AwesomeStories 101 - What Educators Say


Hundreds of teachers, librarians, media specialists and administrators write about what AwesomeStories delivers to them and their students. Hereafter are sample comments. You can read them all or select any particular educational level or area of interest.

What Educators Say

Cross Curricular Multi Grade Instruction
Librarians & Media Specialists
Special Education
Gifted and Talented
Elementary Schools
Middle Schools
High Schools
International Schools
Adult Education


Cross Curricular Multi Grade Instruction
AwesomeStories.com is a wonderful website using interactive stories that allows visitors to analyze related primary sources of various types.  As Associate Director of the Teaching with Primary Source program at Illinois State University funded by the Library of Congress, I work with primary sources on a daily basis and have found these raw materials of history are helpful in engaging students in active learning, developing critical thinking skills, and constructing knowledge. I often share the many easy to use teaching tools on the website with colleagues, educators, and students. By reading the stories and analyzing related photographs, films, audio, documents and other primary sources, students generate questions, organize ideas, research and come to conclusions. I highly recommend the AwesomeStories website to educators to assist them in using primary sources in instruction to meet their students’ needs and Common Core State Standards.—Judy Bee, Associate Director, Teaching with Primary Sources at Illinois State University, Library of Congress, Midwest Region, Normal, IL

Thirty years of teaching experience has taught me that people can read at a much higher level when the material is of interest and has relevance to them.  The problem is finding relevant, interesting materials and educational materials easily and quickly.  AwesomeStories is a great resource, allowing students to practice a variety of reading, thinking and learning skills through a topic that they find interesting, whether it be sports, natural disasters or the latest movie blockbuster.  The website also makes it easy for teachers to find standards-based lesson plans and activities based on their curriculum needs.  The fact that all stories are further linked to primary resources further enhances the teaching/learning experience.  I especially like the monthly calendar, which invites students to explore historical events and relate them to present day occurrences.—Vicki Universal, Retired Teacher, Trainer, Tutor, Literacy Volunteers of Livingston County, Genesco, NY

I found AwesomeStories while completing a middle-school primer on music and theater in Japanese POW camps in the Philippines during WWII. I was astounded at the sourced story-telling I found on AS. I believe that stories are the way people of all ages learn best. When they can attach an event to a personal story, then it belongs to them. AwesomeStories continues to provide a place to learn and to learn to live.—Scottie Kersta-Wilson, Writer, Teacher, Photographer, Editor, Chicago, IL

Over the years, I have found AwesomeStories to be of great value in motivating students and to provide them with links to the past that most "store-bought" textbooks lack. It is especially of note when dealing with both the gifted and slow learner where the unique content grabs their interest. Finally, the assessments are easy to modify to individual assignments and help meet IEP and 504 plan requirements. The diverse content also makes it easier to fit into a mandated curriculum.—Al Haskvitz, Teacher, K-12, All Subjects, Walnut, CA

I have been an AwesomeStories subscriber and have shared this site with many teachers. I think it brings lessons to life in ways that students find very appealing and in ways that capture their attention. It is so in tune with the way students are wired in this generation of digital natives. —Pat Bailey, Department Chair of World Languages, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Gwinnett County, GA

AwesomeStories is a whirlwind of fabulous information on a tornado full of subjects!  —Janis Sparks, Librarian, Beaufort County Schools, Beaufort, SC 

A primary source, at your fingertips, to enhance Core Curriculum studies.  —Mary Flaherty, Broad Meadows Middle School, Quincy, MA 

A wonderfully rich website for teachers who view stories as an effective path to scaffold learning for students.  —Jean Weller, State DOE technology integration specialist, State of Virginia

The interdisciplinary approach is impressive. The shear amount of information and the applicability across genres and subjects is "awesome"!  —Jay Kirgis, Art Teacher, Texarkana Arkansas School District, Texarkana, TX 

AwesomeStories is the best collection there is to be found on the internet; their stories are highly engaging illustrations covering a broad range of subject matters, that are a must for teaching harder to understand concepts and ideals. —James Crawford, Teacher, Willamette Valley, Oregon 

