GradesK to 12
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:
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In the ClassroomUsers 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.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log in (NO email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomEducators can view professional development webcasts from NASA's education experts. Download the pdf documents for use in class, and introduce concepts for students and formulate questions in class. Use several students to record fine points of the lectures, collect the most requested questions prior to the video-conference, and begin discussions following the event either in class or using web 2.0 tools such as a blog or a wiki. In lower grades, use the webcasts to introduce science concepts visually on a projector or interactive whiteboard.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomArt teachers, enlarge the antique photos and engravings by double clicking on the small picture. The enlarged image can be printed to be included in a vast choice of art projects. Around the holidays, project one of the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to use as a writing prompt, as they write a story about what they feel the picture portrays.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse this interdisciplinary activity to integrate art, creativity, community service, science, and Earth Day events. Share the PowerPoint presentation with your class on a projector or interactive whiteboard to get students motivated about the project.
Display pictures of some of the bags on your class website. Provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website; challenge parents to make this a family activity.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers need to be able to log in to the website, upload and manage pictures from their computer, and use simple tools.
As an alternative, you can create a "class account" that all students can access. Share your panorama on the web in the interactive viewer. Embed it into your blog or website using the embed code.
Possible uses: Create panoramic pictures for blog headers on a classroom blog. Students can plan and take pictures representing their town, area, school, or classroom. Use the pictures to create a panorama for the top of the page. Social Studies teachers may assign students to create panoramas of local history. Art teachers can also assign a design challenge for students to create fictitious panoramas from diverse images. Literature teachers can offer an option of creating a "setting panorama" or "thematic panorama" as a project for visual/spatial students. Of course you will want them to explain their design choices in terms of the literary work.
Grades6 to 12
Teachers should be aware of several cautions however: Preview the cartoons collections for age-appropriateness; understand that the site does contain advertisements; and recognize that the images are copyright protected. Teachers are advised to post links to specific cartoons rather than trying to "cut and paste" the cartoons into websites or other documents.
In the ClassroomUse the political cartoons on this site to introduce a class discussion on current events, civics, or government. Try using a cartoon as a writing prompt either for individual students or for collaborative work. Post a link to a particular cartoon or cartoon series on your classroom blog for discussion. Have students try to create a cartoon (either drawing or using computer generated images) depicting current events in the news.
Grades3 to 8
The gallery, coined The Colony, should be previewed by a teacher for appropriate content. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomDesigns can become intricate and detailed, so consider setting guidelines if completing during class time. Students can create "creatures" with adaptations, describe them in written form and justify the adaptations in accordance with a science unit. Create or present critters on an interactive whiteboard or projector while discussing features. Critters can be designed as writing prompts, to create story characters, or to represent famous people for book reports. Try creating a class pet for everyone to take care of! Have students save their critters by placing their initials somewhere in the critter name and then download them to a class file or e-mail them to a teacher account. Work together with the art teacher to support curriculum concepts in this creative endeavor!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on the audio tour of the exhibit which features several podcasts. Art teachers, share the pictures with your students (especially the podcast about the cracked portrait). This site also provides some excellent research information. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site and then create a project: blog entry, wiki, video, PowerPoint, or something more "traditional."
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is an excellent addition to a unit on slavery and the Civil War OR an art class! Have students write captions for the pictures. Challenge students to create a blog entry from Lincoln, a slave, Mathew Brady, or someone else shown in pictures. What were they thinking? Why did they do what they did? How would life have been different if the Internet was around during the Civil War?
GradesK to 12
Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.
In the ClassroomUse this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the applets to demonstrate concepts in Math. Use these as a review or as an introductory lesson for students to identify the rule. Many are well-suited for interactive whiteboards.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this ready-to-go lesson plan with your students. Share the visual interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work with a partner to research other famous monuments and present multi-media presentations to the class.
Grades6 to 10
tag(s): renaissance (35)
In the ClassroomThis unit was developed to be used by a wide range of ages and abilities. It can be altered for different ability levels. TeachersFirst editors have included options for more student-centered, project-based activities using technology throughout the unit. You can adjust the time requirements depending on which activities you decide to do.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTraditionally, American history has been taught as the story of the dominant European culture's triumph over more primitive Native cultures. Native American culture is too often pictured as one-dimensional rather than as a rich collection of diverse tribes and cultures. If Native women are featured at all, they may be represented only by Pocahontas and Sacajawea. This site allows a fuller exploration of the variety of Native women's cultures and would serve as an outstanding supplement to a study of the European settlement of the West. The photographs of the women's dresses are lovely and would display nicely on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The commentary would be useful for any student doing more in-depth research into Native culture. The site's focus on women's roles and culture would also fit nicely with a unit on women's history. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. To extend the clothing-as -culture approach in your classroom, ask students to create a wiki showing the role of clothing in ethnic subcultures of the U.S. today or at other places and times. Middle school grades might want to work together with the art or FCS teachers on this.
