There’s something wonderful about being read out loud to- its the reason bedtime stories have been around for so long. But there’s not always someone around to guide read-aloud time. A great independent reading strategy is to have students follow along with an audiobook. This allows them to develop their reading skills while being able to ‘play the movie’ of the story in their heads. Audiobooks are not a substitute for reading, but they can be a way to engage readers with their stories. Have students read a paragraph or sentence before listening to it back via the audiobook. For this to be effective students should be able to pause and play the device themselves so that they can read at their own pace.
If you’re looking for a specific book the best place to find it is likely iTunes or Amazon. But its always worth a search to see if you can find it for free first! Here are a few sites you might want to explore:
Libivox: This source has a variety of public domain books. If you’re looking for classics like Anne of Green Gables, or working on the pronunciation of Shakespeare works- this is the place to go.
Lit2go: This site lets you search classic audiobooks by grade level. Remember that the classic fairy tales are not the Disney versions your students are used to (you might want to preview them first).
Storynory: I’m not a huge fan of Storynory’s original audio stories for kids, but I do love the section they have on Myths & World Stories. Check out fairy tales from around the world, or Greek and Norse myths!
Online Audio Stories: For short poems and rhymes for younger children this is a great resource.
Youtube: Never underestimate the power of a quick Youtube search. From Robert Munsch to The Hunger Games there are a variety of free audiobooks available. (To avoid advertisements you can use a Youtube to Mp3 converter to download the file).
Have you used audiobooks with your students before? Let me know in the comments below!
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