Librarians & Media Specialists
"AwesomeStories" is one of those rare sites that is not only useful for teachers and librarians, but is also kid-friendly.  Many databases and primary source websites are full of great resources, but they are difficult for students to navigate. "AwesomeStories" presents history the way it should be, as a collection of stories to pique children's interests.  The multimedia approach helps students to learn the material in various modalities, while offering access to high-quality links, videos, images, charts, and text.  AwesomeStories makes it easy for students to research topics of interest so they can spend more time reading, understanding, and evaluating. —Kristina Holzweiss, The Laptop Lieberrian, Bay Shore Middle School, Long Island, NY

Just wanted you to know that I love the calendar with links!!  I am a librarian, so I send out your news to department heads when topics come up that address their curriculum area. Thank you! —Stephanie Angelette, Librarian, Sartartia Middle School, Sugar Land, TX

AwesomeStories offers a wealth of information in one user-friendly location. As a librarian, one of my primary goals is to help students effectively find and use information. The AwesomeStories website makes my job much easier by providing a location full of first-hand information in many different formats. Not only can my students find written information but they can find videos, audios, images, and more to fit their individual learning styles. As an educator, I could not ask for a better site. Lesson plans are readily available and the resources on the site are designed to support state and national standards. It is almost unbelievable that all these educational resources are available for FREE at one location. It is truly an “awesome” resource!  —Dr. Melissa Purcell, Media Specialist, Glynn Academy, Brunswick, Georgia 

Young people easily can get mired in the flotsam and jetsam of the Internet. At AwesomeStories, educators and students discover new nonfiction worlds at a safe, accurate website. The stories will lead students on a quest for answers. Teachers will appreciate the lesson plans and activities. The site is aligned with Common Core State Standards. Simply put, AwesomeStories is an Internet gem. —Patricia Paugh, MA, Library Media Specialist, Writer, Educator, North Warren, NJ 

I believe that AwesomeStories offers something that isn't found in any other educational Web site. Not only are there lessons, with links to all supportive information, but the approach of each lesson is novel and multidisciplinary. It really models the types of lessons that should be offered daily in every school across the nation.  —Rachel Bhattacharyya, High School Head Librarian, El Paso ISD, El Paso, TX

The research behind AwesomeStories is superior. The breadth and depth of the information is truly awesome. Bringing all of the resources together in one place streamlines research and encourages creativity. —Linda Homa, Reference Librarian, Public Library for Union County, Lewisburg, PA

Virtually the best stories on the web! —Jason Homa, Librarian, Ridgeview CUSD No. 19, Colfax, Illinois 

I feel like I am THERE, not just a bystander or spectator. Your stories make it real. —Pamela Childs, Media Specialist, Albert Hill Middle School, Richmond, VA 

I challenge you to read an Awesome Story and not learn something new!  —Angela Vimuttinan, Librarian, Los Angeles Unified School District, California

A resource with a Big Impact.  —Donna Albarado, Librarian, School District of Cadott Community, Wisconsin

Special Education
I have always loved a good story, and the best stories are excellent teachers. So when a colleague told me about the AwesomeStories website, I decided to check it out. I love having such a wealth of varied and engaging stories to use in my classes. I especially love the access to original sources and non-fiction tales. It is wonderful to find the perfect story to build a lesson around! My students always respond to my storytelling and look forward to those days they know a story is part of our lesson. —Deena Booth, Teacher, Middle School Special Education, Specializing in High Functioning Autism, Paul Revere Middle School, Los Angeles, CA

AwesomeStories is an amazing resource that helps teach students to think deeper and more critically by tying in to topics they're already interested in and giving them the background stories on these topics.  —Jolene Gutierrez, Librarian, Denver Academy, Denver, CO

AwesomeStories is truly awesome! Their stories are organized so simply, so anyone can find the information. The links to videos helps to enhance the learning. Great for enjoy on new movie releases and great in the classroom for the history content. Lends itself easily for webquests! Thanks!  —Laura Davis, Teacher, Special Ed, West Milford High School, West Milford, NJ 

