About Verb Quest
Verb Quest is a multi-player multi-level app designed to improve language skills in children. Designed by a certified speech-language pathologist, Verb Quest uses a fun magical theme to engage clients in their learning while teaching verbs. Easily customizable to fit nearly every need, Verb Quest is an engaging activity for students and a great addition to the therapy toolbox.
Created to facilitate an understanding of verbs, Verb Quest has 20 levels ranging from simple present tense to the complex skills of negation, tense shifts, and participles. Each sentence has a corresponding picture to help reinforce the skill and increase engagement. Verb Quest is designed to teach and reinforce the grammar rules of the English language for children and English language learners alike.
Multiple Levels of Difficulty
At least 15 items per level and most levels have far more And some levels have up to 50 items
Verb Quest has 20 levels and each level targets increasing complex verb usage. Level 1 is Simple Present Tense while Level 20 is Gerunds, Infinitives, and Participles.
Moving up the Levels
There are two ways to move up the levels within Verb Quest. The first way is to start at the beginning with Level 1 Simple Present Tense and work through each level. Working from easiest to most difficult ensures a solid understanding of all of the various verb uses.
The second way is to customize the beginning location for each player. To do that, simply tap on the pedestal base on the player icon and select the desired level.
A tap on the “modify” button will bring up the level selection screen. Toggle the desired level on/off. The pedestal level will reflect the new placement.
Single or Multi-Player
Verb Quest is the perfect app for a busy therapist or educator. Not only is it fabulous for working with a single student, it will work with up to five simultaneous players. Each player can work at his or her own level. Data is kept for each individual student as well!
How to Play
When playing Verb Quest, the active player is depicted by an image of the Smarty Ears mascot, Clever the Duck, flying on a broom. With each turn, a new picture is displayed with the phrase or sentence words shown on various pieces of paper. The player will drag the correct verb, to the sentence in a “fill in the blank” type of activity. An on-screen tally helps the student keep track, and when the mascot has moved 10 stones, a pop-up window displays “Congratulations” and offers to continue practicing the same level of sentences, or moving to the next level. When done with the session, a simple tap on the done button brings the user to the reports center.
Adding players in Verb Quest is extremely easy. Simply tap on “Play.” Then “add player” to bring up the entry window. Select an avatar and enter the player’s name. When completed, tap “done” to create the player.
The player’s avatar and name will show up on the players screen. From here, you can select the students that will be playing the session. A double tap on the silhouette on the top right of each avatar allows the individual to edit or delete a player’s information.
Visual and Auditory Reinforcement
Verb Quest provides both auditory and visual reinforcement. Each correct answer results in the player’s icon moving farther up the line of ancient runes and has a celebratory chime that is heard. A wrong answer has a different tone.
The reward audio can be turned off/on in the settings page from the select player page.
If the adult has turned on the “record correct answer” a popup window will display following each correct answer.
After 10 correct answers without the use of hints, a new “Congratulations” window appears. At that time, the adult can determine if the player should continue the present level or move on to the next level.
Verb Quest also includes surprise rewards for the players. The students can “win” various types of wands for mastering levels of skill.
In the report center, a tap on the avatar of the client brings up the choice of report cards or awards and points. The awards and points center is a great way to help clients see the scores and any awards they have won throughout the game.
After a sentence is completed correctly, a player has the opportunity to record the sentence and hear it played back. This gives the player the opportunity to work on their oral language skills as well.
This feature can be turned off/on in the settings area.
Visual Cues with each Question
Visual cues are part of understanding conversation on a daily basis. The University of Alabama cites the following:
“Clear pictures multiply the students’ level of understanding of the material presented, and they should be used to reinforce your message, clarify points, and create excitement.” (University of Alabama School of Medicine, 2005)
Smarty Ears has made sure that each sentence on all the levels of Verb Quest include high quality diverse images.
Verb Quest allows for customization in multiple places.
From the Select Player Screen it is possible to:
– Turn hint on/off
– Turn auto progression on/off
– Display accuracy on the screen
– Read questions aloud
– Increase difficulty level
– Turn on/off audio rewards
– Turn off the record correct answer prompt
– Change presentation of sentences to mix up the levels
Also from the Select Player Screen, it is possible to change the sentences within each level.
Tapping on the “Modify Exercises” button will bring up the sentence screen. Select the desired level to edit. Simply touch the sentence to change the selection to off/on. If a green check mark is by the sentence, that sentence will be included in the exercises.
The customization that occurs in the Select Player screen is for ALL players.
