TeachersFirst's Interactive Audio Books
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with audio and visual prompts or interactivity to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment as they read. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the interactive books. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the interactive books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways. See TeachersFirst's full collection of audio book resources and collection of audio books with accompanying text.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomUse stories on the interactive whiteboard or projector to teach story elements - pause as the story is read to allow students to retell details to the stopping point then make predictions of what will happen next. Help students understand disabilities and adaptations to disabilities through watching the stories being told in sign language. This is also a great resource for students with deaf/hearing impaired parents or students/teachers trying to learn or practice sign language. In sign language classes, consider creating your own signed story videos for children's books and share them on a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomDownload stories onto a mp3 player for students to listen to during reading time. Play the audio version of stories while following the written version on the interactive whiteboard. Use the stories during a fairy tale unit to compare and contrast characters. Share this link on your class web page for families to enjoy at home. These stories are worth playing over and over. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students to explore both in and out of the classroom.
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomHave students try out this site on individual computers, with head phones, or let them listen in pairs. Before they go to the questions, ask them to list the questions the site might ask them after they have seen the model of one story. Share this link on your class web page, wiki, and/or in a parent newsletter. Share the site with special language teachers at the elementary level.
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomThis colorful website will appeal to lower elementary students immediately, but its activities are stimulating for older students as well. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard. Have pairs of students explore the site together and create multimedia presentations to share with the class. You could create a class wiki for students to share their thoughts on the podcasts, video clips, or artwork. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Another idea, have students create online books demonstrating their new knowledge using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomThis site works really well with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can view the videos on the board and then play the games on the interactive board. The printables can be used by an entire class or for individual students who need skills reinforcement, and the books can be used as a center. The students have the choice of having the books read to them or reading on their own, so the site addresses the abilities of all students.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomUse these stories to learn about climate change as well as the organisms that live in colder regions affected by climate change. Read aloud to students or allow students to read together in small groups. Create story organizers to keep track of the basics of the story. Determine characteristics of the principal character in the story. Discuss what students know about that type of animal and discuss other information or stories that allow students the opportunity to understand more about the animal. Use some of the suggested activities to create ice floes or make paper ice crystals. Discuss other animals that may be affected and create conventional or multimedia posters that enlighten and inform others. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Use this story to help children find a voice and create their own stories or poems. Share the stories by creating an online book using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomProvide this link to parents in support of your in-school reading program. Struggling students can use RIF's Reading Planet (reviewed here) or Leading to Reading (reviewed here) activities both at home and at school to provide the repetition and review they need for skill mastery. Be sure to share this link before school breaks so parents can support literacy at home to prevent "summer slide."
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomMany of the games would be terrific as literacy centers or on an interactive whiteboard or projector to reinforce basics. Make this link available on your class web page for parents, students, and younger siblings to access from home. Parent notifications on games and contests with prizes and required parental consent for students to join make this a very safe site. Teachers may want to offer some of the writing contests as regular classroom activities or for enrichment or to adapt them for use with newer technologies. The visual poetry idea, for example, would work well as an interactive book created using Bookemon, reviewed here. Each student could make a visual poem and illustration in a whole-class book.
