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Tom Hesmondhalgh

18 Great iPad Apps for Primary Literacy

What’s the Point of a Personal Learning Network?

From initial charges that ‘it;s just an overgrown iPhone’ the iPad is now part of many teachers’ and schools’ essential kit.

But it’s fair to say that while Apple has created a beautiful, robust and powerful piece of kit finding the best apps on the App Store can be a challenging experience.

So I asked everyone on Twitter for some advice on what the best apps were out there, and @narthernlad came back with so many suggestions I’m going to split them over a couple of posts!

Here are some suggestions for literacy apps to try with your students. If you have any other suggestions for a great iPad literacy app, I’d love to hear them. Just add them in the comments below.


1) First Letters – Match the letters and listen to the song. Teaches the youngest children phonics

2) ABC Alphabet Phonics – A simple game where children locate the correct letter

3) Comic Touch – Make your photos go all cartoony warping images and adding speech bubbles

4) Toontastic – A great little app that allows children to create characters, settings and their own cartoons

5) Chicktionary – As the blurb says ‘Unscramble a roost of letters and create as many words as possible’.

6) Puppetpals HD – Create your own puppet shows with animation and audio in real time

7) Hangman – An oldie, but a goodie!

8) Word Search Kids – Again, no prizes for originality here, but still lots of fun

9) StoryKit – Create your own electronic storybook

10) Storyrobe – Create and share digital stories

11) Verses – Poetry, Poems and Poets – Fridge magnets with a 21st century twist!

12) Sparklefish – Another iPad version of an old favourite, complete a story in turns then see what you get.

13) Sock Puppets – Create and share your own lip synced videos

14) Alphabet Tracing – A fun series of animations to help children learn to form letters

15) Pocketphonics – A highly rated phonics app that covers letter sounds, letter writing and first words

16) Bluster – A vocabulary building game from McGraw-Hill

17) Learn to Spell – Reception – A nice looking app that does exactly what it says on the tin

18) Sentence Builder – Designed to help young children build gramatically correct sentences









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