Over the last two years, with the implementation of the Common Core Standards, there is a large push to read more informational text at all grade levels. It has been a struggle for students and teachers alike. I am always happy to find fun and educational books that read aloud to the students, especially the younger K/1 students. In the past I’ve posted about having a Mac read to the students (post here) and the app Epic Books (post here).
Today I’m happy to share the NatGeo Young Explorer collection. http://ngexplorer.cengage.com/ngyoungexplorer/index.html
The collection has informational stories about different animals, insects, and parts of nature. In each story a student must turn the page and click to hear the words being read aloud by a human reader. Students can also click on important vocabulary words labeled in photographs to hear them read aloud as well.
Just like in a print book these books have page numbers, title pages, photographs with labels, and some have sections/chapters.
KinderChat (@mattBgomez) has a Symbaloo to easily access the books.http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/natgeobooks
For the teacher, you can find grade level guides for the most recent issue. (Guides are available for past issues but only for subscribers. Subscribers also have access to interactive Whiteboard files.) Teachers must install their ARALOC Viewer to open these documents but this was a quick a painless install.
There is an interactive app available for the iPad, Mac, or PC. While the app is free the subscription is not. You can see a trial by download the app and using the login below:
USERNAME: explorer PASSWORD: explorer
Personally I do not have a National Geographic subscription I can easily see the value. $116 per year gets a class of 20 the interactive app. Want the print magazine too? A class of 20 would cost $156 a year.
There are a number of uses for this: independent stations, whole class to introduce a topic, partner reading, read and show what you know.
For me, my first use will be Kindergartens choosing an animal to read/listen to. They will then use Tux Paint to draw the animal and type one thing they learned or like about the animal. I’ll put all their drawings into a slideshow.