Links - Kids' Activities
Yet another online storybook website has hit the scene! Try Barnes and Noble's Storytime Online site for over 10 great children's books read by the authors themselves, including Laura Numeroff and Tommie dePaola.
Online activities for kids as well as info for teachers about the PBS series, Between the Lions, that promotes early elementary reading skills. Many of these programs can align with particular Word Work skills, such as the sound /er/ or /ch/. Thus, the TV shows can provide excellent TRI Extensions at instructional match. In addition, these shows have been shown in research studies to enhance reading outcomes, so teachers can feel comfortable turning these shows on when they align them with students' instructional needs.
More advanced readers may have fun reading lots of silly poems and rating each one on this site--Giggle Poetry. Many other poetry reads are available, including short readers' theater. Poetry can inspire many students to read, and re-read, and re-read again. Among other virtues, performing poetry is a wonderful way to inspire re-reading practice for fluency building.
Oxford Owl has a large collection of freely accessible e-books read aloud. Not only are they read aloud, which is perfect for the extra reading practice beginning readers need, but the books also target particular phonics patterns and have varying difficulty. So, you can find a Pink book targeting short "o" or a Greenbook targeting /oa/. After your student reads a book several times, s/he can perform it for the class!
Click on one of the links below for reading practice or games emphasizing short "a" or "o"
Zac the Rat--an interactive story focused on the short "a" sound from Starfall; be sure to click the words & the pictures
Make a Word with "an" from starfall.com
Make a Word with "at" from starfall.com
Chain Gang--change one sound at a time in this game from The Electric Company
"a" words in song and video from Hooked on Phonics
Get Your Mouth Moving--short jazz song focused on the short a sound from Between the Lions
An interactive read-aloud maximizes language and literacy learning but also requires the teacher's undivided attention (of course!). How can budding readers receive additional opportunities to hear and enjoy books--beyond the time they have with their teacher? Read To Me provides a cheery, bright webpage full of professional readings of children's books by actors and other notables. This beautiful, dynamic website will surely inspire your students to develop a love of books.
For optimal enrichment, the books could be checked out from the library and in students' hands as they watch and listen. Further, the Read To Me opportunity could follow a teacher's interactive read-aloud, as we know that repeated readings benefit students in multiple ways as well.
Once your students have some access to the code, these read-along video songs are fun ways to squeeze in multiple re-readings. The creator has done us a great service, too, by revealing multi-syllable words chunk-by-chunk so that the child will more likely infer the patterns in the words. Children can watch them here at the readeez website or watch on vimeo.com by searching for "Readeez." Enjoy.
In an approach similar to Read To Me, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation provides Storyline Online, an online collection of actors reading famous picture books aloud. Fabulous for minimizing the reading and language gap. Find a favorite like Stellaluna there or discover something new such as No Mirrors in My Nana's House, the reading of which ends with a beautiful a capella song. Lovely!
Merriam-Webster's lush online visual dictionary can help your ELL learner or any learner expand his vocabulary knowledge. This site may be particular helpful for expanding on any content area knowledge, tied to a particular text or curricular area. K-1 students would likely benefit from exploring this site with the assistance of a teacher or older student.
Inspired by the PBS show Word Girl, these games are designed to build young students' vocabulary knowledge. While these games won't rapidly improve decoding and word identification, they will likely benefit students' oral language. The games may inspire some children to watch the educational, but entertaining, show at home. Generally more appropriate for 1st grade and older.