3 Easy Steps to Independent Cultural Research for Low-Level Readers

I thought it would be a good idea to offer a practical way to try out Google’s amazing “Text-To-Speech” capabilities using a holiday resource to plug into for your Cultural Social Studies unit since we are in the middle of a blog series exploring how to use Voice Tools in Google.

My students absolutely love having the ability to listen to highlighted text being read to them as they follow along. They replay the text over and over again and copy down what they think is important for their Cultural Projects. What I am about to show you is a game-changer for many kids!

I have tried MANY Text-To-Speech Extensions and I have found one that actually fits all of my criteria.

The TTSReaderX Extension is:

*Free & Unlimited with no login required 

*Natural Voice, pausing for punctuation and a new paragraph

*Easy enough for my 1st -3rd Graders to use

*You can control speech speed

*Reads in real time, highlighting text as it speaks

*Listen to the reader in one open tab and continue browsing on another tab

*Other languages Offered to practice pronunciation

*Pause and resume play

*Remembers where you leave off so you can resume comprehension. It actually backtracks a few words to remind you where you left off. Amazing!

*Restart or Rewind to go back and read from the beginning

*Once the page is loaded, you do not need an internet connection to listen

*Safe data security- Does not save what you listen to.

I already had a unit put together for iPad users in my Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s Store so I made one for Chromebook users as well using my favorite free Text-To-Speech Extension- TTSReaderX– Found in the Chrome Web Store, so Step One is to add this extension to your Chrome browser.

Step Two: Pick a Website like the ones in the image above.

 Clip Art- Christopher Morgan-

Step #3- Listen to the Reader (There are many fun options, like changing the voice and speed of the reader)

*All the Slides you see here are images from my TPT Store Resource for $5.99 – “Christmas Around The World On Chromebooks“. My TPT Store Slides include two videos, one video showing the kids how to actually add the extension from inside the slides and another video demonstrates how it works! Enjoy!!!


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