TeachersFirst's Shakespeare Resources

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The amount of material available on Shakespeare is endless. These original and reviewed resources are an attempt to collect information on the works most commonly encountered in a K-12 curriculum using materials geared to high school and introductory college level students. In addition, we have included links to related sources dealing with the English monarchy and life and customs in Elizabethan England. Don't miss the TeachersFirst Exclusive Shakepeare lessons and activities are included in this list.

 

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ArtsAlive.ca French Theatre - National Arts Centre

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about theater and theater arts in this site about the French-language theater in Canada and beyond. Explore over one hundred and fifty headings divided into six sections, a reading...more
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Learn about theater and theater arts in this site about the French-language theater in Canada and beyond. Explore over one hundred and fifty headings divided into six sections, a reading list, and a games section. Investigate theater genres or the history of the theater from Ancient Greece through Theater after World War II until now. Read about major playwrights such as Sophocles, William Shakespeare, Moliere, and many more. Find information on famous directors, great designers, major actors, and theater architecture. Get down to basics by investigating the various aspects of a theater production, specialized vocabulary, and a description of the tasks and trades involved. There are also links and information about professional training for those interested in a theater career. For extra fun, read the site IN French by clicking the link top right.

tag(s): acting (24), architecture (64), design (77), plays (25), producers (8), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to present this site to students of drama, English, history, art, or architecture students. Make theater more accessible in your literature class by letting students investigate an aspect of interest to them. History teachers may want to introduce the history of theatre and divide the students into small groups to investigate a specific time period. Have the groups create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here, to share with the class. Art and design teachers may want to present the sections for design and architecture and then change to the sister site, Arts Alive.ca English Theatre, reviewed here, to learn even more about these theater professions. English and drama teachers could focus on the basics of theater vocabulary, genres, and the various stages of a theater production. Use the French version of this site (click top right) for articles to explore in advanced French classes, perhaps before staging a short play in French.
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ArtsAlive.ca English Theatre - National Arts Centre

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn everything you ever wanted to know about acting, producing, directing and the theater in general. This site is focused on the English Canadian Theater, but is applicable to all...more
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Learn everything you ever wanted to know about acting, producing, directing and the theater in general. This site is focused on the English Canadian Theater, but is applicable to all dramas. Find an introduction to acting, biographies of actors, and video interviews with professional actors. For those interested in other theater related work, visit the design and production area to learn about sets and props, costumes, wigs, make up and all the physical details of the play and environment. Learn about script writing at The Playwright's Corner. Find activities for improvisation, Shakespeare, script creation, and study guides. Don't miss the FREE teacher, parent, and student resource links. See the sister site Arts Alive.ca French Theatre, reviewed here, to learn more about theater terms, genres, theater professions, and the history of the theater.

tag(s): acting (24), design (77), plays (25), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to present this outstanding site to your students. Students of drama, English, history, art, and architecture will find something of interest. Although the site is text heavy in places, the interview videos will help weaker readers access information. Have students choose a category (design and production, playwright's corner, Shakespeare's plays, acting, etc.) of interest to investigate. Group students by interest. Within their small groups students can jigsaw, each taking a different facet of the category to learn about. After that they can put together a mini-presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Presentation tools reviewed here. Once everyone is done studying their categories, suggest producing a play by one of the scriptwriters from the group.
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Tour Builder (Beta) - Google

Grades
5 to 12
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Put any story on the map using Tour Builder (by Google). A Gallery shares examples. You would be wise to preview the Gallery before sharing since these are created by ...more
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Put any story on the map using Tour Builder (by Google). A Gallery shares examples. You would be wise to preview the Gallery before sharing since these are created by the general public. To create a tour, choose locations, add text, images, and videos to create a story to share with the world. Add up to 25 items to each pinned location. Options include three different types of storylines. You can decide how others view your story/tour and how your story will progress. Linear tales move the story along a line. The hub option tells the story from a central location. You can disable lines completely so stories are not tied to a specific sequence or timeline. Finished stories default to private view. You may share privately with friends and family or make public for anyone to view. The Google Earth plugin and a Google account are required to use Tour Builder. Some of the introduction/explanation videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district 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.

tag(s): digital storytelling (82), maps (234), timelines (52)

In the Classroom

Create a simple tour to share (or find one in the gallery). Share the tour on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create tours of events from history, famous battles, scientific discoveries, biographies, and much more. The possibilities are endless. Create a timeline of famous people or a hub of locations related to a topic such as toxic waste sites or habitats for a certain animal. Tour settings for Shakespeare plays or an author's life. Tour Van Gogh's painting sites or map landforms such as glaciers. Have students who have Google accounts build a Tour of important events in their lives (or use a teacher-controlled account). In world language classes, create cultural tours in your new language. Scroll through the gallery for ideas on how others have used Tour Builder. You may just find some neat tours to share in the gallery.

