Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Apps for Literacy in Primary Education


Similar with the 'maths' apps, 'literacy' apps such as some of the apps mentioned below are for practising a skill - spelling and reading. For the iPad to have an impact on the creativity of teaching and learning in literacy don't look in the education section of the apps store, but the apps already mentioned in my previous blogs on Apps for Creativity in Primary Schools and Apps for Teachers.
The children don't have to always present their writing in a word style document, for example they could use:

video: iMovies

graphic novels: HalftoneStrip Designer

photo stories: SonicPics

publishing apps: PagesKeynotes.

Below is a small sample of 'literacy apps', which can be used to practise spellings, help to motivate reluctant readers and inspire creative writing.

My Spelling Test - Create Your Own Test Now! : £0.69

My Spelling Test allows the teacher to create a test, choose the name of the test, add words to the test and for each word you type the word and record yourself saying the word. The child takes the test, listens to the word they need to spell, spell the word and then see instantly if they've spelt the word correct before going to the next word.

Epic Citadel: FREE

Epic Citadel allows the user to stroll through the circus bazaar to the cathedral in the centre of town. This is a great app to inspire creative writing as the children describe the stunning fantasy settings.
SpellBoard: £2.99

SpellBoard allows you to create any spelling quiz in any language. All you need to do is enter the word, record the spoken word. You can share your quiz with other SpellBoard users via email, or iTunes File Sharing. SpellBoard also allows for multiple children to perform a particular quiz.
Spelly: £0.69

Spelly is a spelling game designed for 3-5 year olds. Using simple pictures, children will learn to recognise letters and words by un-jumbling the fridge magnet letters and start to understand how words are formed. You can also add your own pictures and words.
Quarrel Deluxe: £1.99

Use your word power and strategic cunning to crush your opponents and reign supreme. Settle your differences with word play rather than swordplay. Compete your troops to make high scoring words from the letters given, then capture territories and conquer islands in the virtual reality board game.
Disney Comics: FREE

This Disney Comic app is your portal for all your favourite Disney comics. Search for your preferred character to enjoy a different adventure every time. Different reading modes lets you read the comic on your own, Activate auto-play, or tap into the panels to move through the pages.
Marvel Comics: FREE

Marvel Comic app is a revolutionary way to experience the Marvel Universe on your iPad, featuring the world's most popular super heroes. You can choose a guided view (an animated, panel-by-panel path through the comic), or by using regular device controls to zoom and pan your way through pages of stories and artwork.

Story Ideas: £0.69

The app has been designed as a toolkit for developing writing, interactive skeletons and mind maps creations to help plan writing exercises.
Use this app to pick Character, Plot and Setting ideas for creative writing ideas. The app offers 60 extra writing ideas and games Pie has developed to extend creative writing thinking.

Adventure Books: FREE

Do you like action – adventure? Do you dream of being stranded on a desert island? Would you like to live in a tree, or experience adventures on the high seas--with pirates, storm, shipwreck, and mysterious creatures? If you dream of adventures, these adventure books of this application feature some of the most memorable legends in literature. These adventure books are full of excitement and lots of information and their actions of the characters will usually pull the reader along.

Poetry Creator: FREE

Ever wonder what it would be like to mash-up a Shakespeare poem with a Hip Hop Song? Verses is a new iPhone and iPad app that puts a fresh spin on a cherished classic: refrigerator magnet poetry. We built this app to set your creativity ablaze with Verses's limitless word mixing possibilities that allow you to become a kind of dictionary DJ. 

Alphabet Tracing: FREE

Fun train, truck and worm animations come to life for children to follow, while showing the proper way to write alphabet letters and numbers.

Trace with your finger, try the color palette and textures. Use as a doodle pad.

Writer's Hat: £0.69

Use the Magic Writer's Hat to generate ideas. Often students are asked to write a creative piece of work but are left scratching their heads for ideas. The Writer’s Hat app allows students to have four basic elements of their story selected randomly for them. They will be provided with an idea word for What, Where, Who and When to include in their story. Often it is a springboard of random words that can be all it takes to allow the mind to think creatively.

