In second grade, most students are mastering the basics of reading and gaining fluency. They need lots of practice with comprehension. There are still sight words to learn and phonics concepts to develop. These apps will help them continue to move toward literacy and have fun at the same time!
Best Free Learn to Read Apps
Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion
Paws Incorporated – Free
Garfield the Cat and his friends will guide second graders by helping them develop an understanding of fact vs. opinion. Kids can learn about the reliability of sources, too, which will help second graders as they learn about researching sources both online and off.
The topic is important, but the treatment is fun. Kids will feel like they are reading a Garfield comic, but they really will be learning about how to find the grains of truth in the media. Check it out!
McGraw-Hill School Education Group – Free with in-app purchases
Bluster! helps second graders with word parts, prefixes, suffixes, rhyming, and more. It’s got multiple levels, and additional word packs are available for ninety-nine cents. Kids play games involving matching and finding words to suit the given item. They can play on their own or with a partner.
Build vocabulary and knowledge of how to break longer words down as kids play. The app can also grow with your child since you can acquire new word packs for only 99 cents.
This research-driven app provides great foundational work for second graders that will help move all students closer to full literacy. The program is adaptive, so it will meet your child where he or she currently is and move forward from there. There are fiction and nonfiction selections, loads of mini-games scattered through the app, and an engaging rewards system to keep kids actively learning.
Smarty Ants 2nd Grade allows parents or teachers to track progress and see real-time data about student performance. The app will function offline, then automatically sync when the device is connected once again.
Easy Reading Plus Answers takes advantage of second graders’ love of riddles and clues. Kids can read increasingly specific clues in the form of sentences, put the clues together, and choose the correct answer that fits all of them. There are two levels of difficulty to keep kids challenged for a bit.
The app will be a popular one with most kids in this age group because they just adore riddles. The clues will challenge their reasoning skills as well as exercising reading comprehension skills.
Sight words are one of the most crucial skills that second-grade readers can master. These common words often do not follow phonics patterns and are difficult to decode, yet they make up a vast percentage of text. Kids need to memorize them, and practice is about the only way to make that happen. 1st & 2nd Grade Sight Words can be a part of the solution. This app presents 300 common words for kids to learn using sentences with missing words and multiple choices to fill in the blank.
Teachers and parents can choose if the activities are timed or untimed, but one of the important aspects of learning sight words is fluency. The faster a student recognizes these words, the better. The timed version also includes a built-in distractor – a moving basketball and music to simulate both visual and auditory distractions. It’s an effective combination!
Advanced Sight Words: High-Frequency Word Practice to Increase English Reading Fluency
Maelstrom Interactive – Free
This app introduces high-frequency sight words with multiple games and activities. It focuses on the 150 most common words that young readers need to learn. Word recognition, spelling, comprehension, and more are the focus of each activity. There are word searches, matching games, arranging letters into target words, and 15 levels with ten words each.
The app will support multiple users, so it’s great for classrooms and families. It has a capacity of up to 24 users per device. Adults can see progress reports for each student.
Help second graders master the most common words taught in reading programs around the country – the Dolch words. This app uses games and fun activities to help students master these all-important steps to fluent reading.
This app makes it easy to customize word study lists so the task can be individualized. It also has the capability to highlight particularly troublesome words and provide practice with laser focus. Second graders will also love the recording capability, and it helps some students master the words more quickly when they can hear them in their own voice.
This app is an early reading teacher’s dream come true! It includes 35 lists with a total of over 3000 words. Students will get the focused drill and practice they need, as the app temporarily removes words that are gotten correct. There is a customizable timer and other settings that will allow you to customize the app’s presentation.
The most unique feature, however, is the voice recognition software that allows the app to “hear” when the student says a word correctly. Much like digital assistants, the app listens and can determine if the target word being shown was spoken aloud by the student.
Word lists include ALL of the Dolch lists, the alphabet, the Fry 1000 Instant Words, and several lists commonly in use in Australia and in the United Kingdom.
This app includes six interactive word games focused on the kind of phonics that second graders need most: blends, digraphs, and vowel combinations. Second-grade readers are just starting to figure out the finer points of phonics, like the funny sounds of ou, oi, and the r-controlled vowels, so this app is perfect for their needs. Plus it’s engaging and funny, which is always a plus for children of this age.
The app automatically adjusts the difficulty level, so your child will gain skills no matter where he or she is at in the area of early reading. It’s hard to get too much practice with irregular vowels and the other concepts that this app presents.
Montessori Crosswords/Montessori Words and Phonics
L’Escapadu – 2.99 iOS/$3.99 Android
This award-winning app helps kids learn to match sounds to letters, including the troublesome irregular vowels and consonant blends and digraphs. You can set the difficulty level, and the app can grow with your child. Choose from 44 sound combinations and over 350 built-in word and picture combinations.
