Review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2016
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Sentence Maker

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Use photos and word tiles to create organized sentences

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts
  • English-Language Learning

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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5 images

Pros: So many settings; the app can grow with each student's abilities.

Cons: There's some but not enough diversity in the picture choices.

Bottom Line: Elevate kids' understanding of sentence structure in a low-stress way.

If students have trouble grasping the concept of building sentences through proper word choices and organization, Sentence Maker can provide customized practice to meet them at their current level of understanding. Change the settings and even add your own items on the app (pictures, sentences, voice, and languages other than English) to customize Sentence Maker to students' needs.

Invite students to watch you complete a few sentences, talk about details in the pictures, and have them take a turn. Demonstrate how kids can use the same basic sentence structure but include different words to construct new meanings. Kids can stay with this activity for quite some time, as new sentences continue to appear as long as desired.

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Sentence Maker can help kids learn the basics of word pairing and sentence structure. A crisp, simple photo acts as the subject of the sentence and appears along with scattered words that are used to create the sentence. Grayscale tiles for each word line the bottom of the screen in sentence order. Kids need to read each scattered word (or tap and have it read to them by the narrator), then place words in proper order. If they don't move the word to its match, the app makes a "boing" sound and the word won't fit into that spot. Once words are matched, the narrator speaks the entire sentence so kids can hear how it flows.

Sentence Maker includes multiple custom settings on both the free and paid version (more on the paid version) to increase written language understanding.

Sentence Maker provides a direct, visual, adaptable way for kids to practice word pairing and sentence making. The real-life images of actions and objects (such as a kid swimming, a beautiful door, or a baby smiling) are pleasant and relatable. The letter tile and word grouping format is easy to recognize and understand. While there is some inclusion of images of people of both genders, as well as different ages and races, a broader range of pictures would increase the app's diversity. Users can add their own images and their own voice-overs on the paid version.

Settings are highly customizable and extensive. Settings can be customized to fit each kid's needs, including using only word pairs, giving hints, and deleting or adding images and sentences. Within the settings features, users can choose from extensive phrase and sentence libraries to help their students practice with the appropriate challenge. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Teachers can use the many customizable settings to maximize engagement for each student. The pictures, easy-to-understand user interface, and friendly narrative voice create a fun, low-stress, sentence-making tool.

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

Start with two-word pairs and progress up to five-word sentences on this app that features adaptable sentence practice. A broader diversity of images in pictures could elevate the app's relatability.

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

Excellent settings choices and clear explanations. Accessible for kids within a range of language and reading skills as well as for kids with special learning needs.

Common Sense Reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Colleen M. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Lakeshore Elementary School
Holland, United States
Good for early readers
I think that this app is good but is also limited. For ELL students it can help with sentence structure and vocabulary development. Students with basic word knowledge can use this app. It has audio to go along so it teaches the words along with the sentence structure. It is limited in it's excitement so engagement has been an issue. This would be a good app for use for a warm up activity for 5 minutes or less. Any longer and I think students would loose engagement.
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