A Veritable Treasure Trove of Children’s Stories available from DE

Just this past summer I became aware that Discovery Education offered subscribers access to the whole collection of the wonderful Weston Woods retelling of famous children’s stories and picture books. The studio, located in Weston, CT, I believe, uses narration, music, and animation to bring important children’s books to life through multimedia. Even though the age recommendation for most of the books is for pre-K through 6th grade, I believe that adolescents and adults, as well, will find great enjoyment in these presentations. They will also learn a lot. Several of Hans Christian Anderson’s tales such as The Nightingale, The Little Match Girl, and selections from his epic poem Hiawatha, to name only a few, are beautifully told. Educational and entertaining are the titles by Jean Fritz such as Why Don’t You Get a Horse, Sam Adams?, What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?, and And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?
I was also delighted to find the Rudyard Kipling’ classic tale, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, in the collection. Unfortunately, the 7th grade English classes had already read the tale before I found the link to it in Discovery. One of two of the students, on my recommendation, did log into DE  at home to view the video,  and I was so pleased when they told me that they had enjoyed hearing the story, again.
I just watched The Man Who Walked Between the Towers – a retelling of an actual event that happened in 1974 when a young man from France, who was a street performer in NYC, actually spent over an hour on a cable suspended between the two towers that so sadly no longer exist. The story is by Mordicai Gerstein. It was a riveting tale.

I encourage all of you to search on Weston Woods, refine the search to full-length videos, and browse your way through the 168 offerings and then share your favorites.
Many of these videos did not come up in the student search, but if you assign the video to your student/students, then it will be available in their student center.
Coming soon – I’m so excited – Most (maybe all) of the Reading Rainbow episodes with LeVar Burton are also available!
Carolyn Stanley
proud to be a Discovery Star and member of the CT LC.



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  4. Rafdaddy said:

    I’m not sure why my original comment disappeared. Hope I didn’t offend anyone. Anyway, here it is again.

    Very cool multimedia children’s stories. I never knew this kind of thing existed. My son’s and I have been working on similar projects for the past 2 years. About 2 years ago, they asked me to turn one of our favorite made-up bedtime stories, called Puddle Boy, into a movie. It took two years to become proficient enough in 3D art software to be able to create the video. But we finally finished it and posted it on YouTube. Check it out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNkfZ59DNWM

    • Carolyn Stanley said:

      Hi, Rafdaddy,
      I checked out your animated video, and I thought it was very good. The bullying theme is so topical right now. I can imagine how many hours it took you to bring the project to fruition, but you should be very proud. Maybe your next project will be a little easier now you have figured out the software. The only 3D software I’ve used is Google’s Sketchup, but I bought Poser for my son a number of years ago, and he did awesome models in it. I’m afraid I lack the artistic talent!

      • Rafdaddy said:

        Hi Carolyn,
        Thanks again. I don’t buy that “lack artistic talent” argument. It’s amazing how artistic you can be when the technical barriers to creativity come down. I bet you’re incredibly artistic. I’m writing a story as a favor for an online magazine which will essentially give a crash course on creating 3D works with some of the free software available online.Sure there is a learning curve. But when you see how the software frees up your imagination, you’ll be blown away at all the things you can create! I’ll let you know when it gets published.

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