What it is: Tar Heel Reader is an excellent website that is "a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. In addition to the ready-made books, you and your students can create your own Tar Heel Readers. Students can add pictures to their readers from selected safe image search or by uploading their own images. Each of the stories can be read silently, or read to students with a child, male, or female voice (computer). Sample Story made my 2nd grade student at Toyon.
How to integrate Tar Heel Reader into the classroom: Use Tar Heel Reader to create custom stories to motivate your students. You can include pictures of people they know, subjects they love, and make them a character in the story. The stories can be read online or downloaded in multiple formats. Students can create books for younger grades describing science concepts (think weather, food chain, plant cycle, etc.).
Tips: Create a favorites page for your students. Don't use flicker to search for images, setting google images to a "strict" search will limit students from searching for inappropriate images.