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You Can Teach Writing - Linda Aragoni

Grades
7 to 12
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Here you will find writing advice for different genres, prompts, advice for teaching thesis statements and so much more; all presented with humor and a very strong voice. Are you ...more
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Here you will find writing advice for different genres, prompts, advice for teaching thesis statements and so much more; all presented with humor and a very strong voice. Are you a new teacher? Is your school pushing "writing across the curriculum"? Are you an English or writing teacher who just wants verification and some new ideas or prompts? If you answered yes to any of these you must visit Linda Aragoni's You Can Teach Writing site! Linda is a teacher, editor, and professional writer whose writing site started out as a book. Linda puts out a monthly newsletter with all sorts ideas you can use in the classroom. The last one had a link for a slide show about how new words are made and suggestions for how to use the slide show in the classroom.

tag(s): essays (21), expository writing (44), writing (359)

In the Classroom

This site is primarily for teacher use, but you will find yourself using what you learn here in your classroom, weekly, if not daily. This is definitely a site to save in your favorites. There are many ideas here.

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Writing Fix - Northern Nevada Writing Project Coordinators and Consultants

Grades
2 to 12
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Here's another thought-provoking site that creates writing prompts on the spot, categorized in some unique ways to address learning styles such as prompts for right-brained people,...more
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Here's another thought-provoking site that creates writing prompts on the spot, categorized in some unique ways to address learning styles such as prompts for right-brained people, for left-brained people, for kids, practice prompts for state exams, and many more topics. WritingFix has interactive lessons for building stronger writing skills in writers of any age, with the "kids" portion dedicated to the elementary/middle school student.You will also find lessons and links to resources to enhance your writing instruction. WritingFix is an ongoing professional development project. Your initial reaction to the page might be that it is very busy, but do not let that scare you off. Once you get started, you will find the organization quite easy to navigate.

tag(s): resources (112), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use the writing prompts before, during and after reading to foster the reading/writing connection. There are abundant ideas ranging from simple responses and mini essays to constructed responses. The daily writing practice and student choice is a popular page for assigning daily or weekly prompts to your whole class or allowing your students to feel they have a choice in what they can write about, by giving them access to a set of class computers and letting them click the button until they find the prompt that fits them for the day. They can type their responses right on the interactive page, save or print, and come back to it to expand, revise, and edit later.

Another idea is to have students help you incorporate the site into the class. Because many of these prompts are individual, you can have students working on individual projects at once. If you have only one or two computers available, allow students to have (or earn) a 30 second "prompt finder" slot before a writing assignment in class or for homework. Put a timer by the computer. You may find they compete to see who can find the best ideas- FAST. Build a "favorite prompts" list in a document on the classroom desktop -- allowing each student to record (copy/paste?) the idea he/she generated and his/her name. This will give you yet another source for prompts--promptly!

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Spruz - spruz.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Spruz is a tool for creating social networks. Though that may be a scary term to parents and a concept prohibited in your school, this site provides private spaces for ...more
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Spruz is a tool for creating social networks. Though that may be a scary term to parents and a concept prohibited in your school, this site provides private spaces for classroom use in K-12. Because of concerns over COPPA (federal legislation protecting children on the web), it is recommended for ages 13 and up. Users outside the U.S. do not need to worry about this law. There are related blog posts and debate about whether the law applies if you configure your site a certain way, but TeachersFirst cannot recommend circumventing the law.

Spruz provides an online space for forums (threaded discussions), blogs, "friends," groups, personal spaces for members, and more. As the administrator, you can control the actual set-up. Make your space private or set to public. Members still have to join to be part of the site. Assuming you can access the URL at school, this tool can provide a PRIVATE online space for your classes or teaching team as an electronic home for use in and out of school. This site touts that they have beefed up their business model in order to continue to offer free services.

tag(s): blogs (88), bookmarks (60), chat (51), forum (9), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Before you start, make sure filtering on the school network will not block your specific URL. See some of the tips from the Edge team. Set up a network, including name, URL, and description. Be sure to choose Private to limit viewing of your network to those you INVITE to join. Drag your desired features to create your layout. You can always change it later. Make appearance choices. Click on the parts of the site you wish to create such as chat, forum, blog, links, bookmarks, files, etc. Be sure to check the box that requires approval from the account owner for members to join. Change profile questions and options available to members easily.

