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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Shoemaker and the Elves - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Shoemaker and the Elves." You may read the story or play several games (not all games relate to the story and some ...more
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Shoemaker and the Elves." You may read the story or play several games (not all games relate to the story and some are more for fun than education). This is a text-only story, so no audio is provided. The story does include some entertaining pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. Some of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (145), folktales (50)

In the Classroom

Share this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your 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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Brementown Musicians - Kidoons

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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 (145), folktales (50), interactive stories (28)

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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EnviroMysteries - Maryland Public Television

Grades
6 to 10
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This must-see site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers some excellent interactive activities and lesson plans all about environmental mysteries (asthma triggers, causes of...more
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This must-see site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers some excellent interactive activities and lesson plans all about environmental mysteries (asthma triggers, causes of cancer, food contamination, water borne illness, and others). An excellent addition to a science, health, or physical education class, this site discusses the importance of exercise, effects of mold, how food can get contaminated, and more. The site includes a link for Inside Stories that includes interactive stories about four environmental mysteries (all involving the fictional gym: Reps). The lesson plans include national standards in science, health, language arts, math, and working with others. Lesson ideas are geared for middle grades but could easily be adapted for early high school. They also have video "tie-ins," and lots of details. Some of the activities require Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share the Inside Stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students work with a partner to navigate the stories. Have students offer a solution at the end of the story. Check out the ready to go lesson plans. Have your students do research about environmental illnesses and create a wiki or blog discussing the causes and solutions. Have your students create video clips or podcasts about these and other environmental mysteries. Upload the videos to YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Merpy Stories - M. R. Petit

Grades
K to 3
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Need some extra safe, online reading for your students? Merpy stories await the eager reader. Engaging, with versatile vocabulary, the Merpy characters will delight your new readers....more
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Need some extra safe, online reading for your students? Merpy stories await the eager reader. Engaging, with versatile vocabulary, the Merpy characters will delight your new readers. Make sure to check out the holiday episodes. These stories do not read the words for the students, but rather provide animation and fun sounds. For extended learning, paper dolls and other crafts add to the Merpy fun. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): literacy (105)

In the Classroom

Merpy stories will be a wonderful addition to your computer literacy lab. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector and read the stories together as a class. Individual or paired reading would also work well. After reading several Merpy stories, students may be able to create their own 'Merpy-esque' stories using PowerPoint and animated clipart. For the Spanish learner or ESL/ELL student, check out the four Merpy Spanish versions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lit2Go - Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse

Grades
K to 12
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Now you can listen to classics and poems through the generosity of this site's creators. Download story files to your mp3 player or listen to the files on your computer. ...more
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Now you can listen to classics and poems through the generosity of this site's creators. Download story files to your mp3 player or listen to the files on your computer. Don't want to just listen to the classics and other stories? Then, view the text on a webpage or in a printable pdf. Easily browse the site by author or title to locate literature. You are also able to search by reading level; the levels are broken down by month (ranging from 0.0 - 12.0). Stories and poems are added frequently to this site, so check back often. This site requires Windows Media Player or Quicktime and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (145), audio books (24), folktales (50), literature (268), nursery rhymes (16), rhymes (30)

In the Classroom

Print out up to 25 pdf copies of stories and poems if you do not have print versions. Make your own books and leave blank sections to be illustrated for aiding comprehension. If you have iTunes installed on your computer, you can download many of the selections directly into your iTunes library. Use individual laptops for reading the stories online or as a download. Make sure your sight-impaired students know about this helpful site. Special ed teachers and ESL//ELL teachers will love the availability of audio files and text together.

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Word Girl - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 4
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the ...more
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the challenges at this site. The site features about twenty ready to go lesson plans, interactive language arts challenges, online stories, and much more! Some of the lesson plan topics include, Awesome Alliterations, Sentence Fluency, Writing a Diary, Acting out Verbs with Charades, and many others. Visit the link, Huggies House of Fun to practice vocabulary words, creating comic strips, cartoon games (with a vocabulary twist), and other activities to lighten up language arts! Also at this link, visit the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game," an interactive comedy story that will have students thinking and laughing out loud. Visit the Teachers and Parents link for lesson plans, activity ideas, an online dictionary, and printable pages.

tag(s): antonyms (26), sentences (49), spelling (166), synonyms (36), verbs (39), vocabulary (317)

