Literacy experts say children should hear material read aloud from as many sources as possible when they begin to read. That’s why the Screen Actors Guild Foundation created Storyline Online (www.storylineonline.net), a Web site featuring free streaming videos of famous actors reading children’s classics and new favorites aloud. Listening to stories can boost kids’ vocabulary, general knowledge, and interest in reading—and the actors do an especially good job of making the tales engaging.
Children can log on to hear Lou Diamond Phillips read The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, or listen in on Elijah Wood’s reading of Me and My Cat? by Satoshi Kitamura. Pictures from the books accompany each story, and activity ideas for classroom and home use are also included. Several stories, such as Knots on a Counting Rope, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, feature a script organized for multiple voices, so children can read along with a partner. Four new stories will be introduced on the Web site this spring.
A version of this article appeared in the March 01, 2007 edition of Teacher