TeachersFirst's Audio Books

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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.

 

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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 (75)

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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Older Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
4 to 12
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th...more
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). 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 for older students. Some of the stories include Pulp Fiction, Nightmare Tales, American Folklore, and several others. The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. The reading levels vary, so preview the story before sharing it with your students.

Be aware, there are minor unobtrusive advertisements at this website. Nearly all of the interactive stories require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): folktales (65), interactive stories (32), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

There are many ways to use this site in your classroom. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students investigate the sites on their own (using headsets). Save this site as a favorite and list this site on your class web page. earning support and ESL/ELL teachers will love the variety of options for aural stories, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Classic Stories - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
K to 6
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This website offers a compilation links to about thirty interactive classic stories. Read Greek Myths, Alice in Wonderland, The Life of Buddha, The Golden Goose, Ramayana, Aesops Fables,...more
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This website offers a compilation links to about thirty interactive classic stories. Read Greek Myths, Alice in Wonderland, The Life of Buddha, The Golden Goose, Ramayana, Aesops Fables, Hans Christian Anderson, Grimms Fairy Tales, and numerous others. The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. Most of the interactive stories also include interactive phonics and grammar activities. The reading levels vary, so preview the stories before sharing them with your students. This is a MUST-SEE for primary language arts classes, special education classes, ESL and ELL classes, and others.

This website was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher. Be aware, there are minor unobtrusive advertisements at this website. Nearly all of the interactive stories require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), greek (41)

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. Challenge your gifted students to create new "classics." Have students work in pairs to explore this website (provide headsets), and then share their classic story with the rest of the class. Explore the "less known" stories available at this site. Don't forget to provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice their reading skills at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Beginning Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
K to 2
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This image-rich website provides over sixty interactive stories for young children to enjoy. Johnnie Wilson, mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher, has collected several math...more
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This image-rich website provides over sixty interactive stories for young children to enjoy. Johnnie Wilson, mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher, has collected several math and language arts links to create several compilations of the "best of the best." The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. Most of these beginning reader stories involve the ABCs and rhyming words. Most of the interactive stories also include interactive phonics and grammar activities. This is a MUST-SEE for primary language arts classes, special education classes, ESL and ELL classes, and others.

Be warned, there are minor unobtrusive advertisements at this website. Nearly all sites require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (92), grammar (216), interactive stories (32), phonics (75), preK (281)

In the Classroom

There are so many ways to integrate this website into your lessons. Save this website in your favorites, you will want to visit often! Why not use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the stories and activities with your class. 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.
 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 (75)

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 (75)

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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Book Hive Zinger Tales - Charlotte Mechlenburg Public Library

Grades
K to 6
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Storytelling comes alive at Zinger Tales. Listen to actual recordings of well-known tales by some of America's most famous storytellers. The rich language and expressions will captivate...more
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Storytelling comes alive at Zinger Tales. Listen to actual recordings of well-known tales by some of America's most famous storytellers. The rich language and expressions will captivate your students. Some examples of the stories include Why Dogs Chase Cats, The Three Bears and Goldilocks, The Cracked Pot , and numerous others. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65), oral history (12)

In the Classroom

Find the text for the stories featured at this site (or find text for any tall tale or oral history). Have students read the text multiple times to become familiar with the story. Watch and listen to the stories as a class on an interactive whiteboard or projection screen. Or have students use individual computers and listen to the stories of their choice. Don't forget the headphones! Learning support teachers will like this option to let folk tales spark the imagination of their weaker readers. Study storytelling techniques from this site. When students are comfortable with 'their' favorite story, record your own classroom storytelling podcast. Or burn a CD to as a gift to parents or fundraiser for a classroom project.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Audio Stories for Children - Light Up Your Brain

Grades
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 (65)

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 (63), drawing (77)

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 (26), gettysburg address (18), literature (275), poetry (228)

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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Silly Books - sillybooks.net

Grades
K to 6
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This site offers animated books with audio (some authored by children), jokes, cartoons, interactive games, and more. Some books are in Spanish, as well. Prepare to mark this site in...more
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This site offers animated books with audio (some authored by children), jokes, cartoons, interactive games, and more. Some books are in Spanish, as well. Prepare to mark this site in your Favorites when you see the extensive content. Its name doesn't reflect its depth. Many books have the text displayed, and as each word is spoken, it is highlighted. Students will learn new words used in context, since the stories feature rich vocabulary.

