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Language and Literacy Apps for Very Young and Elementary

Page history last edited by Roxann Nys 7 years, 8 months ago Saved with comment

Literacy Apps with Targets

A GREAT Google spreadsheet created and shared by Auburn Schools in Auborn, ME. The spreadsheet identifying Learning Target alignment for apps they are using with students in their schools. VERY nicely organized resource! 


  • Rory's Story Cubes ($1.99) picture story starters-shake to change the pictures on the die. "The ‘save roll’ feature saves a picture of the cube roll to your Photos to be printed or shared."
  • Feel Electric! (free) by Sesame Street. " Up to four users can track their own moods and keep track of their own scores! This app offers engaging tools that use content and curriculum from The Electric Company to provide opportunities to explore emotional vocabulary and self-expression. Hosted by Electric Company cast members Jessica Ruiz and Danny Rebus, “Feel Electric!” features three fast-paced games, a digital diary to record daily moods, a zany story maker, and more!" 
  • My First Words (free) Flashcards-customizable. Also-check out the full line of Alligator Apps for kids--great learning apps for the very young; many free.  
  • Sight Words List-Learn to Read Flash Cards & Games (free)


"✔ Add your own cards - you can add an unlimited number of new words and record your own voice
✔ Add new lists - you can add and group flash cards into customizable lists which is ideal for learning
✔ 5 unique game modes from easy (2 words only) to challenging (6 words per page)
✔ Fully customizable font size, font color, spelling (upper case, lower case, etc.)
✔ Unique continuous looping feature so you can go through hundreds of flashcards automatically
✔ Customizable speed - you decide how fast to go from flashcard to flashcard
✔ Infant mode - includes ability to select extra large font size and red font color"

