TeachersFirst's Interactive Audio Books

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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. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the interactive 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 collection of audio books with accompanying text.

 

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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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Online Audio Stories - Abbey Rice

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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 (65)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (281), 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.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (120), literacy (103)

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."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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RIF Kids: Reading Planet - Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

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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 (120), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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U.S.A. Learns - U.S. Dept of Ed

Grades
2 to 12
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but...more
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but it is required to track progress. When registering, an email address is optional. After registration, students can choose a course at the appropriate level. There are 3 in English and 3 in Spanish. Students can then choose the specific lessons and follow its specific activities in order for each featured topic. Learning activities include videos, transcripts for the video text, questions, listening, stories, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, quizzes, and even voice recordings for pronunciation practice. Although registration is not absolutely necessary, doing so allows students to keep a record of the activities they have already completed. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pronunciation (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site for ESL, ELL, learning support, and students learning Spanish! Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with Spanish students who do well at working on learning independently. ESL and ELL students will also benefit from going through the lessons, individually or in pairs. Teachers can register independently from their students and keep track of learner progress and participation. As students learn new vocabulary words, challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book sharing their newfound vocabulary. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Computer Lab Favorites - Scholastic

Grades
K to 5
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All of the activities at this site are designed to take 15-30 minutes and include language arts, math, science, social studies, and Spanish. You can also choose your grade levels: ...more
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All of the activities at this site are designed to take 15-30 minutes and include language arts, math, science, social studies, and Spanish. You can also choose your grade levels: k-2 or 3-5. There are over 50 interactive stories and activities here to share. Examples of activities include Rhyme with Reggie, Myth Brainstorming Machine, Practice Counting Stars, Figure out a Pizza Puzzle, Tour the Mayflower, Build a Plane, Build a Dinosaur, Play Sports on the Moon, Make Weather Happen, and countless others.

If you click on the Student View a spinning wheel will appear. Students can spin to choose a random activity! Many of these activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): dinosaurs (57), pilgrims (17), poetry (228), preK (281), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. Introduce this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If a student finishes early and needs some enrichment or is struggling and needs some extra practice, look here for some interactive help! Share this site on your class website for students to access outside of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

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K to 12
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed in the categories of Beginning Readers, Classic Stories, and Older Readers. The site was created by Johnnie...more
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed in the categories of Beginning Readers, Classic Stories, and Older Readers. The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher. He has found the "best of the best" interactive stories and activities on the web! The reading levels vary, so preview the stories before sharing them with your students.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous way to share classic stories, fables, fairy tales, and myths! Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to these wonderful stories. Use this website in your language arts classes, special education classes, with your ESL and ELL students to share these classic stories, or the other topics provided. Challenge your gifted students to create new "classics." Have students investigate the sites on their own (using headsets). Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computers. With elementary students use this site during your language arts block, use this website as a learning center for students to explore independently. (Be sure to provide headsets). Don't forget to list this link in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice their reading skills at home or maintain skills during vacations.
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C Beebie's Stories and Rhymes - BBC

Grades
K to 2
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This collection of online written and oral interactive stories features British pronunciation, but the story clips are short and easy to understand. Many of the characters are also...more
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This collection of online written and oral interactive stories features British pronunciation, but the story clips are short and easy to understand. Many of the characters are also on American television (64 Zoo Lane, Teletubbies, Jakers, and others). Students will enjoy learning clicking to the next page of the story as they view the animation and frequent rhyming sequences. Some of the stories also require readers to click on elements of the story in order for it to continue, or to hear special dialog. All the stories are also available in print format. The home part of the site keeps track of the places readers have looked at and offers games and links to other C Beebie features.

This site requires Flash and Windows Media or similar player. The printable pages require Adobe Acrobat. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): interactive stories (32), rhymes (33)

In the Classroom

Add this link to your classroom computer for students to use for extra reading practice. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set this site up as a learning center (or using individual computers, if available). Don't forget the headsets! List this link on your class website. Use free printouts to reinforce what was learned in the stories and for students to take home or do as homework. The "Watch and Listen" link at the left will take parents to a page where they can download podcast versions of the stories to take in the car!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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English Online France:Free online ESL / EFL Academic Reading and Writing Exercises - Glenys Hanson and Fiona Robertson, et. al.

Grades
4 to 12
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Although this site is constructed for students who are learning English, the language and the writing, it is a great site for all students who need practice in such skills ...more
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Although this site is constructed for students who are learning English, the language and the writing, it is a great site for all students who need practice in such skills as writing paragraphs, listening skills, word choice, reading strategies for academic texts, and reading for thinking. Almost all of the links include interactive exercises which allow students to work independently, testing themselves as they go. The site includes tutorials, self-quizzes, and more. There are links to podcasts, videos, songs, "Grammar Safaris," and many other English topics. If you go to Internet Resources (the link is found at the top of the page), you will find addition subject areas: Business English, Science and Technology, Reading, Art, and others. There is also a link to Primary Level. Go there to find interactive flashcards, online stories, and printable pages, and much more.

