An occasional departure from routine vocabulary or spelling exercises can be warranted in the classroom. To boost literacy skills, teachers can have kids identify a few unfamiliar words at the end of each game and add them to their vocabulary journals or spelling lists. Playing Chicktionary in pairs could help kids learn from each other.

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Chicktionary presents seven letters on the bellies of seven chickens. From there, kids must try to create as many words as they can in a certain amount of time. They tap a letter, and an egg with that letter drops below the chickens into the word-building window. When kids have a word ready to submit, they tap Enter. Valid words are added to an egg crate at the top of the screen. If a word is misspelled or it's not a valid word, the eggs go back up to the chickens, and a chicken (understandably) clucks, "Uh-oh!"

Chicktionary can be a fun way for kids to learn a little vocabulary and practice spelling. They can set their own goals by selecting the target number of words to find. Groups of eggs in the crate represent target words, each a specific length -- for example, four eggs for a four-letter word. As kids try to find words to fill the crate, they're encouraged to push themselves to make longer words than they might otherwise. You can't create custom word lists, but spelling practice is incorporated with gameplay, making this an entertaining alternative to routine spelling exercises.

Beak Sneak and Free Bird buttons provide hints when kids need help. If kids want to know the meaning of a word, they can tap it to pause the game and do an online search. Unfortunately, the results can provide numerous unrelated hits; a great addition would be a reliable in-app dictionary that gives examples of words in context. Kids interested in learning new words and checking their spellings can study the word list at the end of each game.

Overall Rating

Engagement

The chicken theme, with squawks, clucks, and flying feathers, makes for entertaining gameplay. Adaptive goals are achievable, and kids can time themselves.

Pedagogy

Although practice is key to learning, kids don't get feedback on words they misspell. We suggest access to accurate definitions and words in context.

Support

Beak Sneak and Free Bird buttons provide support if kids are struggling. High scores list and "Eggchievements" let kids keep track of their progress.


Common Sense reviewer
Erin Wilkey Oh Common Sense Education