Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow App

Most of you probably remember LaVar Burton and the popular show The Reading Rainbow. The Reading Rainbow App is based on the show. It is available on iPads and Kindle Fire. The app provides an unlimited library of children’s books and video field trips. While it is free to download the app, you must purchase a subscription to view the content. You have the option of subscribing for a year ($49.99), 6 months ($29.99), or monthly ($9.99). However, each family can download 5 books as a free trial.

This app could be used in and out of the classroom. Here are some examples:

  • Incentive for positive student behavior, grades, participation, etc. (The 3 students who earn the most golden stars by the end of the day will get to read one book on Reading Rainbow.)

  • Story time / Read-alouds (Find a story related to the day’s lesson and read it to students. Pick students to help you turn the page or interact with the story.)

  • Read 20 minutes a day (The option for having the app read the book to you is great for busy parents. Their child can still get in the 20 minutes of reading without them actually having to read to them.)

The website,, offers a few extras such as a blog and some video read-alouds.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create account/profile (It asks for a name and email address.)

  2. Unless you want to subscribe, choose the free trial option.

  3. Browse the islands (Animal Kingdom, Awesome People, Genius Academy, etc)

  4. Choose a book.

  5. Read it or have the app read it to you.

  6. After you read the story, play a game based on the story.

 I love children’s books! I think they can be used at any level, even high school. I downloaded one book from the Reading Rainbow app, part of my free trial, called Crazy like a Fox: A Simile Story. I would use this in a high school class to introduce and teach the concept of similes.

Even though this app does have a cost associated with it, I think it is worth it for the amount of books, videos, and activities that come with the subscription. You probably can’t buy 5 books at a bookstore for $49.99.

Posted on November 3, 2014 .