In the Classroom

Why not introduce a word activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game" as a class. Then create a learning center using this website and allow students to view the interactive stories and play the games during your language arts block. And don't forget about the ready-to-go lesson plans. Use these plans to help simplify the complexities of the English language (synonyms, antonyms, onomatopoeia, etc.). Be sure to list this site on your class website and in your class newsletter so students can have some Word Girl fun at home. at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Clifford's Big Dig - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing...more
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing words. Students have to use their phonics skills to choose the correct answer from multiple choice answers. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (70)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then have students work on at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner to read/listen to the story. Be sure to include headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SUPER WHY! - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 2
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This fantastic website, created by PBS, is a language arts dream! There are online stories, videos, interactive games, printable pages, and more. Topics include spelling, letter recognition,...more
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This fantastic website, created by PBS, is a language arts dream! There are online stories, videos, interactive games, printable pages, and more. Topics include spelling, letter recognition, phonics, rhyming, sight words, and other language arts topics. If you are looking for a new way to excite young readers, this is one to try. For most of the interactive activities, click on the GAMES link (they are all educational). This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (85), phonics (70), preK (284), sound (105), sounds (68), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Turn up your speakers and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to display these engaging activities, and get ready for some excited students! Once the site is introduced, set this website up as a learning center (with headphones!) during your language arts block. Go to Super Stuff for printable language arts pages to use for extra practice. Share this link with parents via your teacher web page so they can help struggling readers enjoy learning.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Here, Clifford! - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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"Here, Clifford!" is an engaging interactive storybook using simple short vowels and position words. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. There are words missing...more
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"Here, Clifford!" is an engaging interactive storybook using simple short vowels and position words. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. There are words missing on some pages, with multiple choices to figure out the missing word. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (70)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner. Don't forget the headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Emily Elizabeth Goes to School - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Bring Clifford ALIVE in your classroom with this interactive storybook. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. Students are presented...more
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Bring Clifford ALIVE in your classroom with this interactive storybook. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. There are words missing on some pages, with multiple choices to figure out the missing word. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): phonics (70)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work on individual computers at their own pace. (Headsets would work best). An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website. This story is a perfect activity for the first week of school!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Audio Stories for Children - Light Up Your Brain

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K to 5
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Chuck Brown, the host of Light Up Your Brain , takes readers on audio adventures of timeless classics such as Cinderella and Peter Rabbit, as well as other various ...more
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Chuck Brown, the host of Light Up Your Brain , takes readers on audio adventures of timeless classics such as Cinderella and Peter Rabbit, as well as other various stories. Mr. Brown records the stories and provides them on his web site for FREE! The site also offers user-friendly directions for listening and downloading the stories. You can download the stories as a zip file or use Windows Media Player. You can get Windows Media Player from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): folktales (50)

In the Classroom

Use the stories during listening centers or as enrichment to a theme or shared/group reading during class. Play the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students draw pictures of the story. If copies of the story are available, have students follow along with a partner during the audio reading. Learning support teachers will like the option of offering stories in audio to help weaker readers.

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Scratch - Lifelong Kindergarten Group, MIT Media Lab

Grades
1 to 12
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive ...more
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. This application can be used for bringing simple ideas and projects to life. It has great use as a paint program without using the animations. Downloads/install files are available for Mac or PC. Other links include a Getting Started PDF, Help screens to show what each block controls and how to use, and a Reference Guide which provides an overview of the interface. A support page is also available for help in using the application.

Material created can only be viewed within the program. Drawings are not saved as a JPG or pic file. However, a "snapshot" of the screen can be created by using these keys in Mac: apple, shift, and 4 and click/drag to surround the portion to save. In PC use: control/print screen. These snapshots can be uploaded or used as a picture in other applications.

tag(s): animation (61), coding (66), Computational Thinking (17), critical thinking (118), design (88), drawing (77), problem solving (294)

In the Classroom

Quick start: Click stage and in the center pane, click on backgrounds. Click on paint to make a new background. Different colors, pens, and materials can be used to create the background or an image can be brought in from your computer. Objects in Scratch are called a Sprite and can be added in by choosing the folders below the screen. By clicking the script tab, blocks can be moved in to create motion, add sounds (even record your own message), and change the look of the Sprite. Blocks are linked on to each other to create a series of events. A control block dragged to the top of the blocks control which key starts the event. Advanced options include adding variables and other controls.

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Projects can be shared online; however an account is required.

Work is saved to the computer itself and only shared online via an account. To avoid problems concerning content made by outsiders or issues with sharing, save the work locally and either create your own gallery on a supervised class website/wiki or set up a single account where you share the "best" projects online via your own log-in. Remind students of the school's Acceptable Use Policy and consequences of violations, if you do allow them to join/share. Images used should adhere to all copyright rules. Use pictures taken in class or those with Creative Commons licensing (and provide attribution!).

