Invisibles Stories Data Base

We can now use class-generated Invisibles stories as reading resources for our students.

The idea of using class stories as reading resources is something Phil Smith in Ireland addressed here on the PLC just a few weeks ago:

Now, Brett Chonko in Virginia adds to Phil’s idea.  Here is Brett’s new website:

Brett explains:

Pleasure reading is a HUGE part of a good non-targeted CI program; however there is so little pleasure reading out there. Don’t get me wrong, I think we are deeply indebted to the pioneers who have written the first 30 or 40 TPRS Publishing/Fluency Fast style novels; however there’s almost no books other than in Spanish, and the most basic of those only begin to be easy enough to be pleasure reading in level 2 (maybe 4 or 5 books), and the majority of them level 3 or 4 (the remaining 30 or so books). Plus, most students are only going to find a few of the 35 or so interesting.

We have to provide more easy, highly interesting reading to our students, especially our level 1’s, in order to have a successful reading program.

There are two projects right now that I know of trying to fill this need:

1. Mike Peto’s Great FVR Cartoon Library (

2. And my small, brand new database of Invisibles stories on my small, brand new blog ( Go check it out!

Phil–I would love to host your Invisibles stories on my database if you send them to me (

Ben–Where do you stand on independent reading? I know you read the class-generated stories all in class as a class all the time. But what about independent pleasure reading?

If you believe in building an archive of easy-to-read-for-beginners-and-up and HIGHLY INTERESTING short stories, could you throw your weight behind these initiative and get the ball rolling?

S0 any PLC members interested in this you have Brett and Phil to communicate with on this. Brett’s site can be the starting point. I am creating a new category for this initiative – Invisibles Stories Data Base.

Let’s see what happens! Comments are welcome below if anyone feels like jumping on this new reading train.



3 thoughts on “Invisibles Stories Data Base”

  1. My response to Brett about where I stand on this is that I am very much in favor of it. I am happy to see the idea discussed in A Natural Approach to Stories of creating class-generated stories with the Invisibles pictures on one side and the text next to it on the other side of the page, all created by Hub D – the class tech team -for sharing at the Mega Reveal at the end of the year. (This idea was, as I remember, first suggested by Jim Tripp and Zack Al Moreno, but I’m sure it’s been around for awhile.)

    But my thinking in that book was of making a building level data base for such stories. But what I see Brett doing here is taking the idea to the next level where we all can share our own Invisibles stories in one place, his new site.

    It could be a site of immense value for teachers doing FVR/SSR or who wish to just share with their students what other stories from other kids in other states (and countries!) are writing. It’s a great idea, and of course I join Brett in saluting the pioneers who started all this.

    It could be a perfect solution for a lot of people. About five years ago I quit reading class novels because I felt that the kids (1) couldn’t read them (we need not go into why this is true but it has something to do with s-c-r-e-e-n-s) and don’t want to read them, at least in my experience.

    But since I had very little resources of the kind you are going to be generating on your new site, Brett, I just piled up the novels on a desk and the kids did SSR with them for the first ten minutes of class. But your idea is better. The kids are going to take this to the moon.

  2. What a wonderful idea! I’ll be implementing the Invisibles this coming year and will share what my students come up with. Thank you for your initiative!

  3. Frank James Johnson


    I am in Greece for the summer and have taken the liberty to somewhat translate, and somewhat transform, this story into “SHUEN-SHUERN AND WHITEY MOUSE” for a Greek boy and girl who are 8 years of age and have regularly been taking English classes in school. The wine glass (“verre à vin”, because ‘verre de vin” means glass of wine) has become a beer glass for my derived Story-Listening version. (BUT I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE IDEA IN FRENCH THAT THE “VERRE À VIN” WOULD BE HAPPY TO BECOME A “VERRE DE VIN” IN SOMEONE’S HOME.)


    There was a beer glass. It was not an elegant beer glass. It was a very ordinary beer glass. A lot of beer is German, Dutch, or Belgian; but the beer glass came neither from Germany, Holland, nor Belgium. The glass came from China, where it had been made. It spoke neither German nor French. Like all Chinese beer glasses, it spoke Chinese. The only English that it spoke was very bad, and it spoke no Greek. The name of the beer glass was Shuen-Shuen. It lived in IKEA, near the small Geek town of Zouberi.
    One month ago, Shuen-Shuen arrived from China in a box. In the box were six beer glasses: Shuen-Shuen and five friends. One day, a man and woman with their three children entered the IKEA store. The mother looked into the box and took five of the six beer glasses. She didn’t want to take all six, because there were only six persons in her family.
    Shuen-Shuen was now alone. His friends had left. They had said good-bye and had gone to live in a house. No one wanted to buy Shuen-Shuen. He felt sad and lonely because he did not like being alone. He wanted to go live in a house with people. He wanted to be filled with beer, any kind of beer. He wanted someone to look at him, touch him, pick him up, hold him, use him, and then wash him. Every day many customers went in and out of the IKEA store, but no one bought Shuen-Shuen. He was bored.
    One night Shuen-Shuen was hungry. He wanted to go to a restaurant and eat some french-fries, but there was a problem. He couldn’t walk to the restaurant. It was too far away. And he couldn’t drive, because he had no arms. So Shuen-Shuen yelled, “Whitey Mouse! Whitey Mouse! Where are you? I want to go to a restaurant. I am hungry. Can you help me?”
    Whitey Mouse replied, “OK, I’ll go get the Barbie car.” Whitey Mouse was a very nice mouse that no one wanted to buy for a pet, because she had lost her beautiful tail.
    Shuen-Shuen climbed into the car. Whitey Mouse began to drive, but now there was another problem. Whitey Mouse drove too fast. The Barbie car smashed into a big meatball that had fallen out of a meat truck. Shuen-Shuen fell out of the car and broke. Whitey Mouse watched him break into a thousand and one pieces, and she wept even more over the loss of her sad and lonely new friend than she had wept over the loss of her beautiful tail.


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