Reading can be a daunting task for a lot of people. Even finding time can be difficult in our daily lives of work, school, family. But starting with something that is fun and accessible is the key to helping students embed reading in to their lives. A lot of students have a degree of fear when they look at a book or a piece of print (see my post on Reading vs Swimming for further details), so it’s important to meet readers where they are.
Here are three great apps that can help struggling or reluctant readers make time to read – all available on itunes and google play at time of writing.
If you plan to use these with younger teen readers, I’d advise scoping out the stories first, as all of these are crowd sourced so some content may not be suitable for all ages.
Hooked is a great app which tells stories of all genres in the form of phone text messages. The first advantage is no one need know if they glance at your phone that you’re reading a story, which for some readers takes away the embarrassment of being seen to read. Another great feature of Hooked is that stories are offered in a wide range of genres and levels, so that everyone can find something that suits them.
Because stories are written as messages, there are no chunks of descriptive writing to read. This can be seen as an advantage, however, as it allows readers to practice their inference and contextual comprehension skills.
Yarn Chat Stories.
Again, Yarn offers a wide range of stories in multiple genres and readers can work through at their own pace. Readers can also add stories, which is a great way to encourage involvement.
Tap (a Wattpad app).
Wattpad is a platform that allows writers to self-publish their stories, and tap is their on-the-go phone service. Again, readers are more likely to be able to find a story that appeals to them than they may be within a traditional reading scheme.