Reading Comprehension – Solar System

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Interactive Stories, Vocabulary, Solar System, Reading Comprehension

What we like best:

This standard reading comprehension template can be updated by uploading your own materials.

What you should know:

The absence of interactivity and surprise elements take away fun factors, making this app feel like a virtual textbook.
Full Review:

Kickstart a love of the final frontier with this galactic app, featuring 17 non-fiction eBooks about the planets, moons, asteroids, comets and telescopes of our solar system. Even budding astronauts with super-short attention spans can soak up enough interesting information in these short stories (roughly 300 to 500 words long) to tackle multiple-choice and yes-or-no questions—as well as vocabulary word matching—relating to each passage.

The text, while factual, is textbook-style and dry despite the kid-friendly space theme; however, this problem can be remedied by uploading customized stories and questions into the app. Little learners will build out critical comprehension skills and expand their vocabulary with the visual cues (mostly bolding) highlighting important terms. The format is great for visual learners, but audio learners may struggle due to the lack of a voice-over option. Smiley faces and frowns indicate correct and incorrect answers, and kids are encouraged to keep trying when they get a question wrong.

Developers haven't quite taken advantage of the interactive capabilities of modern tech devices here, making the app feel somewhat old-fashioned. The opportunity to learn is there, but you may find the real issue is motivating non-science lovers to willingly return to this app.

Teacher Features:
Detailed progress reports allow insight into which kinds of questions each kid has trouble with, while the ability to create customized lessons allow educators to give struggling students the specific help they need.
Reviewed 2012-10-01 on iPad iOS6 by Vicki Windman

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Topic:Reading, Science
Publisher:Abitalk Incorporated
Standards:Key Ideas and Details: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. RI.5.1. Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity: By the end of the year read and comprehend informational texts including history/social studies science and technical texts at the high end of the grades 4&ndash 5 text complexity band independently and proficiently. RI5.10. Comprehension and Collaboration: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats including visually quantitatively and orally. SL.5.2