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Literacy Apps

Print awareness

As children listen to stories and learn to read, they learn subtle information about how print works. Print knowledge includes an understanding of letters and sounds, the left-to-right nature of reading, and recognizing that print differs from pictures. Helping young children develop print knowledge can help them learn other critical literacy skills.

Click through to the our list of recommended writing apps below, and follow our links for other reviews.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

ABC Spy

Price: $0.99
Grade level: 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Print awareness
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

ABC Spy challenges children to create their own ABC experience by taking photos for each letter of the alphabet — take a photo, choose a frame, give it a name. Then make a movie of all your photos to share with friends and family!

Alphabetic

Price: $1.99
Grade level: K
Skill: Print awareness
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Alphabetic makes identifying letters a game for your child as they have to search for letters A through Z as they spin around on the screen and before time runs out.

Alphabetical Order

Price: $0.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Print awareness
Device: iPad

Alphabetical Order challenges children to put the letters in order as well as to match upper and lower case letters, and to match the letters to their sounds.

Dr. Seuss's ABC

Price: $3.99
Grade level: Pre-K
Skill: Phonics, Print awareness, Vocabulary
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other

Dr. Seuss's ABC has three levels, "Read to Me," "Read it Myself," and "Auto Play," which allows children to grow with this app. Words highlighted are read out loud when tapped, and when narrated, children can follow along with the highlighted text.

Intro to Letters

Price: $4.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Print awareness
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Intro to Letters helps children read and write letters A-Z in both capital and lowercase letters through flashcards, while soundcards let your child record and listen to themselves as they practice saying each letter.

Pictello

Price: $18.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd
Skill: Print awareness
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Pictello allows the user to create "talking" books with pictures — students can make their own story that is personal to them.

Shape-O ABCs

Price: $1.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Print awareness
Device: iPad

Shape-O ABCs has children put words with the pictures in one of the program's 100 plus puzzles. Voiceovers of the letters help children learn the correct annunciation and the app lets parents adjust the difficultly level to customize it to fit their child's needs.

Starfall ABCs

Price: $2.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Print awareness
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Starfall ABCs lets children interact with letters, showing them each letter as both upper and lowercase, and then shows how the letters are used in sentences. Children can also play letter games, such as word mazes.

Story Patch

Price: $2.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd
Skill: Writing, Print awareness, Sequencing
Device: iPad

Story Patch allows the student to create a story from a template (good for those who need some guidance) or from scratch. There is a bank of pictures to choose from to illustrate the story.

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Our Literacy Blogs

Dr. Joanne Meier
Dr. Joanne Meier
February 14, 2014
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox