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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare Sync with your students to promote summer reading and provide a variety of reading topics. Play the audio introduction to gain student interest. Click the Toolkit on the left menu to download posters for featured books for each week of the summer. Post the information on your classroom or school website for availability to parents and students through the summer. If it is too late to participate in the program or listen to a weekly title, use the book list provided to locate the titles in your community library for checkout either in person or digitally at the beginning of the new school year. Encourage students to reflect upon the books using journals such as those found at Penzu, reviewed here. Penzu journals offers templates and you have the ability to add images or your own illustrations to sections of journals. Extend student learning by highlighting important areas of text within the books using WordSift, reviewed here. Copy and paste in key portions of any book into WordSift to visualize the text within a word cloud. Use the word cloud to explore and discuss new vocabulary or frequently used terms. Use Sync as a model for students to hear text read using intonation and phrasing. Ask students to create podcasts sharing their writing using Anchor, reviewed here. Refer students back to the audiobooks they listened to as a helpful reminder on how to engage listeners through the spoken word.
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. During times of remote or distance learning, put a link to this site on your class web page for parents and students to use at home, with directions for what you want them to do, of course. Then ask students to create a video response about what they learned using Flipgrid, reviewed here.
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomThis ebook could be used as a whole-group activity by sharing the video on your projector. Students could also view the video on individual devices (don't forget the earbuds). This is a great book to use to connect science and language arts. After each part of the story, extend the learning, and have students answer a teacher-directed question or summarize the main events. After parts one or two, you could have students write predictions about what they think will happen next. Challenge your students to create simple blog posts using Edublog, reviewed here. If students are too young for writing, have them create video responses using a tool such as Flipgrid reviewed here.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is one you must bookmark if you work with young readers! Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore and listen to books on their own. Unite for Literacy is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students for reading and hearing books in both English and their native language. Share a link to the site on your website or newsletter for use at home or use during remote learning. During remote learning, consider assigning your elementary students reading and follow up activities using Symbaloo, reviewed here. Symbaloo is an excellent bookmarking tool to use with elementary students due to the easy to use design and use of icons for identifying information readily. World language teachers can use this site to have students listen to books in the language they are learning.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomView and listen to stories by opening up two tabs in your browser. Choose one to listen in mp3 format and the other to view using either PDF format or the flipbook reader. View and listen to stories together on your interactive whiteboard or create a link on classroom computers for students to read independently. You could even submit a "review" written by your entire class or have your more able students write one you can submit using a teacher account. Browse for other reading-related activities and crafts. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for reading practice.
GradesK to 3
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomAll primary classrooms should take advantage of this wonderful tool. Share the interactive books and songs on your projector and interactive whiteboard. Use the songs, stories, and lesson plans to teach about various character traits: honesty, anti-bullying, good sportsmanship, courage, and more. Use these stories during class meetings to discuss issues happening in your own classroom. Share a link to the site with parents as a resource for use at home. Share the songs with your PE teacher to reinforce the concepts during movement activities.
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 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.
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. Modify learning and have your students create an interactive online poster using Canva, reviewed here. Use this story to help children find a voice and create their own stories or poems. Transform learning and 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, for 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."
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 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!
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?" Try enhancing students' learning by having them create a podcast using podOmatic, reviewed here. Share "student-created" videos on a tool such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Transform learning and have students write online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.