Title: Forever Growing Garden Bonus Pack
Source: Media Vision (a C-Wave product)
Playing Time: "Look and Listen" component
approx. 8-10 minutes. Other components ("Read with Me," "Think About
the Story," and "You Read") are paced according to the user's own speed
Date: No date provided.
Cost: $9.95 http://www.cdaccess.com/html/quick/forever4pj.htm
Number of Players: "Look and Listen" component
of this CD can be used by one to four users. However, all other
should be used by one player only, as every individual varies in speed
and reading ability. This CD deals more with individual needs.
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Computer
with a CD Rom drive, audio board, operating system and drivers.
Subject Area: Language Arts/English and
some Science. For lower elementary levels (K through 3.)
Objectives: The three stories included
with this CD ("Always Arthur," "Buster's First Thunderstorm," and "Who
Wants Arthur?") deal with oral language development, guided reading/listening,
vocabulary recognition, reading comprehension, attainment of fluency and
independent reading. "Forever Growing Garden" deals with very little
reading material. The purpose of this particular activity encourages
children to be creative by allowing them to create their own gardens and
then watching the growing process of the seeds/bulbs.
Brief Description: This CD is a four in
one bonus pack which was created to help increase a child's reading
The four choices, "Look and Listen," "Read with Me," "Think About the Story"
and "You Read" allows the user the choice of either listening to a narrator
tell the story, to read the story with the help of the narrator, to read
the story alone or to engage in reading comprehension activities.
"The Forever Growing Garden" encourages the creative side of the reader
by allowing the user to create gardens in different settings such as at
a castle, at home or on a farm. The user then gets to watch his/her
creation come to life as the planted seeds/bulbs grow and create a beautiful
garden which needs watering and care.
Entry Capabilities Required: Basic reading
skills. Basic knowledge of computer use (i.e. keyboard, mouse, point
and click...) Basic listening skills.
Relevance to objectives: 3.5 Although
this CD does successfully allow for the development of oral language, word
recognition, reading comprehension and independent reading, a child needs
guidance from an instructor so as not to be misdirected. Also, more
variety is needed to keep a child interested and attentive, not just one
CD with the same three stories.
Unfortunately, this CD may quickly loose its appeal because children will
get bored of the same stories and repetitive drilling activities.
This CD must not be used as a teaching tool for the simple reason that
teaching children how to read should not be left to a machine. Children
definitely need more individual attention and one on one when learning
basic reading instructions. One would not be able to rely on this
CD alone in order to educate a child in the subject of english and/or language
Provides practice of relevant skills:
4 This CD does allow the user to practice relevant skills such as
reading, recognizing words... through the activities offered. However,
this CD should only be used as a practice device, not as a teaching tool
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 4
For young readers, this CD would certainly keep its user aroused and interested
for it has many nice pictures and is guided by fun cartoon characters
Gooseberry, Blooper the dog, Cedric and Amanda.) As mentioned though,
the novelty will eventually wear off because there is only a choice
of three stories.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 5
Even a user with very little computer experience can use this CD.
The narrator always gives step by step instructions and anything can be
repeated by simply clicking on the picture of the lips (very visual.)
Also, Professor Gooseberry is always on hand to help explain the use of
each button on display.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
Forever Growing Garden Bonus Pack is a very
attractive CD Rom. It is very appealing visually for, like a story
book, it has many large, bright pictures. Unfortunately, the durability
of this CD will probably not last long for young children need different
materials to be continuously stimulated - this CD will probably be used
and then put aside, then used again, then put aside as the novelty wears
off and surfaces again due to the curiosity of young children.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 2 The activities
offered on this CD deal more with reading comprehension. Although
finding the missing word and filling in the blanks are indeed fun, choosing
the correct answers can be done simply by chance/luck. The activities
do not allow for much learning although they are good for giving a child
time to practice skills he/she may already have.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 4
The "Forever Growing Garden" is indeed a realistic and accurate depiction
of what is needed to grow different types of gardens. It lets children
choose seeds/bulbs, dig holes, water and maintain the garden. On
the other hand, the four stories are simply story books on screen.
The pictures do not come to life - they are simply pictures.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
2 The evidence of effectiveness of this particular CD would be very
hard to determine as every child has different abilities, needs, strengths
and weaknesses. Some children may find this CD very easy while others
may find it difficult and may need more assistance. There is no real
way to determine if this CD is effective, but in the very least it encourages
children to read independently which is surely beneficial.
Clear directions for play: 5 The
directions of the CD are very easy to follow and clear. The cartoon
characters are always at hand to help explain things when the user gets
stuck or lost. This CD can be fully operated and understood without
the use of the manual.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
3 Children probably do not learn much
using this CD yet it is still a great tool to help practice and encourage
development of skills such as oral reading, word recognition, reading
The strong points of this CD include its visual attractiveness and the
cartoon characters who are at hand to help a child through the CD without
much need for assistance. It is a wonderful tool for teachers to
offer to their students as a "free time" activity as it is an educational
and fun way to increase reading skills. The three stories available
on this CD offer a great opportunity for students to practice reading,
improve oral language, augment reading comprehension, identify vocabulary
words... It is a fun way for children to use skills already learned
in class at a pace and level which fits the need of any individual
Reviewer: Julie Duchesne
Position: MST Student (elementary education)
Date: March 10, 1999.
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.