"Storyline Online features videos of celebrated actors reading children’s books with animated illustrations." (About Storyline Online)
Actors Reading Picture Books
Storyline Online is a children’s literacy website created by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, which provides free storytelling videos and resources for parents and teachers to foster a love of reading in children. The website features an expansive library of videos of new and classic picture books read by well-known actors and actresses like Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Betty White, and James Earl Jones. In a style akin to Reading Rainbow, stories come to life with dynamic voice performances and animated versions of original illustrations, encouraging children to see reading as a transformative imaginative experience.
Storyline Online organizes books alphabetically, and each video is accompanied by author and publishing information, the celebrity reader, and the run time, allowing parents and teachers to easily browse for a book that fits both interests and time constraints. Users can also buy a physical copy to accompany the virtual book.
Teacher and Parent Tools
Each video comes with at least one activity guide for classroom use with pages of lesson guides, discussion topics, creative projects, and games for teachers to use as support resources. The supplemental curriculum is designed by credentialed educators to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills. Additionally, some books come with a separate parent guide, which includes age recommendations and resources for home use, like creative arts, physical activities and field trips inspired by the story.
Though children may not know the celebrity reading to them, the dynamic voice acting and illustration manipulation is captivating, and adds an element of fun for the adults who are more likely to be familiar with the famous reader. Storyline Online provides helpful resources to families and caregivers seeking literacy resources and guidance for educators interested in spicing up the classroom read-aloud experience.Image: The Wonder of a Book by Ben White via Unsplash