90-Second Newbery Films, Accessible Books Empower Struggling Readers to Master Skills
Teachers, are you expecting struggling readers in class when school resumes? Explore the power of the "90-Second Newbery Film Festival" paired with accessible book formats to keep literacy on track.
Accessible books are those that provide access to text when traditional print does not. Teachers also can keep engagement high when they offer creative ways of "making" and reporting about the book rather than rely on older traditional book report formats.
Nothing But Newbery
In an annual "90-Second Newbery" competition, young filmmakers create "weird movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books in about 90 seconds," according to program founder and author, James Kennedy. There are plenty of Newbery winners to choose from as the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association the Association honors multiple books each year. The first awards came in 1922!
The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival was founded in 2011 and just completed its sixth year. An array of titles and some diverse examples of creativity are posted on YouTube. All show Newbery-winning books that the students compressed into 90 seconds or less.
"Ever since 1922, the Newbery Medal has been recognized as the most prestigious award in children’s literature," Kennedy writes on his website. The entries, particularly in the past three years have been "ingenious, hilarious, and impressive—from musicals to stop-motion Claymation, from puppet shows to Minecraft, " he adds.
- Check out 25 of the best 90-Second Newbery videos right here.
- Explore the accessible Newbery Award books that are free for eligible students with disabilities, from Bookshare. This nonprofit organization is a partner with AIM-VA and all statewide federally funded Accessible Educational Materials programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Formats include audiobooks and Daisy files.
- Search for a human-narrated Newbery Award audiobooks for students who are blind or learning disabled from Learning Ally, another partner working with the AEM programs. Many books come in VOICEtext, a feature that syncs colored highlights with a narrator's voice.
- Inquire at your state's AEM program for other book options that are accessible including braille and large print.
- Search school and public libraries for audiobooks or accessible e-Book versions.
- Account holders (accounts are free to eligible teachers) can check the Described and Captioned Media program for Newbery winners and honor books that can be streamed with captions or audio description.
- View Kennedy's website for the competition rules with a handy guide of tips, tricks, and strategies for making a 90-Second Newbery. The 2016 deadline to submit videos is Dec 19.
- Read James Kennedy's blog as “OwlyVoices” Makes a Full-Cast Audio Adaptation of Chapter One of The Order of Odd-Fish.
- Read an accessible copy of Kennedy's book using the text-to-speech feature that is available from Bookshare.
We Are AIM-VA
Accessible educational materials (AEM) help to create access to the curriculum for students with dyslexia, learning disabilities, vision or physical challenges, and others. A federally funded AEM program in every state assures that books in alternative formats are provided free of charge to eligible students with disabilities whose education teams take action. The AEM program operates under a legal exception to federal copyright law. Check out the AIM-VA home page to learn more about eligibility in Virginia. In other states, contact a special education teacher, a school administrator or download a list of AEM state contacts..