Are you teaching virtually this school year or sometimes just feel as if your students are more engaged by a digital read aloud story? Well I feel your pain and I’ve got you covered! I have compiled a list of the 5 best websites for digital read aloud stories. Do you want to know what the greatest part is?! They are all FREE websites! Anyone that is in the world of education loves free things, am I right?! Please enjoy and leave some feedback on which websites you like to use the most for digital read aloud stories.
Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners. Storyline Online is a program of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation (SAG). This means that you can search for your favorite celebrity such as Tom Hanks or Oprah Winfrey to read aloud to your class! There are many celebrities on the website and having someone else read the book can always be a little more fun for your students at certain times.
When you access Storyline Online, you can play an actual video of the celebrity reading the story book on your SMARTboard to your class. You can use the search bar to find the story that you want or look through the categories provided for ideas such as, Black History Month or World Read Aloud Day. This website is simple and to the point and super easy to use! I always recommend that teachers leave login info for a substitute to access Storyline Online if they are out because it is so easy to use.
Vooks is a kid safe, ad-free streaming library of read aloud animated storybooks. It is trusted by parents, loved by teachers, and enjoyed by millions of children around the world. You can stream a story through Vooks on any device and watch the story come to life. Think of it like Netflix for books! The best part-it is ad free!
Vooks offers free trials and access via web, iOS and Android devices, and streamers like Roku, Amazon Fire and Google Chromecast. Subscribers will have the ability to download videos for offline viewing at any time on iOS and Android devices. Parents will love to use this too-helping to keep kids engaged and entertained on the road, at grandma’s house, or in a plane, without the bulk of physical books or resorting to traditional screen time. Teachers can easily use this when virtual teaching or as an independent reading center in their classroom.
Epic is another fabulous FREE website for educators to access digital read aloud stories for students. You could use Epic to show a digital read aloud story on the SMARTboard during class. If you are teaching virtually, you could assign it to reading groups through Seesaw or Google Classroom or play it for a read aloud during whole group class time. There are so many possibilities when using Epic.
Another great feature of Epic is that most of the stories have a short 5 question comprehension quiz after. These would be especially great for doing a quick assessment after a whole group digital read aloud story.
You can get access to Oxford Owl as a parent or educator. It is a free ebook library for ages 3 to 11 years old. You just need to register your email address and password. It also includes free teaching resources, educational games and activities. Oxford Owl is a website based out of the UK that is run by the Oxford University Press. You can access it on a computer or tablet and search for books by the child’s age. This site even offers phonics lessons and story videos read by professional storytellers. The storytellers do have British accents, since it is a British site, so be prepared for that!
Story Nory is another website for digital read aloud stories that has plenty of free material. This website looks a little different as it shows the story on the page and you click on the audio to follow along; it does not have animated videos with the stories. This might be a better-suited option for older elementary students or students with disabilities that need that modification. The stories are broken up into different categories-original, fairy tales, classic authors, myths and world, educational, poems and music. One great feature of Story Nory is that you can actually translate the text into different languages for your ESL students!
There is the list of the 5 best FREE websites for digital read aloud stories, in my opinion. I hope that you were able to learn about a new website that you possibly had not heard of before today. I also hope that you can use some of these digital read aloud stories when teaching either virtually or in-person. Finally, I hope your students love them!