Practical tips: Students quickly catch on to this program when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they will do/draw/say in their creation in order to keep tabs on what students and their creations.

Possible uses: For the lower grades, Scratch provides unlimited possibilities. Use as a new way to show vocabulary usage. Use the paint program to add information to a picture from your class field trip or science experiment. Use Scratch to help in storytelling a concept in a new and unique way, such as how rocks are formed. In the upper grades, use Scratch to show complex material in a new way. For example, students can draw DNA and show replication, etc. through their drawings and storytelling. Draw the different movements of landforms in plate tectonics. Draw or illustrate solutions to Math problems.

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Loud Lit - Loudlit.org

Grades
1 to 12
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature....more
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature. You are given the options of listening to the literature, listening and reading the literature, or downloading the literature to an MP3 player. The number of items available for public use is constantly increasing. The current contents include novels, poetry, classic children's literature, a few historical items, and classic short stories. Some examples of the available literature includes A Tale of Two Cities, The Little Match Girl, The Gift of the Magi, The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address, and countless others. A separate column lets you know about newly recorded items. This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): declaration of independence (13), gettysburg (25), gettysburg address (17), literature (268), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

This site is helpful for many subjects and grade levels. Have students use this website when they have to memorize poetry, the Gettysburg Address, or the Declaration of Independence. ESL and ELL students and many learning support students will benefit from the option of "reading" in multi-media format. Use the audio stories with younger students for listening skills. During a poetry unit, why not have students choose one of the poems to read and listen to? Have the students analyze and write in their journal about what they think the poem means. Then have the students share the original poem and their own opinions with the class, making this activity a listening, reading, writing, and speaking lesson. If you are into podcasting, encourage students to create some of their own poetry readings with commentary.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Nory: Kids Audio Stories - Blog Relations: Matthew Lynn and Hugh Fraser

Grades
K to 5
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This site offers over 100 audio stories, downloadable to mp3 players or playable from your computer using Flash. It also has constant updates, news about new offerings, and several...more
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This site offers over 100 audio stories, downloadable to mp3 players or playable from your computer using Flash. It also has constant updates, news about new offerings, and several complete books available as well. The stories available include animal stories, poems, fables and legends, modern stories, and some holiday stories. A few stories include an animated video. The text of the story is included, so students can follow along during the audio reading The audio quality is high, so enthusiasm will be contagious! This site does have some small unobtrusive advertisements. Be aware - this website is a blog, so students can add comments about a story (using first names only), if this is within your school policies. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): folktales (50), listening (86)

In the Classroom

Beginning readers will enjoy this site as much as more capable readers, listening intently to the high quality presentation. Share this site with parents in your class newsletter or from your teacher web page. Use it also when you read Alice in Wonderland, and when you teach the concept of "series" stories (try the "Bertie" stories). ESL/ ELL and learning support students will benefit from reading and hearingstories at the same time. Project the story on an interactive whiteboard or projector with small groups of readers so students can follow along and even highlight words during the audio reading.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free Short Stories For Low Intermediate ESL Learners - eslfast.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers a list of short stories for ESL/ELL learners. Students can read the story, listen to the story, review the story, click on vocabulary words to access an ...more
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This site offers a list of short stories for ESL/ELL learners. Students can read the story, listen to the story, review the story, click on vocabulary words to access an online dictionary, and more. There is also a link to an online dictionary for other new words not featured in the vocabulary section at the top of the page. Many of the stories offer two listening speeds (slow and normal). Although the advertisements are a bit distracting, this website does offer a high number of ESL/ELL stories on a variety of topics. The subject matter of many stories is not appropriate for younger students. Preview! This site requires Windows Media. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dictionaries (58), vocabulary (317)

In the Classroom

The reading and listening activities are easy for students to work on independently because of the listening option. Special ed teachers may also have students who will benefit from the listening practice. Don't forget to provide the headphones. Provide this link on your class website or newsletter, so the families of ESL/ELL students can read (or listen) to the stories together.

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Robert Munsch Poems & Stories - Robert Munsch

Grades
K to 5
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Beloved children's author Robert Munsch offers many of his stories/books here in audio. Just click on the cover of the book you want to hear. You can then either listen ...more
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Beloved children's author Robert Munsch offers many of his stories/books here in audio. Just click on the cover of the book you want to hear. You can then either listen or download it to listen to later. You will also find an explanation from the author about how the book came to be. All students, including ESL students, will enjoy hearing these stories.

tag(s): folktales (50), listening (86)

In the Classroom

Set up these recordings as a center with the book at hand and headphones for your students. Or play them for the whole class with your speakers turned up after lunch or at the end of the day. Include the link on your teacher web page and newsletter for parents, as well.