Be sure to check out the videos, which include commercials from the 1960s! Many of the video and audio features require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): vocabulary (324), writing (359)

In the Classroom

This site has so much to offer, the possibilities are endless. Obviously, this site is handy with ESL and ELL students. But there is SO much here to explore for teachers of elementary (social studies or language arts), AND secondary teachers trying to reinforce grammar skills, connect history and writing, and more.

Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With primary students, set up learning stations. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site together. Have groups investigate a specific area of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class: wiki, blog entry, podcast, online book, or video. Need some "technology tips?" How about having students create a podcast using Podomatic (reviewed here). Share the "student-created" videos on a tool such as TeacherTube (explained here). Have students write online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Myths and Legends - E2BN

Grades
3 to 8
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you...more
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you listen and read myths and legends from countries around the world, but you can also record your own. In order for your class to upload myths and legends, you must do a quick registry at the site. Registration does require an email address. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Click on the Teachers link to explore lessons and other resources. Your class may wish to leave comments after they listen to the stories. Check out the Gallery, which shows photos of the actual setting for the myth. Unsure of the archaic terms? Then use the glossary that's provided for each myth and legend. Flash is required and can be gotten here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, use this site in your listening/computer corner for students to listen and read along the multitude of stories at this site. Your class may opt to write their own story of local myths or legends, and then submit it to this site. Have students write online legend or myth books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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Speakaboos - Speakaboos

Grades
K to 6
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Speakaboos provides an abundance of animated stories read aloud by famous people. Some are read in song! Whoever thought that "Old McDonald" could be heard as a rap song? The...more
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Speakaboos provides an abundance of animated stories read aloud by famous people. Some are read in song! Whoever thought that "Old McDonald" could be heard as a rap song? The genres include fairy tales, fables, multicultural and holiday stories, nursery rhymes, lullabies, and children's favorites. Select an age range to differentiate for various reading levels. Many of the stories highlight the words as they are read. There is also a link to Play. Here you will find a few links to games, printables, e-cards, and more. Registration is required to join the site, but there is no fee to join. You do not need to register to listen to the stories. Coming Soon: you will be able to record your own interactive stories.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), listening (91), nursery rhymes (18), rhymes (33)

In the Classroom

Have students listen to a story during a listening center, choose a character from the story, and extend the assignment by writing in-character using the diary, e-card/invitation or printable activities options. Listen and watch stories as a whole group on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students retell the story as a short skit. For more extensive projects, consider using UtellStory, reviewed here, so students can draw and read their own stories in ways modeled here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Real Princess - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Real Princess." You may read the interactive story or play a simple game (the game is fun, but not educational). The ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Real Princess." You may read the interactive story or play a simple game (the game is fun, but not educational). The story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). All of the text is written and available in audio, for both your visual and auditory learners. The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. To avoid seeing the advertisements, you may click Full Screen to view the story. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), interactive stories (32)

In the Classroom

Share this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume, and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write a new ending for the story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Brementown Musicians - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Brementown Musicians." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format, or play a simple game (the game is ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Brementown Musicians." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format, or play a simple game (the game is a memory/logic activity). The interactive (Flash) story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures. Follow the arrows to go to the next page.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), interactive stories (32)

In the Classroom

Share this fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Grimm Fairy Tales - Kidoons

Grades
K to 4
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If you are looking for information about Grimm Fairy Tales, check out this interactive site. The site includes online stories, information about the brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm),...more
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If you are looking for information about Grimm Fairy Tales, check out this interactive site. The site includes online stories, information about the brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm), links to interactive games (some relate to the Grimm Fairy Tales, others do not), and printable pages. The highlight of this website is the online stories. You may read the stories in text or interactive (Flash) format. The interactive (Flash) story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate (with headsets, of course). The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Share the fairy tales on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Allow students to revisit the story as a center option on your classroom computer. Challenge your students to write new endings for the stories. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Use the site to teach about the history of the Brothers Grimm. This site also provides excellent research information about these famous writers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Classroom Book Talks - Tangient LLC

Grades
3 to 8
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Classroom Book Talks is a collaborative wiki -- open to classes all over the world -- where students can share their likes and dislikes on various genres of literature through ...more
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Classroom Book Talks is a collaborative wiki -- open to classes all over the world -- where students can share their likes and dislikes on various genres of literature through interactive book talks. They can add their own interpretation of a book by presenting it in book talk format on this wiki. Students can also comment on other book talks presented by various students in remote locations.

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

In the Classroom

Make sure to address the simple rules, located on the homepage, with students prior to assigning projects. Based on the fact that this is a collaborative project and other children from around the world contribute to it, students must be open to varying opinions and works of art. Have students complete book talks individually or in small groups and then submit presentations for assessment. Check out the classrooms that used this as a medium for a summer reading program! Students could conduct book talks over holiday breaks or while on educational trips, as well. Allow for students to discuss books among each other as homework assignments. Have parents read and view their child's work and comment on it. Do not forget to obtain permission prior to submitting student work on-line.

This site uses a wiki tool as its foundation. To learn more about wikis and find logistical tips, see the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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