Go Here: Using Award Winning Books in Class

Now that we know who won the big prizes at the Youth Media Awards, the question is, “What now?” Thankfully, there is a fantastic resource that will help you incorporate these fantastic books into your classroom curriculum.

TeachingBooks.net (which is a bookmark-worthy resource anyway) has a fantastic page with all of the winners. Clicking on a book will take you to a page with lesson plans, book trailers, author information, and even author book readings! Using these resources will help bring these books to life.

TeachingBooks.net   2013 ALA s Youth Media Award Winners


BiblioNasium is a reading community for students and their teachers. If you’ve ever used Goodreads or Shelfari, you know how great it is to keep track of books you’ve read, books you want to read, and keep up with what others are reading. BiblioNasium offers the same experience, only in a safe community just for you and your students. It’s pretty simple to use: you create an account for yourself, and then you can create a class, complete with accounts for each student.

Teachers can create lists of recommended and required books, and they can recommend books to a specific student. Students can, in turn, keep track of what they’re reading using a reading log, and recommend books to their friends. There is even a place where parents can log in and view what their kids are reading. The best part is that, while this is a social community, students can only communicate with their teacher, and (with parental permission) with other students in their class.

I love the idea of allowing students to review and recommend books to each other; my own Goodreads and Shelfari accounts have helped me find some great books that I might not have otherwise read. The site is in beta, however, which means it’s still in a testing phase. Sometimes, the pages hang and take a while to load. Some of the functionality is not intuitive, and it may take time to figure out how to do certain things. However, it’s a work in progress, and will only get better. Signing up is free, and they don’t spam you with emails, so make yourself (and your class!) an account and see what you think!

Google Lit Trips

Yet another fantastic way to use Google for education! Google Lit Trips were created by teachers as a way to teach literature as a completely out-of-the-box experience. Rather than simply reading a story, students use Google Earth to go along on the journey of each character, following their geographical trail. Books for K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 are all available, though the selection is understandably small.

You can even create your own Lit Trip with your students, researching locations, finding quotes, and delving deeper into your source material. The site offers directions here.

This site, created by educators, is truly a labor of love, and a brilliant way to bring literature to life.


Barnes and Noble Storytime

Did you know that Barnes and Noble posts animated video versions of favorite picture books, read aloud as a storytime? The most recent book featured on Barnes and Noble is Ree Drummond’s Charlie the Ranch Dog, and features Ree herself reading her book aloud. A very fun and easy way to bring books to life and experience some favorite picture books (Strega Nona! The Polar Express! Green Eggs and Ham!) in a new way.

Little Bird Tales

Little Bird Tales is another quick and easy way to create digital stories. Beginning with images (photos or drawings), children can record a voiceover to tell a story. This site is very similar to VoiceThread, though it is designed specifically for use in education, so you can actually manage a classroom’s worth of accounts from one login. It’s also different from VoiceThread in that it actually has an integrated art pad application so that you can create illustrations right there, rather than upload them.


Bartleby provides reference books, fiction books, and nonfiction books for free. You can browse the famous illustrations in Grey’s Anatomy, or learn about proper grammar in Strunk’s Elements of Style. This is a great way to access thousands of well-known and reliable resources quickly and easily. Since the information is all online, you can easily search the text for specific parts.


Seussville’s Read Across America Resources

If you’re looking for some last-minute resources for Dr. Seuss’s birthday, or Read Across America Day, just go to Seussville! There are all kinds of printable activities, like a word find, a maze, and even a Dr. Seuss themed game of telephone called Seussaphone.

Update: It seems as though the server for Seussville is having some problems. It’s possible that it can’t handle today’s pre-birthday site traffic.