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Stories for Kids - Pitara Kids Network

Grades
4 to 7
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This is a great source for simple, short, and interesting children's stories. The international focus draws the attention of a variety of readers. The display opening page has ten stories...more
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This is a great source for simple, short, and interesting children's stories. The international focus draws the attention of a variety of readers. The display opening page has ten stories of about two pages each, but there are over 10 other pages all containing an equal number of stories. These are "text only" reading stories and some are rather difficult to follow, as there are advertisements throughout the page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind when you have a few minutes at the end of the day. Read one together and then set your students at computers in pairs to take turns reading aloud to each other.

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Independence Day Around the World - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see ...more
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see the date of its independence from that country. All countries that used to be part of Great Britain are the same color; color coding for other former empires indicates the empire's former holdings. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. At the bottom of the page, related charts that may be of interest show: Father's Day around the World, Mother's Day around the World, Halloween Celebrations around the world and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colonial america (107), holidays (147), july 4th (9)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as a reference source when students study world cultures or foreign languages. Challenge students to use this site to create research projects about individual (free) nations around the world. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation using a tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of the country they researched (with audio stories and pictures included)!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Happy Valentine's Day in Different Languages - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This "visualization" is an interactive chart showing the world map. Various ways to say Happy Valentine's Day pop up in different languages as the student mouses over any participating...more
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This "visualization" is an interactive chart showing the world map. Various ways to say Happy Valentine's Day pop up in different languages as the student mouses over any participating country. If a country is multi-lingual, all of the country's language translations appear. Many languages appear in their own script. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. Check out the bottom of the page for more interactive maps on other topics such as space travel.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): holidays (147), valentines day (14)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive map as an example of how to create a graph in an interesting and unique way. To show what they can compile with other similar holidays, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Or have them create an online map showing the same data using a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here). Use this map as a jumping off point for ESL/ELL students to talk about other holidays from their cultures.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Aesop's Fables - Adapted by U Mass students/Aesop

Grades
K to 8
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables;...more
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables; the project is ongoing, having started in 1994. Today, some of the stories are simply text, while others use FLASH and are more interactive, and some even include audio.

tag(s): animation (63), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Share these stories on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Set up a learning station using these fables (and headsets, if necessary.) Use these illustrated stories as models for your computer students to illustrate their choice of children's stories and collect a class anthology on the web. Challenge your students to narrate a photo and read the story/fable using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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Speak Up - Cartoon Network

Grades
2 to 8
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and...more
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and conflicts from which students can choose. Creating cartoons is an effective way to teach students how to write stories with a clear storyline and structure. The story problem section allows students to write in their own scenarios. Students are responsible for creating the solution to the story problem themselves. Each cartoon strip contains six boxes, allows two characters per page, and speaking bubbles as well as narrative box across the bottom of the page.

tag(s): bullying (52), comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Use "Speak Up" as part of a mini-lesson about problem and solution or dialogue. Have students create their own cartoons as part of a craft lesson. Print out the cartoon and students can use it as an outline to help them write narrative text or plays. Demonstrate how to combine narration with dialogue in one text from this cartoon outline.

Use scenarios of social conflicts your class may be facing or are currently discussing in character education. For example, use bullying or peer pressure issues. Pair up classmates to re-tell a conflict similar to those students face during recess, in class, or from home. Together they can discuss ways to solve these conflicts. Use the results to open up dialogue about student issues and as a tool to brainstorm constructive ways to solve them.

World language teachers or ESL/ELL teachers can also use this tool for students to practice written dialog and appropriate social interaction.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Roy Tale of a Singing Zebra - Tim Bowerbank

Grades
K to 4
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This site offers interactive stories and reading activities for free. Colorful graphics interest "emerging readers." The songs and reading support materials provide reinforcement of...more
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This site offers interactive stories and reading activities for free. Colorful graphics interest "emerging readers." The songs and reading support materials provide reinforcement of the reading skills being learned. Each story comes with pre-reading and post-reading questions and other word attack and grammar activities. Word games are fun and introduce early reading techniques such as alphabetization and phonetics. Since the site is Australian made, some of the worksheets use British names for grammar components, such as full stop for period. Since the text of the stories appears before the stories, this site would work well with ESL students too.

tag(s): guided reading (47), literacy (103), sight words (37), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to enjoy the story and its follow up activities. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Kids Should See This - Rion Nakaya

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and ...more
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and up. Media isn't divided into categories. The newest items appear first. However, you can search the site by keyword. Information ranges from animal stories of a dog without legs to video of Ella Fitzgerald scatting. Obviously, this site is updated frequently, so contents will change. Students and adults alike will love browsing for interesting stories and information.

tag(s): news (261), speaking (24), video (254), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Check first to be sure the media are not blocked by school web filtering. Choose one item from the site to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter on current topics or as a lead-in to a lesson. (Example: show the YouTube video about order of the planets when beginning an astronomy unit). Share the site with students and let them explore to find interesting topics for research reports. Ask students to choose one item from the site to share with other students as a way to practice oral presentation skills. Use videos or images as writing prompts or blog prompts. ESL/ELL students can practice their language skills by retelling a favorite video. Challenge your students to create their own informative videos on a topic that your class is exploring. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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WordTwist - PuzzleBaron

Grades
3 to 12
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done ...more
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done without registration; however, registration allows you to keep track of your scores and compare yourself to other players. Scores are based on the number and difficulty of words found on the game board. There are two versions of the game, a Flash version and one that doesn't require Flash.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (103), spelling (168), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Create accounts for your students and let them compete against each other for points. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Display this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to create words as a class. Challenge students to create lists of new words they learn from WordTwist.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Melanie , KS, Grades: 0 - 12

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Doctor Doctor Lesson - Genki English

Grades
K to 4
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes...more
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes it easy for language learners to acquire body part name knowledge easily. The video and song lyrics make the "Body Part" lesson entertaining and memorable. There is also a "Make a Face" interactive. To use the video part, download the "Realvideo" player. This is about the only items that are FREE at this site, but they are still worth a look if teaching body parts or expressions of the face.

