You are on page 1of 7

Chirana Berntson

CHD 119
Reading Resource
May 6th, 2014
PBSKids.org Reading Games
Grades K-1
PBSKids.org
I decided to use two reading resource games from pbskids.org for my
reading resource assignment. The first game is called, "Alphabet soup,"
and the second is called, Town Crier. These two games are available
to play for free on pbskids.org along with many other high quality
games. Alphabet Soup is located at
http://pbskids.org/sesame/home/alphabet-soup/ and Town Crier is
located at http://pbskids.org/martha/stories/towncrier/ on the Internet.
Alphabet Soup features the very popular Sesame Street
character Cookie Monster. He is very hungry and wants to eat some
alphabet soup, and it is the child's job to help him spell out words with
the noodle letters in the soup. For example, the game will give you two
letters, such a B and T, with a blank space in between those letters. It
will then give you a choice of three letters, such as O A I, that the child
can use to fill in the word to complete it. There are three reasons that I
really like this game; it is interactive for the child, Cookie Monster talks
and demonstrates the phoneme sounds for each letter choice, and
when a child makes a word, Cookie Monster says the word that they

made and they also shows a picture of the word . I feel that all parts of
the game help the child remediate or help their reading skills.

The Town Crier game featured on pbskids.org is very interactive


and fun for children. In this game there are three sections where the
children can either learn about the parts of a newspaper, make their
own wacky news stories, or even design their own front page with their
choice of pictures and print them out. When the child makes their own
wacky news story, they first pick out their news story category such as
weather or sports, then they type in their name, pick animals to be
featured in their story, and choose verbs to give the story action. After
they select all of these choices, the game creates a newspaper story
for them based on the choices they picked. The story is silly and it is
fun for children to read. In the newspaper front-page design section,
the child can enter words to create their own crossword puzzle, select
the weather, write their own article, and upload or draw their own
picture for the front page. When they are all done, they can save their
front page to their computer or print it out for them to keep.
The Alphabet Soup game promotes phonemic awareness
because it requires readers to notice how letters represent sounds.
After the child selects a letter to make a new word, Cookie Monster
tells the child the phoneme sound the letter makes. For example, if the
child selected the letter U to go between the letters C and B to create

the word Cub, Cookie Monster would tell the child, "Good job! You
created the word cub. The U makes the uhhh sound. I like that word a
lot." Because Cookie Monster speaks the phoneme out loud, I feel that
it really helps the child with phonemic awareness and to learn how
words are created. It also gets them ready to read more printed words
and helps them with sounding out and reading new words.
The Alphabet Soup game helps children understand alphabetic
principle by reinforcing the idea that words are made up of sounds. The
children can see the beginnings of a word by it being spelled out in the
soup, but it's only when they add another letter that they pick that an
actual word is formed. Once they add the letter they can both visually
see the new word spelled out and also hear Cookie Monster tell them
they word that they made. Another part of the alphabetic principle is
the concept of phonemic recoding. This is where they child
understands the letter and phoneme relationship to form new words
and because of this can decode words that are completely new to
them. The Alphabet Soup game can also help with this part of
alphabetic principle because before the child picks the letter to form
the new word they can try and guess, either by themselves or with
their parents help, how to say the new word they are about to create.
Cookie Monster will then tell them how to say their new word correctly.
The Alphabet Soup game helps children to improve their fluency
with text. In Alphabet Soup, Cookie Monster helps the child to decode

words because children have to rely on the letter sounds to know what
word they are going to make instead of just looking at a picture. Cookie
Monster also helps them by saying what phonetic sound the letter
makes before they make the new word. To have good fluency in
reading, the child needs to be able to see letter and sound
relationships accurately and quickly and to be able to decode new
words quickly. Cookie Monster breaks down the word for them in a fun
way and speaks the new word to them once they create it. This helps
them later on when they have to decode new words they dont know
yet. This game forces the child to process every letter of the word that
Cookie Monster is having them create, and this is important when
trying to improve a childs fluency with text.
The Town Crier game is great for helping a child learn new
vocabulary. In the Guide to the News section, the children are shown
new vocabulary words that all relate to newspapers, such as the words:
front page, sections, factual and others. The character that narrates
the game explains the word and the word is shown for the child along
with an image to illustrate it. In another section, the children create
their own wacky news stories. Once they pick out their own choice of
topic, animals to be included in the story, and verbs, they can see and
read their fun story because it is displayed for them as a newspaper
article with the words they chose highlighted. They can read the story
or have their parents help them read along with them. I feel that since

they story is silly and because they created it themselves, reading the
story will be more fun for the child and they will be more likely to
remember the new vocabulary words included in their story.
The Town Crier game helps children improve their reading
comprehension by letting the child create their own stories and front
pages of the newspaper. Some of the best ways to improve a childs
reading comprehension are to have them read a story out loud and
have them read it over and over. I feel that with the way that this game
is designed, by letting the child create fun news stories and their own
front page of the newspaper, that they will be more likely to read the
material. I also feel that it is important for a parent to be there to help
read the story to the child in case they dont know some of the words.
The two games connect to the Virginia Standards of Learning in
several ways. In reading, it is a standard for kindergarteners to
understand how print is organized and read. The Town Crier game
helps in this area by letting the child create their own subjects and
verbs for their silly news story and then letting them read the story by
themselves or with their parents. Another SOL is for the child to
understand that printed words convey meaning. Both the Town Crier
game and the Alphabet Soup game show clear examples of this. The
Town Crier game displays a funny story that they create along with an
illustration. In Alphabet Soup, when a child creates a new word, Cookie
Monster shows a picture of the word they created such as mug or a

cub. This clearly shows the child that letters put together create words
that have meaning and then words put together can tell a story. The
Alphabet Soup game helps the child understand basic phonetic
principles, which is another SOL for kindergarteners. Cookie Monster
tells the child what phonetic sound the new letter makes and how,
when you add it to existing letters, a new word can be created. Both
games can be used to expand a childs vocabulary because both are
introducing new words to the child with helping them learn how to
pronounce them as well as showing a visual illustration of them.
Not just these two games that Ive looked at, but all of the
reading games available on pbskids.org are great resources for
children and parents to visit for reading enrichment and remediation.
The games are so fun, interactive, and of high quality that Im
surprised that they are available for free. Because they are so well
made, I think that children can forget that they are actually
strengthening their reading skills because they are having so much
fun. Each game is different, but if the child plays just a few of them
their reading skills can be improved across many areas.
The Alphabet Soup and Town Crier reading games available on
pbskids.org are two fun and enriching games available to children to
help them improve their reading skills. The Alphabet Soup game
strengthens the childs ability to be aware about phonemes, alphabetic
principle, and fluency with text while the Town Crier game helps the

child with their reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. The


games succeed in helping children strengthen their reading skills by
making the process of learning fun.