L’Escapadu’s Montessori Words and Phonics mixes structured learning activities with the best of free play opportunities. There’s something here for every style of learning.
Planet Lettra is an unstructured playground for phonics. Kids can build words in whatever manner their imagination dictates, allowing them to learn about phonics patterns as they explore how letters can go together to make pronounceable groups.
This app is great for playing with words and sounds in a low-key, no-pressure sort of way. It’s ideal for kids in second grade because they’ve got enough understanding of phonics to build words based on what they already know. They will quickly figure out which letter groups are common in English and which are not.
This is a no-nonsense phonics program that will help a second grader who is struggling with the basic concepts of letters and the sounds and patterns of English. Reviewers say that it does a good job of reviewing skill-by-skill, offering a firm foundation for progress in reading. Downsides include no way to skip more basic material if your student is somewhere in the middle and a somewhat boring presentation.
If the goal is to get phonics concepts into a child’s head, and you don’t mind a bit of coaxing to use the app since it is not likely to make the favorites list, this one will get the job done. It includes direct teaching, games, and phonics controlled stories to read.
PeekABoo Studios, LLC – $4.99 iOS/ Free for Android
Second graders can read grade-level passages and answer multiple-choice questions in this app designed to help kids prepare for those all-important tests. The passages cover loads of nonfiction topics and help kids find the text evidence to support their answers.
The app covers vital second-grade skills, including finding the main idea, determining the author’s purpose, making inferences, sequencing, distinguishing fact and opinion, and doing problem-solving. The Android version is ad-supported.
Here’s an app that makes the crossover from speech-language therapy to reading. Sequencing, or understanding the order of events, is crucial to comprehension. This app helps second graders get a handle on event order so they can understand how actions unfold in the plot of a story.
The app uses common, everyday activities that all children can relate to for helping them understand first, second, next and last concepts. It encourages them to build their own story-telling skills as well as helps them understand the events that are unfolding in stories.
News-O-Matic offers 5 current events stories each day at kid-friendly reading levels. You can even adjust the reading level to be most appropriate for the student! The stories include graphics, charts, diagrams, illustrations, video, and audio clips and more to support understanding. Help kids get in touch with the world around them.
The news articles are current and topical, so they make fantastic discussion starters. Teachers or parents can also use them as jumping-off points for other learning projects or further research. In-app purchases range from $9.99 to $34.99 for various levels of subscriptions. This app offers a great way to keep in touch with the current events at an accessible reading level.
Get your second grader practicing with these ten original stories that include a variety of common core aligned comprehension questions. Audio files are included for each story if your student struggles a bit with decoding. The app is great for learning about text support, because it highlights the information in the passage that supports the correct answer.
There are loads of nonfiction topics with real kid-appeal, such as peacocks, frogs, and hot air balloons. The app will keep records for multiple students, too, so you can track student progress.
Super Reader offers 24 short stories that will tickle the imagination of your second-graders. The stories were written with young readers in mind, and developers worked hard to make the app child-friendly as can be. The app works well on both iPad and iPhone, so you can access stories on the go whenever you wish.
Each story includes a multiple-choice quizthat will help children build critical comprehension skills. The app keeps records, too, so teachers and parents can always find out how well a child is performing.
There’s a 2 day free trial on this app so you can check it out thoroughly before buying. This app offers a load of animal stories (25 in fact) that are perfect to appeal to second graders. Each story allows readers to hear unfamiliar vocabulary words, and each one includes reading comprehension exercises.
There’s a practice mode where your student will get instant feedback to questions and have the opportunity to correct wrong answers. The test mode prepares children for real-life testing situations where they need to consider their answers carefully and only have one chance to get it right.
Reading is Fundamental, Inc. – Free with in-app purchases
Here is a huge collection of reading material from the best of the best. Most parents will recall LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow… this app is its reincarnation. Kids can “check out” up to five books at a time from a library with over 300 titles.
The subscription costs (an in-app purchase) range from $5.00 per month to $40.00 per year, so there is a bit of a fee after a 30-day free trial. But if parents want their children to have continual access to high-quality literature, it may be a good investment for the family.
Age of Learning, Inc. – Free with in-app purchases
Access thousands of books complete with comprehension quizzes in this great app. You can assign books or broad themes and point young readers in the right direction. It’s an easy way to provide Common Core-based exercises, too.
After a short free trial, users will need to subscribe to this one. Prices range from $4.99 per month to $79.99 for longer subscriptions. The app does support family sharing, so it can be loaded onto up to six devices. And many of the stories are available offline once they are downloaded.