TeachersFirst's Audio Books

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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple categories of books and different download or listening formats. Some selections are audio only. Others include text to follow on the site as you listen, while others include options to interact with the book by clicking, responding, and watching animations. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways. Narrow your search by choosing TeachersFirst's specialized collections of audio books with accompanying text or audio books with interactive features.

 

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Groundhog Day and Possum Night Talking Storybook - Mighty Book

Grades
K to 3
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This is a talking storybook that tells the story of Groundhog Day (and a bit more.) Animations and silly music help bring the story to life and add interest for ...more
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This is a talking storybook that tells the story of Groundhog Day (and a bit more.) Animations and silly music help bring the story to life and add interest for students. Students can follow along as text is highlighted when being read. The story can also be stopped at anytime and pages can be flipped forward and backward.

tag(s): holidays (147), preK (279)

In the Classroom

This would be a great site to use on classroom computers as a center close to Groundhogs Day. Show the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students circle and find adjectives, nouns, or verbs in the story.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Aesops Fables Online Collection - John R Long Star Systems

Grades
1 to 10
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Come on in and enjoy the ageless and timeless wisdom of Aesop and his Fables at this award winning site. There are a total of 638 Fables, indexed in table ...more
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Come on in and enjoy the ageless and timeless wisdom of Aesop and his Fables at this award winning site. There are a total of 638 Fables, indexed in table format, with morals listed. Aseop lived 2,500 yeas ago and never wrote any tales down. Ambrose Pierce, Jean De La Fontaine I, Rev. George Fyler Townsend, and Hans Christian Andersen have retold these tales. A life history of Aesop is included. Some tales include audio narration, while all are in written format.

tag(s): folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Aesops Fables, comprehensive resource for fable collection is necessary for every classroom. Have a very extensive collection of life, history, morals, and fables. Use during language arts as part of a genre study or as part of literary themes. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use on individual computers and include in centers. During Writing Workshop, find ways to change the morals into modern stories. Use as scripts for Readers' Theater, podcasts, or reading comprehension. During character development, challenge students to find ways to incorporate into lessons.

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ABCya - ABCYA.com, l.l.c,

Grades
K to 5
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ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click...more
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ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click on your grade level (K-5) and find what is available under language arts, math, and other subjects. Specific topics range from basic typing activities to creating word clouds to grammar games (at all levels) and so much more. The interactives are teacher approved and offer colorful and attention grabbing ways for learning. Opportunities for sharing on Facebook, tweeting, and sharing on social bookmarking sites are incorporated. This is a MUST SEE site for elementary teachers looking for some great practice sites for basic skills!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), decimals (133), drawing (78), fractions (239), game based learning (103), geometric shapes (163), keyboarding (38), latitude (13), literacy (103), longitude (13), number sense (97), numbers (204), operations (126), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstration how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center AT the whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Podiobooks - Evo Terra, Tee Morris, and Chris Miller

Grades
6 to 12
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Podiobooks is an online library of audio books available for free download. There are categories for children and young adults, and several different genres. Click on the "Browse our...more
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Podiobooks is an online library of audio books available for free download. There are categories for children and young adults, and several different genres. Click on the "Browse our Titles" link to search for children's books. Many titles are classics and appropriate for middle school and teen readers. You can download to your computer, get an RSS feed, or download to an MP3 player. Options for listening include downloading one chapter at a time or getting the entire book. Authors donate their works to this site which also includes books already in the public domain, such as The Wizard of Oz. Some works are in the process of being recorded. Listeners have to wait for remaining chapters.

Without registering, you can download items manually. All you have to do is navigate to a book page, scroll down and click on the name of any episode. Play it on your computer or save it to your hard drive for later. Registering allows Podiobook to build a custom podcast feed just for you. They will customize each feed so that it is updated once a week. You can change that to once a month, or once a day if you need to. Be aware: the titles on the main page (at the time of this review) were not appropriate for elementary students. There is an option "Erotica" in the search options. So be sure to preview what you wish to share AND be certain that students know where they are allowed to search and the consequences for not following the rules. Adults may want to download for the students and offer the files offline. Joining and designing a "feed" of teacher-selected books avoids the complicated issue of monitoring content.

tag(s): audio books (32), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Teachers and parents need to supervise title selection or do the downloads themselves. Send students directly to the children's or young adult categories to ensure age appropriateness for your students. Find appropriate books for students to use at a listening learning center. Have an actual hard copy of the book; then use this site for your learning support students or weaker readers to help them build fluency, increase their vocabulary and pronunciation of new words. Provide this link ( maybe the link to just the children's section) on your class website for students (and families) to access out of the classroom.