Gifted and Talented
I really enjoy getting my students involved in the different aspects of AwesomeStories.  I have found that AwesomeStories really engages the students in discussions. I am really looking forward to becoming more involved in the AwesomeStories because I believe all teachers can benefit from it. —Vickie Burkins, Teacher, Sixth Grade Social Studies, Gifted and Talented, Dutchman Creek Middle School, Rock-Hill, SC

Elementary-Language Arts, Social Studies, STEM, The Arts, ESL  
AwesomeStories is an amazing way to include primary resources into my fifth grade classroom.  I am always looking for a way to make history come alive to my students. AwesomeStories helps me to do that. The stories help my students really understand the history and they learn about perspectives. Integrating language arts and history in an engaging way is very important to me. I want my student to be able to see how these subjects intertwine and relate to each other. I love how easy AwesomeStories makes that for me. I am easily able to correspond the stories to my state standards. I love this awesome resource! —Tara Walters, 5th Grade Teacher, Waynesboro, VA

As an elementary school teacher, I thought AwesomeStories would not be beneficial in my day to day teaching, but I was wrong! Although the lessons through Awesome teacher are geared toward middle and high school students, it can easily be modified for those younger students. I am always recommending the resources AwesomeStories provides, both to colleagues as well as those in my masters courses!  —Lindsay M. Merritt, 2nd Grade Teacher Koontz Elementary, Rowan Salisbury Schools, NC

I joined AwesomeStories so long ago; I honestly don’t remember how I found it! AwesomeStories has always been a great resource for my ESL students when engaged in Project Based Learning in my ESL classroom, and when needing resources for their core classroom projects. The format makes it easy for them to find engaging materials, and to find articles relevant to their learning. —Debi Pruitt, Teacher, Item Reviewer, English as a Second Language, Elementary, Wilmington, NC

I am so impressed by the website that is envisioning what teaching and learning will look like in the future. The site is at the forefront of educational practices and continues to grow to make all students and teachers digital readers. —Annalee Taylor, Curriculum Specialist, Cornelius Elementary, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina

My 4th and 5th grade students love to see anything and everything about any book they are reading. They can't seem to get enough of all you have to offer re: Hunger Games.  —Pat Bailey-Hollon, P.S. K315, School of Performing Arts, New York City, NY 

Excellent at grabbing a student's attention. Excellent for school-wide implementation. On the cutting edge.  Makes teaching easier.  Earns high marks with all students and teachers! —Britta Gagner, 4th grade teacher, School District of Beloit, Beloit, WI 

AwesomeStories delivers lessons in a student friendly format. Students love stories about others and themselves in every day and fantasy situations. The lessons and resources are a big plus for me as a teacher so I can show my administration, colleagues, and parents the academic relevance of the assignments. Keep up the excellent service!  —Bonnie Patterson, 5th Grade Science Teacher, Texas City ISD, Texas City, Texas

Teaching stories to kindergarteners can be challenging because of the potential language barrier. AwesomeStories helps me to bring the world to my students. —Susan Wagener, Teacher, Lee County School District, Ft Myers, FL  

Middle School-Language Arts, Social Studies, STEM, The Arts, ESL
In the new era of Common Core Standards, when schools are expecting students and teachers to dig deeper into content and inquiry learning, AwesomeStories is a perfect curriculum resource - engaging, well researched, and just flat-out fun to read. —John Norton, Librarian, Creator/editor of a middle grades website, NC

I use AwesomeStories to support differentiated instruction. I find using the AwesomeStories videos with chapter instruction helps students to better gauge contributions and visualize historical events. —Marsha Lewis, Teacher, Social Studies, Grades 6-8, Detroit Lions Academy, Detroit, MI