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Next Vista for Learning - Rushton Hurley

Grades
3 to 12
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Next Vista offers Learning videos for teachers looking for alternatives to YouTube. At the time of this review, they offered over 1,000 videos (most useful for in the classroom). Videos...more
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Next Vista offers Learning videos for teachers looking for alternatives to YouTube. At the time of this review, they offered over 1,000 videos (most useful for in the classroom). Videos are made by teachers and/or students. Search by three main topics: Light Bulbs, Global View, or Seeing Service. Better yet, use the right sidebar to search by topic: Math, Science, World Languages, History & Culture, Performing Arts, and more.Next Vista offers an extensive collection of career videos to use as a resource for exploring and discovering career opportunities. View videos directly on site or share using the link or embed code provided. Throughout the school year, Next Vista hosts video creation contests for students and teachers. Submit your own videos less than 5 minutes in length using directions provided. They even offer small prizes for winners.

tag(s): africa (179), asia (68), careers (107), computers (39), europe (64), literature (217), musical instruments (28), musical notation (20), north america (18), parts of speech (60), poetry (210), shakespeare (133), south america (31), speech (86), video (174)

In the Classroom

Explore the various topics to share with your students. In the math section, share the "How to Show Your Work" video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. There are useful videos in all sections, offered at a variety of levels. Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year for student and teacher created videos. Challenge students to create a video to submit for one of the site's contests; who knows, they may win!

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Shakespeare Uncovered - WNET

Grades
8 to 12
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Teaching Shakespeare? Make sure to check out this educator's site for the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered. There are ten lesson plans and a "Teachers Viewing Guide" for the...more
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Teaching Shakespeare? Make sure to check out this educator's site for the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered. There are ten lesson plans and a "Teachers Viewing Guide" for the six video segments. In case you haven't heard of the delightful Shakespeare Uncoveredseries, never fear, clicking on the video tab will take you to all 6 episodes. The different celebrity hosts for each episode help make Shakespeare relevant and accessible to the students of the 21st century. The episodes also present rare footage from some renowned productions, including the 1963 adaptation of As You Like It starring Vanessa Redgrave as Rosalind. The series is built on interviews with actors, directors and scholars, clips from screen versions of the plays under consideration, and live performance segments filmed at today's Globe, and staged specifically for Shakespeare Uncovered. The teacher's guide and lesson plans contain video segments from Shakespeare Uncovered, comprehensive instructions for classroom implementation, printable student handouts, links to online resources, and suggestions for extension activities to enhance reading, viewing, and an appreciation of Shakespeare's works.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hamlet (13), macbeth (11), plays (25), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

Enjoy the wealth of material put together for you and your students! Share the videos with your students on your projector or whiteboard. Flip your classroom and assign students to view the video at home and be prepared to discuss the next day in class. (Most videos are between 45 - 60 minutes.) Use this program as a "background knowledge" builder before having the students read the play. Whether choosing your favorite play or the one that your district requires, you and your students are sure to enjoy this current, relevant look at Shakespeare.
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Phrase.it - phrase.it

Grades
3 to 12
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection....more
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection. Pick one of the 5 different types of speech bubbles, drag to any part of the image, and type in text. Change fonts by clicking the text box until satisfied Change your image by applying one of the optional filters or leave it as is. When finished, click on the Save button and add your email if you want to receive a download link. You are also able to mark your photo PRIVATE. Once the image is saved and rendered, you can simply copy its url, share via email, Facebook, or Twitter, or download to your computer.

tag(s): bulletin boards (14), comics and cartoons (73), images (211)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Teach parts of speech and grammar by having students write captions using colorful adjectives, adverbs, or specific sentence structures on a random photo. Make classroom signs and reminders. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use this site for back to school fun. Post a photo of yourself with a caption on your class website introducing yourself to the class during the summer. Challenge each student to find/share a photo of themselves either the first week of school (or even prior to school). You will want parental permission before posting any student photos on your class website. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps for math problem solving. Even elementary grades can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role, though you may have to do it together as a class to upload the image. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki. Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parent attention to important announcements. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night. World language classes can create images explaining and using new vocabulary. Use the site's random photo offerings for clever caption contests in your new language. Have gifted students create PhaseIt pictures to explain new knowledge they gain in going beyond the basics. For example, as the class studies plate tectonics, they could make a collection of volcano images "explaining" their own history or describing the Ring of Fire. Gifted students of all ages can make simple Phrase It images to share their own thought provoking questions about curriculum content, such as "Which figure of speech would Shakespeare be willing to give up?" Be sure to include these thought provokers on a class wiki or blog for others to respond! (No need to single out the "thinker" by mentioning who created it if it would cause ridicule.)

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Stick Figure Hamlet - Dan Carroll

Grades
9 to 12
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or ...more
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or choose any act or scene desired. This site is sure to motivate and interest even the most reluctant reader!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (73), hamlet (13), literature (217), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

Add Stick Figure Hamlet to your arsenal of tools when reading Shakespeare. Share images from the site throughout your class reading of Hamlet on your interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to interpret what is happening in the comics. Challenge students to find omissions in the retelling or to draw their own, better versions. Share the link for students to view at home. The images may be very helpful to visual learners in understanding the content of this work. Browse the TeachersFirst Shakespearean collection for other ideas to use with Hamlet. Use this site as inspiration and have students create their own comics for any piece of literature. Find many ideas at TeachersFirst's Comics Collection.

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Crash Course - John and Hank Green

Grades
6 to 12
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Join John and Hank Green on the you Tube channel, Crash Course. Crash Course consists of highly engaging video presentations that explain the basics on many topics: about 10-15 minute...more
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Join John and Hank Green on the you Tube channel, Crash Course. Crash Course consists of highly engaging video presentations that explain the basics on many topics: about 10-15 minute in length, humorous, and engaging! The general topic areas include World History, Literature, and US History. At the time of this review, biology topics include: the carbon cycle, water cycle, molecules, nutrition, animal and plant cells, photosynthesis, heredity, DNA, mitosis, meiosis, natural selection, evolution, genetics, taxonomy, evolution, simple animals, complex animals, animal behavior, various systems of the body, bacteria, protists, and even more. In literature, five videos cover subjects from Romeo and Juliet to The Great Gatsby. There are over forty world history topics: Agricultural revolution, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, The Persians and Greeks, Buddha and Ashoka, Chinese History, Alexander the Great, The Roman Empire, Christianity from Judaism to Constantine, Fall of the Roman Empire, Islam the Quran, and the Five Pillars, Venice and Ottoman Empire, Russia, Columbus, The Spanish Empire, The French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Capitalism, Socialism, Imperialism, and many more. If your district blocks YouTube, 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.

Tip: to watch or share a video without the ads and clutter, use a tool such as ViewPure, reviewed here to watch the video ad-free!
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tag(s): animals (222), bacteria (27), bill of rights (25), body systems (55), chinese (46), constitution (68), declaration of independence (13), evolution (100), genetics (88), greeks (25), literature (217), meiosis (13), mitosis (10), nutrition (136), religions (48), rome (23), romeo and juliet (6), russia (28), shakespeare (133), water cycle (29)

In the Classroom

Use as a way to introduce new topics or subjects to establish background knowledge. Share these videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard to provide an introduction (or review) on various topics. Use as an alternate way to help motivate your tech savvy students. Use as an example for a group project with the students planning, writing, and producing an informational video in the subject you are studying. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Be sure to point out the steps followed in teaching and learning in the videos. Independent learners and gifted students will love the opportunity to learn on their own using these videos. Instead of "games" for times when student finish work early, why not share the link to this YouTube channel and encourage them to keep a blog about what they discover.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Literacy Design Collaborative - Literacy Design Collaborative

Grades
K to 12
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The Literacy Design Collaborative supports the development of literacy through a series of templates for use with text when writing. There are also templates for other subjects. Most...more
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The Literacy Design Collaborative supports the development of literacy through a series of templates for use with text when writing. There are also templates for other subjects. Most templates address secondary levels; however, other offerings contain some elementary templates. Template tasks allow you to fill in the blank with learning skills addressed. When completed, you create and produce a high-quality assignment. Three collections are available by choosing the tasks link: the template task collection II, Common Core template tasks, and K-2 template tasks. Use links provided to view instructions and download templates in PDF format. Choose the modules link to view and download complete modules for instruction for English, Science, and Social Studies. Also available at the Literacy Design Collaborative is a series of videos demonstrating changing teacher practice and literacy. Most of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to school (or your meeting) "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): american revolution (66), animals (222), biodiversity (40), canada (26), careers (107), china (58), civil rights (89), cold war (24), commoncore (95), ecosystems (75), energy (167), evolution (100), gettysburg (27), gettysburg address (16), india (37), industrial revolution (21), lincoln (79), literacy (81), marine biology (31), photosynthesis (21), poetry (210), pollution (65), professional development (67), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource for schools implementing Common Core Standards. Share this site during professional development sessions to view and learn how to use the templates and modules in the classroom. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard and have groups discuss afterwards. View videos from the site during these sessions to understand the framework behind the templates. Download templates and modules for use in your classroom for any content or use templates as a model for creating your own templates.
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Timelines.TV - Timelines.TV

Grades
6 to 12
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This British site marries the interactive timeline with the video clip to create a historical resource that has a strong visual impact. Although the focus is on British history, there...more
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This British site marries the interactive timeline with the video clip to create a historical resource that has a strong visual impact. Although the focus is on British history, there are also timelines focused on the American West, and the history of pandemic smallpox. A number of the British timelines have applications for the study of world history: Shakespeare, the Industrial Revolution, Women's Suffrage, and more. Access a timeline and then view short video clips designed to explain or enrich your understanding of events or trends along the line. There is a message board. At the time of this review, all content was appropriate. However, you may want to preview that area or advise your students to steer clear of the message boards.

tag(s): diseases (53), gold rush (15), great britain (13), industrial revolution (21), native americans (63), shakespeare (133), timelines (52), westward expansion (18), womens suffrage (13)

In the Classroom

Timeline.TV is tailor made for classrooms with interactive whiteboards (or projectors). The video clips generally run between five and ten minutes, so are a perfect reinforcement for classroom lecture or for outside reading. If you are running a "flipped" classroom, ask students to access the timelines at home, knowing that the presentations will help expand understanding of concepts to be discussed in class. There is also a mobile and tablet version of this resource. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own timelines on a topic not highlighted at this site. Use a tool such as Capzles (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shake Sphere - Michael J. Cummings

Grades
6 to 12
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Peruse this Shakespeare Study Guide to find anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Shakespeare, his works, his craft, the Globe Theater, and more. This site is so ...more
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Peruse this Shakespeare Study Guide to find anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Shakespeare, his works, his craft, the Globe Theater, and more. This site is so impressive that it is recommended as a Shakespeare Resource by The New York Times, the British Library, and the BBC. Of course, you will find all the famous sayings (one fell swoop), quotations, and insults.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): feudalism (4), hamlet (13), julius caesar (7), literature (217), macbeth (11), midsummer nights dream (5), plays (25), romeo & juliet (7), romeo and juliet (6), shakespeare (133), sonnets (8)

In the Classroom

Make this all inclusive site available to your students on your webpage so they can look up words they do not know, etc. There are so many resources available that you could divide your class into groups and have each group research a different play or sonnet. Along with resources for Shakespeare's writing there are resources for Feudalism, Kings and Queens, castles, stage directions and drama terms, and so much more. Consider introducing your heterogeneous class to Shakespeare by using one of the Animated Shakespeare Videos reviewed here. Also, to help differentiate, look at Shmoop's Shakespeare page, reviewed here.

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Docs Demo: Master's Edition - Google

Grades
9 to 12
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Try collaborative writing with great authors using this Google Docs demo. You write a few words, and then a great writer intervenes, writing along with you in his/her own inimitable...more
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Try collaborative writing with great authors using this Google Docs demo. You write a few words, and then a great writer intervenes, writing along with you in his/her own inimitable style. The writing "collaborators" might delete some of your words and change to their own vocabulary or phrasal selections. A writer might add an adjective or change your verb to a more colorful and literary one! Writers include Emily Dickinson, Dostoyevsky, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe. Your completed document will often have parts by several of the famous dead authors, color coded so you know who is who. You can save and send your document, if you sign into your Google account.

tag(s): authors (92), creative writing (128), dickens (13), literature (217), poetry (210), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask high schoolers to identify exactly what makes the famous writer's intrusions specifically his/her own. Challenge students to write their own passage that will be edited. Once edited, have students save, print, or email their document. Take it a step deeper and have students explain WHY a specific author would have made a specific change. Have them find the original passage where the author used a certain phrase or quotation and explore its context there. Use this site during Poetry Month for students to create their own poems, to be edited by a famous author (or poet). Have pairs of students collaborate on creating a piece of writing and share after saving using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here.
 

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Julian Germain Classrooms Portraits Project - Julian Germain

Grades
7 to 12
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View portraits of classrooms in many cultures 2004-2012, taken by photographer Julian Germain. The collection is actually from a book. As Archive Magazine reviewer Tom Shakespeare...more
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View portraits of classrooms in many cultures 2004-2012, taken by photographer Julian Germain. The collection is actually from a book. As Archive Magazine reviewer Tom Shakespeare explains, "By presenting different pupils, different schools, different year groups, Germain asks questions about contemporary educational practices and social divisions." The photos are clearly deliberate portraits, not candids, but offer a glimpse into other cultures and a chance to ask questions about why a class ( and classroom) might look the way it does, inviting discussion about what we have in common and how each culture conducts and values education.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (83), images (211), media literacy (43)

In the Classroom

Share these photos as a writing prompt about cultural differences in a world cultures class or as a way to get students thinking before writing an essay about their "dream" school. Use the common experience of school as an entry point into conversation about cross-cultural understanding. Share on a projector or whiteboard as students use powers of observation to notice what might be different about life in another culture and how school reflects a culture's value systems. Have them write a blog post about what they see. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Use this site In art class or even as a media literacy exercise. Have students jot down the words they would use to describe the emotions they see/feel in these images. What message is the photographer conveying about school? Extend the discussion by challenging students to take their own photos to portray "school." Share the photos on a class wiki, blog, or online scrapbook using a tool such as Beeclip, reviewed here.

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Open Source Shakespeare - Eric Johnson, Bernini Communications LLC

Grades
9 to 12
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Open Source Shakespeare is not just another ordinary collection of the complete works of William Shakespeare. You can use an advanced search, read the plays, and look up words in ...more
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Open Source Shakespeare is not just another ordinary collection of the complete works of William Shakespeare. You can use an advanced search, read the plays, and look up words in the "concordance." It is a comprehensive, free electronic bookshelf built with flexibility, user-friendliness, and powerful search functions that easily enable scholars, casual readers, or Shakespeare lovers to read the plays, poems, and sonnets. At the same time look up terms, phrases, quotations, passages, or search for answers to questions about characters, acts, or scenes in an infinite number of ways. This is an incredibly ambitious online project that provides quick, easy access and enables you to retrieve, store, and print. The simple appearance also makes the site functional on any mobile device, such as iPads, without concerns about Flash or other non-mobile features.

tag(s): literature (217), plays (25), shakespeare (133), sonnets (8)

In the Classroom

Use this inclusive resource as you prepare to teach any of Shakespeare's classics. By making a direct link available from your class web page, you are opening the door for your students to have easy access and help when preparing for AP tests and other exams, as well as an ongoing method to guide independent reading and understanding for the many complexities in Shakespeare's literary works. The electronic text enables you to project it on your whiteboard, perhaps for a class reading where you could assign students parts to read aloud, or for students to highlight and "mark-up" evidence of literary techniques, or to critique or interact with the words in a variety of ways. One neat feature is that you can choose to place any two sonnets on a single page to view them side by side. This opens a world of opportunity for comparing and contrasting. You may want to use a Venn Diagram tool, reviewed here. Mark this collection in your favorites to use for planning during any of your units on Shakespeare. In a class where textbooks might be in short supply, or if there is a piece that you want to draw everyone's attention to, this is an excellent site to ensure everyone has access, just as long as they have a computer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Animated Shakespeare - Cambio

