Children's and Young Adult Literature

Best Books and eBooks For Educators

Introduction:

The purpose of this website is to:

  • Present reasons why eBooks might be useful in the classroom.
  • Connect you with some of the best titles available for educators.This website focuses on picture books that reflect specific objectives from across the Alberta Curriculum.
  • Promote the creative use of literature in presenting lessons across the curriculum.
  • Provide you with access to these titles in multiple formats (print and electronic). 

Titles mentioned on the following lists can be borrowed in one of two formats (and sometimes both):

  • In print format in our collections by searching the Library catalogue. Use the Modify Search choice to limit to items in the Curriculum Laboratory.
  • In eBook format, using a SmartBoard, projector, or downloaded to any computer.

Where to find eBooks on our website:

Many of the eBooks promoted on this website are available through our Follett eBooks website

Better yet, you can now search for these titles in the Library Catalogue.  Simply do a keyword search for "Follett" + "subject."  e.g. "Follett Peru."  You can also search the catalogue, and then limit to" UofL CurrLab Electronic Resources."

  • View titles online and return them for other users to access right away.  The items may not be available to you if other users download them for 1 week onto their computers, or are viewing them online.

  • After you have signed into the guest account, you can access added features of each eBook, by setting up your own registration and login under Account in the upper right hand corner of the screen (Only shows up once you are viewing an actual eBook).  This gives you and your students access to such features as Notes, Bookmark, Text-To-Speech, Print Page, and Copy Selected Text.

  • Follett Shelf Quick Reference Guide.

Many other eBooks besides Follett eBooks can be found through our eBooks website.

Why use eBooks in the classroom?

There is still not much conclusive evidence or research as to the benefits of eBooks over the traditional print versions. However, there are some initial indicators that they may prove valuable for some students:

  • eBooks are another way to integrate information and communication technologies into current literacy programs, something Alberta Education requires across the curriculum.
  • Readers have more choice to customize settings to meet their individual needs.
  • The text sizes can be adjusted, and sometimes the text can be rearranged and manipulated, which can add extra personal meaning for the reader.
  • With the use of hyperlinks in some eBooks, students can be given more choice as to the outcome of their story, which can make the story more interactive than a traditional book.
  • For research purposes, many eBooks allow readers to search for keywords or phrases within a title.
  • Many eBooks have a text-to-speech feature, which allow the reader to listen to an audio version of the text, including automatic highlighting of the text as the audio version progresses.
  • A built-in dictionary in many eBooks means students can quickly check on meanings of words, check pronunciation, "chunk" the words so they can be read more easily, etc.
  • Many eBooks have a "notes" feature, so students can add their thoughts and ideas as they read the text online.  This may assist the reader with understanding the story, adding personal meaning and questioning.
  • In our technologically savvy society, eBooks give a new "look" to books. The technological format can be a motivator for otherwise reluctant readers.
  • Some eBooks are animated versions of the original, adding another dimension to the print version.

Ash, K. (2010). Schools test e-reader devices with dyslexic students. Retrieved March 2, 2010, from the Education Week website: http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/10/20/01dyslexia.h04.html.

Dean, D. (2010). Bridging the gap between print and online: picture books and electronic texts. Classroom Connections, March 2010, 14-16.

Larson, L.C. (2010). Digital readers: the next chapter in e-book reading and response. Reading Teacher, 64(1), 15-22. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. 

Exploring literature from the "print past" to the "digital future,"  with an an life cycle eBook example

Background on using literature across the curriculum:


Best Books and eBooks For Educators Categories:

The following thematic lists include titles that are available in the Curriculum Laboratory's print collection, and also, when possible, through our Follett eBooks website, or our other eBook collections.

"This is a list of some of my favourite picture books.  There has been an attempt to provide them in book format in our collection, as well as in eBook format where possible. Electronic formats will give our student teachers the option of projecting the picture book on screen for larger classes, and will also provide another level of interactivity for the students.  I hope that the percent of these titles in electronic format will greatly increase over the next few years. My choices were influenced greatly by a desire to make sure there was strong Canadian representation, not only from the viewpoint of Canadian authors and publishers but also in titles with a particular Canadian identity."

"Believe it or not picture books are not just for small children.  A well-written picture book skillfully blends great storytelling with outstanding pictures, which often add considerable depth and complexity to the written story.  Many picture books are written at several different levels, so they can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.  There are many reasons that can be used to justify using picture books with older students, which are outlined on this web page.  There has been an attempt to provide them in book format in our collection, as well as in eBook format where possible. Electronic formats will give our student teachers the option of projecting the picture book on screen for larger classes, and will also provide another level of interactivity for the students.  I hope that the percent of these titles in electronic format will greatly increase over the next few years."

  • The Best New Picture eBooks

All new picture book titles that received a "starred" review from such sources as Booklist, School Library Journal, Horn Book, etc.

  • The Best Science Picture eBooks, based on the Grade 1-3 Alberta Science Curriculum Topics

Our collection features 95 eBooks with information on elementary math topics, including problem solving, counting, measuring, geometry and more. For a complete list of our math curriculum-related picture books in print format, consult the handout found behind our Information Desk in the "Math and Literature Bibliographies" binder (titles taken from the Math Makes Sense textbook, which includes booklists called "From the Library.")

  • The Best Social Studies Picture eBooks Based On The Grade 1-3 Alberta Social Studies Curriculum Topics

Faculty News