TeachersFirst's Audio Books
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple categories of books and different download or listening formats. Some selections are audio only. Others include text to follow on the site as you listen, while others include options to interact with the book by clicking, responding, and watching animations. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways. Narrow your search by choosing TeachersFirst's specialized collections of audio books with accompanying text or audio books with interactive features.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUpgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Loyal Books (was Books Should Be Free) provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg (reviewed here) contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThere are several ways you can use this site. For young readers and writers: Select a story from the children's book area. Use your whiteboard or projector and select a story to read with your students. Then as a class, have the students change the ending of the story, or write a sequel. You can then publish this class book on BookRix. Older students can publish their poems, short stories, current event articles, persuasive writing for an issue they are into... for free. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at BookRix they will be able to publish them. Don't miss the great collection of audio books at TeachersFirst, found here.
Books are tagged, so you can search by keywords. You can also go to the "Books" tab and search by "Popular Categories." Click on the "See all" to find the "Children's Books" category. If your intent is to publish yours or your student's writing, then you will need to know how to navigate the site. You have three choices for the book format: text only, illustrated book, and audio book.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): audio books (21)
In the ClassroomMark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): literature (262)
In the ClassroomOffer 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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents are "listening" to something all the time; usually is plugged into their ears through earbuds. But as skilled as they are at multitasking, can they listen to a first person account of an important historical event? Can they listen to a scholarly lecture? Might they prefer to listen to a book rather than read it? This site might help you and your students explore these issues. It's not so much about the individual topics on this site; it's about teaching students new ways to access information effectively. For those students who are not strong readers this site may be a way of recognizing their learning style as equally important.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMake a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Learning support teachers may want to use selections from this site as alternatives to reading print literature selections. Play a story on your computer speakers as a listening activity in younger grades.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomMake a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their IPODS. Share this link on your class website for students to access at home.
GradesK to 12
A special feature of the site is an exclusive story, called "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure." The Exquisite Corpse was a game in which someone would start a story, fold over their part, and the next person would add to the story and on it would go until the last person ended the story. For this Exquisite Corpse, Jon Scieszka started the story and passed it on to Katherine Patterson, who passed it on . . . and so it goes for 18 episodes. The entire story will take a year to write to the finish. There is an illustration that goes with each segment.
In the ClassroomCheck out "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure" and have students listen to the stories. As a challenge ask students to look at the differences in writing style for each of the authors. Project a chart about the plot and the writing style on your interactive whiteboard or projector, and have students list the differences and similarities in writing style. Students could also keep a chart of similarities and differences for the illustrators. Another idea for an activity is to have the students read the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling and then have them read the very touching national contest winner letter to the author about his poem. Students could then write their own letters to an author of a favorite book or poem. Extend student learning and have students create podcasts to read their letters to the authors using a site such as PodOmatic,reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
** 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 (105)