From the Start screen
Tapping on the “Modify” button beneath the player’s icon will bring up the level selection screen. This screen indicates what type of verb is the target of each level and whether or not a particular level has been mastered. A tap on the desired level will toggle it on/off as a starting point for an individual.
The customization that occurs in the Select Player screen is for INDIVIDUAL players.
From the sentence screen
Adjusting settings while playing the app is occasionally necessary. In Verb Quest, each sentence screen contains a Settings tab in the upper left corner.
Tapping on the settings button will create a pop-up window with five options.
Background – basic
Smarty Ears Apps recognizes some students will benefit from reduced visual stimuli; therefore, they have incorporated the ability to remove the background visuals from within the app. To change the background settings, simply touch the settings button in the top left corner of the screen.
The “standard” background is the default setting that provides a visually rich and detailed scene.
The “Basic” background removes the background images and simplifies the user interface. This may be ideal for working with individuals who are easily overstimulated or fixate on visual stimuli.
Verb Quest allows the individual to toggle on/off the ability to use “Hints” to complete the sentence. Using a hint will provide the educator or therapist to discuss the sentence and verb in use while removing the pressure of determining the correct answer. The sentence will be completed automatically and the answer will not be considered in the scoring. If the hint feature is turned off, the hint option is removed from the screen.
Recognizing the need to manipulate the pace of the session and the potential need to discuss the sentences, Smarty Ears has provided a way to control when the next sentence appears on the screen. Toggling off the auto progression will stop the automatic advancement and require a “swipe” on the screen to progress to the next sentence.
If Auto Progression is turned on, the screen will automatically advance with each correct answer.
Displaying Accuracy and Recording Correct Answers
When Display Accuracy is toggled on, a score is kept in the lower left corner of the screen.
When Record Correct Answer is toggled on, the individual is prompted to speak and record the sentence.
The customization that occurs in the Sentence screen is for ALL players.
Recognizing the need to monitor progress over time, Verb Quest compiles data for each individual every session. The individual’s report card can be emailed, printed (with an air ready printer), or exported into the free Therapy Report Center app by tapping on the “Share” button located in the lower right corner of the “report card”.
The report card features two views. The first, “by session” provides a detailed listing of each session, which level(s) were addressed, whether hints were on/off, and a percent accuracy.
The “by level” view provides an accuracy report by each level. If the level has been completed with 80% or greater accuracy, a green “mastered” banner is shown. If the level has been played but not mastered, a yellow “needs practice” banner is displayed. If the level has not been played, it is marked accordingly.
Verb Quest and the Common Core
With the wealth of data available Verb Quest is the perfect companion to help students meet common core requirements in English Language Arts. As early as kindergarten, students are expected to use frequently occurring verbs and nouns1. In first grade, students are expected to use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future2. By grade 5, students are expected to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense as well as use perfect verb tenses3. Each grade incorporates increasingly difficult levels of verbs in their requirements. Understanding, and using, the correct verb tense is critical for academic writing4. Verb Quest is the perfect app to help students gain the knowledge needed for success.
Verb Quest and Response to Intervention
Verb Quest is an idea component for Response to Intervention (RTI) as well. The app, with teacher direction, allows for an intensive teaching of the material. The data collection and report center allow progress monitoring to occur with the touch of a button. Individual customization of difficulty levels and ability for each student to have their own goals, makes it ideal for small group instruction.
Verb Quest has the following features:
20 levels of increasing difficulty and skill levels
Single or Multi-player platform Customizable
Optional “hint” feature
Ability to use the app for screening or teaching
Data Collection over time for each student
Compatibility with Therapy Report Center for easy report writing and progress monitoring
“I love that the levels automatically progress as the kids make progress.” Jenna Raybun, MA, CCC-SLP
“Verb Quest fills a need for an app that targets verb tenses. It is very comprehensive with lots of different areas that can be targeted. The app also allows you to customize the activities to your student. I loved the real pictures they used to pair with the sentences and the option to record the phrase with the correct verb tense is great!” Maureen Wilson, MS, CCC-SLP
“Once you get it right, you have the option of recording yourself repeating the sentence to practice speaking correctly. I LOVE this option.” Lauren LaCour
“The verb is the heart of a sentence – every sentence must have a verb. Recognizing the verb is often the most important step in understanding the meaning of a sentence. Verb Quest is a great app for addressing this skill in great depth.” Nikki Heyman
1, 2, 3Common Core State Standards, (2014), http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/introduction-for-6-12/
4Verb Tenses, (2010), The Writing Center, University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/verb-tenses/