A class social network has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Create groups for students to work on projects and use the space as a forum to work out tasks, scheduling, and file sharing. Get creative and ask students to play the role of a historical figure on a social network across time: Ben Franklin networks with Harry Truman to argue about the atomic bomb. Use the site as a forum for any simulated or real task. Invite parents to join to give their points of view on upcoming elections or public policy issues. Include the principal or superintendent in your class discussions of students' rights as you study the Constitution. Your students themselves will suggest ways to use this all-too-familiar tool from their world. Imagine the "profiles" they could create as characters from fiction or inventors from history! Create incredible discussions of environmental, political, or economic issues. Inviting members from another school or community provides incredible perspective into a variety of different beliefs and values. Definitely plan to model and use this tool in lessons about Internet safety and the "lasting" nature of one's Internet presence. Social networking is part of life today, and the opportunity to learn about it in a private space is important for today's students.

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Using Videoconferencing to Support the Use of Quality Texts - Mark Warner

Grades
3 to 12
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This site has some very clever ideas for using videoconferencing to help students delve deeper into quality texts, or extend their knowledge of a topic of study. As the creator ...more
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This site has some very clever ideas for using videoconferencing to help students delve deeper into quality texts, or extend their knowledge of a topic of study. As the creator of this site says, "Some of the ideas shown could easily be used as drama activities but there are some which would be improved by bringing in an outside helper using videoconference." Another very special aspect of this site is the book titles used, and the variety of age groups represented. This is a must see site!

tag(s): authors (120)

In the Classroom

One of the ideas presented is the "Interview." Use your interactive whiteboard for students to create questions to ask the author or an expert about the book or the subject of the book. Video the interview, or save the video conference, and have students reflect on the quality of the questions once the students have had the opportunity to illicit answers to their questions. Use your interactive whiteboard to have students brainstorm what they would do differently next time as far as developing good questions.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Reading Strategies for All Ages - Jen Farr

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reading strategies will make you feel like you just hit the jackpot for the best ways to teach reading strategies that are sometimes difficult to explain or ...more
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This collection of reading strategies will make you feel like you just hit the jackpot for the best ways to teach reading strategies that are sometimes difficult to explain or for students to grasp and apply. This site is full of activities directly linked to printable guidelines and worksheets. Better yet, there are Power Point Presentations and Videos in ready-to-show formats all organized, described, and available from the home page. You will find a wide variety suitable from elementary to secondary, earmarked by grade levels, as well as ideas for how and when to use them effectively. Whether you are searching for a fresh approach to the tried and true, such as brainstorming or think aloud strategies, or for more innovative approaches, such as interactive notebooks or sociograms, you will be delighted with this discovery.

tag(s): brain (72), brainstorming (23), reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your class computer or TeachersFirst membership. Open the doors to engage students in the active reading process to enhance levels of comprehension between the text and the reader. The flexible framework lets you choose to use any of the strategies as a stand-alone, ready-to-present on the interactive whiteboard, or as a lesson for whole class viewing. Many familiar literary works are used as examples, or you may easily apply the strategy to any literary work that your class is currently reading. Videos and Power Points for modeling and practicing the strategies are embedded, so all you have to do is click to start and let them work their magic. Follow up by downloading the printable study guides, graphic organizers, and other handouts to use before, during, and after reading.
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Head Magnet

Grades
3 to 12
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, ...more
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, there are different study modes to choose - slide show, self-test and normal (type in responses). Study sessions can even be timed. After completing the study session HeadMagnet predicts which items will need more study time, enabling you to spend more time on material that hasn't been learned yet. Study lists can be shared with others, and you can search for already created materials. After completion of a study session, you can access statistics that show your overall memory of the material. You need to register to create your own materials but all items are free. Registration requires and email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for any subject to review material being learned in class. Use this as a review for vocabulary before tests. As a pre-assessment, create a study list to use on the interactive whiteboard or projector to find out what students already know. Provide this link on your class website for students to use to create flashcards both in and out of your classroom. Learning support teachers may want to show students how to create their own cards. The process of creating the will actually reinforce skills, as well.

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Chogger - Chogger, LLC

Grades
2 to 12
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Create comics easily and simply by drawing, uploading pictures or graphics, and choosing as many frames as possible to complete your project. Registration is not required to use Chogger....more
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Create comics easily and simply by drawing, uploading pictures or graphics, and choosing as many frames as possible to complete your project. Registration is not required to use Chogger. Click "Create A Comic" to get started. The creator will launch in a new window. Note: to FINISH and share a comic by URL, you must establish a free account.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use a whole-class account created using a teacher (memberships) email for students to create comics that can be easily monitored/managed by the teacher. Click on buttons to learn the basics that can be used to create the comic. To use, click "Create" and then on "New drawing." Use the tools to create shapes, draw lines, change points, and drag segments easily. Click on the camera icon to take or upload a picture. Click Text tab to add caption bubbles and text. When finished, easily save your comic by adding a title and description. Comics can also be marked private, if you wish. Share completed online comics by copy/pasting the URL of the "finished" comic. Be sure to KEEP a record of these URLs or manage them using "My Comics."

