Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
If you're looking for a site with helpful K-12 resources and activities focused on books and authors, TeachingBooks.net will have something for you. The key to saving time sorting through the site's resources is having a goal in mind ahead of time. Begin searching the database by title, author, or subject to get a general overview of what's available. Dig deeper with the extensive drop-down tabs organizing key applications in the classroom. Pages are divided into author resources/interviews, lesson plans, and vocabulary. If your students have already read a novel, check out the author background websites or interviews, which can deepen student understanding. Students can listen to authors explain the backstory of their novel, or hear an excerpt read from the book. Each book's page can save valuable time hunting for websites, book guides, or trailers -- although some books have far more resources than others. Popular books often have so much, though, that it can take time just finding the best stuff.
Book pages include valuable reading information such as text complexity, genres, and related book lists -- all helpful when finding the right fit for students' reading levels. Links to book guides, lesson ideas, and resources aren't limited to literacy classrooms, but include instructional ideas for areas such as STEAM, music, or art. Teacher-created book lists add another helpful dimension, especially for theme or subject unit studies. Students can access individual resources or entire pages through Google Classroom, email, or links as well as through teacher-created book lists.Continue reading Show less
TeachingBooks.net is an online book database, assisting teachers, parents, and librarians with finding multimedia resources, lesson plans, and links to extend curriculum in the classroom around books. The database features a huge number of fiction and nonfiction books and associated resources, with a heavy focus on materials useful for author studies and introductory lessons. Users can browse through the online database by grade level, genre, or media/content type. The portal contains a seemingly endless amount of resources, including book trailers, lesson plans, and vocabulary assistance. "Meet-the-Author" movies or readings offer virtual visits to the classroom, deepening the experience for the reader. Students access individual resources or an entire page list using a variety of tools shared by the teacher or parents. To access the site's complete resources, however, teachers/parents will need a school or district subscription.
TeachingBooks.net is a great place to search for resources and links to enhance a book or author study. Depending on the time you have on hand, however, browsing the site's mound of resources can be a positive or negative experience. Each of the book pages leads to author websites, interviews, or blogs, and it takes time to sort through each of the links. There are useful things on offer, though. Resources such as "Meet-the-Author" movies or book trailers are especially helpful, offering students a different way to engage with books than just the text itself. The materials align with the Common Core standards and Lexile levels, allowing teachers to differentiate materials in the classroom.
The layout is very busy -- favoring a list approach to a more modern, curated experience -- but the good news is that each page has a similar structure. Each section offers prompts for instructional use or Common Core connections, but the focus is very much on surface-level understanding of author intent and comprehension vs. more in-depth study. There are tools on each page for sharing resources with students, which is a plus, and it's particularly easy for Google Classroom users. And if you get lost, there's extensive help and support available.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.