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Literacy Apps

Writing

Writing is a complex 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 all of the steps of the writing process, including the final stages — publishing and sharing your writing with others. Several apps can turn your iPad into a handwriting tablet for practice. See also: Apps for Storytelling.

Apps are reviewed by Common Sense Education.

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

Alphabet Organizer

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

A graphic organizer for exploring letters and words, creating books, and building personal word walls for vocabulary study, content-area research, or writing projects.

Book Creator

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

Create and publish digital books and multimedia with this easy-to-use tool.

Grammaropolis

Price: Free
Grade level: 2nd, 3rd, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other

Animated parts-of-speech app enlivens grammar lessons. Students can learn about nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, interjections, prepositions, and conjunctions by watching fun music videos, reading short cartoon-like books, and completing quizzes.

Inspiration Maps

Price: $9.99
Grade level: 4th and above
Skill: Comprehension, Writing
Device: iPad

A versatile mind-mapping tool to help kids visually organize information and ideas. Easily create diagrams, maps, organizers, brainstorms, and text outlines.

iWriteWords

Price: $2.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities, Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Letter and number tracing for beginners with a numbered connect-the-dots method.

Kid in Story Book Maker

Price: $6.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st
Skill: Social Skills, Storytelling, Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

A social story creation tool for teachers in special-needs settings.

Kidspiration Maps

Price: $9.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Skill: Comprehension, Writing
Device: iPad

An easy-to-use and versatile mind-mapping tool that can be used in all subject areas. Includes an image-to-text conversion feature.

Me: A Kid's Diary

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

Unique take on self-exploration relies on prompts to guide reflection.

My Story Book Creator

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

An introduction to digital storytelling and book-publishing that combines drawing, stickers, photos, voice, and text.

Pictello

Price: $18.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and above
Skill: Language and Communication, Print awareness, Storytelling, Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Interactive storytelling app that lets kids make social storybooks with their own titles, photos, videos, and captions.

Popplet

Price: $4.99
Grade level: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and above
Skill: Comprehension, Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone

A versatile mind-mapping tool. Students create "Popplets" that can be filled with text, drawings, images, or video, with the ability to share and collaborate in real time.  

Punctuation: End Marks

Price: $3.99
Grade level: 3rd, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Clever quizzes and charming characters explore rules for ending sentences.

Read&Write

Price: $19.99, Free 3-day trial
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities, Writing
Device: Android, iPad, Other

Text-to-speech app and browser extension unlocks the written word for all kids, including those with print or processing disorders. With the Talk&Type feature, students can dictate their writing.

Scribble Press

Price: $3.99
Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Storytelling, Writing
Device: Android, iPad

Book-creation and -publication app that kids can use to write and illustrate stories, publish them online or in print, and view other kids' books.

SentenceBuilder

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

Teaches students about grammar and descriptive writing through the process of creating sentences. 

Shadow Puppet Edu

Price: Free
Grade level: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Storytelling, Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Slideshow creation tool allows students to create video presentations using images from the built-in library, and adding their own narration and text. Can be used across content areas.

StoryBuilder

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

Language-arts tool for kids who need to improve their sentence formation, storytelling, and speaking, and can be used in special needs classrooms.

StoryKit

Price: Free
Grade level: 2nd, 3rd, 4th and above
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Simple storybook creation app, with a private online sharing tool. Kids can add pictures and recordings of their own voices.

Superhero Comic Book Maker

Price: Free
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st
Skill: Sequencing, Writing
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Create personalized animated comic books featuring monsters and superheroes, narrating the story using the self-record feature. Helps kids practice storytelling and learn to make digital creations.

Tell About This

Price: $2.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st
Skill: Comprehension, Storytelling, Writing
Device: iPad

Photo and word prompts inspire storytelling, and the app records the results. This versatile tool can be used as a pre-writing or publishing activity.

Toontastic

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

Build stories featuring 3D characters, while learning about the basics of storytelling — setting, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution.

Write About This

Price: $3.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Storytelling, Writing
Device: Android, iPad

Images and prompts inspire kids of all ages to write, with increasing depth and complexity at higher levels. Students can create new prompts using their own images and ideas.

WriteReader Classroom

Price: Free
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st
Skill: Writing
Device: iPad

Writing tool that lets kids write their own stories in their own words. Teachers can then translate kids' writing using proper spelling and conventions. Books can be shared, printed, or published using the in-app library.

Writing Wizard

Price: $4.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st
Skill: Phonics, Writing
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Customizable app that helps kids practice tracing letters, numbers, and words while learning letter names and phonetic sounds.

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"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln