TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 23, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Typography Editor - Zygomatic

Grades
6 to 12
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Design posters, memes, and more without registration using Typography Editor. Use the tools from this site to create designs including borders, backgrounds, frames, and much more. When...more
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Design posters, memes, and more without registration using Typography Editor. Use the tools from this site to create designs including borders, backgrounds, frames, and much more. When finished, save in several different formats including jpg, png, and PDF.

tag(s): creativity (118), digital storytelling (154), images (273)

In the Classroom

Before assigning this tool for students to use, be sure to allow plenty of time for practice and familiarization with how to create and save designs. Use the Typography Generator as a perfect "getting to know you" activity for the beginning of the school year. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with a witty text or a favorite quote (or song lyric?). Have them upload a collage of images that represent their interests and character traits. Label it with an "I Am" poem. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. At the end of the year, students could do a "that was then, this is now" collage with text. Have them upload a current picture doing a favorite activity, and different images that represent new interests they have learned this year. Post the images or collages side by side for spring open house night or as a year-end activity. Students could use this tool to put images with a poem they created. For ideas for images/scenes for their poems, you may want to have them use WordsEye, reviewed here. With WordsEye students can put in lines from their poem and "position" words to create a scene. Then, right click to save their scene to their device. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with an image that explains it.

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Word Mover - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Word Mover to assemble found poems from word tiles. Use word banks, existing famous works, or create your own word tiles. Experiment with word placement, size, font, color options,...more
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Use Word Mover to assemble found poems from word tiles. Use word banks, existing famous works, or create your own word tiles. Experiment with word placement, size, font, color options, and twelve backgrounds. Register with a username and save to your device or computer, send as email, or print. Click on the Instructions in the top menu, or find an introductory video (and plenty of lesson ideas below that) here. Word Mover will work on any device that uses a web browser and Flash. There is also an app for both iPads and Android devices.

tag(s): creative writing (168), creativity (118), DAT device agnostic tool (170), grammar (214), poetry (224), sentences (50), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Word Mover is a perfect tool to use with an interactive whiteboard or projector for a class activity for constructing sentences. Employ this tool in this manner to teach simple lessons about subject-verb agreement, complex sentences (with proper punctuation), or any grammar lesson. Write a found poem from a descriptive informational article with the proper attribution and citation. Use on class computers and at literacy stations. If you are lucky enough to have iPads, have students use the text to speech feature to listen to their creations. ESL/ELL students especially will benefit from hearing their sentence construction. With older students, creating found poems can be a non-threatening outlet for creativity and self-expression. Have students use a found poem for a book they've read, or a particularly descriptive article about an interest of theirs (sports, animals, music, and more). National Geographic is an excellent source to find descriptive informational writing.

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ShakespeareKids - University of Texas, Austin - Winedale Outreach

Grades
K to 8
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Bring Shakespeare to young people with these K-8 resources and ideas. No matter the age of the young people involved, find everything needed to put on a scene from Shakespeare. ...more
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Bring Shakespeare to young people with these K-8 resources and ideas. No matter the age of the young people involved, find everything needed to put on a scene from Shakespeare. Click on the selections on the left menu to find scenes from Shakespeare's plays edited for different grade levels. From the left menu you can also explore the exercises, a resource page that lists films, websites, and books. Find those by clicking on the resources in the right column of each landing page. Give young people the exposure to the dramatic arts and enrichment for their language arts skills. Help them experience an educational boost while developing self-confidence, teamwork, and discipline. At the bottom of the home page find links for parents and teachers. Don't miss how to "do" your own Shakespeare. Texas teachers will appreciate TEKS connections in the Teacher section.

tag(s): literature (276), plays (36), poetry (224), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

Start by clicking on the link for your grade level. The text of the page will give the rationale for using Shakespeare with that age group. In the upper right corner find the link for the texts, lines and scenes for you to use with your students. These scenes are in PDF format and have been edited for the grade level. There is plenty of encouragement and advice as you get into this tool. You will also find advice for using and modifying other works from Shakespeare for your age group. Make a video of your successful performance using a tool like wevideo, reviewed here, and share it on TeacherTube, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Common Core Connections: The Power of Poetry - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Discover ways to incorporate poetry as part of your implementation of Common Core in your elementary reading and literature curriculum. If you have set poetry aside for "informational...more
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Discover ways to incorporate poetry as part of your implementation of Common Core in your elementary reading and literature curriculum. If you have set poetry aside for "informational texts," this article explains how you CAN use poetry to address CCSS for close reading, key ideas and details, range of reading, and for the foundation skills of reading fluency. And poetry can still be just plain fun . The article includes lesson ideas and resources to give poetry a place in your curriculum.

