Tuesday, 16 September 2014

StoryTime - Top Sites for Reading Stories Online. ESL/English Learning.

At my school we have a special English Storytime program in place. It's new and we're working out the kinks but my latest lesson was the most successful. And it's thanks to some excellent online reading sites I've found.

For this morning's successful storytime lesson we started with "Who am I?" which is an interactive reading book that you can read following this link : Who am I? Wild Animals
Now it's free to join and you get 5 free stories. So far I've watched this story more than once so I don't think it counts if you use the same book.
This book is good because you can read as well as play a guessing game with your class. I was able to pause and ask the class if they knew what animal the book was talking about and then we would re-read the page before seeing the result. Very interactive and made storytime more lively.

Another good site is : StarFall.com which is free with no sign up and has a lot of different stories to read. It's also good as you can read the story to your kids but also click on a word to have it read out by the computer. Here's a link to a story that is actually a play and has two characters - cat and dog. I would separate the class into 2 , making the class read together as if acting it out: Dog and Cat
A really good site this one! 

Another great website is barns and nobel,com . They have videos that read stories out loud. The only downfall is that unlike the first two sites I mention above, you can't see the words as well and read along as easily - or listen and repeat. It's more an animated book than anything. But still a good resource if you want to spice up a class with a story relating to a topic you're studying. Or, a very good choice if you have the hardcopy of one of the books online and then your students can read along or read the book alone then watch the video.
A plus is that they have really good and famous children's books to share.

Who doesn't love The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle? Great book.

Next is another great site where you can listen and repeat, but it's a tad high in level. However, the animations help. It's called MeeGenius and I used it recently for my The Little Red Hen Lesson . 
They have a few free books and some you have to pay for but still an overall useful site. I will use it again.

Next is a good free site called KizClub.com which has a lot of free books to read, which ranging subjects. It's a good one for listening and repeating also. I like it. A big plus is that you are able to print out the story which will come in very handy for reading along as a class.

And lastly, there is another site with free stories being told by famous actors called Storyline Online . It's pretty good. Only a small amount of books for free. It's more of a watching than reading site however. Useful if you have the book they are reading and have read it as a class beforehand. Not a listen and repeat site. I want to use it as it's very animated but only with books we can read before. The books are very good though.

Now I haven't use all of them yet but they are super handy to have now that we are trying to do a storytime lesson every morning. I also give the site name to the kids so they know where to go for their own private reading time. Hopefully you can incorporate some online stories in your class.

We also have big books in my class for old fashioned reading hehe, but I like to do a mixture of both.

Happy Teaching!
Mrs. Baia's Classroom


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