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Browser Books - Kathy Cassidy

Grades
K to 1
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Have you ever needed a second reading teacher in your primary classroom? You will come close when you visit this site. Browser Books' name says it all. ...more
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Have you ever needed a second reading teacher in your primary classroom? You will come close when you visit this site. Browser Books' name says it all. Your students will choose from a list of books to read. Click on the arrow at the bottom right on each page, and the page turns to the next. You won't need to answer, "What's this word?" when your students read these online books. Click on each word and hear it read aloud. Students will love the kid-friendly faces in each book. Books are leveled from pre-Kindergarten to first grade. The Moosejaw, Canada web creator of this site deserves the awards she has garnered.

In the Classroom

Your students will find the easy navigation at this site a bonus. Give them a laptop to read these books in their cozy reading spot (with headphones), or choral read with the entire classroom or group using an interactive whiteboard. Individualized reading opportunities abound using these books. For computer savvy parents, assign this as extra homework reading. They will not complain about this homework assignment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Barnaby Bear Stories - BBC

Grades
K to 1
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Although this page has been archived and is no longer updated, all links are functional. This website is an awesome introduction to geography and more! The site offers two illustrated,...more
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Although this page has been archived and is no longer updated, all links are functional. This website is an awesome introduction to geography and more! The site offers two illustrated, interactive stories. Both involve an adorable bear named Barnaby. One story takes students to Paris, the other to Australia. The stories also contain new vocabulary words to learn, engaging questions, and creative storylines.

tag(s): australia (37), france (34)

In the Classroom

Use the site with or without audio (don't forget headphones or speakers). Use this website as a learning center for small groups of students to explore together. Or make the journey a class adventure by using an interactive whiteboard. This website could also be used to teach basic geography vocabulary, awareness of geographic locations (Australia), and reading skills together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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CAST UDL Book Builder - CAST

Grades
K to 12
18 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This fabulous, FREE online tool allows you to create your own interactive "books" to help young readers learn reading strategies to build comprehension. The tool allows you to enter...more
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This fabulous, FREE online tool allows you to create your own interactive "books" to help young readers learn reading strategies to build comprehension. The tool allows you to enter your own text, images, and hints. The finished product is a very polished-looking book in a form that you can save on your computer or burn to a CD and use over and over and over with students for years to come.

Be sure to try the model books and read the tips for writers and illustrators. Take the time to learn the tool. Click to see a sample we made for you and placed on our site.

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), reading comprehension (127), reading strategies (54)

In the Classroom

Locate or create your own copyright-free text and images for which you have the rights to make more than one copy (Fair Use does not apply!). Copy/paste the text and resize/upload the images--following simple directions to create the pages and accompanying hints. Be sure to learn about the three interactive characters who teach the strategies! Publish and download the files of the finished "books" and save on your computer. Extract the zipped files and save locally, on your network, or burn to CD so your students can access them directly.

The uses of this one are endless. If you take the time to get permission from the publisher to use text from some of your textbooks or reading books, you could create interactive versions to use in your classroom or with special ed students. More simply, use student-written stories and artwork (scanned -- or created in Paint) to create the "book." Imagine creating a class "book" at the end of a unit on Communities or Animals, and including images you take with your digital camera. If you copy the CD's, students could sign out the "book" and read it to relatives using their home computer. You can keep the "library" of past books to help future classes. Or ask your middle/high school or gifted students to create books as writing/service project for struggling readers to use.

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Inkless Tales - Elizabeth Bushey

Grades
K to 5
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Users of this very appealing site listen to and read a variety of stories, poems, while viewing accompanying drawings. Teachers will like the Read a Story options with simple Dolch...more
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Users of this very appealing site listen to and read a variety of stories, poems, while viewing accompanying drawings. Teachers will like the Read a Story options with simple Dolch words. Children can submit their own poems and may see themselves published online, but you will want to get parent permission first! Many writing prompts and easy writing tasks look like fun on this site; additional games on the site have an educational aspect. In addition to online activities, there are a few stories and games available to print out. Many activities require the Flash plug in. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): writing (363)

In the Classroom

The animated alphabet is certain to appeal to pre-K and kindergarten teachers and students. Make it a center that students can explore over and over!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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