tag(s): commoncore (95), poetry (224)

In the Classroom

Mark this as a favorite for planning your poetry lessons to run regularly throughout the school year or as a special unit during National Poetry Month (April). Share it with your colleagues to plan a schoolwide poetry event or simply to reassure them that poetry did not "disappear" with Common Core.

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Diamante Poems - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 8
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Diamonds are forever and so are diamante poems created on this free site. This is a great tool to shape up your poets through the structure of a 7 lined ...more
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Diamonds are forever and so are diamante poems created on this free site. This is a great tool to shape up your poets through the structure of a 7 lined diamante poem. Learn about the diamond-shaped poems that use specific types of words for each line. Rhyming isn't needed, but needn't be impeded. Describe a central topic or two opposing topics like night and day. View the examples before creating your poem. Each screen provides an organizer for any poet to complete. Click on the parts of speech for definitions while composing poems. Edit your poem, if needed, before printing, downloading it as a PDF, or sharing through email. Save your draft to continue at a later date. This site is a must during poetry month in April.

tag(s): antonyms (26), parts of speech (67), poetry (224), rhymes (32), synonyms (38)

In the Classroom

Diamante poems are a fun format to write about a single topic or to compare/contrast two topics. Review parts of speech and then apply these concepts with writing diamante poems. Work the idea of cause and effect into the diamante poem format for a challenging activity with your poets. Provide students with diamante poems with a few words missing and have them fill in the blanks to complete the poem. Compare or contrast text passages for any subject area or use the diamante format to summarize a selection. Provide your students with images, and have them write diamante poems about the images. Make homemade greeting cards with your students to give using this format of poetry or write "about me" poems using this tool at the start of school.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tranquillity - Bilal Quadri, Josh Greenman, Gene Demo, Grant Kot, Sharon Li

Grades
4 to 12
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Tranquillity is a simple text editor with powerful features to bring out your inner poet. Use the rhyme helper by entering in your desired rhyme scheme (AABB, ABAB, etc.). As ...more
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Tranquillity is a simple text editor with powerful features to bring out your inner poet. Use the rhyme helper by entering in your desired rhyme scheme (AABB, ABAB, etc.). As you enter a line that should rhyme with another, it will offer possible words to use, including near matches. While typing, notice the number of syllables for that line. This tool is nonthreatening and requires no email or membership account. Be SURE to copy and paste your poem somewhere in order to save it!

tag(s): creative writing (168), poetry (224), rhymes (32)

In the Classroom

As you teach about rhyme scheme, meter, and more in poetry, invite your students to try their hand at it. Start by demonstrating the features of Tranquillity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask for student volunteers to suggest different lines for a poem so the students can see how the rhyme scheme dictionary works. This would be a great "center" assignment where students can work independently to create a poem. Even science teachers can offer poetry as an option for a "report." Be sure to put a link to Tranquillity on your class computers. Parents may enjoy playing with poetry, so post it on your web page, too. Use Tranquility in upper elementary grades to write poems as gifts for Mother's Day or Father's Day.

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CurriConnects Booklist: Poets and Poetry - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects booklist features poetry books, biographies of poets, and poets' books about writing to make poetry more approachable and enjoyable for readers of all interests....more
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This CurriConnects booklist features poetry books, biographies of poets, and poets' books about writing to make poetry more approachable and enjoyable for readers of all interests. This list is a perfect companion to formal units about poetry or simply for anyone who would like to learn more about poets and how they write. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® (where available) to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Be aware Lexile levels are based on prose (sentence length, words per sentence, etc.), and cannot be calculated for poetry, so Lexile levels are not available for poetry books. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (133), literature (276), poetry (224)

In the Classroom

This list will fit well during National Poetry Month or any unit on poetry. Finding Lexiles for poetry can be a challenge, but this list includes them where available. Have your students "collect" their favorite poems as they read from this list and share them as a multimedia poetry reading using copyright-friendly images or even their own artwork. Upload images and add the poetry in the student's own voice using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, or moovly, reviewed here. Go "low tech" by hosting a live poetry reading celebration in your classroom or during lunch in the school cafeteria.