Mind Over Monster: FREE

The monsters are escaping and Major Satellite needs your help to bash them back in their boxes! But they’re not going to give up the fight, so as they get faster and faster, you’ll need quick fire reactions to keep up.
Your secret weapon will be your mind! Use and improve your English skills to pick out and bash the smartest monsters.
Features 5 levels and 21 rounds of increasing difficulty.
Spelling City: FREE

VocabularySpellingCity is a fun way to learn spelling and vocabulary words by playing engaging learning games using any word list. The most popular activities are a spelling test, HangMouse, and the vocabulary games. The most popular lists are Sound Alike Words, Compound Words, the Hunger Games, and SAT Vocabulary.

Flip: Interactive Storybook: £3.99

Flip: Interactive Storybook is a truly beautiful, immersive & magical story filled with moments of hope, love, fear and faith. Join Emma as she goes on an enchanting life journey featuring delightful world-class 3D animation, fully interactive touch screen graphics, originally composed music and captivating narration.

LearnEnglish Grammar: FREE

Brought to you by the British Council, the world’s authority on English language learning, LearnEnglish Grammar gives you grammar at your fingertips. Get LearnEnglish Grammar for free, with 160 free questions, and then download more question packs at your level in the Purchase section. Practise all areas of English grammar with 10 unique activity-types, helping you to build your understanding of the essentials of English.

English Grammar in Use Tests: £2.99

GOT GOOD GRAMMAR? Find out the fun way with our intermediate tests for learners of English. Eliminate mistakes and build your confidence! Keep improving your score in spare moments. Can you reach the top level?

Grammar Up: £2.99

Grammar Up is a multiple choice quiz system for English which provides over 1800 questions across 20 grammar categories.
Grammar Up can help learners to improve their grammar, word selection and vocabulary.

Storyrobe: FREE

Storyrobe is an innovative tool for creative self expression with the digital media that matters most - your own.
Features; Add Photographs, Add Narration, Send to YouTube, Email Story, Saves the story to the camera roll then you can import into iPhoto & Create Threaded Stories.

Grammar Wonderland: £1.99

Fly, swim, feed, and toss your way to grammar mastery. Who knew grammar practice could be so much fun?
Lead your character through many wonderful adventures as you practice using nouns, verbs, adjectives, and more!

Shake-a-Phrase: £1.49

Shake-a-Phrase is a fun language app for creative writing prompts, vocabulary, and parts of speech practice. Perfect for learning and laughing in the classroom or on-the-go, it features over 2,000 words and definitions in 5 engaging themes for ages 8+.

Wordventure: FREE

Kids can learn about parts of speech and have a wonderful time doing it! This is how it works: First, choose a Wordventure! story. Pick Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, etc., save your completed Wordventure and then read YOUR hilarious story! You can play alone or with friends to share all of the great times!!/id360251599?mt=8&uo=4

Clicker Sentences: £14.99

Develop young pupils’ writing skills and build struggling writers’ confidence with Clicker Sentences - the definitive early writing tool that enables you to build sentences with whole words.

Doodle Learning English: £2.49

Over 350 matching games in key areas such as Antonyms, Synonyms, Punctuation and many more
A fun drawing and educational matching game for all ages - you'll have fun creating beautiful pictures with our amazing backgrounds and stickers with fun sound effects and then you'll be challenged by our sneaky bunny to matching quizzes.

LiteracyBreak: £0.69

With over 60 different activities, there will be a game, riddle or activity to help you at any time during your lesson. If you are looking for a fun way to start your lesson, a great way to revise a topic or a reward for great work, LiteracyBreak will have that activity to suit your class.


  1. You must try Writer's Hat for 69p. it is a word bank of prompts to stimulate writing -very simple but very effective. Also morfo which is a free morphing app which we have used to create our own aliens to include in extended writing - only problem the aliens are us!

    1. Super! Thanks for the app advice. It's great to see that you are using the iPads creatively and to inspire children to write - even if you have to become an alien to do so!

  2. What about pocket phonics? The letter formation's pretty good and its inline with dfes phonics

    1. Thanks Jane.
      I've added Pocket Phonics to apps for EYFS & Key Stage 1. Thanks for this, can't believe I didn't have it on the list my daughters had it for ages!

  3. Nice Literacy apps ur sharing friend. But will u please upload free ipa's on ur blog?