Remote and Blended Learning Guide

Storyworks 2 is perfect for your class whether you are teaching remotely, doing blended learning, or doing in-class instruction! Each issue contains:

  • several nonfiction articles
  • a fiction story
  • a mini graphic novel
  • a partner read
  • a poem

And more! All of the fascinating stories are just right for second-graders.

Online resources for each issue include:

  • all of the stories and articles in digital format, read aloud for your students
  • videos
  • multiple reading levels
  • skill-building worksheets
  • lesson plans
  • standards alignments
  • vocabulary slideshows

And more!

Here are ideas for independent work at home, remote direct instruction, and in-school learning. And ways you can do them all!

Independent Work at Home

Below are different ideas on how students can best utilize all the amazing features of Storyworks 2 at home. Students may need parent and family support to navigate the website.

Vocabulary Slideshows

  • Preteach vocabulary with our online vocabulary slideshows. If you’re planning to read an article in the next few days, you can assign the vocabulary slideshow for that story directly to students to preview at home. You will see a little share icon below every slideshow, and if you click that, you’ll be able to copy a direct link to the slideshow that you can send to students, or you can even assign it via Google Classroom if you use that. Here’s what that share icon looks like:
screenshot of slideshow links
  • Students can also access the slideshow on the Storyworks 2 website. It’s in the “Multimedia” section at the bottom of the story pages. It will be important to help guide students on how and where to find it. After students read an article and before they complete the vocabulary skill page, they can revisit the slideshow. 


  • You can assign specific stories for kids to read independently at home. Once they are in Magazine View, they can click the Read Aloud button to hear every story read aloud.  
  • You can also record yourself reading an article and post the link using your chosen platform. This will give students the opportunity to hear a familiar voice and make them feel connected to the classroom, and it will let you model fluent reading.


  • Students can watch the videos on our website. Every issue, they will get “The Big Question” video. This delightful video introduces the issue’s essential question. They’ll also get a Video Read Aloud of the “Big Read” nonfiction article.
  • Students can watch the video that goes along with the “Big Read” after they’ve read the article  in class. They can also watch it before reading for additional support. Watching before reading can really help build reading stamina.

Skill-Building Sheets

  • You can assign skill sheets for the articles over a variety of platforms such as Google Classroom.
  • If students have the ability to print worksheets at home, they can complete them using paper and pencil, and then upload an image to the learning platform you use. If you teach in a district that is providing packets, these sheets would be perfect to include!
  • Many of the quizzes are differentiated. This helps you support all of your learners.
  • Printing the writing assignments and giving them to students to complete at home is also a good option. 

Direct, Remote Instruction (such as over Zoom)

If you are teaching over video, you can share your screen with students and pull up the Storyworks 2 website.

  • Use the Lesson Plans: You can still follow the step-by-step lesson plans for the stories; you may just need to modify them slightly. The lesson plans are really rich and walk you through how to use all of the resources.
  • Teach Stories: Each week, you can focus on one to three stories and do the activities that go with each article. You can go over the articles when sharing your screen.
  • Modeling fluent reading over video will help students to gain confidence. You can also have student volunteers read sections of the article.
  • Assign the Skill-Building Sheets: When the class is done reading a story, pull up a skills page and complete it by having students answer the questions. You can also assign a skill page after doing an article together. Skill-building sheets cover a number of skills for second-graders, including comprehension, key details, writing, comparing texts, nonfiction text features, inferencing, and vocabulary.
  • Share Differentiated Versions: Differentiated versions of several of the stories are also available for each issue. The digital resource guide is a great tool to see all that the issue has to offer. 
  • Watch and Discuss Videos: After showing a video, have a discussion with students. You can create an anchor chart using the essential question. The anchor chart can be done digitally or using chart paper. You can revisit this anchor chart and add to it as you read and discuss more articles in the issue. 
  • Share Students’ Work: Students can share their writing assignments over video with their classmates. This is a great time for them to share their creativity and showcase their hard work. 

In-Class Instruction

  • Use Lesson Plans: We provide lesson plans for each article in the issue. They are easy to follow and full of great ideas. They walk you through teaching each article and using all of the resources we provide.
  • Create an Anchor Chart: When you start each new issue of Storyworks 2, make an anchor chart that connects to the essential question, e.g., “What makes a good friend?” or “What is a mystery?” You can revisit this anchor chart and add to it as you read more articles in the issue.
  • Use Skills Pages in Centers: Use skills pages in centers after reading the article in a whole group setting or in small groups.
  • Give Kids Practice With Online Learning: Using the digital resources, try assigning a skill sheet digitally so students can learn how to complete assignments online. Providing support to students while in person to work out small issues will be helpful in the event that your method of instruction changes, i.e., moving from in-person to online instruction.

Putting It Together

Now that you have read these ideas, here is an example of how to teach two articles from Storyworks 2 using them.

Teaching a Lesson Remotely

Pair these Articles:  

The short article “One Cat, Five Facts” will give kids the background knowledge they need to tackle the Big Read: “How to Save a Cheetah’s Life.”

Note: These ideas will need multiple class periods to do. You can choose how many lesson periods you want this to take; the resources are very flexible.

1. Independent Learning: Assign the article and skill sheet for “One Cat, Five Facts” for kids to read and complete independently at home.

article page screenshot


2. Remote Direct Instruction: Discuss the article and skill sheet for “One Cat, Five Facts”  using the lesson plan provided.


3. Independent Learning: Next, have kids prepare for your lesson on the Big Read: “How to Save a Cheetah’s Life.” Have them preview the vocabulary slideshow and watch the Video Read Aloud independently at home.

article links screenshot


4. Remote Direct Instruction: As a group, read the article “How to Save a Cheetah’s Life” together. Use the lesson plan to guide the discussion.


5. Remote Direct Instruction: Then, share and discuss The Big Question Video. (Some teachers may choose to watch this before reading, to introduce the article’s themes, and then show the Video Read Aloud after reading, to reinforce comprehension. Either way works!)


6. Independent Learning: Finally, share the skill pages for this article. If there has been any time in school, you can also send the printed sheets home.

skill activities links


7. And now you’re ready to move on to the other stories in Storyworks 2! Since the magazine is filled with multiple texts that connect to the issue’s essential question, you’ll have already laid the groundwork for some incredible text-to-text connections to come.

Remember, the online lesson plans offer easy, step-by-step guides for how to teach each article using our resources. They can all be easily adapted to blended or fully remote learning. Knowing that all of our materials are available online, you can just go through each lesson plan and choose when and where you will teach each resource.