Grades1 to 8
There is an option to "view other paintings." This might be a good way to model how to use the site. Be sure to preview before sharing with your class. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
tag(s): drawing (79)
In the ClassroomYou may want to demonstrate this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, create the "artwork" as a whole-class project on the whiteboard. What a great way to make an alphabet book with students drawing using their fingers on the board! This site is ideal for an elementary or middle school art class working with basic design concepts. Use your teacher email account for any saving, etc. so you have complete control. Students can present their published works with illustrations created on Art Pad by clicking "save and send." For older students, save the URLs from the "save and send" function and post them on student blogs or a class wiki "gallery." Illustrations could be used for social studies reports and any other type of presentations. You can also use the "add to this painting" function for students to collaborate by having one student start a "picture story" and pass the link to the next student to add the next sentence! Since text can be added, an entire story - verbiage and illustrations - can be created within an Art Pad painting or series of paintings. ESL/ELL students could even make illustrated vocabulary "paintings" as they learn new words. Make sure to complete all editing prior to printing...it could use a lot of colored ink.
Better yet, avoid printing altogether by using the "save and share" link. As a safety precaution use the teacher's email account as the sender and recipient of the email for "save and send." Then simply copy/paste the URL the site provides for direct access to the painting. The "artist" can decide whether the painting is shared in the public gallery. Check school policies before posting there.
Grades6 to 12
One of the nice things about this site is the easy access to the section they call "Classroom Connections." Here they provide activities for grades 6-8 and 9-12 that are specific to grade level as well as links to lesson plans if you choose to use those. Visit the Media Player link to find video clips, audio clips, text, and images. Some require RealPlayer. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomBecause of the sheer variety of links offered, this is an ideal lesson to spread among a class. As a culminating activity have a "Harlem Day" where students present their information. They might dress and speak as the person they studied; they might present music, poetry, or art from that time, or even create a Harlem "nightclub" to share their information.
Why not make this lesson even more interactive and have students create video clips to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector via YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). Other project ideas could be a blog written from the perspective of someone living in Harlem during the great depression, or a wiki written between one of the famous artists and the president at the time (Herbert Hoover, for example).
Grades2 to 12
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In the ClassroomTo view and share drawings on a projector or interactive whiteboard with your class, you do not need to join. You can even draw. collaborate, and play back a drawing without saving. For full features, join the site (free). The confirmation email is slow to arrive, so join a day or so ahead of time. We suspect that the Germany-based site has real humans checking memberships on Germany time! While you wait, you can experiment with the drawing tools or learn about them by visiting the gallery and "playing" some drawings to see how some of the tools can be set to create truly artistic images. Be sure to experiment with the tools together with your students. There is an undo tool--very important as you start out. There are no demonstration videos or help screens, so you may learn best by doing or watching what others have done. There is a forum where users discuss tools, etc. Preview before sending students here, but the advice may be very helpful.
Art teachers will love the chance to teach about design elements in a public, hands-on environment. Assign students to use only certain tools or to "variate" on a starter drawing you provide to demonstrate both creativity and mastery of the elements. Students using the tool from home could generate an actual portfolio of drawings without expending precious art materials. Have students or groups create collections or locate artworks in the galleries that demonstrate the design elements or techniques you want them to notice. Without joining the site, play selected drawings on a projector or interactive whiteboard and have students narrate what they see the artist doing.
Students in other subjects can use password protected Multidraw "rooms" (save the URL!) to create and share collaborative visual explanations of science processes, book covers for literature (with explanations for the design choices, of course), visual responses to poetry, graphics or logos for "companies" they create in a business or math class, etc. The animated playbacks of drawings could even show how to form letters in manuscript or do calligraphy (if you can do it without making a mistake!). An animated playback of a science process like the water cycle would be a great way to assess student understanding or reinforce the concepts. Challenge your gifted students to collaborate on Multidraw diagrams and playbacks to explain processes, sketch out ideas, or plan a project.