Independent Reading With Storia

Strategies for using Storia for independent reading, ideas for reading response, and a mini-lesson on choosing "just right" e-books

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

The Benefits of Independent Reading Using Storia

Independent reading time is a vital part of the reading classroom. Independent reading allows students to engage with self-selected texts and apply their newly acquired reading skills and strategies in a meaningful context. Making good choices about what books to read during independent reading time is an important skill for students to develop.

Storia allows students to have a new way to browse titles and make choices about their independent reading selections, and its tools provide additional support for students’ independent reading experience. Using Storia enables your students to practice traditional reading skills while also engaging with new technologies.


Implementing Independent Reading Using Storia


Modeling Independent Reading

When you first introduce Storia as an option for independent reading time, model reading with Storia for the entire class. Show students how you would like them to use Storia as a reading tool.

A little modeling at the beginning goes a long way toward establishing successful Storia routines for independent reading. You may want to model:

  • Navigating through a Storia book
  • Using the highlighter and notes tools
  • Checking words in the Storia dictionary
  • Taking turns reading with Storia using a management log such as the Storia Classroom Log (PDF)
  • Using Storia’s enriched features to access additional content and context
  • Finding appropriate e-books using the Storia bookshelves
  • Choosing a “just right” Storia book
  • Returning the Storia device to a charging station

Strategies for Independent Reading

Build a Community of Readers

When e-books are assigned to shared bookshelves (those created around genre, for example) or leveled reading bookshelves, you can leave a “Look Who Has Read Me!” note on the title page of each shared Storia book. When students finish the e-book, have them return to the title page to add their names to the note. This will help build your community of readers and will enable students to find classmates to chat with about their Storia books. 

You can also build a community of readers by encouraging students to rate a book using the Storia star-rating system. 

Establish Routines and Create a Schedule for Rotating Storia

In many classrooms, students share Storia devices. If that is the case for your class, be consistent about managing and rotating Storia so every reader gets an opportunity to be an e-reader.

For example, have students read an e-book to completion and then pass along the device to the next student in the reading rotation. You also can use a reading management log (the Storia Classroom Log (PDF) is one option) to track your students who use Storia. 

This will establish an e-reading routine that students can monitor and manage easily. 

Using Individual Student Logs

Provide students with individual e-book logs so they can track what they read. The log should include spaces for the dates the student begins and finishes each title, the author and genre of the book, and the student's personal ratings.

Alternatively, have students record their Storia reading on their regular independent reading logs by using color coding or a symbol to indicate a Storia e-book.

And remember, information about an individual student's reading progress will be tracked automatically through Storia reports.

Downloadable e-reading resources: The Reading Log With Star Ratings (PDF) and Storia Independent E-Reading Log (PDF) will help students track their reading.


Setting Limits on Enrichment Activities


You may wish to set limits on how much time students can spend using the enrichment activities during independent reading. Another option is to turn off the enrichments. Leaving the enrichments on helps build self-regulation skill in your student, but only you know what your students are ready to handle.

Teacher Chat
“I allow my students to find comfy ‘book nooks’ to curl up in during independent reading. For students reading with Storia, I allow them to carefully take an iPad to their book nook. My students know how to return the iPads to the docking station after independent reading ends.”


Independent Reading and Reading Response


The Benefits of Using Storia for Reading Response 

At any grade level, responding to reading is a great way for students to reveal their thinking and build a deeper understanding of a text. Reading responses are the windows into the minds of young readers. A response to reading gives you access to your students’ inner thought processes, which allows you to support each student’s progress and development as a reader. When you ask students to share their reading responses, you show your students that you value them and their ideas. 

How to Use Storia for Reading Response

Storia provides a variety of features to encourage students to respond to text. Ensure that your reading prompt promotes open-ended thinking and provides readers with positive and meaningful text interactions. Try to ask for responses that will promote multiple perspectives.

Sample Reading Response Activities Using Storia

Identifying Facts

Students go on a fact-finding mission while reading and record the facts by typing them in a Storia note.

Narrative Elements

Students use the Storia note and highlighting features while reading to indicate narrative story elements.

Character Analysis for Primary Students

Primary students use the Storia highlighting feature to outline details about their favorite character. Students then share this information with their reading partners after independent reading.

Downloadable e-reading resources: Use the Identifying a Character’s Feelings (PDF) or the Storia Character Traits Organizer (PDF) graphic organizers with this activity.

Character Analysis for Upper-Grade Students

Upper-grade students detail characters’ actions and reactions by recording the information in a Storia note or by highlighting the relevant sections of text.

Downloadable e-reading resource: You may also use the Character Analysis Graphic Organizer (PDF), which asks students to list evidence from the text.

Identifying Cause and Effect

Have students use the Storia highlighting tool to identify the causes and effects of a particular action. Then ask them to list the causes and effects on the Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer (PDF).

Analyzing a Quote from the Text

Students use the Storia highlighting feature to indicate a piece of dialogue from the text that they find particularly interesting.

Comprehension Response Types

Students can also respond to reading by answering the comprehension questions often found in Storia’s enrichment activities.  

Literal Comprehension

These are “on the surface’ questions that have straightforward responses that are easily located in the text. Students can use Storia’s tools to find and highlight the information.

Inferential Comprehension

These “read between the lines” questions require the reader to combine information from the text with their prior knowledge.  Some of the information from the text is implied, but not explicitly stated, requiring readers to draw their own conclusions. Storia’s read-to-me, dictionary, note, and highlighting features all can be used to help answer inferential questions.

Evaluative Comprehension

These are “on my own” questions that elicit opinions from the reader. The reader needs to interpret and evaluate the information they've read, synthesize it with his or her own prior knowledge, and make a decision based on those ideas.

Teacher Chat
“As an upper-grade teacher, I frequently have my students respond to inferential and evaluative questions after reading in order to get them to think beyond the text.  This is especially critical when it comes to preparing my students for their state exams.”

Downloadable e-reading resources: The E-Reading Response Prompts (PDF) graphic organizer can help get students get started responding to text. Also try these reading response PDFs: Character Change, Daily Response, Favorite Character, and Favorite Part.

Example Reading Responses

  • My favorite character was____, because…
  • My least favorite character was____, because…
  • My favorite part in the story was___, because…
  • I loved the way…
  • As I was reading, I realized that…
  • As I was reading, I was questioning why…
  • I predict that…
  • I was wondering why… 
  • I can’t really understand…
  • I noticed…
  • I can connect to ____, because…
  • I really identified with this character, because…
  • This reminds me of…
  • ____can be characterized as____, because…
  • The character I most admire is _____, because…
  • I came across some cause and effect relationships in the text which were…
  • The valuable lesson from this text was…
  • This was a really interesting quote, because…
  • The author creates a ________ type of mood throughout the book by…
  • This book is similar to…
  • The theme throughout the story was_____, because…
  • I think the relationship between ____ and ____ was interesting, because…
  • This story didn’t end the way I thought it would, because…
  • This text detail reminds me of…
  • If I could introduce a character from this book to my family, it would be ____because…
  • As I was reading, it really bothered me that…
  • I agreed/disagreed with the author about…
  • If I were the author, I would have changed the part of the story when…
  • If I encountered the same problem as this character, I would have…
  • I think the solution was fair because…
  • It seemed that the setting influenced the plot throughout the story, because…

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  • Subjects:
    Independent Reading, Teacher Tips and Strategies, Teacher Training and Continuing Education, Teaching with Technology
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