In order to get the "free" printable cards, worksheets, and acompanying language games you must buy the Teacher's Set, Superpack, or Download Pack. However, the video and songs ARE free and fun!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): faces (3), human body (121), preK (281), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use the videos on this site to introduce basic English to ESL/ELL students in a fun and energetic way. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view that at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Activity of the Month - Dr. Jean

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many...more
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many activities include letters, words, and book activities. Besides the basic activity, quite a few of the monthly offerings include downloadable books to print and use, original song lyrics, and links to other related websites. This site is great to use with young ESL/ELL students too who need lots of fun reinforcement with learning the alphabet and pre-reading skills. This site includes many math activities as well.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (41), literacy (103), poetry (228), preK (281), seasons (37), songs (52)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who trying to encourage the habit of reading and handling books.

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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Old Radio World - OldRadioWorld.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a treasury of old radio shows from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. There are seven genres from which to choose (comedy, mystery, western, drama, etc..), and each genre has ...more
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Find a treasury of old radio shows from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. There are seven genres from which to choose (comedy, mystery, western, drama, etc..), and each genre has at least ten different old radio shows for your selection. There is a miscellaneous section that has such treasures as "Voices From History," "World War II News Broadcasts," and "Fireside Chat with Franklin D. Roosevelt." To listen to this program you will need to have QuickTime on your computer. Download of the mp3 files takes a while, so be patient.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), listening (91), oral history (12), radio (27), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

As a class, listen to a couple of radio shows, taking note about the sound effects heard. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to list the sounds. Have the class speculate about what objects could have created each sound. Post the radio site on your web page and assign the students to determine what household objects are responsible for the sounds for homework. Back in class the next day, use your interactive white board to share the student discoveries. From here it would be natural to have your students create a two or three minute radio show for a topic being studied in history or science. Students could also turn part of a short story into reader's theater (including sound effects) and record it as a radio broadcast. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

Another idea would be to introduce a unit on the 20th century, the Great Depression, or WWII or by having the class listen to a broadcast from that time period. Have them experience radio as it was, with everyone huddled around to listen (and no multitasking!).Talk about how the changes in entertainment formats have changed the way we interact in our homes.

To hone in on listening skills, you could create a worksheet with questions to answer, or have students take two column notes, asking questions about what they are hearing in the left column.

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ALA Kids Games, Puzzles and Other Fun Things - American Library Association

Grades
K to 5
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Games, puzzles, mazes, and word searches promote library usage and get the idea of the library in the forefront! Although this site is "plain vanilla," it could be very useful ...more
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Games, puzzles, mazes, and word searches promote library usage and get the idea of the library in the forefront! Although this site is "plain vanilla," it could be very useful in teaching students about the library.

tag(s): puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use these activities for reluctant readers and students who don't see the point of using anything but online readings. Teach students about the good "old" library (before Google was invented.)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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SuperKids Vocabulary Builders - Super Kids

Grades
3 to 11
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT...more
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT prep. Hangman, wordfind, scrambled words, and other conventional word games are also available.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), puzzles (208), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site to review pertinent vocabulary by making FUN activities for your students! Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Learn English - Jacob Richman

Grades
1 to 8
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories,...more
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories, and the multilingual jumping off point is unique. Hear the word only or see images and hear the word using the video tab. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): chinese (48), french (88), hebrew (14), pronunciation (44), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Besides using for world language classes and limited English speaking students, refer your students with speech difficulties to this site whose clear pronunciation is helpful.

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English Idioms - Wayne Magnuson

Grades
3 to 10
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained...more
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained by a specific word. Simply click on the letter of the alphabet to find the word or phrase they are looking for. The definitions of the idioms also contain links to other idioms with similar meaning. Another helpful feature is the use of the idiom in a sentence. A version of the dictionary is available as a book as well. Try looking up idioms containing the word "dog" as an example.
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), idioms (44), slang (15)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for mixed classes with limited English speakers or students with very literal language skills.

If your state testing requires understanding of idioms, be sure to include this link on your teacher web page and as a Favorite on your classroom computer for students to "play" with whenever they have a chance.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Fairrosa Cyber Library for Children - Roxanne Hsu Feldman

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals....more
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals. There is also access to a library of websites organized and maintained by a librarian. Reference shelf links give access to professional articles and other resources for children's literature including information about authors. The archive section leads to archives of discussions about materials for students.

tag(s): authors (120), ebooks (42), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Whether you're reading the classics or folk tales in your classroom, students can access these stories online in school or at home. Since many of the genres have an extensive collection, you might consider reading one as a class, and then having small groups choose different titles to read and present the story or folktale in picture book format. You can easily have them do this online using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Once the project is done these books can be posted to your website for students in class to read through, and for parents and family to view.

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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 (33)

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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Story Blocks - Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Grades
K to 1
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This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. ...more
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This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. Each aspect of literacy is explained before you hear the targeted text. Materials are available in both Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (103), poetry (228), rhymes (33), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Use the songs and chants on these videos to interest children in reading. Many songs and rhymes have actions that the children can do while saying the text. Have the children lead the class once they are familiar with offerings. Project the rhymes on your interactive whiteboard and follow along with the motions on the screen. Write down some of the words in the song and use them as sight words for the week. Have student helpers hold up the "sight word" as it is shared. Choose 3-5 new words from each rhyme. Share this site with ESL and learning support staff.

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