Apps to challenge Children’s understanding of parts of a sentence.

I am forever asking children to define an adjective, verb, noun etc in Literacy lessons. They will normally come back with the right definition but how many can pick examples from a sentence?

With my Year 5s yesterday we looked at a few apps to help us practise this.

The first app we used was ‘Shake-a-phrase’ app. The app focuses on having fun with words and has 3 different games and interactive challenges, the first a story starter – where children will be given the starting sentence to a story, the second SHAKE IT – which creates a new random sentence every time you shake – great for discovering new words and finally QUIZ ME: testing their skills with adjectives, verbs, nouns, prepositions and conjunctions.

We focused on the quiz me challenge and children were given sentences which they had to highlight examples of different sentence parts. It was amazing to see the understanding the children had or lack of it in some cases. Some started by just pressing any word and only realised after they were being scored and wrong answers cost points! It was also good for children to get instant feedback, click on a wrong word and it highlighted it red. It was a useful starter to our Literacy lesson and the children definitely had the chance to really further their understanding of nouns, adjectives and verbs. I found that this was an exercise that really engaged the boys as they received that instant feedback but also with the competitive elements of levels and scores.

Year 5 using Shake a Phrase app from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.


With the other Year 5 class we had some fun using the apps  ‘Mad Libs‘ and ‘Wordventure,’ two free apps which really engaged the children as it is basically making some really silly stories by adding examples of nouns, verbs and adjectives. Again this only works properly if children have a sound understanding of these features and the children quickly realise if they have done it right, if their story reads right. It also asks for plurals and specific types of nouns. Some of the texts that we produced had the class in stitches and they all wanted to share their humorous stories without realising that they were furthering their understanding of sentence parts.

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