Frequently Asked Questions

By using AwesomeStories and its apps, you can… 

1) guide your students to develop research, evaluation and analysis skills—cornerstones of success.

2) meet the specific goals of the Common Core State Standards challenging teachers and learners to build research, communication, and collaboration skills, and the principles of “Deeper Learning.”

3) develop in each student the art of communication, the skill of critical thinking, and the mastery of the academic building blocks necessary for a successful future.

In addition:

1) This website access makes it easy for teachers to find standards-based lesson plans and activities based on their curriculum needs. The fact that all stories present supporting primary resources further enhances the teaching/learning experience.

2) AwesomeStories helps teachers and students to meet Common Core and State Standards Learning Objectives through the use of reliable resources while also guiding respect for legal content rights.

3) AwesomeStories helps you to integrate more content in the crowded curriculum space by supporting cross-subject teaching.

4) PLUS … each teacher can build, deploy, and save lessons, articles, and curriculum in “My Dashboard.”

See our COVID19 announcement. Membership is free until January 1, 2021. All you need to do is register for our free Silver Trial to use all of our stories and tools.

AwesomeStories directs the searcher to the heart of the topic, recommending relevant stories and sources. There are 7 ways to search in AwesomeStories:

  1. AwesomeSearch™ — a standards-based search function with multiple filters to efficiently locate resources.

  2. All topics are presented in story form — engaging learners in ways Google searches or sources alone could not.

  3. Primary sources are linked to topical stories providing relevant and reliable context.

  4. AwesomeStories’ content is standards-based and lessons/assignments/learning tasks are provided to accompany stories. The result is educationally sound.

  5. AwesomeStories format is distinctively different from Google or other generic search engines. AwesomeStories presents story topics in a multimedia magazine format with embedded videos, images, audio files, original documents, maps, links to open book pages (and more). The AwesomeStories format is easy to follow and engaging for the reader.

  6. AwesomeStories also provides MakerSpace for the Humanities — a suite of apps enabling teachers and/or students to create their own evidence-based stories (with an MLA citation of the teacher/student/member right at the bottom of the page).

  7. AwesomeStories is based on: research, student use of primary sources, integrated technology, and best practices in the use of informational text.

Founder and chief story creator — Carole D. Bos, J.D. — is a courtroom lawyer, professional storyteller, prolific writer, and wide-ranging researcher who has written stories for this archive since 1999. Carole writes and publishes stories prompted by cultural interests, newsworthy events, curriculum needs, and member requests.

With MakerSpace for the Humanities, Carole is joined by teachers, Awesome Teacher Leaders, members, AS staff, and students who also write stories. The AwesomeStories model of story-driven, evidence-based stories is now growing virally and numbers more than 5,300.

AwesomeStories’ staff, and our team of Awesome Teacher Leaders, review each member-submitted story and send revisions to the authors. Members resubmit until the editor approves the story for publishing to (and inclusion in) the member collection. As chief story officer, Carole reviews the member stories; excellent stories are then added to topical collections.

Student stories are graded by the relevant teacher, who can also suggest revisions and review multiple drafts. Once the teacher approves the student story, it can be published as a student story. Only the student’s teacher reviews the student stories. Student stories are published in the student collections, thereby acknowledging that they are student work, not professional content.

All primary sources are hand-selected, not machine-selected. As such, they are targeted to specifically fit the topics and subjects which they support.

We have created a “scaffolded virtuous cycle” for primary-source curation at AwesomeStories. What does that mean? Each time an author—staff, member or student—adds a primary source to their story, he/she must complete all the citation attributes for the source. Authors are guided by the windows, some with tutorials, to help them find what they need. In addition to source, title and creator, they must also enter the URL where the source was found. This enables our team to check the source for errors or incomplete citations.

Once a source has been fully cited and published within a story, it is entered into our AS Archive. Now this source can be easily found and cited because it is discoverable on AS via all seven of our search methods (including the very advanced AwesomeSearch™).

Assignments are reviewed and edited by staff and by our Awesome Teacher Leaders.

Yes, an LTI enables login to LMSs that are LMS-compliant, supporting single sign-on.

Yes, 40% of AwesomeStories website use is through mobile phones and tablets! And AwesomeStories works in all browsers.

Yes, teachers can: write assignments or stories and keep them in their own files without sharing; share with the class only; submit to be published on the website.

Yes, a teacher can assign a story to a student and review it just between the student and teacher.

Yes, teachers can share any of their stories — or their students’ stories — just with the class.

We provide three tutorials to support story conceptualizing research and citing: 

  1. “Finding, Researching & Writing a Great Story” 
  2. “Be A Super Sleuth” 
  3. “Cite Right”

We also provide a tutorial on story illustrations: “How to Find Larger Versions of Thumbnail Images.”

We provide several different ways: The modeling provided by the stories in the AwesomeStories’ archives; a tutorial called “Finding, Researching & Writing a Great Story”; “scaffolding” in the StoryMaker™ app; teacher use of Learning Tasks and Lesson/Assignments showing how to write stories.

Student work can be archived across all subject areas and can be used to show learning growth in writing and researching year after year.

Students can view the progress of their writing over the term and prior terms. Reviewing the teacher grading will help the students’ continuous progress. Students can share their WriteFolio™ with their parents.

Yes, parents can log in using the student’s id/password. We hope parents and students will explore stories together!

Absolutely! If you are homeschooling, sign up for an account, set yourself up as the teacher, and start guiding all of your children according to their appropriate level. This includes selecting stories for each subject and creating lessons, plus assigning and reviewing work.

By signing up for AwesomeStories, either individually or for the whole school, you will gain access to our huge archive of stories (with all their hand-selected, hand-curated links) together with MakerSpace-for-the-Humanities apps:

  • AwesomeSearch™
  • Audio Narrations of Stories
  • Questions2Ponder (our term for “Essential Questions”)
  • Assignments
  • Learning Tasks
  • Instant Translation into 104 languages
  • StoryMaker™
  • AwesomePrint

In addition, signing up for AwesomeStories provides:

  • Accounts for your students, linked to yours
  • Classroom set-up
  • AssignmentMaker
  • Grading by Rubric
  • CurriculumMaker™ (aligns school scope and sequence with AwesomeStories resources)
  • WriteFolio™ for all students

Have a Question We Didn't Answer?

Ask your question below in the “Message” area and we’ll get back to you with an answer — and maybe add your question to the above list!