TeachersFirst's Audio Books with Text

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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. 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. See TeachersFirst's full collection of audio book resources and interactive audio book resources for other options.

 

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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 (102), stories and storytelling (30)

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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22Frames.com - 22frames.com

Grades
5 to 12
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This site aggregates all types of videos from around the world. Captioning makes these enhanced YouTube videos accessible to English language learners, speakers of different languages,...more
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This site aggregates all types of videos from around the world. Captioning makes these enhanced YouTube videos accessible to English language learners, speakers of different languages, and those who need language support in general. You can search for videos by categories which are constantly being updated. Find current events, music, and more. In addition to offering the captioning with the news clips, all news items offer "tags" to provide some important vocabulary. Also, there are separate sections on the website for common mispronunciations, idioms, and slang, targeted specifically at ESL/ELL students. You should preview and preselect the videos rather than allowing students to randomly search at this site, since some content may not be fitting for your classroom. Many schools block YouTube, so verify availability at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hearing impaired (6), news (261)

In the Classroom

If filtering blocks your at-school access, use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to convert online videos such as the ones you find on YouTube into a portable format you can play at school. World language students will enjoy hearing the news in other languages, but also seeing the English translations. If you have students in your classroom who are reading below grade level, have them watch the video twice: once to listen to the words, and the second time to read along with the dialog. Have students view these sample videos and then work in cooperative learning groups to create their own videos on topics they are currently learning in science, current events, or nearly any other subject area. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. High school social studies classes can compare news coverage from different countries/cultures about the same event to analyze the "spin" or bias.

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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 (66)

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).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (92)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
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Animated Books - Frank Asch

Grades
K to 3
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This is the website of author Frank Asch, known for his Moonbear picture books. Five of his books are available to the user. Each story is animated and read by ...more
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This is the website of author Frank Asch, known for his Moonbear picture books. Five of his books are available to the user. Each story is animated and read by the author. In addition to the online books, users can access several other areas on the site. The section for kids includes ideas for games and information about the author. There is a section for teachers with lesson ideas and a complete list of Frank Asch's published works.

In the Classroom

Use the suggested lesson ideas to create centers or a unit based on Frank Asch books. Allow students to listen to the online stories at a computer center. Display and watch one of the stories on the interactive whiteboard, discuss the actions of the characters and main idea of the story.
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Tar Heel Reader - University of North Caroline

Grades
K to 12
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide...more
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide free resources to give everyone an opportunity to learn to read and write. All books are free and available for download as slideshows using PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash. Book topics include biographies, fairy tales, history, science, math, nursery rhymes, poetry, food, and more! All stories have speech enabling, can come in as many as fourteen different languages, and are compatible with touch screens. Since a wide range of age groups use this site, they have a rating system to suggest what is suitable for younger readers. Tar Heel Reader is also a great way to write books. Upload images from your computer or Flicker, add text, create, and share student stories with an authentic audience of readers. Tar Heel Reader is a great way to engage students with reading material, increase class participation, and create inclusive instruction for those with illiteracy or learning disabilities.

** This site does contain some materials NOT suitable for all classrooms. Be sure to read the "rating" system, and contribute your own opinions (as the ratings are only as reliable as the pool of contributing voters). Books rated 'E' are meant for everyone but a 'C' means to use caution as it may not be proper material for some. Determine what titles are suitable and save them to the favorites file for students to access.

tag(s): literacy (102)

In the Classroom

Increase your big book collection ten fold by projecting Tar Heel Readers onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use interactive shared reading lessons to strengthen student recognition of common sight words, concepts of print, decoding skills, and use syntax cues and unlock the meaning of text. Ask students to circle known sight words, count the number of words in a sentence, trace capital letters, or point to the first letter of a word during a choral read. Help ESL/ELL students by creating books out of photos from class field trips, events, or experiments. Integrate text that uses key vocabulary words and creates reading materials that are both relevant to grade level curricular standards and match your student's readability level. All books you publish on the web site are public domain and available to all other users. Be sure to get parent permission before publishing student books on-line. In order to create a book, users will need to register. Unfortunately, this requires users to email gb@cs.unc.edu to request of an invitation code. With this code, simply create a username, submit your name, and email address. Set up a single teacher account and have all the students use that login to avoid safety concerns. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice.
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Kinder Site - Joel Josephson & Ziv Avidor

Grades
K to 6
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This international, award winning site provides a large collection of games, stories and songs for pre-school and kindergarten age children. They are beginning to extend similar services...more
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This international, award winning site provides a large collection of games, stories and songs for pre-school and kindergarten age children. They are beginning to extend similar services for children age seven to twelve. English Language learners may be able to access the site in their primary language as the site is available in seven languages. Some stories, songs, and games on the English speaking site are in Spanish. You can search for material by age, content, or by "educational," "playability," or "fun" value. Save appropriate activities on your "my page" for future use. There are some advertisements and a few video ads before interactive activities meant for older students. Ignore the advertising; the site content is worth it. Every link and site on Kindersite conforms to "Department of Children, Schools and Families" (UK) guidelines for safe sites for children.

Kindersite collaborates with outside institutions to develop educational projects that compile resources, generate new curriculum models, create training materials, and implement teacher-training seminars. Researchers can gather user data from Kindersite that represents varying population sizes, geographical groupings, and languages.

General Tips and Reminders: Some sites originate from the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. There is some advertising on the right side of the page. Some links may direct students to sites that also contain advertising. Warn your students to avoid them.

tag(s): literacy (102)

In the Classroom

Invigorate shared reading with Kindersite's songs and stories. View the colorful illustration and text on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Some stories and songs highlight the tracking of words. Other sites provide character voices when you click the text in quotations. The animation will definitely engage everyone even those who wiggle on the carpet. Differentiate computer centers with the "my page" function. Save interactive tasks that target the instructional needs of students. Make a shortcut to the "my page" site collections on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to take advantage of the professional resources Kindersites provides as well. Post a link to this site on your school website for parents to access at home.
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Voices in the Dark - Sean Puckett and Dawn Keenan

Grades
K to 12
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's...more
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's "Christmas Carol" and Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Each audiobook comes with an accompanying text transcript and are typically short. Receive regular updates by subscribing to their syndication feeds through RSS or podcasts. The audio files come in both low and high bitrates MP3 files that will match your computer's storage space and Internet bandwidth capabilities.

tag(s): fluency (23), literacy (102)

In the Classroom

Engage your class in real world learning while building fluency and reading skills. "Voices in the Dark" is always looking for people to contribute to their on-line library of audio books. Consider having your class submit an audio recording of their own to the collection. First choose a genre to focus on such as Fairy Tales or Aesop Fables. Review the page that contains directions on how to select stories, create a recording, and submit work. There is a list of links full of public domain books from which to choose. They provide tips on how to record your reading and directions on how to submit your work. Sites such as Audio Pal reviewed here may be helpful in creating your recordings. Of course, check with your administrator before attempting this project and obtain parent permission before sharing or posting student work.

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Signed Stories

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K to 5
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The goal of Signed Stories is to increase the literacy of deaf children; however, it is a great resource for all children. After choosing a story, you will see the ...more
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The goal of Signed Stories is to increase the literacy of deaf children; however, it is a great resource for all children. After choosing a story, you will see the text, hear the story and see it in sign language. Almost 100 titles are available and can be searched by topic or by browsing all titles. Some stories offer more options than others. Many stories have pause and rewind buttons, so you can replay to see signs again.

In the Classroom

Use stories on the interactive whiteboard or projector to teach story elements - pause as the story is read to allow students to retell details to the stopping point then make predictions of what will happen next. Help students understand disabilities and adaptations to disabilities through watching the stories being told in sign language. This is also a great resource for students with deaf/hearing impaired parents or students/teachers trying to learn or practice sign language. In sign language classes, consider creating your own signed story videos for children's books and share them on a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
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Online Audio Stories - Abbey Rice

Grades
K to 3
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Bring classic children's stories to your classroom in an engaging and easy-to-use manner! This site contains many stories such as Jack in the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Princess and the...more
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Bring classic children's stories to your classroom in an engaging and easy-to-use manner! This site contains many stories such as Jack in the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, The Princess and the Pea and more in both audio and video format. Choose the story you want to read by genre, theme, author and other choices. Click to play and you are ready to listen and read along with the storyteller. One great feature of this site is that you can click on any word in the story and choose a language to see the word translated - a great addition for ESL students and families. All stories can also be downloaded in mp3 format, meaning that they can be played on most audio players and ipods. Note: This site may take long to load. Be patient.

tag(s): air (163), audio books (32), folktales (66)

In the Classroom

Download stories onto a mp3 player for students to listen to during reading time. Play the audio version of stories while following the written version on the interactive whiteboard. Use the stories during a fairy tale unit to compare and contrast characters. Share this link on your class web page for families to enjoy at home. These stories are worth playing over and over. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students to explore both in and out of the classroom.
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Listening and Reading Comprehension - Childtopia

Grades
1 to 5
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This site offers a variety of children's stories that children can listen to while they watch scenes or graphics corresponding to the story. Besides the stories, there are both listening...more
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This site offers a variety of children's stories that children can listen to while they watch scenes or graphics corresponding to the story. Besides the stories, there are both listening and reading comprehension sections for each story. Both the audio and the text are available. As the story is being read, the words are highlighted on the page. Also available is the full screen option for the story. The reading comprehension questions use both aural and text format and also use an interesting illustration to capture the reader/listener's attention. Stories and all activities are also available in Spanish, Catalan, French, and other languages. There are some advertisements on the side. Select the full screen option to avoid them.

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site on individual computers, with head phones, or let them listen in pairs. Before they go to the questions, ask them to list the questions the site might ask them after they have seen the model of one story. Share this link on your class web page, wiki, and/or in a parent newsletter. Share the site with special language teachers at the elementary level.
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Curious Corner - The Art Institute of Chicago

Grades
K to 7
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What student could resist matching sounds to characters in a painting, searching for hidden animals in illustrations, matching shapes to a drawing or creating their own curious collections?...more
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What student could resist matching sounds to characters in a painting, searching for hidden animals in illustrations, matching shapes to a drawing or creating their own curious collections? Students will make personal connections to art as they work through unique interactive art activities: story time, match up, and play with art. The parent and educator resources include tips for looking at art together, engaging follow up activities, podcasts, video clips, and lesson plans. Don't miss this site!

tag(s): artists (75), literature (275), matching (24), painting (66)

In the Classroom

This colorful website will appeal to lower elementary students immediately, but its activities are stimulating for older students as well. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard. Have pairs of students explore the site together and create multimedia presentations to share with the class. You could create a class wiki for students to share their thoughts on the podcasts, video clips, or artwork. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Another idea, have students create online books demonstrating their new knowledge using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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Crawford the Cat - Perennial Pictures Film Cooperation

Grades
K to 2
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Crawford the Cat is a website that teaches young children about health issues like brushing your teeth and social skills like working together. There are numerous 5-minute videos teaching...more
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Crawford the Cat is a website that teaches young children about health issues like brushing your teeth and social skills like working together. There are numerous 5-minute videos teaching students about good table manners, trying new food, exercise, colds and flu, and several other health/science topics. The site includes videos, online books, printables and interactive games.

tag(s): dental health (23), hygiene (10), preK (275), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

This site works really well with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can view the videos on the board and then play the games on the interactive board. The printables can be used by an entire class or for individual students who need skills reinforcement, and the books can be used as a center. The students have the choice of having the books read to them or reading on their own, so the site addresses the abilities of all students.
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Professor Sneeze - Marie, Muriel, and Myriam Dielemans

Grades
K to 6
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Follow animals through short stories, fiction, and cute drawings to learn about climate change. Learn about the changes which have been fact checked, and bring the phenomena to young...more
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Follow animals through short stories, fiction, and cute drawings to learn about climate change. Learn about the changes which have been fact checked, and bring the phenomena to young students clearly and simply. Click on one of three age groups to view a variety of activities: Download the story, read the story, use suggested related activities, and learn to draw the animals in the stories. Many also have the option of printing printable versions of the stories. Goals and educational notes are provided as well. Note: the audio versions of the stories do not always work, depending on your browser and platform (Win/Mac). Pretest or use the versions with text on screen.

tag(s): arctic (44), climate (92), climate change (64), environment (317), polar (19)

In the Classroom

Use these stories to learn about climate change as well as the organisms that live in colder regions affected by climate change. Read aloud to students or allow students to read together in small groups. Create story organizers to keep track of the basics of the story. Determine characteristics of the principal character in the story. Discuss what students know about that type of animal and discuss other information or stories that allow students the opportunity to understand more about the animal. Use some of the suggested activities to create ice floes or make paper ice crystals. Discuss other animals that may be affected and create conventional or multimedia posters that enlighten and inform others. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Use this story to help children find a voice and create their own stories or poems. Share the stories by creating an online book using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Reading is Fundamental - Parent Resources - Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

Grades
K to 8
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The celebrated RIF program offers this site for parents to support their children's literacy. You will find resources from infancy to the teenage years and some for the entire family....more
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The celebrated RIF program offers this site for parents to support their children's literacy. You will find resources from infancy to the teenage years and some for the entire family. While there is more available for younger children (through elementary school), the Whole Family area and some of the activities are enjoyable for teens, as well. Click to find practical tips to support your growing readers, monthly features, interactive books, activities for family heritage, authors, polls, a personal bookshelf to collect book recommendations, and more. You can even search for activities by age and activity type.

tag(s): authors (118), literacy (102)

In the Classroom

Provide this link to parents in support of your in-school reading program. Struggling students can use RIF's Reading Planet (reviewed here) or Leading to Reading (reviewed here) activities both at home and at school to provide the repetition and review they need for skill mastery. Be sure to share this link before school breaks so parents can support literacy at home to prevent "summer slide."
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RIF Kids: Reading Planet - Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

Grades
K to 5
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RIF, the long-established organization for promoting reading, offers this site for school-aged readers and their parents. Young readers may join (or not) and access activities to do...more
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RIF, the long-established organization for promoting reading, offers this site for school-aged readers and their parents. Young readers may join (or not) and access activities to do alone or with family (Activity Lab), book ideas (Book Zone), writing starters and contests (Express Yourself), and educational games (Game Station). Many of the activities are ready to go in a classroom or at home. Several of the activities are available in both English and Spanish. New writing activities appear monthly, including story starters for members to complete. Feature authors and new additions make this site worth a look every month.

tag(s): authors (118), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Many of the games would be terrific as literacy centers or on an interactive whiteboard or projector to reinforce basics. Make this link available on your class web page for parents, students, and younger siblings to access from home. Parent notifications on games and contests with prizes and required parental consent for students to join make this a very safe site. Teachers may want to offer some of the writing contests as regular classroom activities or for enrichment or to adapt them for use with newer technologies. The visual poetry idea, for example, would work well as an interactive book created using Bookemon, reviewed here. Each student could make a visual poem and illustration in a whole-class book.
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Toon Book Reader - Paws

Grades
K to 4
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Read cartoon books online using this interactive site. Choose from one of six cartoon books. Choose to read the book in English, Spanish, or French and navigate through the pages ...more
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Read cartoon books online using this interactive site. Choose from one of six cartoon books. Choose to read the book in English, Spanish, or French and navigate through the pages using the left and right arrows. Use the "Start Over" button to begin again or click "Read To Me" to hear audio of the pages. Want to read another book? Click "Library" to view the choices.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students read aloud together to practice choral reading. Use this site for D.E.A.R. reading or other free time reading (be sure to provide headsets). Allow students to choose from the books. Even non-readers can use this site! Identify information, story lines, and grammar components within the stories as groups. Create story boards that outline the telling of the stories. Use a graphic organizing (online) tool such as bubble.us (reviewed here). Compare and contrast stories or characters using an online Venn diagram creator (reviewed here). Students can re-write endings or the sequels that would follow these books. Use these books as inspiration for student-made cartoon books in world language classes. Have the class or individuals create online books to share using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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