Make a listening center or load the mp3 files on a set of iTouches for student listening. If you choose to register, an email address is required. Rather than using your personal email address (or professional), sign up for a gmail account (FREE).
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News English Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and...more
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and many teaching materials to go with them. Though the look of the site is cluttered with advertising and plain text, the content is worthwhile. Developed for ESL/ELL students and teachers, the site would also work well in a subject area, learning support, or reading classroom. There are MANY articles "ready to go," including mp3 audio files to listen to the articles. At the time of this review there were 200+ new additions! Each article includes several types of activities such as "online gap fill" (a Cloze reading activity), vocabulary flashcards, and hangman, and matching. A full script is available in pdf form. There is also an online, interactive quiz for students. The articles, and a lot more activities, can be downloaded and printed, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): diseases (66), listening (91), news (261)

In the Classroom

The articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!

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Little Lilly Polka Dot - Wendy Grimm

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet...more
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet to hear the letter names (turn up the speakers). The games portion has a very simple number puzzle to put numbers 1-4 into place. The activities section has printable coloring pages. Be sure to check out the book, a story about Lilly Polka Dot and her fear of going to the doctor. The book provides audio or the sound can be turned off for someone else to read.

tag(s): alphabet (92), numbers (204), phonics (75)

In the Classroom

Share the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a health unit for students to learn that going to the doctor isn't scary. Create links to the alphabet and number activities on classroom computers for students to practice. Write (and decorate) your own Lilly Polka Dot stories. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to easily access at home.
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Books Should Be Free - BooksShouldbe free

Grades
K to 12
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis ...more
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, J.B. Barrie, Hugh Lofting, and Beatrix Potter. Some audio tracks are available in different languages. The most significant collection appears to be in French and German. Download MP3 files for each chapter in one zip file (333 MB) or directly into iTunes. Search for books by genre, author, title, or keywords. Suggest this site to students who have difficulties with reading, including with ESL/ELL students. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support, foreign language, or ESL/ELL students..

tag(s): ebooks (41), fluency (23), french (88), german (64), literature (275), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Upgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Books Should Be Free provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg (reviewed here) contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.

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Story Time for Me - Andrew Gitt

Grades
K to 2
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This site offers three series with online animated stories for young children. After choosing a series, readers pick from one of several books to see and hear the story. Several ...more
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This site offers three series with online animated stories for young children. After choosing a series, readers pick from one of several books to see and hear the story. Several choices are offered while books are read - narrated phrases can be highlited or not, pages can be turned automatically or one at a time, and pages can be replayed. There are also personalized activity books available for free download by teachers that can be used in the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (32), literacy (103), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Share these stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or better yet, create a link to stories on your classroom computers and use this site as a reading center. (Don't forget headsets.) Share a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for parents to access the site with their student.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BookRix - Gunner Siewert

Grades
3 to 12
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BookRix is a very cool program for readers and writers! You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book. It's all free. If you or your ...more
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BookRix is a very cool program for readers and writers! You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book. It's all free. If you or your students are aspiring authors, you can register and publish your writing here, again for free.

tag(s): audio books (32), creative writing (166), writing (358)

In the Classroom

There are several ways you can use this site. For young readers and writers: Select a story from the children's book area. Use your whiteboard or projector and select a story to read with your students. Then as a class, have the students change the ending of the story, or write a sequel. You can then publish this class book on BookRix. Older students can publish their poems, short stories, current event articles, persuasive writing for an issue they are into... for free. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at BookRix they will be able to publish them. Don't miss the great collection of audio books at TeachersFirst, found here.

Books are tagged, so you can search by keywords. You can also go to the "Books" tab and search by "Popular Categories." Click on the "See all" to find the "Children's Books" category. If your intent is to publish yours or your student's writing, then you will need to know how to navigate the site. You have three choices for the book format: text only, illustrated book, and audio book.

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TeachersFirst's Audio Books with Text Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form as they reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the audio books and texts.

tag(s): audio books (32), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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TeachersFirst's Interactive Audio Books Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with audio and visual prompts or interactivity to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment as they read. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the interactive books.

tag(s): audio books (32)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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DigiTales - Bernajean Porter

Grades
3 to 12
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The DigiTales website offers ideas and assistance in creating digital stories and rubrics for evaluating digital storytelling projects. There are numerous digital stories in the StoryKeepers...more
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The DigiTales website offers ideas and assistance in creating digital stories and rubrics for evaluating digital storytelling projects. There are numerous digital stories in the StoryKeepers Gallery to use as examples. Categories for stories have interesting titles like Docu-Dramas, Itza Wrap, and Beyond Words. Itza Wrap stories are about a lesson learned, Docu-Drama is nonfiction, Beyond Words is about memorable experiences, etc.

Be aware: some of the ideas suggested in the "Tools" section do require the purchase of various software programs. The free audio stories in the "Storykeepers' Gallery" make this a fabulous site!

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), movies (64), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use your projector to show your students the categories for the different types of digital stories. Each type of story has a description. Once you,'''''''?,"''''''?ve shown your students the stories, have them choose a category and create their own digital story. Many of the tools and programs students will need to learn can be found at (this site) which explains how these programs work. You may want to use Fliggo (reviewed here) to post student's digital stories to the web.
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Croatian Tales - Helena Bulaja: Chief Editor

Grades
4 to 8
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Croatian Tales is a riveting collection of Flash animated interactive stories- complete with audio. There are also cartoon stories and interactive "games." This award-winning...more
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Croatian Tales is a riveting collection of Flash animated interactive stories- complete with audio. There are also cartoon stories and interactive "games." This award-winning multimedia adventure is based on eight fairytales from Ivana Brlic Mazuranic's book, Croatian Tales of Long Ago. The film presentations will enrich your students with their clever mixture of traditional cartoon animation and poetic style for a unique, imaginative storytelling experience. The vibrant modern adaptations of the fairytales reminds us of the importance and value of that literary genre. Some are humorous, some are sensitive, and all are magical artistic expressions and interpretations inspired by the myths and folktales of Slavic nations. Stories open in new windows, so be sure your pop-up blocker is not preventing them from showing.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Project any of these beautifully appealing, magical films on your interactive whiteboard or projector when you are doing a whole class unit on folk tales or intersperse them throughout your year-long study of literature. Be sure to turn up speakers. Expose your students to the art of oral storytelling, and have them discover the lesson or moral the story teaches. Some of the tales are accompanied by interactive learning games, which students can do on individual computers or as a whole class. Allow students to explore this site on their own using laptops (don't forget the headsets).
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Audio Stories - Beenleigh State School

Grades
K to 5
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This massive collection of links to 221 audio stories includes tales, poems, music, fairy tales, riddles, and folk tales. Presented by an Australian school, the selections target listeners...more
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This massive collection of links to 221 audio stories includes tales, poems, music, fairy tales, riddles, and folk tales. Presented by an Australian school, the selections target listeners From Year 1 to Year 7 in the Australian educational system. Once listeners select a story, the link goes to any number of other sites with recorded stories, so the load time and type of graphics vary; some stories also feature related activities. Given the sheer size of the collection, it would not be surprising if a few links did not work, but most seem to be functional.

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Share these audio stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector(with speakers!). Allow students to explore this site during reading centers. (Don't forget the headsets.) Offer this link on your class website for students to visit at home. Use this site to share stories from around the world as listening activities or as tie-ins to geography study.
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Just Free Books - justfreebooks.info

Grades
2 to 12
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This site is an aggregator for most of the known digital libraries including Gutenberg, Google Books, Wikibooks, and archive.org. Entering search terms like "children's books," for...more
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This site is an aggregator for most of the known digital libraries including Gutenberg, Google Books, Wikibooks, and archive.org. Entering search terms like "children's books," for example, leads to a list of links that offer free online reads. Other features include books in other formats including those that upload to many different players including PDF, TXT, MS Reader, MS Word and ODT, RTF, Palm Reader eBooks, Html, Epub, Kindle, Mobipocket, Isilo, Audio books, Plucker, and more. Besides searching in "only English," you can also select Spanish, French, and/or Portuguese to search for books in those languages. In addition to the digital collection, there are also featured, donated books.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Offer this site to students who wish to use digital devices to read. Keep in mind that many of the selections are older, in the public domain due to the expiration of copyright. ESL and SPED students may benefit from being able to hear or see books in a different way. Use these texts as language to analyze or manipulate on your interactive whiteboard to teach reading comprehension skills, parts of speech, transition words, vocabulary study, and writing style. Allow students to copy/paste text into the whiteboard software so they can "work with words" from literary works instead of worksheets.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive Folio-Romeo and Juliet - Daniel Fischlin-Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project

Grades
9 to 12
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Read and explore Shakespeare's complete script of Romeo and Julieton your computer screen with this interactive, media rich edition. Take the mystery out of Elizabethan/Shakespearean...more
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Read and explore Shakespeare's complete script of Romeo and Julieton your computer screen with this interactive, media rich edition. Take the mystery out of Elizabethan/Shakespearean English by greatly enhancing students' understanding and enjoyment of the tragedy of two "star-crossed lovers" of Verona by simply clicking on underlined words and phrases for multiple interpretations of the vocabulary in context, including images, video, and audio. You can even have entire pages (or the entire story) read aloud as an audio book. What a brilliant way to increase reading comprehension. Also, enter the Resource section to find a synopsis of the plot, character descriptions, and other critical facts about the play.

tag(s): elizabethan (17), romeo and juliet (6), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Students could work independently or in pairs on a set of class computers while having everything right at their fingertips for reading, visualizing, and fully understanding the dialogue, stage directions, plot, and setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Provide a direct link to the Interactive Folio on your class web page or wiki for students to complete independent reading assignments. Project this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector for a whole class look at specific lines; everything is organized and easily navigated and retrieved by act, scene, or page number. After students' initial reading, use the Resource section, as a study guide and teaching tool. Create a class wiki for students to use to discuss various acts or scenes. To learn more about wikis, check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Her-stories in History - Jennifer Farr

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive online resource is an instructional tool presented as a virtual quilt of women in history, ranging from accomplished authors to civil rights activists, gold medalists,...more
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This interactive online resource is an instructional tool presented as a virtual quilt of women in history, ranging from accomplished authors to civil rights activists, gold medalists, politicians, and more. How many do you recognize? Mouse over each photograph if you need a hint, then click on each quilt block to learn more about the person. This brings up a summarized biography page that students can read or click on the audio to listen. There are also links to more in depth related material.

tag(s): heroes (24), women (101)

In the Classroom

Of course Women in History month is the perfect time to make this site available to your students, however, you may use this link anytime as a fascinating way to discover women's contributions to history. Use it in a general manner by displaying and demonstrating it on your classroom whiteboard to introduce the many female heroes who have contributed to and made a difference in our lives, or use it more specifically to springboard a research assignment. As an alternative to writing a report, have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. or for those even more advanced technology users, students can collaborate to create an interactive timeline with images and text by working with xtimeline reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Talking History - Talking History

Grades
6 to 12
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This site represents the archives of a regular radio program and podcast that uses recordings--either archival material as primary resources, or recordings of experts discussing a topic--to...more
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This site represents the archives of a regular radio program and podcast that uses recordings--either archival material as primary resources, or recordings of experts discussing a topic--to highlight a historical issue. The topics are fairly narrow and all over the map: Jane Addams on the Evils of Prostitution (1912), Racial Cleansing in America (2007), James Keir Hardie on Women's Suffrage in Britain (1905), ules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1865), and many more!

tag(s): listening (91), oral history (12), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Students are "listening" to something all the time; usually is plugged into their ears through earbuds. But as skilled as they are at multitasking, can they listen to a first person account of an important historical event? Can they listen to a scholarly lecture? Might they prefer to listen to a book rather than read it? This site might help you and your students explore these issues. It's not so much about the individual topics on this site; it's about teaching students new ways to access information effectively. For those students who are not strong readers this site may be a way of recognizing their learning style as equally important.

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Thought Audio - thoughtaudio.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the...more
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, some Mark Twain, and a few Christmas recordings for children including "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Gift of the Magi," and "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol."

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Learning support teachers may want to use selections from this site as alternatives to reading print literature selections. Play a story on your computer speakers as a listening activity in younger grades.

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