NOTE: The link to "Stumble It" connects to a very intriguing but random way of finding similar web sites, but it has its safety concerns for younger students. Read more about it in our TeachersFirst Edge review of Stumble Upon before you permit your students to use it.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), listening (91), literature (275), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Have your promising writers submit books for possible publication at this site (with parent permission, of course!). SillyBooks does the illustrating and audio. Make sure you click on the Catalog link to view the vast listing of books to which your class can listen. Use the expression-filled books on your projector or interactive whiteboard as choral reading readers (turn up the speakers!). Be sure to include this site on your teacher web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice. Spanish teachers, there are a few Spanish-language books available to read and hear. Learning Support and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance to build student vocabulary as they read -- and perhaps even want to write a story of their own.
 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 (65), listening (91)

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 (56), vocabulary (323)

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 Virtual Story Room - 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 format. All students, including ESL students, will enjoy hearing these stories as they read along....more
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Beloved children's author Robert Munsch offers many of his stories/books here in audio format. All students, including ESL students, will enjoy hearing these stories as they read along. Users must have the capability of listening through an MP3 player.

tag(s): folktales (65), listening (91)

In the Classroom

Set up these recordings as a center with the book at hand and headphones for the students (see download tips below). 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. You must first click that you agree to the terms of use, then DOWNLOAD the files (SAVE to your desktop for easy access and delete after use). The "Terms of Use" appear in a pop-up, so make sure your pop-up blockers is turned off. The files will play with Windows Media Player, iTunes, or Real Player, whichever you have.

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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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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...more
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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. The entire activity requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): australia (35), france (40)

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
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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...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 (144), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45)

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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KidsSpace Stories - Toronto Public Library

Grades
K to 12
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Mainly intended for the elementary crowd, this collection of online stories includes options of listening online or downloading them for more permanent access. The oral recordings of...more
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Mainly intended for the elementary crowd, this collection of online stories includes options of listening online or downloading them for more permanent access. The oral recordings of the stories are delightful, often featuring the author of the story as the reader. The stories are accompanied by appropriate sounds and songs and are very fresh and appealing. Besides stories in English, listeners can select stories in French and Italian as well. High school world language teachers will enjoy the chance for students to hear a full narrative read well in the language. Requires Quicktime. Downloading the stories offers them in MP3 format.

tag(s): french (88), italian (33)

In the Classroom

Use these delightful stories as opportunities to develop listening skills by playing the story, then asking questions. Or inspire your children to build fluency and expression by creating their own recordings (podcasts) after listening to these. Be sure to place the link on your teacher web page for students to share stories over and over at home, too.

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Verkaro.net Audiobooks - literalsystems.org

Grades
9 to 12
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This limited selection of well-produced audio books in the public domain is unique in its selection of titles. New classic titles are constantly being added. Professionals read the...more
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This limited selection of well-produced audio books in the public domain is unique in its selection of titles. New classic titles are constantly being added. Professionals read the books. Texts available as of spring, 2007 include: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; A Tale of Two Cities; Elephant's Child, The;Empty House, The;Excerpt from Don Quijote; Gift of the Magi, The; Goblin Market; Gunga Din; Happy Prince, The; Heart of Darkness; Highwayman, The; Monkey's Paw, The; On the Brighton Road; Red Room, The; Upper Berth, The.

In the Classroom

Use these recordings for a new medium in literature study or for learning support/visually impaired students whose decoding skills hinder their appreciation of the literature. Those with MP3 players can download the files for portable listening.

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Inkless Tales - Elizabeth Bushey

Grades
K to 5
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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...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 (359)

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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