Editorial Review

Starfall ABCs

ABCs and phonics integrate with fun images, animations, and activities
Graphite Rating 3
  • Each letter is shown in capital and lowercase form, and kids hear the letter's name and sound.
  • Kids complete activities for each letter.
  • Interactive games include letter discrimination, or choosing the one that doesn't belong.
  • Kids will enjoy the cute and funny pictures and animations.
It's all about the ABCs and giving kids a solid understanding of the letters and their sounds.
There's no way for teachers to review which letters kids have mastered.
Bottom Line
Though the same content is available for free on Starfall's website, the mobility is worth the investment for an iPad-equipped classroom.

Graphite Expert Review

Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Graphite Reviewer
Graphite Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 5

Offers enough task variety to keep preschoolers engaged. Interactive sequences are especially stimulating.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids see spelled-out words and hear them sounded out. Games teach matching as well as lower- and uppercase letters. Mazes empower kids to make choices and spell words with puzzle pieces. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Presents each letter in a variety of ways: visually, audibly, and within words and sentences.

Read how we rate and review all products on Graphite.
What's It Like?

Kids select a letter from Starfall ABCs main page and watch it make a grand entrance (Vs are vacuumed in, and Ts come in on a train). The starring letter is sounded out, and several screens follow with images of objects or animations featuring things that start with the letter (pink pigs, zigzags). Many letters are supported by games, of matching letters or selecting the letter that doesn't belong (F, f, or x?). Kids also can place letters in the right order to form a word and have it sounded out slowly. A silly tone keeps interest high. For example, turtles play tunes at the end of a train.

Read More Read Less
Is It Good For Learning?

Starfall ABCs is a solid early-learning app with a thorough approach to presenting the alphabet to preschoolers. Kids hear the sounds of each letter repeated often and can both hear and see how each letter is used in words. Each word has some cute animations they can trigger, followed by interactive games such as puzzles and mazes, as well as chances to see words used in sentences. It's an attractive, colorful, and in-depth introduction to the alphabet.

Starfall's free website is well-respected for its learn-to-read activities, and Starfall ABCs is one portion of the site. Because iOS devices are not Flash-enabled and the ABC portion of the website requires Flash, kids can't play these games for free through the browser on an iPad or other iOS device. Teachers will have to weigh the convenience of the mobile version against the price if classes have access to both computers and iOS devices.

Read More Read Less
How Can Teachers Use It?

Starfall ABCs could be a great way to introduce your whole class to a letter of the day or week. Kids can view the pictures and animations with you demonstrating the activities or calling on volunteers to complete them. Kids also can work individually on teacher-assigned or self-chosen letters. They may enjoy copying the premise of Starfall ABCs to create their own pictures and songs to teach a letter to their peers, which would further reinforce learning.

Read More Read Less

See how teachers are using Starfall ABCs

Lesson Plans

Relevant Discussions

Topics from our community related to Critical Thinking, Communication & Collaboration, and English Language Arts.

Graphite Community Forums

Looking for more tips and advice from other educators? Here are a few forums that might interest you.
See All Critical Thinking Related Topics
See All Communication & Collaboration Related Topics
See All English Language Arts Related Topics