Letter Muncher_chRecently I received an email from an app site reviewer asking why the Letter Muncher wouldn't "munch" the chicken when looking for words that start with c.

She had noticed that broom was fine for b and so was brick. So why not chicken for c?

The short answer is that chicken doesn't start with c; it starts with ch.

And that's where the learning gets tricky… but necessary!

One of the many things that makes learning to read and spell English so difficult is this idea of digraphs, that some sounds are created by multiple letters even though most sounds are created by single letters. Common consonant digraphs include not only ch but also sh, th, and wh, all of which we included when making Letter Muncher.

The case of broom and brick presents a different issue, however, as br is a consonant blend, not a consonant digraph. The difference between a digraph, like ch, and a blend, like br, is that you can hear the b sound in br (such as in broom) but you can't hear the c in chicken. Similarly, you can hear the s in something like start or stop but you can't hear it in ship or share.

When we created Letter Muncher, we wanted the game to cover the same concepts that a classroom teacher would when providing instruction about initial consonants. Just as a teacher would concentrate on only a few letter sounds at a time, so can a parent or teacher focus and individualize a child's learning by using the Options tools included in the game. Also, we included the auditory supports for just this kind of learning, so that a child could hear the name of a letter and the sound it makes (tap the letter sign post) as well as the name of each of the objects (tap each item).

Here at We Come to Learn, we always strive to make games that are both entertaining and that hold true to their academic purposes and learning objectives. Some might argue that these distinctions between regular consonants, consonant blends, and consonant digraphs is picky, particularly when we're talking about a children's computer game, but the truth is that even these subtle differences are really significant when reading and spelling. Remember, at We Come to Learn, it's not just a game; it's a learning experience!