Provide only the link to the "Create" portion of the site to remove possible viewing of public comics. If desired, require students to take a screenshot of their comic instead of saving to the site. Take a snapshot using the print screen (PrtScrn) button on a PC or using the screenshot shortcut in a Mac (apple/shift/4.) Images can then be uploaded to a blog, wiki, or other site for display.

Use Chogger to explain vocabulary words or other concepts from any class or subject area. 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 share or 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. Emotional support /autistic support teachers and students can create comics to help explain social interactions.

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The Anne Frank House - The Anne Frank Stichting

Grades
5 to 12
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The Anne Frank House has been a museum since 1960. The history of the former hiding place where the Frank family and four other Jews lived in secrecy comes alive ...more
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The Anne Frank House has been a museum since 1960. The history of the former hiding place where the Frank family and four other Jews lived in secrecy comes alive on this website. Starting with 1940 photographs of the building known as Opekta factory, see and learn how the office space was transformed into the Secret Annex where Anne Frank hid for more than two years until the betrayal and arrest by the Nazis. Find out about the four employees who risked their lives to make the hiding possible. The rooms of the Secret Annex have been preserved in their authentic state and salvaged documents and objects belonging to the eight people in hiding are on display. Three short films are included on the website to place the significance of this personal story in a historical context. See Anne Frank's hiding place in 3D and meet the people that helped those hidden inside. After clicking on the secret bookcase, you will be taken behind the scenes of the house to see how Anne and others lived in the communal room, the front office, the attic and more. View the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures.

tag(s): anne frank (10), holocaust (39), remembrance day (6), women (101), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your class on a virtual field trip to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where they can realize what it was actually like for Anne Frank's family and four others to live inside a hidden space, with the constant fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Help the words in Anne's diary come alive by showing what the outside and inside of the building looked like, by viewing the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures. Students will be more likely to relate to Anne as a real person, instead of a fictional character, and admire her optimism, courage, and resiliency. Use this to initiate journal entries for students to reflect on how they would handle two years of hiding and sharing a small space with others, as well as what they would do to remain positive, or use the online exhibit to shed some light on a dark period in history and to strengthen the personal account of the hiding period and the deportation to the camps. Assign class members to read about one of the house members or helpers to research, then have them write a diary (or blog entry) from that person's point of view. Assign teams to debate who was the most important member of the household or if this situation could take place in today's society. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.Have groups compare two people they learned about using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Create a class wiki for students to share their journal articles and respond to others.
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Colors in Motion - Claudia Cortes

Grades
K to 12
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If you teach any aspect of color and design, this is a great site to introduce not only color theory but also the psychology of color. This interactive presentation explains ...more
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If you teach any aspect of color and design, this is a great site to introduce not only color theory but also the psychology of color. This interactive presentation explains the symbolism behind color and the psychological impact each has on our emotions. Animated characters representing each color, playfully describe their symbolism and lists words that describe the emotional sense of each color evokes. The rich word bank provides valuable adjectives useful for writing instruction. It is an excellent resource for writers learning how to be more elaborate, develop mood, tone, and enhance the use of description in their writing. This is the site's author, Claudia Cortes, master's thesis for a degree in Computer Graphic Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. You can view the site in English or Spanish. Note: The pages actually launch in a pop-up window. Watch the top of your browser window for a pop-up alert and tell it to "allow pop ups from this site."

tag(s): creativity (109), design (83), elaboration (2), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use it to introduce color names and primary and secondary colors with students as young as kindergarten or ESL/ELL students. It would also be a great resource to support a poetry unit or mini-lessons on elaboration. Two of the interactive activities give students an opportunity to create stories with colors. This site will help older students understand the evocative nature of color. This knowledge may help them create more engaging presentations or designs that are cognizant of mood and tone. There are several on-line interactive activities to use on an interactive whiteboard. All creations made on-line are printable. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
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Kidz Page! Poetry and Verse for Children of All Ages - Emmi Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Kidz Page! is a compilation of poems by students of various ages from a variety of locations. Poems range from simple to serious. When using with younger students, be sure ...more
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Kidz Page! is a compilation of poems by students of various ages from a variety of locations. Poems range from simple to serious. When using with younger students, be sure to identify pages that may have mature content.

tag(s): poetry (228), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set to a poetry unit. Share this site during Poetry Month in April! Students can peruse the collection to find a poem that intrigues them and then share with the class using an interactive whiteboard or a document camera connected to a computer. Select poems to evaluate with your students and have them develop a criteria for what makes a good poem.

