this second attempt. However, if the child has not yet chosen a response, the prompt can be given a second time and the response will be scored. Scores are shown in the upper right hand corner. You will have access to these later as well.
Advance to the Next Sentence
To advance to the next sentence, tap the purple New Sentence button in the upper left hand corner. A new sentence will be presented, and the process above will start over.
Pick a Door (Change how often this appears in Settings)
If Pick a Door has been selected in Settings, this will launch after a certain number of responses when you tap the purple New Sentence button after completing a target sentence.
“It’s time to play Pick a Door. Open the doors until you find an animal. Which one will you find?”
(as child touches doors, the sound of doors shutting is heard)
(child touches correct door)
(An animal sound is heard)
“You found me!” says the animal.
Child can choose Play again, in the top right hand corner to search for more animals, or touch the green arrow in the bottom right hand corner to return to a new sentence.
End a Session/View Data
Exit from the picture choice screen at any time by tapping the red End Session button in the top left hand corner. There are several excellent data tracking features available through this button (also accessible by tapping the Users button from the main screen, then the Previous Data tab next to the User’s name). When you hit End Session a screen will come up with detailed data from the session, including the user’s name; date and time of session, and the exact settings you used for that session. This is so wonderful because you can really get a sense of what levels and modalities of learning (text, audio, visual etc.) are problematic and also what best motivates a student.
The sentences used for that session are also displayed and sorted into correct items or missed items, along with a percentage, and number correct out of number attempted. Just like in Hamaguchi Apps’ First Words International HD, you can choose to exit (Done button) erase (Delete Data button) print (Print button) or repeat missed items (Play missed items button). Also at the top of the screen you can choose Email Results, to email yourself or someone else a PDF, or PDF to view a PDF right from within the app.
( I always have one!)
Don’t get me wrong- this is a great therapy tool to have- it is excellent for keeping track of progress and certainly gets the job done, but it still leaves me wanting more of the Hamaguchi magic seen in First Phrases or First Words International- my students and own kids live for cause and effect. Adding varied animations instead of one reward game, The Doors game, which was a hit by the way, would be much more effective at holding my students’ attention. in the long term. Also I would like to add the setting of “After one response” for my most fidgety students who really need an immediate reward after each response, not just every three. I think the kids would really enjoy the sentences “coming to life” after a correct response, instead of just correct response simply being voiced. For example, the sentence “She is eating an apple” could show a girl happily munching on an apple. Another concern I discovered when using Picture The Sentence was accessibility. I would love to have the option to set whether pictures are dragged to the picture frame, or simply tapped. I think an update addressing these concerns would be phenomenal and a big hit with my students.