Top Pick

Best Websites for Independent Reading

There's no question that reading is essential to learning, and is crucial to social and emotional development and engaged citizenship. Students who read more accelerate their acquisition of literacy skills, and unlock new levels of potential in all of their classes. All too often, however, our students see reading as a chore, something deeply intertwined with school requirements rather than personal interests and passions. Help students, through in-class and at-home independent reading, to read on their own terms about subjects they care about with these terrific tech tools that put students in control, and let them discover new authors, genres, and books, dig into current news and stories, and practice reading in authentic contexts.

Reading is Fundamental: Leading to Reading Visit Website: http://www.rif.org/kids/leadingtoreading/en/leadingtoreading.htm
Teachers and kids explore the wonderful world of reading together
Grades Pre-K-K
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Ready to Learn Reading Visit Website: http://pbskids.org/read/
Vast assortment of activities encourage reading and storytelling
Grades Pre-K-3
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
StorylineOnline.net Visit Website: http://www.storylineonline.net
Notable actors' read alouds bring kids' storybooks to life
Grades Pre-K-3
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Reading Rainbow Skybrary School Visit Website: https://www.levarburtonkids.com/school
Thorough lesson plans help teachers utilize an amazing digital library
Grades K-3
Type Website
Price Free to Try
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Bookshare Visit Website: https://www.bookshare.org/
Unique digital library gives access to those with print disabilities
Grades Pre-K-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Reading Rainbow Publisher: RRKidz, Inc.
Kids can "go anywhere, be anything" with vast book and video library
Grades K-4
Type App
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Bookopolis Visit Website: http://bookopolis.com/
Cute social network lets kids log books and connect with other readers
Grades 1-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Universal Reader Plus Visit Website: http://www.readingmadeez.com
Text reader and summarizer with translation for eight languages
Grades 1-12
Type Website
Price
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
BiblioNasium Visit Website: http://www.biblionasium.com
Site for reviewing and sharing books makes reading a social adventure
Grades 2-6
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Newsela Visit Website: https://newsela.com/
Absorbing daily news stories offer kids just-right learning content
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Harry Potter Reading Club Visit Website: http://hpread.scholastic.com
The fun and fantasy of Harry's world plus literary discussion
Grades 3-7
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Accelerated Reader Visit Website: http://www.renaissance.com/products/accelerated-reader
Boundless, flexible tools promote instructional, independent reading
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Contact for pricing
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
StudySync Visit Website: http://www.studysync.com/
Superb ELA resource spurs critical thinking with dynamic multimedia
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 5
Actively Learn Visit Website: http://www.activelylearn.com/
Empowering social ereader keeps kids actively, independently engaged
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Folger Shakespeare Library Visit Website: http://www.folger.edu/
Teacher's resource digs deep into the Bard's work
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program Visit Website: https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/
Wildly engaging contest turns students into novelists in 30 days
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
ThinkCERCA Visit Website: http://www.thinkcerca.com
Critical-reading program buoyed by high-interest texts, clear structure
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
LitPick Visit Website: http://www.litpick.com
Tweens' reviews of YA literature great for classroom use
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
After the Storm Visit Website: https://www.classroominc.org/programs/after-the-storm/
Engaging ELA game makes you the editor of your local newspaper
Grades 6-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Poets.org Visit Website: http://www.poets.org/
Vast array of poets and poems; on the serious side
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Goodreads Visit Website: http://www.goodreads.com
Lively community for bookworms to share their love of lit
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Teen Ink Visit Website: http://www.teenink.com
Get kids writing, publishing, critiquing in this valuable network
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4