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Owl & Mouse Software: A Review: Reading and Phonics

By Jacqueline Chinappi

In this second installment we will look at the phonics and reading software and activities Owl and Mouse offers for free. Owl and Mouse has lined up activities pre-reading to reading which leads into the reading program "Bridge to Reading" where students will read through an entire book.


The reading and phonics software on Owl and Mouse follows a pre-reading to reading level. The first software program available teaches the students letters and how to write them. The second activity the students move onto teaches children the letter sounds at three different levels. With this activity the student listens to the name of the picture then matches it to the starting letter. For instance you are showed a picture of a “Rooster” and you hear the child on the program say “Rooster”. The student is given three different letter choices and must drag the picture to the correct letter. When the student gets the answer correct the word “Rooster” appears on screen and is said again two more times.

The next few activities work on letter sounds involving letter blends, “S” blends, short vowels and long vowels. After working through these online activities (no download required) the student can download the free Reading software program to help them advance to the reading levels.

Bridge to Reading

The Bridge to Reading Software teaches children through visual images and settings as they read through a fairytale story. Each page starts off simple enough:

Opening page:

  • Girl near water with a margin on bottom where activity and typing will take place
  • In the blue margin a picture of a cat is shown, the word cat is shown , and you hear the word cat spoken.
  • The student is then shown four different letters
  • The student must choose the correct letters to spell the word cat in order
  • Once this is done correctly a cat comes out to join the girl
  • This keeps going as we then spell the word dog, fish, and bird.
  • The activities get more difficult as it continues onto “The cat”, “The dog”, etc.

By the end of the activities and reading through the fairytale book the student will have:

· Read sentences with up to 11 words

· Read 105 of the most common words

· Read through 50 scenes with over one dozen talking characters

Overall Rating

I think these activities and reading program is simple yet fun. The first few activities need not be downloaded and can be played directly online, saves time for downloads which is an extra plus. The “Bridge for Reading” program needs to be downloaded but takes less than a minutes using DSL. Graphics are simple but keeps the interest of youngsters, even kept my interest because I couldn’t’ wait to see what was going to come next. Wonderful product for free!