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Use Storia in the Content Area Classroom

Author // Emily Rozmus Thursday, 11 August 2016

INFOhio offers over 350 fiction and nonfiction eBooks for Ohio’s 4th and 5th graders through Scholastic’s Storia. This reading resource allows teachers to create classes and assign specific titles to groups or individuals based on their reading levels and preferences. Students can also browse the titles and choose books to read on their own. Teachers can check in and monitor the progress made by students, viewing reports on factors such as number of pages and minutes read. The books also offer an end of the book quiz where student knowledge is tested and teachers can check for comprehension.

Reading teachers love Storia for its support of Ohio’s ELA learning standards. But content area teachers can use the titles too! Each of the over 350 eBooks supports 4th and 5th grade standards for science, social studies, or math as well as reading and writing. This example uses the National Geographic eBook Deadliest Animals and the 4th grade Life Science standard for Earth’s Living History. Teachers can try out this lesson idea to help students master the idea that ecosystems are based on interrelationships among and between biotic and abiotic factors. In this text, students learn specifically about the relationships between living organisms – predator versus prey.  


As students read the eBook, there are several interactive features that can be implemented to differentiate, engage and challenge readers.

Students who need help with reading and fluency can use the read aloud feature found in this eBook.  Clicking on the dialogue bubble will give students the option to play or pause the narration. This option allows students to follow along as the word read is highlighted in red.

Built-in videos bring the text to life. Look for the video in the upper right-hand corner of the eBook.  Students can click on this to watch a video. Ask students to use the notes feature to write how the video helps them understand the relationship between animals in an ecosystem.

This eBook has several activities in the book to engage readers. Look for the lightning in the upper right-hand corner to find the activities. Provide students with a specific task in each activity to support the desired standard. For example, for this activity, once students draw their picture, they can also provide text to support why they chose the animal. The activity can be printed and turned in for progress monitoring.

 Not only can students create notes that you can view later, they can also highlight words and phrases that you can track in your teacher tools and reports. Ask students to highlight words they don’t know, or to find phrases that show how the predators/prey relationship is important for the ecosystem.

 How well did your students read the text? Check with the quiz at the end of the book.  Students can assess their knowledge and comprehension and you can monitor how well they did. You can even plan for some one-on-one time to go over their results using this formative assessment tool.

 Finally, ask students to compose some content area writing. The Teacher Tip cards for the eBooks provides teachers with questions, ideas for discussion and writing prompts.  You can alter the second writing prompt and ask students to write about two of the predator/prey relationships and how they affect the ecosystem. Notice there is also a guided reading level and a Lexile provided for this title.

 If you want to learn more about using INFOhio’s 4th and 5th grade collection of Scholastic’s Storia, visit INFOhio's Storia page. Try it out and be sure to let us know how you are using Storia in your classroom – both in reading and other content areas!

About the Author

Posted by: Emily Rozmus

Emily Rozmus is a Senior Instructional Specialist at INFOhio. She has worked in education for over 25 years, first as a secondary English teacher and district librarian before starting at INFOhio in 2013. Emily has developed district growth plans, integrated technology, created instruction for information literacy, fostered teacher development, and worked on teams to implement curriculum. At INFOhio, she focuses on training educators to use INFOhio resources to improve early learning. She also works to share research and best practices for helping students be better readers of INFOhio's digital text. 

Emily Rozmus
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