Talking Fingers, Inc. has developed an interactive learning program for preschool readers called Talking Shapes.
Talking Shapes is a research-proven program created by neuropsychologist Dr. Jeannine Herron and funded in part by a research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Using pictures as mnemonic devices, it introduces the all 40 English speech sounds (phonemes) by helping children develop a correlation between the shape and sound of the letter.
Simple stories are used to introduce sounds and words. In the program, a story about a group of letters and their correlating phonemes is read to the child, and then the child is taught how to make the written letter that correlates with specific sounds. After the child has learned a group of letter-sound correlations, he can play a game that reinforces the correlations as the program helps him use that set of six sounds to make many different words. In the final task, the child works on reading short words. By introducing the twin concepts of “sounds make letters” and “letters make words” sequentially, children acquire phonemic awareness that then develops into the ability to read independently.
Talking Shapes is available from the iTunes App Store. It is compatible with the iPad and requires iOS 6.0 or later.
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A big thank you to Meg Falciani of Adventures with Jude for writing this introductory post.