Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Free Book Resources

With the celebration of Read Across America this week, I thought it would be good to share some online resources for accessing books for FREE!  I love these sites and use them often.  They have been especially handy when I need a little time filler or we have an unexpected indoor recess.  

We Give BooksWe Give BooksWe Give Books is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online.
We Give Books combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others, providing a platform for caregivers and educators to inspire children to become lifelong readers and lifelong givers.
We Give Books also helps some of the world's best, most inspiring, literacy organizations by spreading the word about their great work and by providing books to the young people these organizations support.
Storyline Online - A production of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, this site offers books read by actors and actresses.  They can also be found on schooltube here.  It seems that more are available on the schooltube link than the main link, so check it out. 
storytime.JPGBarnes and Noble Storytime - Currently has 16 books available, most read by the authors.  A new book is added each month. 
Kids AOL - Stories read aloud, including some Arthur stories. 
A Story Before Bed - A collection of books read by their authors. 
ICDL book logoInternational Children's Digital Library - Includes books from around the world in the native language and some translated to English.  This is a great site to introduce students to other reading/writing cultures. 
Online Video Sites - Try searching the book you want to share with your students on video sites such as YouTube, TeacherTube or SchoolTube.  I've been suprised to find some books that are out of print or books that I wanted to use, but didn't have on these sites being read aloud.  
Authors Web Sites - Go the the website of the book author.  Many authors have recordings of a few of their books on their own sites. 
Some other lists I came across: 
                  192 Sites for Free Children's Books Online
                  56 Places for Free Audio Books Online
As with any technology you share with your students, be sure to preview anything you want to share before showing it to students, especially any of the online video sites.  Sometimes videos look like what you want only to have the sound be completely inappropriate.  (I learned from experience folks, don't make the same mistake!)
Additionally, you can always record your own books.  You can use them as a new way to share books with your students or set them up as a center for students to access.  Try having parents, custodians, secretaries, lunch staff and administration record the books too.  Technology is so great now, take advantage of it.

Share with us how you use digital books in your classroom or other sites you use to share books with your students in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

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