I feel like I very often do nothing more than post right from Kelly Tenkely's blog I Learn Technology, but so often she leads me right to the type of websites that I know that my readers are looking for for their classrooms.
When I list websites that allow students to listen to or watch animated stories, I do so for the purpose of giving them one more opportunity to appreciate the idea of the "story". I want them to realize that stories provide interesting characters, settings, conflicts, and resolutions. They will become "hooked" on reading when read to often, and I encourage that to be done by all of the adults who care for them. However, adding more occasions for developing that love of "story" will lead to an ever increasing love of reading. That's why I love the online stories that are available - especially the free ones. Thus when Kelly wrote about Story Cove-A World of Stories I had to check it out. Well into my fifth story that I watched and several others that I listened to, I was hooked!
You must be 13 to register for the website. It is designed to have parents register their own children and then the child has a sign in and password. You will have to decide how you will open this to your students. Not only can students watch the animated story, but they can also listen to it in order to develop visual imagery on their own. The books are also available for purchase and are quite inexpensive. There are lesson plans to download and activities for the students to engage in after watching or listening to the stories. There is an awful lot to gain from this website. Enjoy!!