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Celebrate Black History Month with Storyline Online

Updated: Feb 6

Storyline Online is for children, or, if you are like me, a child at heart. If you have chlldren around, so much the better, but even without children, you can connect with your "inner child" by watching/listening, and engaging with others, inspired by Storyline Online's carefully curated selection of children's books online.

What makes Storyline Online book readings special are the following:

  • The words: The story hold the reader's attention throughout the book, even may evoke a chuckle or tears.

  • The readers: Most are famous movie stars or other entertainers, so they know how to connect with the story by the way they read the book, their facial expression, their body language, and their contagious love of reading, especially the book that they are reading.

  • The artwork: If you're like me (and most children), the artwork in a children's book has to appeal to me or I won't pick it up. The artwork is just as important, or sometimes more important, than the words.

  • The music: I wish all children's books had accompanying music. Luckily, Storyline Online plays music in the background that relates to the story. For example, Rent Party Jazz, read by Viola Davis, has jazz background music, including a trumpet playing, while she is reading the story aloud.

  • The activity guide: Teachers can create activities after reading the book or showing the video of the book being read aloud on Storyline Online's YouTube channel. An activity guide that is less academic is needed for elders/grandparents.

  • The theme: Storyline Online's stories touch the reader's/listener's heart. No matter where or how you grew up, viewers/readers can relate to Rent Party Jazz, a story about jazz and friendly neighbors. The story is about a little boy and his mom who can't pay the rent and how they met this challenge successfully. Who hasn't had some financial (or other) challenge, and with the support of a special person, or people, managed to solve the problem?

In addition to Rent Party Jazz, other Storyline Online book readings that might interest you and your elders to celebrate Black History Month are the following:

Storyline Online inspires children to read aloud and adults to read books aloud with children. James Earl Jones said, before he started reading Trombone Shorty aloud, "I learned to read by the time I was four, but I didn't read aloud until I was fourteen because I didn't talk. I'm a stutterer and I'm also somewhat dyslexic, but we'll try this anyway." That comment could give confidence to viewers of any age who have qualms about reading a book aloud.

Follow up Activities

  • After listening/viewing these delightful video readings, check out your favorite library to borrow the book and read it with a child...or with your "inner child."

  • Celebrate Black History Month with a neighborhood Jazz Party. Ask your chef to make or bake (or do it yourself with others) some New Orleans recipes.

  • Conduct a discussion with others about the book. Google the title of the book, Rent Party Jazz. the words: "People also ask" will be followed by frequently asked questions related to the book, such as the following: Is Rent Party Jazz a true story? What is the theme of rent party jazz? What is the plot of rent party jazz? What is a rent party Jazz quizlet?

  • Read the book to a child, with Smilin'Jack jazz music, Bourbon Street Rag, and When the Saints Come Marching In.

  • Find more activities online, such as from the publisher, of Rent Party Jazz, Lee and Low.

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