TDK Mediactive Movie Book

Article excerpt

From preschool to middle school, the TDK Mediactive Movie Book software package offers a variety of fun, educational and skill-building adventures with recognizable and popular movie characters. Students can practice their reading skills or fine-tune their math skills with characters from An American Tail, Babe, The Land Before Time, Casper and Lost In Space. The characters will appeal to children of all ages and get them involved in these educational activities.

The package includes a variety of games and an informational outline of each one. The three movie book games, An American Tail, Babe and Land Before Time, offer a wonderful way for students to practice reading a familiar story. The students can follow along while the computer highlights the text that is being read aloud, or the students can read it on their own. All of the movie books have fun games the students can play while going through the reading adventures, and also contain exciting video clips from the movies. While all of the movie books are valuable to any classroom's reading program, I found the Babe movie book to be the most fun and interesting to use.

The two early reader software games, Babe and Casper, are similar to the movie books but have a little less reading and a little more of the interactive games. While both pieces of software allowed for different levels of play and fun incentives for the different reading skill games, Babe is the more desirable of the two for classroom use. It has a parents' page that shows the student's progress in each of the different skill areas; the Casper game doesn't offer that. The Casper game also has characters that make crude bodily noises as part of the game. I found those noises to be unnecessary and a drawback to classroom use.

The Babe Preschool Adventure is a wonderful tool for teaching preschoolers or young kindergartners a wide variety of skills, including counting, number, letter and shape matching and citizenship. The student "sells" tickets to a carnival by completing different tasks. When the carnival audience is full, the student is treated to amusing, interactive stunts by the characters. Afterwards, the student gets to present the money made from the ticket sales to a charity of his or her choice. I found that to be a wonderful addition to the game.

The two activity center games, Land Before Time and Casper, along with the Land Before Time Kindergarten Adventure, are entertaining programs that teach basic computer skills and problem solving. …