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Key Articles for Teachers About Using

The following white papers offer teachers specific ideas and a quick starting point for using in a variety of disciplines. If there is a topic you would like to see, please let us know.

Explore the following articles by Nick Glass, founder of

Authors on Nonfiction Writing
Nic Bishop Spiders

Recently I've been watching and listening to elementary school students as they engage with nonfiction. The range of topics that excite them is extraordinary and their conversations about their reading remind me how powerful books can be as a stimulus for exploration and critical thinking.

In this article, I'm highlighting a few ready-to-use online materials about informational books from for students of all ages. These audio and video recordings reveal authors' passions as well as their research processes. My hope is that readers will deepen their understanding and extend their conversations about these titles after they enjoy these glimpses into each book's creation. Read more »

Black History with CSK-winning Books and Authors
CSK Seal

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, has launched the Coretta Scott King Book Award Curriculum Resource Center, a multimedia, online database for educators and families, featuring more than 250 original recordings with the award-winning authors and illustrators, and hundreds of lesson plans.

Forty years ago, two librarians and a publisher at the American Library Association conference lamented that no African American author or illustrator had yet been honored with a Newbery or Caldecott Medal. In response to that conversation, they decided to establish an award that would acknowledge the achievements of African American writers and artists in the field of children's literature.

Since then, the prestigious Coretta Scott King Book Award has honored a total of 231 distinguished titles that reflect the African American experience for children and youth. The award has served as a powerful launching pad for increasing the presence and appreciation of African American writers and illustrators in the book community. Read more »

Elementary School Series Books
Goosebumps Series

Elementary students love series titles. They enjoy the comfort of familiar characters, settings, and structures. This is especially true for emergent and newly independent readers, whose reading success with these titles encourages them to seek similar books. recognizes the power of series in the lives of readers. To aid educators in their search for inspiring multimedia resources that can be easily integrated into literacy activities, our team has created a Curriculum Resource Center devoted to those series popular with elementary students. Read more »

Engaging High/Low Readers with Online Resources

Recently I was asked how online, multimedia resources about books and authors can engage students with reading challenges—specifically those students who are reading below grade level and crave high-interest, fast-paced titles. While there may be no one prescriptive answer to that question, educators have a variety of approaches at their disposal to interest these reluctant and struggling readers.

In this article, I've selected a sampling of materials on high-interest titles with low reading levels that students will find enjoyable and accessible. These multimedia resources will enliven book discussions as they honor students' interests. Read more »

Having Illustrators in Your Art Class, Anytime
Snowflake Bently

As educators seek to merge reading and technology into content areas across the curriculum, the following collection of brief recordings will aid them in their search for quality multimedia materials for fine arts.

These original audio clips created by offer teachers and students insight into book design, photography, collage, scratchboard, and other techniques straight from award-winning children's book artists. Read more »

High School Uses of

High school offers numerous opportunities to integrate multimedia into literacy activities across content areas. In this article, please find a sampling of ready-to-use materials that will enrich and stimulate conversations about books, support student research, and enable students and teachers to hear from writers and illustrators about their craft. Read more »

Learning from Authors in Social Studies Classrooms
Toni Morrison

I love how social studies and literature go hand-in-hand—revealing culture, values, and history through well-told stories. Add online interactive and primary source materials into the equation, and classroom units become even more exciting.

In this article, I encourage you to bring authors into your classroom to add a personal dimension to social studies lessons. Autobiographical accounts, for example, can offer first-person perspectives on events under discussion. And authors who research and write about historical and cultural topics often present their interpretations and sources while revealing their methods and processes. Read more »

Librarians and the AASL's "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner"
Scaredy Squirrel

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) standards guide the lessons we create to help our students become successful 21st-century learners. These criteria—reaffirmed in 2011 at the biennial AASL conference in Minneapolis—underscore the vital role that school librarians play in assisting students gain, apply, share, and enjoy knowledge in the digital age.

In this article, we've aligned a few multimedia activities related to authors and books with the four main criteria found in the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (ALA, 2007). We hope that these examples and correlations to the standards help school librarians enliven and directly support their school curriculum. Read more »

Literary Connections Using an Interactive Whiteboard
A Single Shard

An interactive whiteboard is a fabulous classroom tool that brings multimedia to the forefront of literacy and library lessons. By shifting the instructional focus from a teacher presentation to classroom-wide engagement, a whiteboard encourages participation and discussion while supporting kinesthetic learners.

In this article, highlights five strategies for using an interactive whiteboard as you build transformative 21st-century connections to books and authors. Read more »

Music, Books, and Students
Mysterious Thelonious

While young children explore language through the rhythm and rhyme of song, music is one of the important bonds tweens and teens share with their peer group. But no matter what age your students are, it's likely they respond to music, providing you with an enjoyable way to connect with them.

This article is filled with multimedia online resources about books and authors that will inspire you to integrate more music (and musical references) into your lesson plans. Read more »

Poets in Your Classroom with Video and Audio
Where the Sidewalk Ends

When we stop to listen, poetry is all around us: in the rhythms that we walk, in the music that we listen to, in the natural world we experience.

In this article, we feature video and audio recordings with outstanding poets from's digital collection. As you and your students listen to such poetic icons as Shel Silverstein and Langston Hughes and watch Jacqueline Woodson, Mary Ann Hoberman, and others discuss and recite poetry, I hope that you will be inspired to read, write, and think about it in your classroom. Read more »

Strategies to Support Reading in All Disciplines
Patricia Polacco

At we believe that books belong in every K–12 classroom, and we strive to support reading experiences by offering multimedia resources to enliven and expand on meaningful conversations about books in the curriculum.

In this article, you'll find strategies and suggestions that highlight ways educators of all disciplines can incorporate online author interviews, lesson plans, and audio recordings to engage students in any subject area. We want teachers to know how easy and powerful it can be to have the authors of assigned titles share insights into their work—online, anytime. Read more »

Substitute Teachers: Ready-to-use Lessons
A Bad Case of Stripes

How often do you hear substitute teachers included in discussions about education? Despite having attended dozens of reading, library, and technology conferences, I have never noticed a program or a vendor exhibit dedicated to the work of substitutes. Yet these teachers provide important classroom continuity and vital support for full-time educators.

In this article I've highlighted four specific literature-based activities that a substitute teacher can use to engage students—merging books, technology, and fun. Read more »

Teaching Classic Short Stories, Including Common Core Exemplars
Thank You M'am

Many educators assign their students short stories to read as they explore literary styles, genres, and writing techniques. This article offers audio performances, lesson plans, and video clips to incorporate into your classroom activities and discussions about a handful of classic tales.

The first three stories listed in this article are text exemplars in the new Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts; the other selections are some of my personal favorites. Read more »

Teaching with Graphic Novels

Graphic fiction and nonfiction books are increasingly being used in schools to hook reluctant readers or to present topics in a different format. The multimedia materials recommended in this article provide you with instructional support to integrate these graphic books into your lesson plans. Read more »

Writing Exercises Using Multimedia Resources About Books

With the Internet at their fingertips, teachers will always have examples of quality writing to share with their students. Use the audio clips featured here to demonstrate the power of opening lines, to explore the use of dialogue, to understand an author's purpose, and to enjoy wordplay. These multimedia resources are great reasons why educators should infuse technology into writing lessons. Read more »

Writing Tips from Award-winning Authors
The Giver

Engage students with technology as you explore best practices in writing. By integrating the online resources listed in this article into your curriculum, students can have award-winning authors model the application of specific writing tips and techniques. Read more »

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