Colin and Jacqui Hawkins’ books with thier comical pictures and witty text are a great way to teach early readers about onset and rhyme.
Onset and rhyme is the ability to put together an initial letter sound with its rhyme to make a simple word.
The rhyme ‘og’ could be added to the onset ‘l’ to make log or ‘d’ to make dog and so on.
The iPad app created by Brightside takes this to a new level. This interactive, fun way of learning essential phonic skills could be a great way of engaging reluctant readers. The simple rhyming text is great for introducing rhyme to young children and the little caterpillars that crawl across the screen as each page is turned, making daft comments, keep children engaged.
The story is narrated with charming voices and the text changes colour as it is read so that children can follow the text. The characters then add comments and actions bringing the story to life. We loved the part where Nat the Rat eats his way out of Pat’s hat.
This isn’t just another version of an e-book as there is the added feature of recording the story in your own voice. The character reads the text then the child taps a record button and repeats the text following the highlighted words. The character then reads the key rhyming word ‘C’ (the sound) - at - Cat and the child again repeats and records. They are then prompted to play the recordings back and the story is read in the child’s voice. My 3 year old found some of the text a little difficult to remember but she loved recording the onset-rhyme and felt like she was ‘really reading’.
The importance of phonic skills in learning to read is well documented and this is a great, fun way to learn these skills.
The app is available from itunes for £1.99