Classroom/Lesson Ideas for Using eBooks
Ask students and parents to donate audiobooks that
they have listened to and create an audiobook library for a class or school.
The use of audio text with print text has been found to increase learning by
38%. If student have created their own audiobooks, place the student created
audiobooks as MP3 files onto the school or class web site for download. This
will allow students to download the class books in audio format to listen to
on their MP3 players.
Visit the online resources such as
Amazon.com to explore the book selection.
Type in the name of an author or title of a book to find more information
about the author/book. Analyze the number and kinds of books he/she has
Class Audiobook or Podcast
Have students break up into small groups and using a
public domain eBook create their own audiobook. Each student could read aloud
into a computer using a recording program to create an audio file of a
chapter. This way a whole book could be made in just a few days. Transfer the
audio files to a CD and make the CD available to classes reading the book.
Another option would be to have students read a chapter each week from a
public domain novel that the class uses. Each week podcast a new chapter from
that reading using either the class website or a blogging tool.
Download a play from an online library such as
or Project Gutenberg. Open the play
with a word processor and then print out student sheets to read from. The play
can be edited to make it easier for the students, such as using the word
processors find and replace tool to change the script names to student names.
Use the text-to-speech option to allow a student’s or
other author’s story to be read aloud to the class. Have the students vote on
voice options and speed of reading.
Diagram a Sentence
Using an eBook reader program, such as
MS Reader, have students
highlight parts of a sentence in different colors to represent the different
parts of the sentence. For example verbs could be in red, subject in green,
and nouns in blue.
Digital Big Book
Use an eBook with a video projector to display your
eBook as a Big Book on a screen in the front of the room.
Digital Storybook Center
Ask parents for old storybook devices and cartridges,
such as from LeapFrog, that children
have outgrown, uses these devices to create a reading center in the school
library or classroom and for checkout to younger students.
Digital Reading List
Take your current reading list and search to find what
books are available for free as eBooks, also search for the authors, incase
other works that they did are available for students who might want to read
more. Publish a set of hyperlinks on a class web page so students can assess
the list from home or school.
eBook Mapping (Geography)
Read a book from the
International Children’s Digital Library
(or at least look at the pictures) and then mark on a world map or globe the
location of where the book originated.
Read books or stories in the target foreign language.
Have students visit foreign language or international online libraries and
read from the books, articles, and stories that are available. Students who
are just learning a new language can visit children’s story collections and
read texts that are written at a simpler level.
Develop reading relationships between home and school.
Place selected eBook or links to online books on the school, library, or class
web site. Students read the books from home or school.
Download a public domain or other released text and
open with a word processor. Divide the text into smaller passages, with each
passage on a separate page. Print the pages and give them to your students to
create illustrations for each passage – making a class picture book.
Download presidential inaugural addresses, from
locations such as Bartleby.com, and
have students analyze them for what people considered important when they were
given. Place these important points onto a timeline posted in class. For a fun
side note, use the MS Word tools to run a readability analysis of the speeches
to find out what the grade levels the speeches were written.
Use eBooks as the reading topic or book selection
option for a literature circle activity. Have one circle group use eBooks as
their book's format. For more on literature circles with technology visit the
technology enhanced literature circle section.
Using a book in a foreign language from the
International Children’s Digital Library
have a guest reader who can read in the book’s language come in and read to
the students a translation and explain the culture.
One Chapter Preview
Copy the first chapter of a public domain or other
released eBooks story, and place the text in a word processor. At the end of
the chapter add the web address or other location that the rest of the story,
in eBooks form, can be found. Print out the chapter and a make a cover for the
chapter. The cover should have an image and a brief description on the back.
Staple the book chapter and cover together. Now place this chapter book in the
classroom library for students to browse and select from.
You can personalize a public domain eBook for a
student in your class by downloading a text or word processor version of an
eBook and then changing character names in the book to class student names.
For example using the find and replace tool of a word processor you could
change the text of Tarzan so that every time the word “Tarzan” appeared in the
text it would be changed to “James.” Don’t forget to change the other
characters to other students.
Presentation Through eBook
Presentation programs, like PowerPoint, are not the
only tools that can be used to create a digital presentation. Students use a
web editor program to create a digital presentation, then convert it to an
eBook, and then use the eBook with a video projector as their visual
From an eBook select reading passages that you would
like to use as a reading assessment (up to 200 words). Copy the passage and go
to OPAKI site (http://www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/tools/okapi/okapi.shtm)
to create a curriculum based reading probe. Have the student read the analyzed
paged aloud for 1 minute to find the number of words read correct per minute.
This is a highly reliable measure of general reading achievement.
Put a surplus computer with eBooks or links to eBooks
connections in the reading corner. Have the computer set to either a web based
eBook library or have the computer already running a program like MS Reader
with the My Library page open.
Download a pre-made readers theater script or convert
a section of an eBook into the readers theater format with a word processor.
Then have the student read the script to the class. As an additional option,
use a computer to record the students "radio play" for podcasting or placing
on the class web site.
Set up a computer in a classroom which has access to
online research eBooks such as atlases, thesaurus, dictionaries, and
encyclopedias. Encourage students to use them whenever they need to look
Don’t just create print copies of collections of
student works, such as poetry or the student news. Also create digital copies
that can be shared further with less cost.
Upper/Lower Grades Stories Sharing
Have upper grade students write stories along a theme.
Transfer the stories to a word processor and then use an eBooks creation
program to change the documents into eBooks. Now have the students take the
eBooks to classes or student partners in lower grades and read them their