Developed by the Usborne Foundation, Teach Your Monster To Read (First Steps) is an iPad app aimed at younger pupils embarking on the road to reading. It is presented in a game format which should appeal to younger pupils. They have to initially create a personalised monster which is then brought on a journey around island kingdoms. The King on the island asks the monster to assist him which involves the pupils learning a letter/sound and taking part in games/exercises to consolidate the letter/sound.
The games within the app contain letter and sound practice for 31 graphemes / phonemes; (s,a,t,p,i,n,m,d,g,o,c,k,ck,e,u,r,h,b,f,ff,l,ll,ss,j,qu,v,w,x,y,z,zz) plus basic blending and segmenting practice. Some tricky words are also introduced.
The app tracks which letter/sound exercises have been completed. If a pupil completes all exercises in the app, the app can be deleted and re-installed to commence the game again.
An appealing aspect of this app for teachers and parents is that there are no annoying in-app purchases. At the moment, this app is only available for iPad in the iTunes App Store
Although the iPad version of “First Steps” is a paid-for app, there is also a web-based version for computers which is still free and contains both Teach Your Monster to Read games: First Steps and Fun with Words. This game can be played on the Teach Your Monster to Read website HERE