Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Online Books for Kids

For two years, I was the Technology Specialist at a scWebsites for the Elementary School Classroomhool in Georgia. During that time, I amassed a large collection of websites that I use with my students. You can download my E-Book of Websites for the Elementary Classroom for free from Teachers Pay Teachers or Smashwords, or, you can check back here each week for the website suggestion.


Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - Raki's Rad Resources This week, I was speaking with my students about expanding their reading repertoire.  However, since my students often do not speak English at home, and we don’t live in an English speaking country, where you can hop down to the free public library (a service I took very much for granted when I lived in the USA), they often have a lack of new books to read.  We are lucky enough to have a library at the school and kids regularly check out books from there, but they still need a bit more.  So, I shared with my students some places to get good quality books online that they can read to expand their vocabularies and increase their reading fluency and comprehension.
With my students, I only share the FREE options, but I’ve also included a few on this list that I feel are worth paying for. 
FREE Online Books for Kids
Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - We Give Books.org 1.)  We Give Books - This website is owned by Pearson Foundation, and has hundreds of e-books available for kids to read for free.  The books are really amazing quality, with great illustrations and quality writing.  There is a large variety of fiction and non-fiction books.  In addition, the foundation donates books to kids in need around the world for all of your time spent on this site.  You can sort the books by content and age appropriateness. Even though this is a free site, students will need a log in.



Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - International Children's Digital Library  2.)  International Children’s Digital Library – More than just English, this site has free online kids books in multiple languages including Arabic, Spanish, French and Danish.  There are multiple books in each language and they can be sorted by language and genre, as well as age range.  There are even multiple bilingual books in their library.



Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - Children's Storybooks Online 3.)  Children’s Storybooks Online – This website has quality stories for young children, older children and young adults.  The books have good quality writing and most books include illustrations.  This site only has fiction books.












Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - Classic Kids Books from the Library of Congress4.)  Classic Kids Books – Library of Congress – This site includes 51 classic children’s books for free.  Some are common fairy tales like the Three Bears, but there are many classic novels like the Jungle Book, the Secret Garden and the Adventures of Huck Finn.  These are scanned in copies of good quality with color illustrations.



Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - Free Kids Books.org5.)  Free Kids Books.org – This is a great collection of kids’ books written by independent authors.  All of the books are fiction, although many have science or health tie ins.  You can read the books on the screen or download a PDF version for free.  Many books also have a link to where you can purchase a physical copy of the book.




$$$$ Online Books for Kids
Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - Raz Kids 1.) Raz-Kids – Often part of the Reading A-Z package, this is a gigantic collection of leveled books with a listening, reading and recording option for all books.  There are also comprehension quizzes for all of the books.  There are great fiction stories, but also amazing non-fiction connections for most school subjects.  Students earn points by reading, which they can spend in their Raz Rocket.  There are now quite a few books available in Spanish as well.  I have used this quite a bit in my classroom, always with great success.  It generally costs about $100 a year per classroom.



Using online stories in the classroom as a computer and literacy center - or as homework assignment. - Mee Genius 2.)  MeeGenius – A Library of 700 includes classic kids’ stories like Pete the Cat as well as books written just for this website.  There are fiction and nonfiction books available.  You can read 5 of their books for free, but to have access to all of the books, there is a $48 per year.





Any of these sites can be sent home for homework or used in your classroom as a computer center/ literacy center.  You could easily use these books in correspondence with my Reading Response Journal or Reading Logs to track if students are understanding the books they read on these websites.
Use this reading journal to help kids respond to the online books they have read.  Raki's Rad Resources    Use this reading log to help kids keep track of the online books they have read. Raki's Rad Resources

How do you use online books in your classroom?

Find more information about great books for kids at the What to Read Link Up at MyLearningTable.com.
Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources