Ideas and resources for parents of ESL/ELL students

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents of ESL/ELL students. Some are resources parents can use at home with children to reinforce language skills. Others include suggested activities ESL/ELL learners can begin in school and share with parents. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for ways these reviewed resources can build language skills both at home and at school.

 

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Hypercities Beta 2 - UCLA Academic Technology Svcs

Grades
4 to 12
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view ...more
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view images of that city in the past, compare its changes throughout the years, and study old and new maps. More cities will appear in the future. The site still has a few bugs, but it keeps improving. It sometimes loads slowly. Some web browsers do not work properly, so PREVIEW in your classroom. Internet Explorer 8 users will get a message: "HyperCities is optimized to work in Firefox or Safari. If you do not have Firefox installed, you can download it here" and will have to load an alternate browser to use this site.

tag(s): maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the cities or on maps using on a projector. Have students create a map in the old style of a city they are studying today. ESL and ELL students and weaker readers can easily use this site since there are few words! Have your ESL students check to see if cities in their countries are available here; have them do an introduction to the city and comment on what is different about the cities now. Use the timeline views to explore the impacts of world trade, transportation, and changes in government on different parts of the world.

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Do2Learn - Do2Learn

Grades
K to 8
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities learn...more
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities learn about basics, master organization, and deal with interpersonal challenges on this site. Many of the resources are useful for "regular ed" as well as special ed. Although the site includes items for sale, there are many lesson plans and interactives offered for free. See the Disabilities menu for quick explanations of various disabilities: OCD, Asperger's, Autism, PDD, Learning disabilities, and more. The Games menu offers interactives to help students learn position words (in/out/left/right, etc), facial expressions, emotions, time, first-then-next sequencing, synonyms/antonyms, and more. Check out the safety songs with animated illustrations (turn up your speakers!). The Get Organized menu has some terrific offerings, including an interactive Emotions Color Wheel.

tag(s): autism (22), emotions (35), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Although intended for students with special needs, this site would also be helpful for teaching basic English vocabulary (emotions, facial expressions, positions), for safety lessons during bus safety week, and for ESL/ELL learners. The many printables in the free areas will also help you teach basics of any primary classroom. Speech/Language teachers, emotional support teachers, and autistic support teachers will appreciate the many ways to share emotion words, including an interactive facial expression tool and the emotions color wheel. Many activities are well-suited for interactive whiteboard with the student navigating using his/her finger or touch tool. Others would make ideal learning centers at a classroom computer with headphones. Share this site with parents, as well, via a link on your class web page, since many of the activities bear repeating over and over.

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Pinky Dinky Doo - Cartoon Pizza

Grades
K to 2
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Pinky Dinky Doo is a vibrant cartoon character who teaches children the concepts of storytelling and problem solving while simultaneously introducing them to colorful vocabulary. Have...more
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Pinky Dinky Doo is a vibrant cartoon character who teaches children the concepts of storytelling and problem solving while simultaneously introducing them to colorful vocabulary. Have students click on the Your Story Box option to create their own imaginative story with a beginning, middle and end. As the story is created, Pinky Dinky Doo reads the story aloud while students read along as the words are highlighted on the page. Additional audio snippets make the retelling fun and even more cartoon-like. Upon completion, students can submit their stories to the Pinky Dinky Doo pod cast so they can be read by others. There are also links to Printables that include coloring pages, crafts, and other activities. Visit the Videos link to view fifteen short video clips from the show. There are also links to podcasts, interactive "games," and a Grown-Ups link. The Grown-Ups link has an "Educational Approach" section with several classroom ideas. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elements (36), problem solving (272), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Note: If you have students create their own stories, be sure to reinforce basic Internet safety concepts about protecting their identity and to obtain parent permission to place their child's work online. Share this colorful site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Download entertaining Pinky Dinky Doo podcasts to use in a listening center. Check out the Printables, perfect for reinforcing early literacy concepts such as retelling and sequencing. Speech/language or ESL/ELL teachers can use the retelling option for vocabulary development. Allow students to watch a storytelling episode on the classroom computer and retell it by creating a comic strip of the story. Be sure to list this link on your class website, so students can access both in and of the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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busuu.com - UNESCO

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to...more
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to learn vocabulary, dialog, writing, oral skills, comprehension, and more - in a highly interactive format. Support from native speakers is a regular feature of this site using the interactive video chat capability. The range of topics includes more than 100 commonly used language situations. The site saves errors for review, lists of lessons already studied, results of those lessons, etc. This project of UNESCO's International Year for Languages offers lessons in "What you really need to know!" This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), social networking (112), spanish (108), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Check school policies concerning both student memberships and interaction with outsiders. You will want a written set of rules which both students and parents agree to before allowing students to navigate on their own in the portions of the site that use video chat with outsiders. Younger students (under 13) should use a teacher or class account, rather than an individual one, to avoid conflict with COPPA (child online protection act in the U.S.).

Make this site available from your class web page or as a favorite on local machines for ESL, ELL, and world language students to use to reinforce their survival and vocabulary skills. World cultures classes might even want to "taste" a bit of a language as they learn about other countries. French, German, and Spanish language students will enjoy the opportunity to "chat" with native speakers in their target study languages. (Be sure you have parent permission for students to interact with outsiders!). You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. This site is excellent for enrichment or personal learning. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), images (266), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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Fingerplays for Young Children - Songs for Teaching

Grades
K to 3
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This subsection of the Songs for Teaching site has excellent chants and other childhood favorite songs which get children moving, speaking, and rhyming. Words to the fingerplays and...more
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This subsection of the Songs for Teaching site has excellent chants and other childhood favorite songs which get children moving, speaking, and rhyming. Words to the fingerplays and songs are copyable, and many contain Quicktime sound excerpt files as well (enough to get you going with the song, though not the complete song). A few even have pictures of someone going through the motions of the song or rhyme. A link to Songs for Early Childhood allows you to see even more action songs. There are even songs to go with class content, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Your kinesthetic learners will retain the concepts in these songs. ESL, ELL, and speech/language students will respond to the music; it aids with articulation, accent development, and memory. This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): plays (37), preK (281), rhymes (33), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter so that parents can use it at home too! Don't forget to turn up your speakers if you are using the music in class. If your class responds very well to using songs, you might try writing lyrics together about something you are studying -- using one of these familiar tunes.

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Teach Children ESL: Games - Teach Children ESL

Grades
K to 3
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This site has many games available for downloading including card games, board games, and Valentine's Day bingo. Children learn vocabulary and have fun while manipulating the various...more
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This site has many games available for downloading including card games, board games, and Valentine's Day bingo. Children learn vocabulary and have fun while manipulating the various versions of memory cards, Go Fish, and other traditional children's past times. Downloads include colorfully illustrated cards and game parts as well as instructions. Links include more goodies: worksheets, songs, and flashcards. At certain times of the day this site can be slow in loading. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115)

In the Classroom

Download the games and laminate the materials or send them home for parents and children to do together. Speech and language teachers as well as ESL/ELL teachers will love the free games-to-go!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mrs. P.com - Mrs. P Enterprises, LLC

Grades
K to 9
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You almost want to toast marshmallows on the open fire as you cyber-curl under Mrs. P's feet by the fireplace. No need to bring a book; she has quite a ...more
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You almost want to toast marshmallows on the open fire as you cyber-curl under Mrs. P's feet by the fireplace. No need to bring a book; she has quite a selection. This interactive site will thrill your eager readers for hours. Actress Kathy Kinney tells delightful intro stories and expertly reads the books. Best of all, it's a breeze to navigate. Access the different areas on the site from the menu at the top, or click on Mrs. P to find links to her YouTube videos for the books, the teacher area, and activities and games. Play the Title game as an amusing way to listen to one-liners about the stories at this site. Also, check out Mrs. P's annual writing contest from the home page. If your district blocks YouTube, you could always view them at home and bring them to class on a USB drive to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. This site requires Flash. Get it here TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Teachers, check out the link for the writing contest. Submit student stories and Mrs. P. may choose to read them on this site. Be sure to get parental consent before submitting any stories.

What a valuable tool for ESL/ELL students and teachers of emergent readers as students follow the words on the screen as Mrs. P. reads a story. Create a corner in your room to read stories the way Mrs. P. does! Use your first initial, let your imagination run wild, change your accent of course, and you can become another Mrs. P.

Be sure to share this treasure on your teacher web page for students (and parents) to access outside of class. You may find students become interested in some of those "old books" in the library!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fable Library - Fable Vision

Grades
2 to 6
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This site includes online stories, short downloadable books, a story for older children, and even a spot for young writers to create their own fables. One story, The Adventures of ...more
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This site includes online stories, short downloadable books, a story for older children, and even a spot for young writers to create their own fables. One story, The Adventures of Sticky Burr, is a comic, with continually updated, new episodes. Readers can see fables that other children have contributed by clicking on "Create Your Own." ESL, ELL, and emergent readers may find reading the short illustrated segments offered at this site less of a challenge than reading a textbook or hard copy book. NOTE: the actual fonts used in some of the books may be difficult for some younger children to read. Preview with this thought in mind before assigning a fable to a student to read alone. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Offer young readers the option of doing "outside" reading online to encourage them to read in a variety of formats, including both the fables and downloadable books. Look at one of the fables with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns reading the story aloud to the class. Share models of the "student created" stories and then challenge your students to write their own fable (either to share with the class or submit to the site). Be sure to be aware of your school's Acceptable Use Policy on sharing or submitting what the students have written to the website. Obtain parental permission before submitting any work.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Prompts - Creativity-Portal.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available...more
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available at your fingertips, teachers will find inspirational starters in a form which will appeal to all types of students.

There is a submission option at this site. You are able to submit articles or projects, suggest websites with FREE learning content, creativity journey blogs, or inspiring success stories. Before you submit any students' work, be sure to check with your school's Acceptable Use Policy and always get parental permission.

tag(s): drawing (78), journals (21), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use these writing prompts with your ESL or ELL students to get them to incorporate new vocabulary into a written piece. Share the on your teacher web page for all students to use as starters for blog writing or journaling. Have students share their own ideas of writing prompts, drawings, and photos that they feel may help others start writing. Submit students' work and ideas, after the proper precautions have been taken.

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NS Teens: Making Safer Online Choices - National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Grades
5 to 12
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If you teach teens, then you need to remind them continually of internet safety and protocol. This cool, upbeat site is fully loaded with teen-friendly music, videos, comic strips,...more
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If you teach teens, then you need to remind them continually of internet safety and protocol. This cool, upbeat site is fully loaded with teen-friendly music, videos, comic strips, and more, all communicating the need for internet responsibility. If you want general internet safety information, visit the sister site to NSTeens, NetSmartz Workshop: (reviewed here). ESL and ELL teachers will love the Spanish version of this site (including Spanish downloads). This site requires Flash.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), internet safety (109), safety (92), social networking (112), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Teachers, you will find plenty of resources for teaching net safety to teens when you click on 'teaching materials' at the bottom left of the homepage (this takes you to the sister site - NetSmartz Workshop). Videos, fact sheets, lesson plans and activities await you there.

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the video clips or comics. Have students create their own internet safety videos and share them using a tool such as YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). List this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. You will also want to share it with parents.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sight Words with Sampson - Knowledge Want, LLC

Grades
1 to 3
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When you arrive at the site, click Start to enter the world of Samson. There are four steps at this site: Learn Words, Build Words, Identify Words, and a Quiz. ...more
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When you arrive at the site, click Start to enter the world of Samson. There are four steps at this site: Learn Words, Build Words, Identify Words, and a Quiz. At the "Learn Words" step, the site includes 28 different lists of words for students to read at four levels. Mousing over the number of the list brings up the actual word list so it's easy to check if the student is working at the correct level. Students read, listen to the word, pronounce it, see the word spelled, and see the word used in a sentence. Step two has students spell the words themselves (after hearing them read audibly and being provided with several letters to choose among). Step three challenges students to click on the correct spelling of the word (several choices are presented). The final step is the quiz; students are presented with all letters and are asked to spell the word pronounced. The same list is used throughout all four steps of this activity. For example, if a student is working on list 1 of level 1, those same words will be repeated throughout all four "steps." All steps provide immediate feedback on the students' choices, and opportunities to try again. The Question/Answer steps have a Hear Again feature to repeat the word. The Resource center provides useful tools for teacher, including pdf files of the sight words used, lesson plans, and more. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): listening (91), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Include this website on your class newsletter or on your class website so parents can encourage their students to enrich their spelling vocabulary and have fun at the same time. ESL and ELL students will benefit from having the opportunity to practice their listening and spelling skills simultaneously. This site is also useful in differentiating spelling lessons in a regular or special education classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Animalia - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 5
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Join your child guides, Zoe and Alex, as they travel to Animalia (an interesting world of talking animals). This CGI-animated series is based on the best-selling children's book by...more
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Join your child guides, Zoe and Alex, as they travel to Animalia (an interesting world of talking animals). This CGI-animated series is based on the best-selling children's book by Graeme Base. At the Parents and Teachers link the site explains that Animalia teaches creativity, cooperation, persistence, world cultures, and language arts. Take a tour of Animalia, go to the Games and Activities link to find writing activities, art fun, creativity builders, and even mystery codes. There are also links to watch video clips! This interactive site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): creativity (109), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spruce up language arts class! Take a tour of Animalia together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work on individual computer to watch video clips and try the interactives. Have students write the story or "crack the code" at the Games and Activities link. Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers so students can visit during language arts class or when work is complete. Use this site to help your ESL and ELL students further familiarize themselves with the English language. Gifted student respond well to this book. Consider extending your study of animals or writing by creating your own books modeled on Animalia.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stories for Kids - Denver Public Library

Grades
K to 4
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Denver Public Library's Podcasts for Kids is a constantly-growing story resource from a variety of authors including Beatrix Potter. There are also folktales, fairy tales, interviews,...more
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Denver Public Library's Podcasts for Kids is a constantly-growing story resource from a variety of authors including Beatrix Potter. There are also folktales, fairy tales, interviews, songs, news, nursery rhymes, and story time favorites. Students can listen to them online or download them directly to mp3 players or the computer for listening later. There are also links for podcasting help and a kids' page with reference information, games, homework help, and more. This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): listening (91), literature (275), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Encourage beginning readers, ESL, ELL, and special ed students to read along with texts in hand as they listen to the stories and the pronunciation of possible new words. Check back with this site frequently to see new stories that have been added. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as encouragement for extra reading. Save this site in your favorites and use it as an L.A. learning center (don't forget the headsets). Play an audio story with the speakers turned up and lights turned off for a quiet listening activity.

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Pixton - Goodinson Design Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics....more
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Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics. The "remix" link allows students to add their own twist to ready-made comics. Students can read comics created by others and also make comments on them. Other highlights of the site include a featured author and blog. The free version of Pixton is open to the public. There is also a fee-based version for schools (with teacher and student registration levels and safety tools) with a 30-day free trial period available. Be aware: the Pixton for Schools (if continued after 30-days) will cost $1 per student. See an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), graphic novels (7), novels (24)

In the Classroom

Simply login and click create. Choose a scene you wish to start with. Change your characters from a variety of option. When the comic loads, your chosen character may not show immediately but will appear as you edit each frame. Change sizes of caption bubbles, fonts sizes and types with easy to use sliders. New characters can be added in each frame as well as a variety of additional props such as sports equipment and furniture. Change the background set to a variety of indoor, outdoor city, and outdoor country landscapes. Change background colors easily too. Comics can be saved, scenes can be deleted, and changes made can be reverted to the previous idea easily with on screen controls. Below the comic, buttons for "Save for later" and "Publish Now" quickly save or publish works. If the scene is not ready for publishing, Pixton requests further edits to complete the process.

Consider creating a class account that students can use. Track comics made by students by placing initials in a small caption bubble to identify created comics to a specific student. There are some safeguards in place to be sure students use appropriate language and actions. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students, however, since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy. You will also want written parent permission before allowing students to create comics that can be seen online.

Capture and use your students creativity in storytelling using this exciting tool! Using small amounts of texts to frame a story or to deliver information creatively allows students the opportunity to work deeply with information and use a creative outlet for a variety of projects. Use for students to provide information learned with personal thoughts on subjects ranging from historical events, environmental issues, discussion about plants, animals, and ecosystems, as well as other topics in Art, Math, English, Health, and others. Use in Foreign language classes for short stories created in the language and translated then by other students in the classroom. Use comics to write summaries of current events, responses to reading assignments, expressions of teen problems, and creative works of humor. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the life cycle of the frog or ways to conserve energy. Use this site to integrate an art and writing lesson. Why not have students create comics to demonstrate a concept in science or social studies, rather than a traditional paper/pencil quiz? World language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance for students to demonstrate written language skills in the "context" of their comic situations.

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Field Trip - HUD

Grades
1 to 3
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Students can take an interactive tour (or quick picture tour) of three community sites: a park, a library, and city hall. Each location allows students to "click around" to learn ...more
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Students can take an interactive tour (or quick picture tour) of three community sites: a park, a library, and city hall. Each location allows students to "click around" to learn more about the location. For example at the library, students learn what non-fiction, fiction, periodicals, and other library terms mean. There are also links on the bottom of the page for People, Places, and Things. The People link teaches students about volunteering, the homeless, and various careers. The Places link features safe places to play, field trip links, and more. Go to the Things link to Build a Community, go on a Scavenger Hunt, or play other interactive games. Much of this site requires Flash. Get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): communities (35)

In the Classroom

Use this during your unit about neighborhoods and community. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then either set up a social studies computer station or have students explore on individual computers. If you plan to visit the library or town hall, preview it with a visit to this site. Have your students draw other community buildings and explain their functions by using a map or go floor by floor, as in the library visit. You could even create a class wiki "tour" using digital pictures. You might want to list this site in your class newsletter or on your class website for parents to share with their students.

ESL and ELL students learning names for community locations will appreciate this site for helping things come alive. Use this site to increase and strengthen vocabulary. Ask students to compare these locations with parallel offerings in their home communities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word World - PBS Kid

Grades
K to 2
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This language-rich website offers countless language arts activities for young elementary students. Based on the PBS show, Word World, this website highlights animals and objects in...more
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This language-rich website offers countless language arts activities for young elementary students. Based on the PBS show, Word World, this website highlights animals and objects in the environment. The animals and objects are all shapes AND words, everything has a label. Some examples of language activities include spelling, letter sounds, rhyming, upper case and lower case letters, and many others. Click on any of the animals to start your class's language learning adventures. There is also a link for parents and teachers that provides additional information about the TV show, website activities, and lesson ideas. This site is adaptable to use in the regular classroom, ESL and ELL classrooms, and special education students. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (92), phonics (75), preK (281), sound (101), sounds (68), spelling (168), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Treat your students to an "animal of the week." Each animal adventure challenges students with new language skills. Use an interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share this website with your class. Then make the site a center in your classroom. Provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website so students can practice language skills at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English Interactive - A. Gil and H. Massingham

Grades
2 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for...more
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This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for the teachers and students and a lot of the metalanguage is in Spanish. Click on menu, though, and all the topics come up in English. The intermediate and advanced levels are still under construction, but the highly interactive quality of the beginning sites offers a promise of continued excellent material. Click on the "P" on the left side of the interface to see printable reviews of many topics, especially grammar, all in English. The most in-depth portions are survival vocabulary and grammar.

Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker so you can "see" all the site content. Although the pronunciation is in British English, this is a great, high-content site. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (216), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Save this site to your favorites so you (and your students) can easily find this site. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference and for engaging extra practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Monticello Classroom - Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use...more
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use the extensive resources to learn about Jefferson, Monticello, and daily life. The Monticello Classroom provides a student portal with fact and resource sheets, an image gallery, online activities, and a saved favorites section. Web pages offer information by reading levels: elementary, middle, and high school. The image gallery contains a slide show builder for students to create a presentation using the images and copies of primary source documents. The presentations can be saved, printed, or emailed. Students can register for an account to save favorites and other resources. Registration requires a user name, password, first name and last name. Check your school's policies before allowing student accounts, especially with full names! See more hints below.
Teachers can register for a teacher area to create assignments for classes, review the available lesson plans, or build your own, and save your favorites on your personal Monticello Classroom web page. Each class has its own log-in and password and students are able to submit their completed activities to the teacher for review.

tag(s): black history (59), jefferson (19)

In the Classroom

This site can serve a a hub for your unit on colonial life, Jefferson, or even inventors. If you wish your students to register for accounts, be sure to check the students' acceptable use policies or get parent permission in writing. Instead of students using their real first and last names, have students create their own colonial names for registration. Be sure to keep a list of these names to be able to review and assess student work. Give a class introduction to the Monticello Classroom using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Search the lesson plans, and teachers will find a few that will be particularly helpful for Black History month!

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ESL Podcasts - Internet TESL Journal

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers a continually updated variety of podcasts on news subjects at a level appropriate for ESL and ELL students. A short description tells the subject of the podcast ...more
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This site offers a continually updated variety of podcasts on news subjects at a level appropriate for ESL and ELL students. A short description tells the subject of the podcast as well as other extras like quizzes, speakers, and creators or originators. Students and teachers can listen from the Internet or download to an MP3 player or local computer. A "Read the Web Page" link takes viewers to the news article or other special feature mentioned in the broadcast. Be certain to preview the podcasts that you plan to use in your class. Some are not appropriate for elementary students and young adolescents. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), stars (61), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use this page to listen to current events news in simple English. Play them on your speakers for an entire class or provide headphones for individual listening. Have the students try to write the main points of the podcast they listen to and then check their listening against the webpage with the original article. Special education teachers may want to use this resource as an adapted way for students to read and submit weekly current events articles. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer so students can use it during their free time with headphones. Share the link on your teacher web pages for parents and students to access quickly from home, but be sure to suggest that parents of younger students monitor the topics for appropriateness.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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