When I first found AwesomeStories I spent hours browsing the site. Initially, I used the site primarily as a resource for increasing my content area knowledge. As I became more familiar with the site and the wonderful information compiled there, I incorporated the Stories more and more into my lesson plans. Pictures, video clips, and primary documents have crept from the pages of AwesomeStories into my lessons and activities. I love having access to so many resources in one location. Unlike other sites, AwesomeStories doesn’t overwhelm me with too many resources that may or may not be directly connected to the content I’m teaching. This year, I’m teaching reading instead of Social Studies, but I still find ways to incorporate the resources of AwesomeStories into my lessons. Recently, for example, we read parts of the story of the Greensboro Four and watched the video clip as part of our Black History Month readings. AwesomeStories will continue to be an essential tool in my teaching. —Kelly Hansen, Reading Specialist, grades 6, 7, 8, Shallotte, NC

Some of the AwesomeStories used by my teachers were Lincoln and the Boston Tea Party (parts I and II) by the US History teachers.  The science teachers got the children interested in weather when they started the unit with Galveston (the great storm).  They have also discussed tidal waves and read about the Boxing Day disaster.  I am looking forward to expanded use of this site in other classes especially with ESL (English as a 2nd language) students. —Daniel Connolly, Principal, Bondy Intermediate School, Pasadena ISD, Texas  

Can you believe there's a site where both teacher AND student find exciting learning tools?! This is it!  —Karen Jared, Walker Middle School, Salem, OR

Finally! A website that offers information in a format that my students will actually read and ENJOY! —Danielle Brown, Washington Junior High School, Washington, OH

Makes it easier to have deeper conversations about literature with my students. Great thought questions. LOVE the picture links. —Jennifer Caracello, 7th Grade Teacher, Leestown Middle School, Leestown Middle School, Fayette Public Schools, Lexington, KY

This is a one-stop site which covers all of my needs for literature in the classroom!  —Shelly Whitman, Teacher, Fremont Middle School, Fremont Public Schools, NE 

Nowhere on the web can I find a better integration of primary sources with accurate, interesting storytelling than AwesomeStories. —Laura Loftus, Teacher, Georgetown Middle School, Washington, D.C.

Great site! My students love it!!!  —Frank Howell, Teacher, Lake Gibson Middle School, Polk County Public Schools, Lakeland, FL

AwesomeStories is a resource that I can't do without!  —Julie Greene, Teacher, Macon County Middle School, Macon, GA

Top of the top for all to aspire to!  —Kim Vaiana, Teacher, 7th and 8th Grade English / History / Leadership, San Ramon Valley Unified, San Ramon, CA 

Great website, love the videos, constantly using them in the classroom, my students love them as well. —Matthew Bobbitt, Teacher, Liberty Middle School, Hanover County Public Schools, Clifton, VA 

Very user-friendly. Will help bridge students from Standard Course of Study into the rigor of Common Core.  —Morgan Cranford, Teacher; Participant, Teaching Fellows Program; Randleman Middle School, Randolph County, NC

1st person recordings are priceless!  —M. White, Middle School Teacher/Technology Coordinator, IHMCS Minnetonka, MN

Teaching reading to middle school students in the 21st century requires more than print materials. "AwesomeStories" is at your finger tips giving life to the printed page.—Deb Lynch, 6th Grade Teacher, Great Oak Middle School, Oxford Public Schools, Oxford, Connecticut 

AwesomeStories - of high interest to teach the Common Core standards. —Sherry Otahal, District Administrator, GCCISD, Junior School, Baytown, TX

A treasure trove for the creative teacher; a wonderful tool for the student. —Diedre McNamara, ELL Teacher, Gardiner Middle School, Oregon City School District, Oregon City, OR 

High School-Language Arts, Social Studies, STEM, The Arts, ESL
The best integrated source for teachers to turn to - incorporating primary sources and visual resources. It is a great springboard to introduce a unit of study or to go further.  —Lynn Tutterow, STEM Center Teacher, NC LEA 300 Davie High School, Mocksville, NC

