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Literacy Apps

Writing

Writing is a process that includes everything from handwriting skill to sentence construction to planning and drafting a story. We've found apps that help young children along several steps of the writing process. Several apps literally turn your iPad into a handwriting tablet for practice. We bet your child won't complain about practicing letters with technological fun like this!

Click through our 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 Cursive Writing

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

ABC Cursive Writing turns your iPad into a handwriting tablet for practicing cursive. Students have the options of practicing single letters — upper case or lower case, whole words, sentences, and numbers. Parents can also create word sets. Each letter of each word set is presented to the child to pracitce in order. While a stylus is not required to use this app, using one will allow a child to practice using a pen to write in cursive.

Book Creator

Price: Free
Grade level: 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Simple app lets kids craft their own books to read or share.

iCanWrite

Price: $0.99
Grade level: K, 1st
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

iCanWrite is a letter tracing app. Students can work from preset groups of letters or you can enter groups for them to use. Letters are shown one at a time with a demonstration. Once the letter is traced correctly, the next letter is shown. At the end of the sequence the results are shown as handwriting to give a great sense of achievement.

iWriteWords

Price: $2.99
Grade level: K, 1st
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

iWriteWords helps to teach kids how to write the letters of the alphabet, numbers up to 20, and simple words using a dot-to-dot approach. It helps if kids already know how to count and read numbers up to 10 in order to play this game.

Kids Writing Pad Lite

Price: $0.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Kids Writing Pad Lite is a basic large-lined writing pad useful for practicing numbers and letters. It has a middle dotted line between two solid lines like most primary school paper so children can practice having the appropriate parts of the letters or numbers in the right areas. Children can also choose the color of their pencil, use an eraser, or touch the big eraser to erase the entire page.

Kidspiration Maps

Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Kidspiration Maps is a mind-mapping tool designed specifically for elementary-school-age kids by the creators of Inspiration Maps. Kidspiration Maps helps young readers and writers in grades K-5 learn to organize and classify information, gain sight word knowledge and expand their ideas into written and verbal expression. By creating story maps, Venn diagrams, and webs, students visualize what they are learning, improving their understanding and comprehension. Tap to transform visual diagrams into text - perfect for pre-writing.

There is also a Kidspiration Lite available for free.

My Story Book Creator

Price: $3.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

My Story combines drawing, stickers, photos, voice, and text to promote literacy, language development, and creativity in ebook format. Share the book on the web, social networks, email, or directly to iBooks. Your child’s story, art, coloring, photos, ideas, and voice recordings are saved forever!

Mystery Word Town

Price: $2.99
Grade level: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Skill: Writing
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Here’s one solution to an age-old challenge: making spelling practice fun. Users explore buildings in a Western town to find lost letters that spell words and unlock doors. Choose between three challenge levels, each with about 80 common words.

Popplet

Price: $4.99
Grade level: 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Popplet is a productivity app that also works as a mind mapping tool. Use the app to begin structuring the writing process. The app can also be used to create graphic organizers, classroom visuals, organize material according to text structures (list, sequence, compare-contrast, cause-effect), and to practice sentence combining and complex sentence creation by connecting individual "Popples."

SentenceBuilder

Price: $5.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad

SentenceBuilder is an app that helps children learn to build grammatically correct sentences about a given picture. Special attention is paid to the connector words.

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.

StoryBuilder

Price: $7.99
Grade level: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad

StoryBuilder is a multi-purpose app designed to teach story structure. In the process, students learn sentence structure, sequencing, and inferencing. The app develops comprehension by asking children to respond to questions about a picture, helping them to structure the story. The child's answers are recorded within the app. Then the the answers are put together to form a story. There are multiple levels included in the app; level two requires inference skills.

Superhero Comic Book Maker

Price: 1.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Writing, Sequencing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Create personalized animated comic books featuring monsters and superheroes. Build comic strips and narrate the story using the self-record feature.

TeachMe: 1st Grade

Price: $1.99
Grade level: 1st
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

TeachMe: 1st Grade is an app that focuses on writing, spelling, and math. With this app, children answer questions and solve problems using their own handwriting. The app then reads the answers using a writing recognition engine. If your child needs help, TeachMe: 1st Grade will show them how to write the correct answer including the proper stroke order. Parents can select which subjects display, set difficulty level, choose specific questions, and even review performance history for each subject to check how their child is doing.

Toontastic

Price: Free
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad

Toontastic is a creative learning tool that empowers kids to draw, animate, and share their own stories through imaginative play. Toontastic teaches key storytelling principles. Children are walked through creating the story arc: setup, conflict, challenge, climax, or resolution. Creating a story is as easy as putting on a puppet show — children simply press the record button, move the characters onscreen, and tell their stories. Once they're're done, Toontastic will play back their animation and voice as a cartoon for them to share with friends and family.

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