Little Stories from Little Bee Speech addresses language, language, literacy and articulation skills in their fantastic new app. Language and literacy skills impact on one another. Linking language, literacy, and phonology (sounds) builds vocabulary so that words can be stored and remembered
Little stories contains 82 stories overall. Each story is 100 words so that the student is not overwhelmed by the amount of text in the story.
Stories are organized by:
- Level A (6.5 – 7. 5 years)
- Level B (7.0 – 8.5 years)
- Level C (8.0 – 9.5 years)
Story Title and Themes
- In alphabetical order
- For example, helping others, overcoming fears, funny stories
- There are twenty phonemic (sound) targets. 20% of the story focuses on the phonemic target.
Under the story title, there is a brief explanation that tells you what the story is about. This encourages activation of pre-reading activities such as brainstorming with the student about their knowledge of the topic.
Tapping the ‘before you read’ button highlights the sight words in the text, the phonemic targets, and any challenging words. Each of these can be practiced before reading, using flashcards.
There are 2 different font types to choose from – Sans-Serif and Serif Font
The text display can be enlarged by simply dragging the bar across the screen.
The early reader format organises the text into sentence format. Toggling this button off arranges the text into paragraphs.
Reading helper adds a place-holder underneath the text. I would prefer this to be above the text because it blocks the text below and prevents the reader from skimming down the page.
Sight words, phonemic targets or challenge words can be made bold by toggling on/off.
The green play button reads the story to you.
The tongue twister button brings up a tongue twister using the phonemic target. This can be recorded and played back so that the student can self-evaluate.
The clock button initiates the reading fluency task.
The student reads the story which is recorded and timed. The recording can be scored immediately or it can be saved and evaluated later. I have found that it is beneficial to score the reading together with the student. This encourages metacognition strategies and empowers the student.
Errors can be marked as reading, vocabulary or speech. A report is generated and saved to the student’s profile.
A fantastic feature is that the student’s errors can be converted into flashcards so that they can practice.
There are four aspects of comprehension that are addressed:
Wh questions – Who, where and when, and how. My only reservation about the wh-questions is that they are too easy. It is possible to answer the questions without even reading the text. It would be really helpful if there was the option to add questions to increase the difficulty level of this task.
Sequencing – This task requires the student to sequence the story in the correct temporal order.
Story Talk – I love this feature because it encourages inferencing skills as well as encouraging the student to relate the information to their own experience.
Story Retell – This aspect allows the student to retell the story in their own words. It is a fantastic way to develop story grammar structure which is such an important aspect of language and literacy development. Knowledge of story grammar provides a framework to understand narrative texts, and includes elements such as story plot, character, setting and theme. You can learn more about story grammar over here. I have also incorporated written stories with older students. This facilitates the transfer of skills into written form.
Little Stories Pro is a well researched, comprehensive app that addresses multiple, important language and literacy skills.
Little Stories is available at a discounted price in the App store for $41.99 until 31 January 2018.
After this, it will revert to the regular price of $59.99. So grab this gem quickly!
Thank you to Little Bee Speech for providing me with a copy of this fantastic app for review. All opinions are my own.
Note: Little Stories only works on iOS 11.