Recently, I've come across a few web sites that have books online to read or use in classroom instruction. Aside from the excitment of "turning pages" using a mouse, I think these web sites bring a few different benefits into reading instruction:
1. An opportunity to create a familiar project in a new way, like presenting student "inventions" (a common writing project) through a class online book. The My Little Book Project (www.mylittlebookproject.com) hosts a template for classes to use to make a book all about the inventions of class.
2. To allow kids to read books by a variety of general authors, from teachers to kids. Story Jumper (www.storyjumper.com) has books that other kids have written and that adults have written, all available for free online.
3. To encourage kids to write and think about writing in a new way. Kids can retell stories or write their own stories using Story Jumper (www.storyjumper.com), including making choices that authors make--which pictures and words to include, how to order a story, how much information and writing to include on each page.
I plan on using these tools in my classroom next year and would be interested to see books that have been made by students in the early elementary grades.
*Books on either site can be ordered for a fee, or read for free online.