Grades
6 to 12
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Cliffs Notes Films brings its study guides of the greatest classics to life in a more entertaining, interactive, and relatable format for today's generation. The first six films are...more
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Cliffs Notes Films brings its study guides of the greatest classics to life in a more entertaining, interactive, and relatable format for today's generation. The first six films are interactive, irreverent pop-cultural mash-ups of the most popular Shakespeare classics like Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Narrated by "Cliff," a bookish super-hero-cum-narrator who guides the audience through each tome. Click on characters to learn more about the basic plots, themes, and characters.
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tag(s): hamlet (13), julius caesar (7), macbeth (11), midsummer nights dream (5), othello (6), romeo and juliet (6), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

It is always a challenge to get students to read actual literature texts instead of the "easier" versions. Share Animated Shakespeare on your classroom whiteboard or as a link on your website for student use at home. View these short films before reading the real Shakespeare in class to motivate student interest. Challenge them to find things in the real play that the animated synopsis left out, especially subtleties. View again at the end of reading; stop the video before clicking on characters and places and have students provide important details of the plot or about the characters before moving on. Challenge students to create a talking avatar for a character in the play they are reading. Have them use a photo or other image (legally reproducible). Have students use the avatars to describe another character or event from the play. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).

Interested in "Flipping" your classroom? Post the URL for the video you want your students to view at home. Show students the page under the film where they can read about the characters and themes and take a little quiz. Ask them to come in the next day with questions they have about the story.

After perusing a video and the accompanying materials on Animated Shakespeare, have your students read and view the same play on Schmoop's Picture This reviewed here. Have a discussion about the differences between the two. Then ask students to write a compare/contrast response to the two different presentations of the same story.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spreaker - Spreaker Online Radio

Grades
1 to 12
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google ...more
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google +, Soundcloud, Twitter, or add to the Spreaker website. Follow others, or invite others to follow your podcasts. With a click of a button you are creating a live podcast. To create a podcast you do not need Flash. However, there are several tutorials, and these tutorials require flash. There is a free version and a more deluxe premium version. This review is for the free version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (40), radio (21)

In the Classroom

Enjoy a live radio show from your classroom! Publish written pieces of writing, science reports, social studies reports, and any other reports you would like to share. Create a New Book or Book Review podcast for the media center. Link to your podcast URL on your class website. Publish directions to projects, explanations for difficult concepts, or even a radio show of you reading your favorite books for your students. Have upper elementary students take turns reading aloud for a podcast aimed at little reading buddies in kindergarten. Allow students to podcast to "pen pals" in faraway places. Record your school choir, orchestra group, poetry club, or drama club doing their best work or dramatic readings of Shakespeare soliloquies. Take your school newspaper to a new level with recorded radio articles. Be sure to include interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents, authors, artists, and almost anyone. In younger grades, use to save an audio portfolio of reading fluency, expression, or to aid with running records or even include writing. Be sure do this regularly throughout the year to analyze growth. Have fun at Halloween with your Halloween station filled with favorite spooky stories! Welcome your students to a new school year by sending them your message. Create messages for classmates who move away. Bring your foreign language classes an extra resource of your pronunciations whenever they need more practice. ESL/ELL, special education classes can often benefit from the extra explanations, practice, and elaborated instructions given at their own pace. The possibilities are endless! The site itself is a "web 2.0," social networking style site, so some schools may have it blocked. Ask about unblocking just YOUR teacher account so you can have students access it while at school and under your supervision.

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Shakespeare Bookshelf - IPl2: Drexel-College of Information Science & Technology

Grades
7 to 12
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in ...more
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in alphabetical order on the appropriate shelf of the bookcase. The titles link to the 1914 edition of The Oxford Shakespeare at Bartleby and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare from Jeremy Hylton at MIT. This is truly a librarian's, English teacher's, or any lover of literature's delight! You can find the actual text of any Shakespeare work.
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tag(s): literature (217), shakespeare (133)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will enjoy using this Shakespeare offering because it is just "As You Like It"! Include this site on your classroom web page to provide students, parents, and yourself ease of access to reputable on-line versions of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and all the other literary works. This website will come in handy for projecting text on your classroom whiteboard to highlight, compare, and interpret particular scenes and lines. If you assign students to create multimedia interpretations of sonnets or passages from the plays, this is a great way to find copy/pastable text, ready for any multimedia tool.

