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Tools of the Trade

Page Turners

Whether your class is reading Shakespeare or Robert Munsch, resources abound for making your students' experiences more accessible, exciting and engaging. Let them watch, listen and read their way through the year, and ignite a passion for words that will last them forever.

By Caeli Mazara

  1. Shakespeare in Bits free demos, US$14.99

    This multimedia experience brings Shakespeare into your classroom in a brand-new way, unwrapping challenging material and bringing the timeless plays to life with animation and analysis. Bonus: quizzes and lesson plans are available, too.

    Grades: 9-12

  2. Bookshare US$24–$50/year

    This robust resource for students with reading differences— including dyslexia and blindness — offers nearly one million online titles. Students can customize their reading with ebooks in audio, audio plus highlighted text, braille, large print and other formats.

    Grades: K-12

  3. Audible $14.95/month

    This massive listening library has special sections for such groups as "Littlest Listeners," "Elementary," "Teens," and more. A membership opens a world of titles, including thousands of podcasts, too, and nearly any book you can think of.

    Grades: K-12

  4. Bookly free for limited version, subscriptions available

    Students can track reading hours, make notes on their reading experience, view statistics, participate in seasonal readathons, and more. For students who like setting goals and tracking progress, Bookly is a motivating reading assistant.

    Grades: 3-12

  5. LitCharts US$9.95/month or $59.40/year

    What's an allegory? Or the first line of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind?" This literary compendium of guides, quotes and terms has a special teaching edition for the classroom, a dedicated section for Shakespeare and another for poetry.

    Grades: 8-12

  6. Novel Effect free

    Using voice-recognition tech, this app adds sound effects to your oral reading sessions. Imagine suspenseful music, the sound of a glass breaking, or a sneeze at just the right moment, the next time your class reads together!

    Grades: K-3

  7. Google Books free

    Google Books is a specialized search engine — just for books. Students can read the classics (anything no longer under copyright is available), create their own digital libraries, and add their own thoughts and reviews to the books they've read.

    Grades: 5-12

  8. Start with a Book free

    Do your students love stories about dragons? Or sports? Or sea creatures? Or travel? Whatever you're looking for, Start with a Book finds titles to suit nearly anyone, and includes reading games, and tips for developing early literacy skills.

    Grades: K-6