This is the second inside a series of articles that I am writing about free educational websites. Starfall can be a website that also provides educational fun through games, videos, crafts and storytelling while teaching basic computer skills. This website is exceptional at teaching and developing reading comprehension and phonics skills. Although it is designed for first grade, Starfall is a good website for Pre-K through second grade. Starfall.com is to establish in sections for four stages of reading development, games and activities areas. It features:
o ABCs - In this section, there is an alphabet chart from where kids can click each letter to learn the sound celebrate and to hear it used in a word. There is also a row of vowels that, when clicked, teach kids the vowels and short and long vowel sounds. A sign language section teaches kids to sign the ABCs.
o Learn how to Read - On this section, there are fun animated music videos teaching the letters from the alphabets and sounds that every one makes. Stories which follow the music videos repeatedly use words containing the letters. The way of teaching pronunciation is quite creative. The "chunk that word" video is actually cute and fun as it teaches how to break words up and pronounce each chunk in order to learn to pronounce the whole word.
o Star Fall - It's Fun to Read - This section uses Art, Magic, Music, Poetry, Tongue twisters and riddles to demonstrate how fun it is to read. There is even an activity that lets the child create a story about their self.
o I'm Reading - This has plays, comics, as well as other types of stories to add folk tales, fiction, nonfiction, Greek myths and Chinese fables for your child's enjoyment.
o Games and Activities include making a calendar, holiday activities, word hunt, look for a clover and earth day recycling games. There's also more opportunities for creating stories.
o There is an online store for purchasing educational materials.
o Starfall printed material and internet based printouts are available in the download area.
o Several pages throughout the site have ideas for parent or teacher utilisation of the materials on the page.
o Stargazer - Kindergarten curriculum is really a new offering of Starfall. This can be a Kindergarten reading and language arts program available to buy.