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8 Great Apps for Teaching Literature - Archived

8 Great Apps for Teaching Literature - Archived

Teaching LiteratureTeaching literature involves having great texts on hand at every moment. You also want to make those texts more accessible to students and teach them how to analyze, evaluate and simply understand them. These 8 great apps for teaching literature make all of that possible. Not only will these apps provide your students with a wealth of free texts in multiple formats, but they will provide them with information on how to make meaning with those texts and, possibly help them develop a love for literature like your own.


Goodreads is designed to help individuals find books they like and share those books with others. Students can share book recommendations with one another or find suggestions for new books based on those they have said they liked. In addition, students can rate and review books, allowing them to avoid books they despised and quickly return to those they loved, or take notes on books as they read them. The app also contains over 2,000 free eBooks for users to read.


Students who are auditory learners or those who simply have trouble concentrating may appreciate Audible. Through the app users can listen to hundreds of thousands of audio books, bookmarking parts of the book or changing the speed of the book in order to make it easier to listen. In addition, the app motivates students to read by giving them the opportunity to earn badges for the reading/listening they do.


Through SparkNotes, students can read book summaries, character overviews and general analyses of great literary works. While not a substitute for reading the actual book, the SparkNotes app can help students find information to help them better understand a piece of literature or find information to include in a literary analysis paper. Numerous study guides are available, including those for popular dramatic works, poetry and short stories.

Literary Analysis Guide

At some point in time every high school and college student must write a literary analysis paper or complete another literary analysis activity. When that time comes, the Literary Analysis Guide comes in handy. The app features three different wheels which contain information about poetry, prose and rhetoric. Using the wheel, students can access an overview and examples of common literary terms. These terms and definitions will help guide students as they create their own analysis of literary works.

Poetry Daily

The more poetry students read and discuss the better they become at understanding the genre. Poetry Daily gives students plenty of poetry to read. The app offers a new poem every day. Users can bookmark their favorite poems and also explore information about the poets behind the works. There is also a section on the latest poetry news which may spark critical discussion in a literature class.

Literary Review

Literature teachers who want to keep up on the latest happenings in the literary world can do so with the Literary Review app. While full access to the app requires a subscription to the Literary Review, the cost is nominal and gives you access to reviews of the latest publications in multiple genres and critical discussions of literature. It also comes with the ability to search past editions of the publication to find articles relevant to your teaching.

Pocket Fiction

With Pocket Fiction, users can access a wide variety of unique literature. Stories are submitted by other users and can be read, rated and reviewed. Favorite stories and authors can be bookmarked to make them easier to find again. Thousands of stories are available, giving students plenty to read. They may even find themselves reading something from the next great author.


You do not have to have an actual eReader to enjoy books on your iPhone. Save your students money and space with the Kindle app. The app allows users to download eBooks from Amazon directly to a smartphone or tablet. Most of the eBooks are searchable, allowing students to quickly find passages they need and they can also bookmark passages for future reference. In addition to reading eBooks, the Kindle app also comes with a dictionary and the ability to read and send PDF documents.