AwesomeStories is much more than merely awesome. It is unique, relevant, and timely. Teachers cannot continue to teach students using outdated methods. This site helps teachers stay in touch with learning styles, patterns, and needs of the modern student. Excellent resource!  —Deborah Marcias, High School Teacher, Goddard Public Schools, Goddard, Kansas

This website puts all good things in order and connects the history, trivia and information about stories in one place. Priceless!  —Kathy Thayer, West Shore HS, Brevard County, Florida 

Weaving primary source material into my student's learning is my secret weapon. Everyone loves a good story and when I can incorporate it into my teaching, it is the 'hook' that keeps them wanting to go further and investigate more. When did a student ever finish a chapter in their textbook and ask:  "Can I have more, please?” —Mary Ann Riendeau, History Teacher, Eagle Hill School, Hardwick, MA

High-interest stories using 21st-century literacy tools to motivate readers to ... want ... more!  —Linda Bohrer, Literacy Coach/Reading Writing Specialist (Primary/Secondary Education, Greater Boston Area), Grantham Village School, Grantham, NH

"AwesomeStories" provides information I didn't even know I really wanted!  I sometimes have gone through the information presented for a story, then all the links, and then want to tell everyone who will listen to me about how cool it is!  —Nancy Miller, Specialist, Samuell High School, Dallas Independent School District, Dallas, TX

These are real life stories that kids can relate to. They really can get a global view of life around the world and in our own country through the interviews and stories. The characters and artifacts come to life and really click with the social media mentality of our youth. It is relevant fast food for their minds. —Barrie Price-Kerr, Teacher, Gwinnett County School District, Lilburn, GA 

"AwesomeStories" is exactly what the name says - an awesome place to bring to life the stories you tell in your classroom. They have the best archive I have ever found.  Awesome.  Awesome.  Awesome.  —Shelly Clayton, High School History Teacher, Potts Camp School, Marshall County School District, Potts Camp, MS 

Unbelievable resource for teachers, both Language Arts and content-area. If you want to build background knowledge and have total engagement, put AWESOMESTORIES in the lesson plans!   —Edna Sherrell, Teacher, Phoenix Academy, Sarasota County Schools, Sarasota, FL

Powerful and thought-provoking resource! —David Mervinsky, Physics Teacher, Eureka High School, Eureka, CA

AwesomeStories create an opportunity for students to understand:  "History is the compilation of mankind's life story from generation to generation. This process of discovery helps the students think about how their life stories will affect history for the next generation."  —Betty Williams, Teacher/counselor, Nettleton School District, Nettleton, MS

Many teacher friends from all over the country talk about how much they enjoy this website!  —Kimberly Smith, Teacher, Southeastern High School, Blount County Schools, AL

AwesomeStories:  21st Century methods to empower students to become awesome readers and writers. Love it. —John Pappas, English / Semantics Teacher, Weymouth High School, Weymouth, MA

Simply Amazing(ly) Awesome!!!!!  —Ryan Hemsteger, Student, Turpin High School, Forest Hills School District, Cincinnati, OH

One of the greatest things about AwesomeStories is that I can educate my kids on events from the past with incredible historical media. —Dave Cugier, Teacher / ROTC, Lafayette High School, Rockwood District, Wildwood, MO

AwesomeStories lives up to its name. It's a terrific classroom resource to bring an added dimension to instruction.  —Judy Brown, Teacher, Caldwell High School, Caldwell, OH

When I first visited the AwesomeStories website, it was hard to believe such a wealth of resources had not only been validated and effectively organized to meet curricular standards, but were also available for educators and learners. As a foreign language teacher, I am always looking for new ways to help my students discover the culture behind my teaching. AwesomeStories certainly does that for all teachers by contextualizing historical facts we come across in textbooks, literary works and even films, and providing educators not only with myriads of authentic resources but also with high-quality lesson plans especially designed to exploit them. No doubt integrating AwesomeStories has contributed to boosting motivation in heterogeneous groups, and ensures my lessons are both meaningful and fun! —Gladys Baya, ESL Teacher Specialized in ICT, Buenos Aires, Argentina

