MeeGenius is a new site that has been popular on Twitter recently. MeeGenius is an online library of picture books for young children. Currently there are nearly 30 books available to read, most of which are popular fairy tales.
The books can be read independently or there is an option to hear the book being read to you with the words being highlighted as you hear them. If you choose the read along option, you can pause the books as they are read aloud. This is useful as it allows you to ask the students questions and focus on teaching points.
One of the most exciting features of this site is the ability to personalise the stories. This could be a great way to entice reluctant readers and a fun tool to make the stories more meaningful to your students. You simply answer a few questions and the book is rewritten to include new character names and locations etc. You can also click on the “edit” button to rewrite the whole book. This could be useful for creating “Fractured Fairy tales” with students.
You don’t need to sign up to read the MeeGenius stories, however you do need to sign-up if you wish to save and email your personalised stories.
These stories would be great on an IWB or classroom computers. While the site is completely free, you can buy MeeGenius Apps from the iTunes store for iPhones, iPod Touches or iPads (currently AU$2.49)
Leave a comment. How could you use MeeGenius in your classroom?
Smories is a website with short videos of children reading original stories for kids. There are 50 new Smories added every month. Writers are encouraged to submit their original children’s stories to be featured on the website.
The stories are advertised as being suitable for children aged three to eight although there are many stories that would also appeal to children older than eight.
There is a special version of Smories available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and there will soon be an iPad version.
I have been using this site with my Grade Two class as a means of modelling reading with expression and also as a comprehension activity. I have been encouraging the students to picture the story in their mind as they listen. Listening to Smories is also a good way to revise the features of a narrative.
My students have really enjoyed the stories and find it quite appealing to listen to children their own age.
Next time we do a story writing activity I am going to get my students to publish their work “Smory style” which we can then put on our class blog.
Do you have any other ideas of how you could integrate this site into your classroom?
Five Card Flickr is a simple yet useful tool that I found out about from a number of people on Twitter.
Five Card Flickr deals you random pictures from Flickr that you put together to tell a story. From each 5 photos you are dealt, you choose one to add to your story. You then repeat this 4 more times until you have 5 photos that you can then use to tell a story.
Students could use this tool for oral language story telling or for inspiration for creating a written story. Stories could be created individually or as a class using an IWB.
Stories can be written on the site and saved to a gallery or alternatively, students could just write on paper.
Especially with younger students, oral language is an important area that can sometimes be neglected in the crowded curriculum.
The possibilities of Five Card Flickr are only limited by the students’ creativity! Give it a try.
Do you know any other sites that are useful for writing or oral language prompts?