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Scrumblr - scrumblr

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this free tool to create an online whiteboard with as many columns you create and sticky notecards you place on the board. No sign up or membership needed! ...more
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Use this free tool to create an online whiteboard with as many columns you create and sticky notecards you place on the board. No sign up or membership needed! Just start right in. You can type information on a each new card you make and drag it into place. Start by entering a title for your board. This becomes part of its url. Add sticky notecards with messages to your board using the plus sign at lower left. Draw attention to specific sticky notecards -- or color code them into groups-- by dragging one of the colored dots (lower right) to each notecard. Anyone who has the link will be able to add to the whiteboard. Add or remove column dividers on the whiteboard by using the + or - icon to the side. Label pro/con columns or other categories for as many columns as you wish. Don't forget to copy the url for your board before you close it! Paste it somewhere you won't lose it or mark it in your favorites.

tag(s): bulletin boards (14), organizational skills (89)

In the Classroom

Use this as a place to put web quest links and information. As a project idea, have students create a wall about their summer vacation. They can include links and other information to display. Have elementary students build a class homework board each day, having a different student add the assignment for each subject; then share the link to the board for them to access at home. "Writing down" assignments can be fun! Any activity you can do by sorting and ranking words, terms, or ideas can be done instantly (and changed later) on a Scrumblr board. Use this tool as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words or science unit terms. Create walls of pro/con for debates or high level thinking viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Stixy here. Decide which one you prefer!

This is the perfect quick start tool for your gifted students to record the ideas that occur to them during class. Have them create their own boards with a "what if" column for the crazy questions that pop in their heads, things like "What if Shakespeare wrote in a different meter?" or "Would Poe and Stephen King get along?" Give permission for far-fetched questions and graffiti! Have them create pro/con boards for tough topics such as gun rights during a unit on the Constitution, including links to evidence to support the statements they make on notecards. This tool could also help them brainstorm and sequence steps for a major independent project, sometimes a real challenge for the brightest students!

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Flocabulary - Blake Harrison and Alex Rappaport

Grades
2 to 12
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Have you thought about including music into your curriculum or poetry unit, but have just run out of time to pull it all together? Well, you can get a ...more
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Have you thought about including music into your curriculum or poetry unit, but have just run out of time to pull it all together? Well, you can get a start now at Flocabulary. At Flocabulary you will find some free, cool resources in the subjects of language arts, social studies, vocabulary, science, and "The Week in Rap." The age range for the free videos is second grade through high school. Though the free selections change monthly, at the time of this review there were several free videos for stories from Edgar Alan Poe, Martin Luther King and his "I Have a Dream" speech, and Shakespeare. You can sign up for their newsletter which will let you know the free offerings for the month. These are really cool for middle and high school age students.The lesson plan section is always free, as well as their blog, where they post new, engaging lesson plans weekly. You need NOT sign up for the "free trial" to see the monthly features.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): news (165), vocabulary (305), vocabulary development (98)

In the Classroom

Be sure to keep an offline record of any good ideas your discover here, since they may "disappear" next month. You can start teaching students how to "rap a review" on a unit of study you just finished by clicking on "Rap Tips & Lessons" where you and your students can read about Flocabulary's ten step technique. They also have a section for "Rhymes & Words", and "Rap Beats."

Feeling less adventurous? Try using the "Five Things" video about the five elements of the short story, or use one of the Poe or Shakespeare videos as an introduction to their stories. (Or another free offering of the month.)

For even more music in your class room visit these two programs reviewed here by TeachersFirst: 60 Seconds (reviewed here) and Lit Tunes (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Project Explorer - projectexplorer.org

Grades
5 to 12
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This site is a marvelous, award-winning collection of well-organized blogs, photos, lesson plans, and videos exploring cultures all around the world. Enter the locations from a clickable...more
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This site is a marvelous, award-winning collection of well-organized blogs, photos, lesson plans, and videos exploring cultures all around the world. Enter the locations from a clickable world map. Organized by level, it begins with upper elementary and goes through middle school, high school, and beyond. Sections focus on educator and professional needs as well as ordinary citizens. Countries featured (at the time of this review) include Mexico, Jordan, and South Africa. All levels have a special section on Shakespearean England. A series featuring similar offerings for the country of Thailand is under development.

tag(s): africa (179), asia (68), countries (65), cross cultural understanding (83), england (53), jordan (5), mexico (30), shakespeare (133), south america (31)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge of a selected country as you start your study of its geography, people, and other cultural items. Have students in language classes create similar videos and/or blogs that feature items of interest in countries whose languages they are studying. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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