In SchoolHouse Rock Grammar Rock, kids listen to songs, watch animations, and read highlighted subtitles to learn grammar rules. Like their baby-boomer parents, kids find out about conjunctions by watching and listening to the “Conjunction Junction What’s Your Function” song. To learn about verbs, youngsters watch a little boy at the movie theater, where he sees sliding, gliding, flying and more on the big screen. In another animated song, a little girl explains that nouns are “any person you can know; any place that you can go; any thing that you can know….” Other song videos demonstrate the use of prepositions and pronouns by using silly ants and kangaroos. These 1970s animated spots transfer well to the Leapster format.
After viewing a song animation, kids become contestants in the Grammar Slammer Game, a game show that tests their knowledge of the part of speech just introduced. Players are shown three word choices and asked to select the one that matches the part of speech on which they are being drilled. The game show can be played by one or two players.
The Grammar Slammer is the only game included in this title, and it’s more of a drill than a fun game. Plus, while the songs are clever in how they teach grammar concepts, they last for about 20 minutes, so overall, Grammar Rock doesn’t offer much value for its $25 price tag.
The same criticisms hold true for SchoolHouse Rock America Rock, a second Leapster title with similar format that includes animated songs about American History and government.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.