Almost a year ago, I blogged about one resource, Project Gutenberg, for finding free books for your classroom online, and now it is time for another one. While Project Gutenberg is great because it has so many classics, the site seems to be more appealing to an older audience and, because the copyright has expired on these texts, the language tends to be fairly archaic, and therefore challenging. Children’s Storybooks Online, on the other hand, appears better suited to young and/or lower level students.
Despite its name, Children’s Storybooks Online is not just for children. I view the three categories (young children, older children, young adult) as language levels and am sure that even adults who are just starting to learn English could benefit from reading simple texts. Besides having the stories online for students to read, there are beautiful illustrations as well as audio recordings accompanying some of the texts, which can be a great help for struggling readers.
The site is entirely free and you do not even have to register to access the content. You can project stories in your classroom to read with the whole class or assign them to students as homework. Some students might be reluctant to read at all, but be willing to read on a tablet. Adult learners might feel self-conscious checking children’s books out of the library, but be happy to have easily accessible lower level content available online. Still other students might have already finished all the free reading material you currently have available in your classroom or school. Whatever the situation is, I think we can all agree that you can never have too many books.
While you are on the site looking for books, jump over to ABC Fast Phonics, which is its sister site. Here, students can learn and practice basic phonics for free. When flipping through the lessons, note that everything has option narration so that students can listen to the lessons and also hear model pronunciation. Just one more to add to your toolbox.
Where do you find reading material for your students? How would you use online books with your students?