23 Must-Have K-12 Literacy Apps

Literacy is a foundational skill that we all need. It is hard to navigate today’s global society without it. Because of this, teachers are always searching for ways to help their students learn valuable literacy skills. In recent years, edtech companies have introduced a ton of educational apps that are designed to teach literacy skills. In this article, I will list and discuss 23 of them.

  1. Power Vocab Word Game

Those looking for a fun way to improve vocabulary will love this app! It is simply fun to play and even offers a multi-player mode where you can test your vocabulary skills against someone else. Teachers and parents will love it because of its test preparation tools.

  1. SAT Vocab – Mindsnacks

This vocabulary app includes nine games to help students dominate the SAT with lessons, quests, and additional SAT preparation features (i.e., antonyms). The games are fun, but the app is also a great vocabulary building tool because it includes definitions, pronunciations, and contextual examples.

  1. SAT Word Slam

Teenagers will love the SAT Word Slam app because it uses teenage humor and pop culture references to teach vocabulary. Utilizing “teach me” and “test me,” this app allows students to learn definitions, test their knowledge, and track their progress.

  1. Shahi – A Visual Dictionary

This unique vocabulary tool is an online visual dictionary. This online tool provides students with both the definition of the word and a corresponding image from Flickr.

  1. uVocab Vocabulary Trainer

For those preparing for the SAT or other standardized tests, this vocabulary app is a smart choice because it includes over 4500 test words and realistic test questions. Students can also keep track of their progress.

  1. Vocab Ahead

This tool is a hit with teachers and students because it is a multi-sensory approach to teaching vocabulary. With videos, definitions, games, quizzes, and more, this interactive website is an enjoyable teaching tool. Plus, teachers can create word lists for their students.

  1. Vocabulary.com

If you are looking for a game-like approach to building your students’ vocabulary, then you should consider this app. It is a game where the student must earn points by answering vocabulary questions to move up levels. It also makes creating relevant vocabulary lessons easy for teachers with its learning activity feature.

  1. Word Hippo

This online educational tool is helpful in the classroom because it does a little bit of everything – definitions, pronunciations, synonyms, antonyms, rhyming words, and more. It also gives examples of the word in different contexts.

  1. Oz Phonics

Oz Phonics is a bundle of apps that starts with the most basic letter sounds and helps students work their way up to learning to read. Games like word searches and letter to sound matching help kids master the basic of phonics. Each app also has printable worksheets for offline practice.

  1. Alphabet Sounds Word Study

This app is also ideal for young children just starting to learn phonics. It has four different modes for students to practice sorting letters, finding the right letter, spelling, and writing. Alphabet Sounds Word Study will get Pre-K and Kindergarten students familiar with common words and how to spell them.

  1. Phonics Genius

Phonics isn’t just for Pre-K. Phonics Genius is geared towards early elementary students and helps them learn letter sounds and blends. Unlike most other phonics apps, Phonics Genius goes beyond the most basic letter sounds to teach fluency.

  1. Hip Hop Hen: Preschool Phonics

Another fun app bundle. Hip Hop Hen: Preschool Phonics contains three apps that are geared towards Preschoolers. These apps introduce basic letter sounds and words. With three different apps, there are plenty of games to keep kids entertained. There are also fun songs to help kids memorize letters and words.

  1. Montessori Letter Sounds

Montessori Letter Sounds is a four-step program for young learners to familiarize them with letter sounds and help them practice writing letters in both print and cursive. Plus, this app features a foreign language option that allows kids to practice in Spanish, French, Italian, or German.

  1. The Joy of Reading

The Joy of Reading focuses on short words and sentences to teach kids how to read. With nine different games, this app provides hours of fun and learning. The skills taught align to Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten, making The Joy of Reading ideal for use in the classroom or as a supplemental activity.

  1. Word Wizard for Kids

Word Wizard for Kids is a fantastic app for young kids. It works like an old Speak-and-Spell toy, but updated for the 21st century. Kids can move letters around to make words and hear them pronounced correctly. There are also spelling activities and quizzes for extra practice.

  1. Flocabulary

Flocabulary is a fun vocabulary program for grades K-12. It’s especially useful in elementary classrooms. The hip-hop style songs help kids learn new vocabulary words, and the app has plenty of games and activities to reinforce what students learn. There are also printable activities and worksheets for teachers.

  1. SpellingCity

A simple app that focuses on just one skill—spelling. SpellingCity has a variety of colorful and fun games that teach kids common spelling words. With over 35 games, SpellingCity will keep kids entertained and engaged for hours.

  1. Story Creator

Though it doesn’t focus on any Common Core skills, Story Creator is a fun, creative app for elementary students. Kids create their own storybooks using photos from their device or the included illustrations. They can share their stories easily by emailing them from within the app.

  1. AlphaTots

Fun action words are associated with each letter of the alphabet, so kids can “build” robots, “dig” for treasure, and even “zap” alien spaceships.

The app also pronounces each letter, and there are additional features like puzzles and sing-along alphabet songs.

  1. Reading Rainbow Skybrary Family

Children pilot hot air balloons through seven magical islands, each home to hundreds of colorful books. Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton serves as a tour guide and appears in educational Video Field Trips.

The app even tailors book suggestions to each child’s age and interests.

  1. Homer

Just 15 minutes a day with Homer has been shown to increase early reading scores by 74%. The app features over 200 vibrant, engaging songs and stories.

Over 1000 lessons teach phonics, sight words, early reading, science, history, art, music, and more.

  1. Leo’s Pad Enrichment Program

The award-winning app Leo’s Pad was designed by Stanford researchers and an Emmy Award-winning creative director.

A young Leonardo DaVinci and his pals lead kids through interactive adventures that teach over 25 early learning skills. Leo’s Pad covers numbers, letters, and skills like practicing and sharing.

It also adapts to each child’s skill level, allowing you to differentiate instruction.

  1. Endless Alphabet

With this app, preschoolers learn the alphabet, along with vocabulary words like “gargantuan” and “hilarious.”

Adorable monsters teach the definitions of over 100 words and guide children through fun, interactive puzzle games.

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