Free Literacy Apps for Elementary Students

Many teachers look for more ways to integrate technology in the classroom. This post helps meet that goal by sharing a list of free literacy apps for elementary students that can be used for different ELA/ Grammar concepts.

2020 UPDATE: This list of free literacy apps has been updated due to iOS changes for Apple Users. All app links provided lead to iTunes.

*While none of the apps mentioned here are sponsored, this post does contain Amazon affiliate links.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which do not cost any extra for you. Please see the full disclosure here.*

Resources for Literacy Instruction

This post about free literacy apps is a part of a series on helpful content geared toward literacy instruction in upper elementary classrooms. Here are the other posts to check out once you’ve read all of this post:

Posts with * beside their titles have free downloads available!

Free Literacy Apps for Technology Centers

One of the literacy center rotations I always have available is my Literacy through Technology group.

While the types of activities in this center vary throughout the school year, infusing literacy practice with technology remains a constant in my classroom.

The list of free apps presented below work well for differentiated instruction and are easy to implement.

Free Reading Apps For Elementary Students

5th Grade Reading Friendzy

This free literacy app builds skills in text comprehension with a multiple choice question format. Since most standardized testing has the multiple choice format, I especially use this app as a fun way for practice during testing season.

Yet, all throughout the school year, it gives students great practice with recalling information and referring back to the text for answers.

Reading Prep Comprehension

Another one of my favorite free literacy apps that builds better reading skills is the Reading Prep Comprehension App.

Students start as a Beginner always. It forces them to earn their progress from one level to another.

Most free versions of any app have limits and only advance up to a certain level. This is the also the case with this free version.

But each level in the free version provides enough practice with reading fundamentals for students in grades K-8.

Inference Ace and Inference Clues Apps

Inferencing is such a pivotal reading skill for students to master! In a nutshell, inferencing is like “reading between the lines.”

When students are able to use what they already know about a topic and connect it with details from the story, they will have a deeper understanding of that text. 

This is one of the hallmarks of reading comprehension.

Providing on-going practice with inferencing requires intention and work for teachers.

That is why I love these free inferencing apps! They are already set up for differentiated instruction because each one provides levels that are pre-set. 

It tracks student progress, which makes it super easy for me to see which of my kiddos still need targeted practice with this reading skill.

Main Idea Reading Apps

Identifying the main idea is an important skills for elementary students to master.

Both of these free apps offer practice with this skill.

You can scaffold instruction by starting with Main Idea Sentences, then advance to the Main Idea Short Texts app.

Or you can differentiate your centers by assigning the different apps to students based on their skill level.

Either way, both apps give students targeted practice identifying the main idea.

Grammar and Word Work Apps

Preposition Master

Here are details for this free literacy app:

  • It offers a Single Player (free version) and Multi-Player (paid version only) section.
  • Differentiated instruction is easy with this app because it comes with levels to choose from.
  • Students see their mistakes immediately and can correct answers as they go.
  • And it contains the ability to save finished results to be shared with parents if needed.

Related Resources:

Preposition and Prepositional Phrases Spinner Activity Set

Daily Grammar Practice Strips for the FULL School Year

Everything You Need to Succeed with Digital Literacy Centers


Sentence Master Grammar App

Sentence Master offers leveled practice identifying different types of sentences.

It contains 5 levels with sentences that are written incorrectly. Students must change the grammar in each sentence to score points.

It’s an easy way to practice grammar during your center rotations or fun practice for early finishers.

Wordscapes Word Builder App

Another one of the free literacy apps that elementary students love is the Wordscapes Word Builder App.

I will be honest and admit that I am a little hooked to this app for myself. Creating new words for each level becomes addicting!

My number one complaint is that the free version has ads that pop-up in between levels. Be mindful of this if you choose to use it in your classroom.

Wordly Word Search App

Have you ever heard of or played Boggle? If not, check this link out for more info on Boggle.

The free literacy app Wordly has similar features to the game Boggle.

Although this app showcases a game format, it still reinforces much-needed word building skills for students to improve literacy skills.

Reading and writing are strengthened when students can fluently decode and identify words. The more words students know, the better their chances of comprehending well.

Plus, Wordly can be used to help older kids who struggle with spelling.

Johnny Grammar Word Challenge

This app shows timed questions for vocabulary, grammar, spelling, etc. in the format of a riddle.

Students must beat the clock to answer the ELA / grammar question before moving on to the next round.

Nonfiction Reading Apps for Students

Both of the free literacy apps below work really well for students who need extra practice with nonfiction texts.

Newsela is free, but you will need a paid teacher account to unlock all of its features.

Newsela Nonfiction Reading Articles

News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids works best for kids ages 6-14. It is structured like a daily, mini newspaper for kids.

News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids

These nonfiction reading apps can be used for centers or early finishers. If your students have devices at home, you may can recommend these apps for extra practice as well.

Google Slides and Google Docs

If you have access to any of the Google Classroom Apps like Google Slides and Google Docs, these free apps can offer very engaging literacy practice for your students.

Here’s a free literacy activity that gives practice with sentence types like declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative sentences.

It allows you to change those terms to telling, question, exclamation, and command if that works better for your students.

You can click the image or click HERE to access this free literacy activity for your technology centers.

Once you grab your freebie, be sure to head back to the top of this post for more helpful content geared toward literacy instruction.

Happy Teaching 🦋

The Butterfly Teacher

2 Responses

    1. Hi Katie,
      I just checked the iTunes store on my iPhone and the Reading Friendzy app still exists. It is broken into grade levels. Hopefully that helps! Thanks for asking. 🙂

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