AwesomeStories is a powerful source to bring literature to life.  —Annice Brave, ACUSD #11 Alton High School, Alton, IL

International Schools
"AwesomeStories” is the best place to be on the World Wide Web!  —Nina Franco, Coordinator and Assistant Principal, Wroclaw International School, An IB World School, Wroclaw, Poland

Teaching in an international school, where the majority of our students come to literacy in English as a second or third language is quite challenging. AwesomeStories provides our children (and their parents!) an engaging and stimulating way to improve their reading comprehension and fluency, as well as helping them to build a larger vocabulary base. I strongly encourage all teachers and schools to consider purchasing this wonderful program. It is already making a positive difference for our students, and it would definitely be of benefit for yours!  —Terry McCarthy, Teacher, Xiamen International School, Fujian Province, China

Adult Schools-Literature, History, STEM, The Arts, ESL
The stories on "AwesomeStories" can reach students who were previously unreachable. The links within the stories really make the stories come alive for the student.  —Vicki Angel, Adult Education Instructor and Trainer, Texarkana Independent School District, Texarkana, TX

I finally understand what I read about history and I like it. —Rhonda Blanchard, History Teacher; Cherokee County Career and Technology Center; Centre, Alabama

Students in adult education, whether they are learning English or trying to get a high school credential, seldom have enough classroom time to learn everything they need to. AwesomeStories provides an excellent opportunity to continue learning outside the classroom. With its wide variety of material, it can be used for almost any subject or attract virtually any student area of interest. With the narrated stories, it provides good listening practice for English learners and support for beginning readers. It’s terrific! —Wendy Quinones, Teacher. Pre GED, GED, Cambridge Community Learning Center, Gloucester, MA

College - Literature, History, STEM, The Arts, ESL
Learning should be fun.  AwesomeStories makes it so!  —Cynthia Roe, Instructional Specialist; District Administrator, Carroll Community College, Westminster, MD 

AwesomeStories is an amazing resource for reading and writing instructors.  You give them a gift when you introduce A.S. to your students. —Kathy Sweet, Reading/Writing Instructor, Butte College, Oroville, California 

AwesomeStories is:  Practical, profound, and engaging for students and teachers.  —Hugh Snow, Professor, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

Great resource for teaching and technology integration!  —Lyda Peters, Professor of Education, Cambridge College; Part-Time Faculty, Boston College; Managing Partner of the Cambridge Leadership Consortium, LLC, Cambridge, MA

I have found "AwesomeStories" to be a purely awesome site that I consult before diving into any of my research assignments, regardless of whether the subject be History, Religion, Science or English. "AwesomeStories" is an easy to use website that, in my opinion, makes researching so much more fun whilst still providing reliable and reputable information!  —Hannah van Alphen, Student, Saint Anthonys Catholic College, Townsville, Queensland Australia

AwesomeStories allows us to read and wonder and immediately follow trains of thought with links to resources. What a fun way to learn!  —Marcia Arthur, ESL Instructor, Renton Technical College, Renton, WA

My ESL students want to improve their reading scores and increase their vocabulary. The one-stop website that I use with them is AwesomeStories. The reading material on AwesomeStories, which combines the serious nature of a textbook writing and the intriguing style of investigative journalism, is what students need to motivate them to keep reading. Therefore, I endorse AwesomeStories as an excellent online source for intermediate and advanced level ESL students.  AwesomeStories provides students with an opportunity to become acquainted with a topic and delve deeper into the subject matter on several levels. The many links within each story take students to pages of detailed and related information. Students read about the historical background of the story and learn new vocabulary at the same time. This makes it a website for ESL adult learners which I heartily recommend.  —Sandie Linn, Associate Professor, Continuing Education, San Diego Community College District, San Diego, CA

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Author: Bond-Upson, Deborah 106stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 10, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Sep 01, 2017

Media Credits

A sampling of the hundreds of testimonials that AwesomeStories receives from teachers, media specialists, libarians, parents and administrators.

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"What Educators Say" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 10, 2015. Feb 28, 2020.
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