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Freeology - Free Printable Graphic Organizers - Freeology.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This site offers over 50 downloadable PDF graphic organizers for the English/Language Arts classroom. Many of the graphic organizers (like the Venn diagrams) could be used in various...more
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This site offers over 50 downloadable PDF graphic organizers for the English/Language Arts classroom. Many of the graphic organizers (like the Venn diagrams) could be used in various subject areas. Some of the organizers include SQ3R, Pros and Cons Scale, KWL, Pyramids, and 10+ pages of other forms of graphic organizers!

In the Classroom

This is a great site to help students sequence, brainstorm, and organize information. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector and fill out organizers after a lesson. Print out organizers and have students use them in cooperative reading groups. Use the organizers to differentiate for students who need extra scaffolding or for students who need extension activities. As students get older and learn which study skills help them best, they will want to access this site on their own to study for tests. Be sure to save this site in your personal favorites!
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DigiPoem - Jon Elliott

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is pure fun! It quickly generates visual representations of poetry and other text sources. Students click on the Text tab and type their poems into the interactive text ...more
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This site is pure fun! It quickly generates visual representations of poetry and other text sources. Students click on the Text tab and type their poems into the interactive text box. When the poem is complete, click on submit, and a variety of images appears beside each word. You can keep clicking on the spinning arrow until you find the image that conveys your thoughts. Another feature is provided by clicking on the Poetry tab to access a short list of well-known poems accompanied by a visual display of the words, or do the same for the Random Haiku or Lyrics tab. Please be patient when poems are loading; they can take a few moments.

There is an option to email your digipoem, but first remember to check your school's policy or have students email their poems to your school email address. There is also a link to convert the text to an XML file that can be saved. JavaScript must be enabled in your browser for anything to work. The best feature of this site: no registration required!

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Delight your students by projecting digipoemon your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard to demonstrate how the words in poems create visual images. Then, be amazed at how quickly this will motivate them to write poetry. Take them to the computer lab or use a class set of lap tops, and put a link to this site on your class web page. Younger students should first type their poems into a Word document with a built in spell check, and then copy and paste them into the website's text box.
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Rhyme Brain - Steve Hanov

Grades
4 to 12
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This dynamite site makes rhyming alright. Save it as a favorite quick pick to have a slick trick for poets to click. The process is simple; just type in a ...more
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This dynamite site makes rhyming alright. Save it as a favorite quick pick to have a slick trick for poets to click. The process is simple; just type in a word and RhymeBrain finds ones that sound similar and sorts them so that the best rhymes appear first. You can also click to alliterate. Some of the choices are a bit of a stretch, so take what it reveals and appeals, without any waste-of-time ordeals. Some of your advanced poetry writers have the options of not only clicking on the link for instantaneously generating a list of rhymes, they can type in two words and then click on alliteration for another organized list. Sophisticated, witty language users may also have fun with the Insult button, which is similar to the British humor of rhyming Cockney slang.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how simple it is to find a word that rhymes on your projector or interactive whiteboard and then, provide a link to Rhyme Brain on your class web page for your students to have easy access to this tool. Have your students share their created poems on an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.

It's a real time saver. Use it to fascinate elementary students with the numerous single and multi-syllabic rhyming words and various spelling combinations that are generated. Older students will enjoy the play on words that it quickly reveals, saving them time to do the higher level thinking that the figurative language of poetry requires.
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Literary Glossary - EDSITEment

Grades
2 to 12
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Literary Glossary offers definitions for virtually any literary term from Allegory to Villanelle. Simply click on the term that you are looking for and a definition will follow. Each...more
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Literary Glossary offers definitions for virtually any literary term from Allegory to Villanelle. Simply click on the term that you are looking for and a definition will follow. Each definition includes an option for lesson plans relating to the specific term. The lesson plans also include assessments, extensions, and website links that pertain to the terminology and lesson.

tag(s): literary devices (11), literature (275)

In the Classroom

This site can be used as a teacher tool if you are unsure of a definition or simply looking for a new way to teach a literary concept. It can also be used as a terminology resource for students. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Have young students use this site in cooperative learning groups and create online books providing the definitions to several new vocabulary words, along with examples they collect or create. Use a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Read Write Poem - Dana Guthrie Martin and Read Write Poem Staff

