Edpuzzle Blog

Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff

Read alouds are a magical experience. For a short moment, you and your students are whisked away to new places and meet interesting characters along the way.

While nothing can replace this special bonding time between students and teachers, there are ways that technology has innovated the read aloud. With video read alouds, you have a wider variety of book options in your library and so do your students!

Considering how many read alouds are now available through video, we’ve put together a list of read aloud channels on YouTube that we love. Make sure to read on and discover our tips for how to enhance a video read aloud in Edpuzzle!

Why use video read alouds?

There’s no doubt that video platforms like YouTube make it easy to get information and learn new things (anybody else still perfecting their sourdough?). That’s why the main advantage of video read alouds is accessibility!

Video read alouds make it easy to hear stories that might not typically show up in the classroom. Whether you’re teaching about anti-racism or celebrating Earth Day, video read alouds can give you greater access to all the great books that are out there.

Another great benefit of video read alouds is that they give students a more close-up look of the book. That means you won’t be hearing any more shouts of “I can’t see!” from students who want to see the illustrations.

Video can also give students the enhanced experience of hearing the words that are being read while seeing them on the pages. This type of multi-modal input is great for budding readers!

Ultimately, a video will never replace you and the connections only you can make with students while reading. Think of video read alouds as another educational resource and a way to complement your teaching.

The Best Read Alouds on YouTube

Weeding through YouTube is a job all on its own. We’ve taken away some of that work and found five awesome channels for you to explore.

  1. Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices | Netflix Jr

Inspired by the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, this Netflix series features books by Black authors that highlight the Black experience. We love these videos because they’re read by Black celebrities, who are able to tie in their own experiences as they read a story.

  1. B&N StoryTime

Although you might not see as many Barnes & Noble stores these days, the bookstore is really taking off with online content. In this channel, they invite authors to read their own books, giving the read aloud an extra special touch. Some of the more recent uploads come with a set of fun printable activities to share with students.

  1. Storyline Online

This channel streams videos featuring famous actors reading books. We like how they subtly animate the illustrations to show emphasis and emotion. Make sure to check out the activity guide that comes with each story for ideas on how to incorporate the book into a lesson plan.

  1. Brightly Storytime

Launched in partnership with Penguin Random House, this channel has one of the biggest video read aloud libraries we’ve seen yet. We like that they always highlight the text in the story as it’s being read. Check out the Brightly organization’s website for book recommendations and printable activities.

  1. Storytime with Ryan & Craig

What would happen if you were able to stop and hear every student's comment as you did a read aloud? That’s what Ryan and Craig recreate in their channel.

These two will have your students bursting out laughing with their funny observations as they read a mix of new and classic kids books. We recommend their collaboration with author James Dean to read a collection of Pete the Cat books.

How to Enhance a Video Read Aloud in Edpuzzle

In a normal read aloud, a teacher can stop to ask students a question or make an observation. These interactions are crucial to making sure students are following along with the story.

You don’t have to sacrifice these moments just because you’re using a video read aloud. Edpuzzle lets you keep your students engaged in the story while also giving them more individualized support as they listen.

Here are six ways to enhance your video read aloud with Edpuzzle:

  1. Embed multiple-choice questions for a quick check for understanding.
  2. Embed an open-ended question at the end to let students comment on their favorite part of the story.
  3. Embed notes to cover new vocabulary or make an observation about what’s going on in the story.
  4. Add an audio note at the beginning to introduce the story and let your students hear a familiar voice.
  5. Add images to multiple choice answer choices to support early readers with responding to your question.
  6. Use Edpuzzle's Live Mode to watch a video read aloud as a class, and stop the video at strategic points in order to spark a discussion.

Take any video read aloud from zero to hero with Edpuzzle and see where the stories take you!

Assign a video read aloud