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Recite - Piccsy.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Turn a quote into a masterpiece using Recite. Type or copy/paste any quote into the text box. If you don't have a quote, choose from the extensive library available on ...more
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Turn a quote into a masterpiece using Recite. Type or copy/paste any quote into the text box. If you don't have a quote, choose from the extensive library available on the site. Choose a template from the many options below the quote box. Click Create to view an image of your finished product ready to share or print. Share using social media tools provided for Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, and more or download the image to your computer. Other options include a permalink to use on any website or email using the link provided. There is the option to purchase your quote/image, but this review is only for the free portion of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (273), posters (38), quotations (23)

In the Classroom

Create printable quotes for back to school, testing strategies, or words of wisdom for your classroom. Make a student's day by creating a special quote for him or her birthday or other special occasion. Have students invent their own mnemonic devices that they share as "quotes" using this tool. Use this tool for students to make posters of the class rules they agree upon during the first week of school. Create quote images to use as a Fakebook, reviewed here, "cover" photo for a famous person or fictitious character. Locate inspiring quotes from The Quote Garden, reviewed here, to use with this tool. World language teachers and students can create clever vocabulary or sentence posters to help master the new language. Ask students to create their own quotes for use in class projects or for the "Star of the Week" in your class. Make a special "thank you" quote for the parents volunteers in your classroom. In primary grades, enter sight words and other basic vocabulary to create word posters.

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Power Poetry - Power Poetry

Grades
8 to 12
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together...more
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together to process their emotions using poetry. Find challenges to write about social issues or to write a poem in only 140 characters. There are tips for writing FanFiction poetry. Find many supportive community members to encourage you to develop your voice. Poets are free to write about any subject; however, there are site guidelines to prevent hate speech and other inappropriate content. Join with a username and email address. On your profile, there is the option of sharing your first name and last initial, profile picture, and a short biography. You can message each other within the site, but this feature can be disabled from account settings.

tag(s): poetry (224)

In the Classroom

Encourage your most avid writers to submit their poetry to this site. Use your whiteboard or projector to show them the "Take Action Guides." There you will find many issues of concern to youth today. Most students will enjoy uniting multimedia, poetry, and activism in one place. Challenge your students to write a poem in 160 characters or 140 characters (the length of a text message or Tweet respectively). Counselors may want to encourage disenfranchised students to join the site and write about their deepest feelings. This is a supportive community that encourages students to develop their own voice.

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Poem Hunter - PoemHunter.com

Grades
6 to 12
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PoemHunter is a search engine (and more) for finding poems, lyrics, and quotations. Know only part of a poem or quotation? Type it in the search box to find the ...more
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PoemHunter is a search engine (and more) for finding poems, lyrics, and quotations. Know only part of a poem or quotation? Type it in the search box to find the entire original source. Choose from hot poems or specific topics on the home page. View and explore the top 500 poets and/or the top 500 poems. Read the Poem of the Day that includes three poems: one classic, one modern, and one viewer submitted. Choose from the poets, poems, quotations, or lyrics tabs to narrow your search to specific topics. Become a member to save favorite poems for further reference. Be aware: many of the pages include comments from users. While all were appropriate at the time of this review, it is always best to preview!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (121), literature (276), poetry (224), quotations (23)

In the Classroom

Bookmark PoemHunter to use as a resource for finding poetry or quotations for classroom use. Share with students to find poems based on personal interest or specific topics. Use as a model when students create their own poems. Challenge students to create their own poems to be shared on a class poetry wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Dream Quest One Poetry and Writing Contest - DREAMQUESTONE.COM.