  • Sight Words Free (freefree/lite version gives you a taste; full version $1.99) ) A Sight words read and spell app with checkmark and review options. 300 words from Dolch list. Presented by grade level. Read and/or spell the sight words, check off the ones learned to filter out those that have been mastered. Fun graphics and letters that dance when you spell the words correctly.
  • Elmo Loves ABC's  ($4.99 -lite version available) Songs, videos, coloring pages, and games about letters. It has all the letters from A to Z! Elmo even made a new alphabet song for it.
  • Shake a Phrase ($1.99) story starters
  • SparkleFish (free) Think Mad-Libs with audio. Fun! (requires iPod with mic)
  • MomentDiary (free) This is a private diary that makes notes with timestamps. You can take a short note and use it as a private diary, simple business note, diet record, food log, lifetime recording, cash flow record, jotting down what you watch on TV, song titles while you listen to radio...etc. 
  • Storylines (free) Think the old game "Telephone" with visuals! "You begin a StoryLine with a common saying. A friend grows the StoryLine by illustrating that saying. Another friend titles that drawing (without seeing the original saying). Yet another friend illustrates that title, and so on. Save your favorite completed StoryLines in your Gallery, and share them on Facebook." 
  • ScribblePress (free-iPad ONLY, requires iOS 5.0 or better) "a book creation platform that allows kids to imagine, create and share their own stories with great drawing and writing tools. Download your books instantly to your iBooks library! Scribble Press for iPad makes it easy to create an ebook – either write your own or use one of over 50 story templates." You can also order printed copies of books, but they are pricey. If you need a printed copy of the book, consider doing a screen capture (click the on/off button and "home" buttons simultaneously) and you'll have a saved copy of the page in Photos, which you can then email and/or print.
  • Talking Tom and Ben News (free)  "Talking Tom & Ben have become famous TV news anchors! Talk to them and they will repeat what you say in turns. Create & record funny conversations between them. You can also customize the app by uploading your personal videos! Just press the TV button in the app to record a video with the camera or choose one of your existing videos from your Photos gallery. Once your personal video is in the app, make Tom & Ben comment on the video...you can record the conversation and send the video to all of your friends to see." Warning! In-app purchase buttons abound!
  • Book Creator for iPad ($4.99 iPad only) "create your own beautiful iBooks, right on the iPad. Read them in iBooks, send them to your friends, or submit them to the iBookstore. Ideal for children’s picture books, photo books, art books, cook books, manuals, textbooks, and the list goes on"
  • Bluster (Free-for iPad ONLY) Grades 2-4. This word matching game develops vocabulary and word understanding.  Match rhyming words, prefixes and suffixes, synonyms, homophones, adjectives, and more. Play in single mode or collaborate in team mode or switch to versus mode for multiplayer challenges. The multi-touch iPad screen allows both players to play simultaneously.  Bluster includes over 800 vocabulary words. Players choose a skill to practice and then try to make matches of three. Ten matches wins a round.
  • Painless Grammar Challenge (free) Upper Elementary. Description from app review by Austin Stroud: "This game is a fun way to review grammar leisurely or use as a refresher before taking an English class. It is from Barron's who is a big name in study guides for all ages. The concept behind this grammar challenge is simple in that you take a quiz, and if you score high enough you get to play a game. The game does not unlock/become available until you have gotten the required score. For quiz 1, for example, you have to get an 80%. The major flaw with this game is that you just are told your percentage at the end, and not told what you missed or an explanation on what you missed. If you are looking for a fun way to learn grammar, this is worth your time. However, for studying you should pick a different app." 
  • Zombie Grammar Force (.99) Upper Elementary "The game concept is simple: players use the touchscreen to match word examples with the corresponding parts of speech. "Magnetic", for example, must be correctly paired with "adjective" in order to proceed. Each correct pairing clears some cloud cover, further revealing an enemy vessel. When all the clouds are cleared, the player fires an animated cannon and sinks the ship.Each question is randomly generated and contains three parts of speech (displayed in red) with an example word for each (displayed in black). A sizable portion of noun, verb, and adjective examples are selected from the National Spelling Bee and SAT word lists ensuring the game will challenge a broad range of students."
  • The Apostrophe Song (.99) Upper elementary. The Huffington Post review: "Can the new Apostrophe Song cure the apostrophe crisis? A sort of Schoolhouse Rock for the internet age." You can find the original version of the song (80's synth style version) on YouTube (unless it's blocked at your school!) or you can buy the app and get the song as well as tests of your students’ skills and progress using ‘race against the clock’ multiple-choice quizzes. Choose from rock, hip-hop, pop/dance or acoustic musical styles. 
  • Spelling Tutor (.99) "Create your word list: Name it, add words to it, record your words, and adjust the order is necessary. Practice: Listen to the word, input your spelling and instantly see if you are correct. Words can be in order or random. Preferences allow you to have missed words repeated in practice mode. Test: Similar to practice, but missed words are not repeated and results are saved and can be optionally emailed to teachers or parents. Test Scores are kept for each user, showing the date and score."
  • Words with Friends (free, ad supported/$2.99) Scrabble in an electronic version. Use of this application requires a Games With Friends or Facebook account.
  • Hanging with Friends (free, ad supported/$3.99) "Hanging With Friends brings a brand new twist to the classic game of hangman that adds creativity, strategy and fun for all ages. Build mystery words to stump, amuse or impress your friends, but be prepared to flex those brain muscles as you decipher the words they send back to you. Key Features: • Cute characters in perilous situations • Instant replay lets you see your opponent’s guesses • Use strategic lifelines for hints.
  • Futaba (free) For iPad ONLY "Perfect for children 4-8...ideal for supporting class room activities of all types. The idea is simple; each player takes a seat around the iPad and taps in to start. The game begins as images zoom into the playing area. The first player to match the word to the image scores a point. Win 3 rounds and you'll be awarded a giant (but very friendly) seedling...
Futaba (Japanese for 'seedling") Futaba comes with over 100 wonderful hand drawn illustrations, professional audio soundtracks and has high quality visuals. Parents, teachers and even students can create their own content by using either the built in camera or your camera roll." Also has Dropbox account integration.
  • Futaba CG ($4.99) Fully customizable version of Futaba! Also includes lots of games created by other educators for you to choose from or create your own and share it with the Futaba community.
  • Chicktionary (Free iPad only) for 100 puzzles, add'l puzzle packs .99  "Unscramble a roost full of letters and create as many words as possible. Each hen bears a letter. Touch the hens and spell out a word, then watch as the word appears below them. Press Enter to submit the word into the egg crates. The more words you create, the more points you earn" Silly and fun!
  • Cursive Writing Practice (free) (Recommended by Rebecca, Random Lake Schools. "This application is for practicing English Cursive Handwriting. You can practice to write word as well as upper Case and lower Case."


Comments (1)

Roxann Nys said

at 1:35 pm on Nov 8, 2012

Check out ReadingRockets.org's list of Top 12 literacy apps: http://www.readingrockets.org/teaching/reading101/comprehension/literacyapps_comprehension/

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