Teach Your Monster to Read

Phonics adventure oozes charm, has limited learning potential

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 9 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Topics

English Language Arts

Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Web

Pros: Cute and silly designs -- including personalized avatars -- appeal to kids, making phonics practice more fun.

Cons: There's not much variety in the games, and gameplay can be confusing.

Bottom Line: Great style and character that'll get young children exploring letter sounds and sentences, but games could grow old quickly.

Teachers can have students play the game at home or at school. Each student creates an account, which allows teachers to monitor their progress through a dashboard, including how often they play, what games they're playing, and how well they're doing. This makes it a great way to assess basic reading and prereading skills as well as a fun way for kids to learn, on their own time and on their own terms. Students can also use the story as a starting point to come up with their own creative ideas: writing stories about how their monster damaged its ship, for example, or designing their monster's home world in art class. Flash cards also provide an opportunity for students to review frequently confused sounds.

Teach Your Monster to Read is an early literacy game available as an app and on the web. Kids play as an alien monster whose spaceship crashes on a deserted island. Missions focus on learning letter and vowel sounds, featuring a series of mini-games spread out across several islands displayed on a colorful map that visually tracks kids' progress. There's a lot to do, from designing the monster's appearance to conquering the mini-games to earning new rewards (such as underwear!) for the monster. The goal is to complete games to fix the monster's spaceship and escape the islands. There are three games in the series: First Steps, Fun with Words, and Champion Reader. The games build on each other and provide a logical, fun way for kids to improve their skills. It's free to play these games on the website, and users can also download a paid version of the same games for their mobile device.

Teach Your Monster to Read is a slick, colorful, and charming package that gets kids practicing essential ELA skills including sounds, blends, segments, phonemes, graphemes, and eventually sentences. If they have trouble with a specific part of the game, those sounds appear more frequently later on, so they get more chances to practice.

Though the games aren't showstoppers, they look great, and -- in combination with the customized monsters -- they should hold kids' attention. The game doesn't always explain exactly what needs to happen, so students may need some teacher support. The Champion Reader level offers more functionality for older and more advanced students. 

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Fun, cute, and creative, Teach Your Monster to Read will have kids hooked and giggling, but don't expect groundbreaking game design.


It's an enjoyable and engaging way to learn phonics and reading skills, but activities lack higher-order thinking skills.


It's pretty intuitive, and teachers can track student progress. Kids have to play around to figure out what to do, which might frustrate some.

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

Excellent phonics-based game (3 levels, plus higher level game) with free web-based version; new math component too.

Excellent tool for enjoyable practice of phonics skills. Modeled initial play of some of the little games so students understood the goal. No ads, so no distracting side elements. Students loved progressing through the lands, building their ship and flying to a new planet.

There is also a newer 4th level, called REading For FUn which my stronger 1st and 2nd graders love. This has a very different feel but is still super engaging.

Teachyourmonster.org has just released a Numbers game which is targeted to K4-Kinder students. It emphasizes number bonds and subitizing and it FABULOUS. They are adding more levels, but it has been a massive hit with my young students, who celebrate out loud often as they master a level. It is very calm in feel, which I like.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Unclear whether personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Unclear whether users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Unclear whether this product displays personalised advertising.

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