Grades
4 to 12
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Dream Quest One offers a poetry and writing contest. The contest currently takes place annually in winter and summer. On the main page you can find out the criteria, how ...more
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Dream Quest One offers a poetry and writing contest. The contest currently takes place annually in winter and summer. On the main page you can find out the criteria, how to enter, deadlines, and the prizes! Find a variety of writing ideas by looking at featured past winners and viewing examples of quality writing. Past poetry winners (and their works) can be found at the link Poetry Place. Find past winners and tips at Write This Way!. Visit the link for Free Stuff to view lots of free clipart, poetry Ebooks, writing Ebooks, a 54 page Writers Guide, and more. Be aware: there are nominal competition fees ($5 - poem, $10 - story). You need not actually enter to find great writing ideas.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (168), poetry (224)

In the Classroom

Help students overcome writer's block by exploring this site. Motivate your students with the many writing contests given (for a fee) or do them locally for free. The resources provide a direction for students and teachers to explore in the world of writing and poetry. Explore the many ways to encourage writing using the Internet resources. Use the free ebooks as printed material for your poetry study during poetry month or a unit on poetry. Examine the writing ebook given. Encourage groups to make their own ebook of writing tips. Challenge students to use a site such as Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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No Water River - Poetry Resources - Renee LaTulippe

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore and listen to poetry at No Water River. Choose from many poetry videos offered to view and hear poems, some read by the actual authors. If you want to ...more
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Explore and listen to poetry at No Water River. Choose from many poetry videos offered to view and hear poems, some read by the actual authors. If you want to see the whole post for a particular poem (including an interview with the poet and extension activities) just go back to the home page and search the poem or poet via the search box in the right sidebar. Choose the resource link to find tips for performing poetry and for big lists of children's poets, poetic forms, and poetic terms. Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (224), rhymes (32)

In the Classroom

View the author's video of "Doing Poetry Right" on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) after students have created or read poetry and are ready to perform readings. How many of these poetic terms do your students know? Review the list together then have students use an online flashcard maker like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to create flashcards for poetic terms to remember. Do the same with the big list of poetic forms. Use the videos as an example and have your students make their own video poetry readings. Share your student's videos using a tool such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. No Water River is a must for Poetry Month!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

The posts at No Water River are always first-rate. You'll find a Who's Who of poets reading their own work, plus the text of the poems and fun intros by Renee LaTulippe. I really love the Poet-A-Palooza post featuring David L. Harrison (hamming it up with his trombone) and the energetic Bill Nye-style video of Michael Salinger--so much FUN! janet, , Grades: 0 - 12

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TeachersFirst's Editors' Choices for Poetry Month - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected by our editors from the hundreds of reviewed poetry resources and creative tools listed on TeachersFirst. Now April...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected by our editors from the hundreds of reviewed poetry resources and creative tools listed on TeachersFirst. Now April can be Poetry Month in any classroom. Even if you teach science or math, there is a place for poetry in your curriculum. Poetry is as brief and economical as a number sentence, but with feelings or messages between the words. Why not throw some poetry lines amid your chemical or algebraic equations to connect with verbal/linguistic learners and spark a new way of seeing any subject? Take time to plan a "poetry break" using these ideas from the TeachersFirst Editors.

tag(s): poetry (224)

In the Classroom

Make Poetry Month a participatory experience. Have students compose a limerick explaining a science term or historic figure. Have students collect a list of words from your current unit. Then offer extra credit for a poetic interpretation to be shared as a daily "poetry break" during April. Use one of the tools featured here to share poetic visions of biology, geometry, and more during April. Cover a classroom wall with white paper for "curriculum poetry" during April. Encourage students to share poetry graffiti (classroom appropriate, of course). For more poetic ideas check out the "In the classroom" suggestions included in each review.

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Poem in Your Pocket - Michael Bloomberg

Grades
5 to 12
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Poem in Your Pocket is a site dedicated to the annual Poem in Your Pocket Day in April and hosted by New York City for the past several years. The ...more
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Poem in Your Pocket is a site dedicated to the annual Poem in Your Pocket Day in April and hosted by New York City for the past several years. The website provides background information about the day and ways to participate. A variety of unique activities, lessons, and ideas will help bring poetry to classrooms and schools.

tag(s): poetry (224)

In the Classroom

Go through this site with students and then have students read the suggestions for students under the curriculum ideas section. Have students create a plan of action for celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day for your class or school. Students can present their ideas using a multimedia presentation. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.

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