16 October 2016

Free Resources for Reading

Among all the buzz words which fill the writings of educational trends today, for me, personalisation, creativity and problem-solving, stand out. Perhaps they stand out because they are educational values which are neither new nor only belonging to today's trends - they have always been embedded in my own educational values and practices. 

Creativity and innovation- the elusive element so many educators wish to foster in their classrooms! Here, Amy Burvall offers some tips to spark innovation:

In a nutshell:

These elements may be ignited by reading - and what better than being able to browse, select, and read what one is interested in, even if there are no bookshops or libraries nearby (how? keep reading!)

Reading improves writing skills, communication skills,  fosters empathy skills and even increases self-awareness. We read for all kinds of reasons - though, perhaps the pleasure of the written word, pleasure of imaginary lands, characters and engaging narratives, is often the most common. 

Reading doesn't need to be a solitary affair either, as there are so many ways for learners to collaborate and exchange views on what they are reading. Here are some possibilities:

One kind of activity is to create a Padlet wall where learners add their favourite lines/quotation from what they are reading by using a tool you can find here, for example.  

Another activity is to have students use Skitch or similar app - ask students to take/draw an image of the book/story they are reading, add either key vocabulary (if a language class) or key words about the book/story. Then share their image to the class's LMS. 

If learners are asked to write a book report, why not use images and more contemporary approach to book reports? Learners can create avatars of their favourite character and timelines to share with the class. 

Have learners say what they liked and didn't like in a Voxopop thread which can be then shared with all. 

There are so many ways to make reading more social and interactive - most of all, appealing to a digitalised generation who enjoys participating and sharing, by adding images, voice and text. But, where to find books, in particular free books?

Here is a list with suggestions which you can explore and share with learners when they ask you for books to read:

20 Best Websites To Download Free EBooks

Free ebooks by Project Gutenberg

Baen Free Library

Open Library


Barnes & Noble - Free eBooks

Bartleby.com eBooks

FREE BOOKS: 100 legal sites to download literature

10 Best Websites for Free Audio Books

Reading opens up endless horizons of adventures, nourishes one's soul, develops one's imagination. In a time where attention spans flitter and flutter,  focusing on reading and reading activities, is an excellent exercise for tapping into learners' participation in their own learning process.
“Do you know, I always thought unicorns were fabulous monsters, too? I never saw one alive before!"

Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you.” 

 Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass

What other book sites do you suggest to share with learners?

GOOD BOOKS: "We Need To Talk About Alice" from Plenty on Vimeo.

Further Suggestions:

The Relevance of Reading Skills

Reading Resource for Young Learners

Encouraging Reading

Read, Write with Ease of Mobility

To read or not to read… is that the right question?

How Digital Technology "Broke" Narrative and What it Means for Our Students

How to Cultivate a Love of Reading in Your Students

Quote created with PixTeller


Kasamy Design Red Background


I would like to thank Ann Foreman for calling my attention to Voxopop which doesn't seem to be working at the moment; instead, 3 other possible tools to use for oral activities could be:




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