Word Mover

Common Sense Media says

Fun "found poetry" app improves on magnetic tiles.






What parents need to know

Ease of play

The in-app instruction guide is useful, but it isn't immediately obvious how to get to the guide. It also isn't intuitive to navigate to the main page of the app, and it isn’t immediately clear where saved work is stored.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable

This app does not come with any iffy language built in, but kids can add any words they'd like to a poem, including words that may offend.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

There are options to share kids' poetry through email, printing, or saving a photo to the iPad, but sharing is limited and not required.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Word Mover is a sandbox-style educational app that allows kids to explore language through moving tiles to create words, phrases, and poems. The app mimics poetry products featuring magnetic word tiles. There are big opportunities for learning with this app; the trick is making sure that kids engage with it with guidance.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • text analysis
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • historical figures



  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Engagement, Approach, Support


Word Mover is visually appealing; it's fun to experiment with color options while manipulating text. A younger user might be engrossed, but older kids may lose interest more quickly.

Learning Approach

There are great creative options built in. It's exciting to take an existing text and modify it, and the app could be a great vehicle for teaching simple lessons about subject-verb agreement or more complex lessons on structure and form.


The walk-through help available within the app and on the associated website is detailed and helpful, and the help screen is easily accessible. The app works well with the iPad's built-in accessibility tools, like text-to-speech.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • text analysis
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • historical figures



  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Kids can learn how words combine to form phrases and sentences, and they can experiment with making their own meanings from words. They can manipulate language by creating new poems from scratch or mixing up words from existing texts, and they can learn how to change words to make subjects and verbs agree. They also can explore how language changes over time and in different contexts. For example, the words in "America the Beautiful" are very different from the words in the "I Have a Dream" speech. Word Mover is a visually appealing app that mimics an engaging real-world product; guidance will help kids get the most out of it.

This Learning Rating review was written by Patricia Montic...

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

Kids can choose from five word banks: one with random words and four featuring the text of "Famous Works": the song "America the Beautiful," Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, and William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18." Kids also can add custom word tiles and can print, email, or save finished poems.

Is it any good?


WORD MOVER has all the strengths of the real-world product with some great digital improvements. Those magnetic tiles always seem to have a few key words missing (like conjunctions and verbs), and they're limited to the particular tenses that the manufacturer chose (like did instead of does). Word Mover makes it easy for users to make slight changes to existing words and to add completely new ones. This makes it possible for kids to see how changing word order might mean slight changes to the ways certain words are formed. Kids also can change the sizes of the word tiles, rotate them, and change the background pictures, as well as share their work by saving it the iPad's photos, sending it as an email, or printing.

Word Mover is fun to use, but it does have some limitations. It's time-consuming to add custom words, and it's not clear why the words included in the random word bank are there to begin with. Additionally, the "Famous Works" are offered without any context. It's certainly interesting to be able to engage with "America the Beautiful" and the "I Have a Dream" speech by taking them apart word by word, but parents may want to visit the app's page on ReadWriteThink for ideas on how to extend learning opportunities.

Families can talk about...

  • Create and save custom word lists. This is the most time-consuming element of the app, but some time spent customizing could make it more valuable and more connected to learning.

  • Tell kids about what the different famous works are, where they came from, and why the language varies. The ReadWriteThink site offers guidance.

App details

Pricing structure:Free
Release date:November 1, 2012
Size:46.10 MB
Publisher:National Council of Teachers of English
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Word Mover was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent Written byaziza_malik February 17, 2014

Word Mover Review

This is a review for the app Word Mover. Word Mover is an app that allows you to create "found" poetry from a bank of words. Three words that describe Word Mover are educational, fun, and helpful. We think this app is good for ages nine through twelve. We rate this app four-stars. We claim this app is good for use in the classroom. One reason we think it is good is it inspires you create poetry by giving you a bank of words to choose from. Also, if you think of additional words that are not on the list, you can add them in. This helps you practice your typing skills. Lastly, this app helps you learn vocabulary by exposing you to words you may not know. For example, you can select the words from the Gettysburg Address. One drawback to this app is that you may not know all of the words in your word bank. However, you can always look them up in a dictionary. As you can see, there are more good things about this app than bad. For this reason we highly recommend this app. To see a ThingLink interactive image of this review, click here: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/490601288300494849
What other families should know
Easy to play/use


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