How I Use It
I use Big Universe twice a week and our text the other two. The kids love the bright colorful books and reading online. Depending on what skills were working on, I either assign individual books for kids to write essays or I assign reading groups a book so they can discuss and answer comprehension questions together. When the kids pick their own stories, they usually go for interest and the reading level is way too high. They wind up looking at the pictures instead of really reading it. It's a little hard for the kids to search for a book that's on their reading level and something they like.
I think this a great website to engage kids in reading. The website offers a wide range of stories in many levels and topics. Even my most reluctant readers found dozens of books they liked. The non fiction selection is very diverse and that's what most of my students read. The fiction stories are somewhat childish, even the higher level ones. The books go up to an 8th grade level so it's ideal for elementary and middle school students. It's very time consuming to assign books and there's no way to set up reading groups which would be very helpful.