Despite the fact that many educators have access to a wide selection of books from school and public libraries, it can still be challenging to choose the “right” ones and keep students supplied with material they are interested in. For contexts with limited resources, these struggles are even more pronounced. Luckily, there are many free online resources available, such as Storynory, that vastly increase the amount of material with which students can engage.
Storynory is simply a website with a collection of stories sorted into categories such as fairytales, myths and world stories, and classic audio books. Storynory is unique in that each story has a recorded reading so that users can read the text and/or listen to the story, which is beneficial in many ways and gives you added flexibility. Using the site is free and there is even a line of text at the bottom of the homepage which reads, “Our Terms and Conditions make it easy for schools to use our materials for free,” so you do not have to worry about doing so. Additionally, while there is a certain amount of emphasis on reading for children, I think the site does a decent job of selecting graphics that are not too childish and which would potentially alienate adult users. Don’t have Internet access all the time? No problem, just download the stories and save them for later!
Let’s take a closer look at the site itself. You can click stories from the homepage or choose a category from the “Stories” drop-down menu along the top of the page. “Educational Stories,” in particular, has some interesting options for English language learners including brief explanations of English phrases, language learning questions for select stories, and, if you choose to use them, tongue twisters. Even the “About” tab, which most people probably ignore, has a plethora of information, especially under “Where do I start?” because the folks at Storynory have a wealth of advice for you on that one. With hundreds of stories to choose from, it might be a good idea to have a road map before you get started.
Use Storynory in your classes or recommend it to parents and students for outside reading. If you like it, make a donation to ensure it keeps going and encourage others to do the same. For even more reading resources, check out parts one and two of this series as well as Rebecca Palmer’s compilation of websites with reading material for even more.
What’s your favorite reading resource? Share that and more by leaving a comment below.