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How is Teach Your Monster to Read Educational?

By Alison Kelly and Angela Colvert - experts in English Education from the University of Roehampton.

How do children learn from the game?

When learning to read and write, children have to learn to crack the alphabetic code which means understanding that the symbols on the page (letters) relate to sounds. In order to decode they need the skill of blending the sounds together when reading. When spelling, they need the skill of splitting the word into its sounds (segmenting) and representing these with letters.

Teach your Monster to Read: First Steps offers a wonderful opportunity for children to practise these skills. The game challenges them to explore a fictional world and to complete a series of enjoyable challenges.

These challenges offer many opportunities for the children to develop their listening skills as they match letters to sounds. The game also models the process of blending and provides opportunities for children to listen to words and practise segmenting.

Of course, reading is about far more than decoding. It is about pleasure and opening up whole new worlds for children as they immerse themselves in stories. Whilst the focus of this game is on phonics, its imaginative and engaging context offers an enjoyable and exciting adventure in which to practise new found skills learnt in school.

More about Systematic Synthetic Phonics

The teaching of phonics has featured in the primary curriculum for many years. The current government places huge importance on the necessity to teach children using ‘systematic synthetic phonics’ as the prime approach. The term ‘systematic’ refers to the fact that children should be taught the relationship between sounds and letters through a step-by-step scheme such as Letters and Sounds, a free resource produced by the previous government that is used in many schools. The term ‘synthetic’ refers to the process by which sounds are blended together when reading (synthesised).

I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away.

Matt Lovegrove, Cippenham Primary School

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Why Play?

  • Covers letters and sounds to reading full sentences.
  • Designed in collaboration with leading academics.
  • Computer version is 100% free.

FAQ

Why is the computer version free?

The game has been funded by the Usborne Foundation, a charity set up to support initiatives to develop early literacy.

Our mission is to help as many children learn to read as possible. The computer version is 100% free and we put profits from the app back into the Usborne Foundation, to continue to create new and exciting ways for children to learn.

The charity was founded by Peter Usborne MBE and his children, Nicola and Martin, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye.

What age is it for?

The game is for children in the first stages of learning to read, or for older children who need a bit more practice. Read more details about the three games.

How do children learn from the game?

The game takes children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting fantastic rewards. When children are engaged, they’re motivated to learn.

As they progress, they rehearse a range of essential reading skills; matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences.

Find out exactly what the game covers.

Will it work on my device?

The game runs on any normal laptop or desktop computer (including Apple Macs) and the app works on iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle tablets.

Who are The Usborne Foundation?

Peter Usborne is the founder and Managing Director of Usborne Publishing, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye, and was recently awarded an MBE for services to publishing.

Testimonials

"I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away."

Matt Lovegrove,
Cippenham Primary School

"The kids absolutely love this game - and they're learning!"

John Hole,
Wray Common Primary School

"This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!"

Sarah Fox,
mum to Leon aged 5

This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!

Sarah Fox, mum to Leon aged 5

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