Well-told stories can draw kids in and build attention skills and working memory. – KQED News
I’m an avid supporter of early reading and I strongly believe in the importance of reading for our children’s future success. Both my boys started reading early and they have a positive relationship with books. G1 devours books so quickly that we bought him an e-reader just so we don’t have to cart around our whole library.
Although G2 loves his books as well, he seems reluctant to move on to chapter books despite having the capability to do so. I thought we were making progress when he picked up Beast Quest, but he only seems interested in certain titles. Most of the time, he skims and only reads sections from the book but never the whole story from cover to cover.
So when I heard about Tales2go, I thought we should give it a go…
Tales2go believes children must be good listeners before they can become great students. Repeated exposure to spoken sophisticated words drives vocabulary acquisition and retention, which is a key component of reading proficiency. Reading proficiency, in turn, is critical to academic success. Tales2go is your partner in the fight for better literacy, making it easier and more cost-effective to add a listening component to reading instruction. We stream over five thousand audio book titles from leading publishers to desktops, laptops and mobile devices in the classroom and beyond.
Tales2go is essentially an app that plays audio stories. What’s great about it is that they have a huge collection of titles by age, grade, and genres.
Although we got the app for G2, G1 wasted no time checking out titles in the collection and was delighted to find The Ranger’s Apprentice series in there. They also have Wings of Fire – another series we have been hunting for G1. Other well-known titles that will stand out are – The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Lord of the Rings, The Boxcar Children, The 39 Clues, Horrible Science, and many others.
There is also have a great selection of classics that I am tempted to try out on G1 again, like:
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Around the World in 80 Days
- The Wizard of Oz
- Gullivers Travels
- A Christmas Carol – the real one, not the Disney version that they read
- Oliver Twist
- Robin Hood
- The Jungle Book
- The Railway Children
- The Three Muskateers
They also have non-fiction titles. Kids can learn about famous people in history, like:
- Benjamin Franklin
- Christopher Columbus
- Julius Caesar
- Martin Luther King
- Nelson Mandela
Since G2 loves listening to audio stories during the car ride, I have been searching for more to keep him busy. This app seems to fit the bill pretty well. One of my gripes is that the app doesn’t offer the read-along text to go with the audio. On the flip side, we’ve learned that G2 needs work building up his listening skills so perhaps a story without written words to follow might be good for him.
We have one other issue with Tales2Go – it requires an internet connection to download the book you’re listening to. If you don’t have a data plan, you’ll have to download the book before leaving your house. Once the book is in play, you can run without a connection, however, if you pause the app and come back to it later, the app will reload and you will lose the download. Currently, there is no way to store downloaded books on your device. We use the app with my phone and connect it via bluetooth to the speakers in my car. This works pretty well except when we’re in an area with no connection (like an underground carpark).
“Tales2Go has had a huge impact on the the K-5 students in my school this year. Listening to books read by storytellers and actors serves as a model for how to read fluently and with expression. Tales2Go has also allowed struggling readers to access higher level texts in their reading classes. Students also improve their sight word vocabulary and comprehension when they listen to an audio book while following along in the print version of the book. Tales2Go has motivated students to read more and has helped students develop positive attitudes about reading.” – Cathy Potter, School Librarian, Falmouth, ME
Tales2Go offers a free one month trial. After the trial, you can continue to use the app for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.