Trees of Tales is a playful reading and storytelling application that is inspired by Arabic traditional folktales. It was designed to motivate children at Primary school level to read more for pleasure. Trees of Tales was carefully designed to be an engaging, motivating and enjoyable reading experience. One of the main design considerations of Trees of Tales was to ensure that children were actually reading the stories whilst engaging with the interactive features available. To guarantee that children are reading the stories, we used interactivity to assess their comprehension of the different story events. We believe that if children act as directors and are able to control the scene, they will engage in a reading experience that is enjoyable and able to enhance text comprehension.
In Trees of Tales, each page contains a menu of character images, objects or emotions that children can open, navigate through, and drag to the scene. Children are expected to use these images to build the scene according to the text on the screen. When they build the scene correctly, the Next Button turns green indicating that they can move forward in the story. However, children can keep building the scene by adding objects that do not interfere with the storyline of the page. Feedback is provided to children when their choice of action was wrong. For example, when dragged to an incorrect spot the character would not stick on the canvas and would return to its previous position.
Trees of Tales also allowed children to create and produce several unique stories from the existing scene material. This functionality helps to maintain the interest of the young readers even after they have read all the base stories, and ensures there are new reading resources for children throughout the application. There are three main characters in Trees of Tales: Ahmed the Fisherman, Joha, and Awaisha. To create a new story, a child can choose one of the three characters to visit. Once they are on the character’s page, they have the option to read the existing stories of that particular character, or create their own story about the same character.
Trees of Tales is still in the evaluation process. Therefore, if you have any comments or feedback about the design and the content of the app, please do not hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fatma Al Aamri