GradesK to 4
tag(s): comics and cartoons (72)
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students read aloud together to practice choral reading. Use this site for D.E.A.R. reading or other free time reading (be sure to provide headsets). Allow students to choose from the books. Even non-readers can use this site! Identify information, story lines, and grammar components within the stories as groups. Create story boards that outline the telling of the stories. Use a graphic organizing (online) tool such as bubble.us (reviewed here). Compare and contrast stories or characters using an online Venn diagram creator (reviewed here). Students can re-write endings or the sequels that would follow these books. Use these books as inspiration for student-made cartoon books in world language classes. Have the class or individuals create online books to share using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomWhat a fabulous site for ESL, ELL, learning support, and students learning Spanish! Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with Spanish students who do well at working on learning independently. ESL and ELL students will also benefit from going through the lessons, individually or in pairs. Teachers can register independently from their students and keep track of learner progress and participation. As students learn new vocabulary words, challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book sharing their newfound vocabulary. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
GradesK to 5
If you click on the Student View a spinning wheel will appear. Students can spin to choose a random activity! Many of these activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. Introduce this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If a student finishes early and needs some enrichment or is struggling and needs some extra practice, look here for some interactive help! Share this site on your class website for students to access outside of the classroom.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): spelling (167)
In the ClassroomWhat a fabulous way to share classic stories, fables, fairy tales, and myths! Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to these wonderful stories. Use this website in your language arts classes, special education classes, with your ESL and ELL students to share these classic stories, or the other topics provided. Challenge your gifted students to create new "classics." Have students investigate the sites on their own (using headsets). Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computers. With elementary students use this site during your language arts block, use this website as a learning center for students to explore independently. (Be sure to provide headsets). Don't forget to list this link in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice their reading skills at home or maintain skills during vacations.
GradesK to 2
This site requires Flash and Windows Media or similar player. The printable pages require Adobe Acrobat. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomAdd this link to your classroom computer for students to use for extra reading practice. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set this site up as a learning center (or using individual computers, if available). Don't forget the headsets! List this link on your class website. Use free printouts to reinforce what was learned in the stories and for students to take home or do as homework. The "Watch and Listen" link at the left will take parents to a page where they can download podcast versions of the stories to take in the car!
Grades4 to 12
Be sure to check out the videos, which include commercials from the 1960s! Many of the video and audio features require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThis site has so much to offer, the possibilities are endless. Obviously, this site is handy with ESL and ELL students. But there is SO much here to explore for teachers of elementary (social studies or language arts), AND secondary teachers trying to reinforce grammar skills, connect history and writing, and more.
Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With primary students, set up learning stations. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site together. Have groups investigate a specific area of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class: wiki, blog entry, podcast, online book, or video. Need some "technology tips?" How about having students create a podcast using Podomatic (reviewed here). Share the "student-created" videos on a tool such as TeacherTube (explained here). Have students write online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 8
Click on the Teachers link to explore lessons and other resources. Your class may wish to leave comments after they listen to the stories. Check out the Gallery, which shows photos of the actual setting for the myth. Unsure of the archaic terms? Then use the glossary that's provided for each myth and legend. Flash is required and can be gotten here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, use this site in your listening/computer corner for students to listen and read along the multitude of stories at this site. Your class may opt to write their own story of local myths or legends, and then submit it to this site. Have students write online legend or myth books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomHave students listen to a story during a listening center, choose a character from the story, and extend the assignment by writing in-character using the diary, e-card/invitation or printable activities options. Listen and watch stories as a whole group on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students retell the story as a short skit. For more extensive projects, consider using UtellStory, reviewed here, so students can draw and read their own stories in ways modeled here.
GradesK to 3
Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. To avoid seeing the advertisements, you may click Full Screen to view the story. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomShare this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume, and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write a new ending for the story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
GradesK to 3
Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomShare 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!
GradesK to 4
Be aware that this site does include some advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomShare the fairy tales on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Allow students to revisit the story as a center option on your classroom computer. Challenge your students to write new endings for the stories. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Use the site to teach about the history of the Brothers Grimm. This site also provides excellent research information about these famous writers.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomMake sure to address the simple rules, located on the homepage, with students prior to assigning projects. Based on the fact that this is a collaborative project and other children from around the world contribute to it, students must be open to varying opinions and works of art. Have students complete book talks individually or in small groups and then submit presentations for assessment. Check out the classrooms that used this as a medium for a summer reading program! Students could conduct book talks over holiday breaks or while on educational trips, as well. Allow for students to discuss books among each other as homework assignments. Have parents read and view their child's work and comment on it. Do not forget to obtain permission prior to submitting student work on-line.
This site uses a wiki tool as its foundation. To learn more about wikis and find logistical tips, see the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.