Grades
6 to 12
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Read Write Poem is recommended as a resource for teachers, rather than a site for students. Free membership is required to become an online participant in this gathering place...more
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Read Write Poem is recommended as a resource for teachers, rather than a site for students. Free membership is required to become an online participant in this gathering place for those who love to write, read, or discuss poetry. Although an overview of the material may be accessed from this site, you will need to log in to use the alternative methods and tools for learning, teaching, sharing and discussing poetry, which include an online magazine with new content every weekday and weekly writing prompts. Be aware: as of May 1, 2010 this site will remain open as an archival record only. Material dating back to 2007 will be available to view.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

The goal of Read Write Poem is to use the power of the internet to create an interactive and collaborative virtual space for poets of all levels to learn about and share poetry. Due to school privacy policies where membership is required on a web site that links to other social networking sites, the teacher should use discretion and keep this as a resource for selecting activities to share in the classroom, such as weekly writing prompts, and "rules of critiquing etiquette" for peer reviews of classmates' poems.
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Newspaper Blackout - Austin Kleon

Grades
4 to 12
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!)....more
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!). Poetry no longer needs to be a gray area; this activity makes it black and white! There are no gimmicks, no magic pens, and no camouflage paper, but this is certainly a tricky way to write a poem! All you need are newspapers and black markers. Hunt for and select a few words from each of the lines as you read a newspaper or magazine article. Remember to start with the title. Instead of the typical bottom-up approach to writing a poem by starting with a blank page and filling it with words, try this fresh, top down approach by starting with a page already crowded with words. Then use permanent markers to blacken out all the trivial words in each line until the poem appears. (Put something under your page so the ink does not bleed through on furniture!) Click Share your poem to learn how to upload your work to the site.

tag(s): creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

This poetry activity opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and having each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site.

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Poetry Read-a-Thon - Academy of American Poets

Grades
5 to 12
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The goal of the Poetry Read-a-Thon is to have students read and write about poetry. Students are asked to choose a poem and then write a 75-100 word response to ...more
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The goal of the Poetry Read-a-Thon is to have students read and write about poetry. Students are asked to choose a poem and then write a 75-100 word response to the poem. The response should focus on one or two of the following categories: images of the poem, sounds of the poem, subject(s) of the poem, emotional effect(s) of the poem, the poem's meaning(s), questions about the poem, or questions the student would like to ask, if he/she could speak to the poet.

tag(s): creative writing (166), poetry (228), writing (359)

In the Classroom

This is a great way to introduce a poetry unit to a class. It is also ideal for Poetry Month (April). This read-a-thon can also be used throughout the entire semester. A teacher guide is included as well as a student log. If used throughout the semester, teachers can start out each lesson period with one or two students sharing their responses with the class. Teachers can also choose a poem and assign students a particular response focus. Students can then compare and contrast each other's responses to the same poem. Have cooperative learning groups share their poems on a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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The Poetry Archive - The Poetry Archive Panel

Grades
K to 12
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The Poetry Archive is a comprehensive place for bringing poetry to life in your classroom. This resource provides lesson plans and activities for all key stages, built around authentic...more
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The Poetry Archive is a comprehensive place for bringing poetry to life in your classroom. This resource provides lesson plans and activities for all key stages, built around authentic recordings that offer lively, engaging ways of unraveling the mystery of poetry. There are numerous internet sites that provide audio versions of poems; however this site provides access to the actual voice of the poets as they read their poems the way they intended them to be heard. Find out what they say about their own writing and the importance of hearing poems aloud. Browse all poems by title, poet's name, poetic forms, or themes. A full glossary of poetic terms is provided. There are various featured poets in residence, and there is even a link to a Children's Archive with favorite poems for younger students. The Poetry Archive includes a wide range of resources designed to help students learn background information on the poets and understand the context for their work.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Enrich and enliven your poetry lessons with recordings and videos of some of the world's best loved poets. One of teachers many frustrations, when trying to inspire students to fall in love with poetry, is not being able to call up the voices of earlier poets. Listening to the poet himself has a magical effect in the classroom and makes the very experience that it describes come alive. Start by projecting the poem on your white board while listening to the recording and then ask students to pick out, highlight, and display words or phrases that appealed to them. Introduce various poetic forms and demonstrate how the sound of a poem is as crucial to its meaning as the printed words on the page. Explore, connect, and make new discoveries for themes you are studying. Have students respond to the power and energy of poetic language and appreciate the beauty of the sounds and images, then move towards an analysis of the underlying meaning. Challenge students to try some creative writing that goes beyond the literal meaning and resonates their "voice." Not studying poetry during April (Poetry Month)? Play a quick Poetry Break from this site as a class starter or bonus moment after finishing a quiz. Make your own class poetry archive by having students upload PowerPoint images of their own poems and read them aloud on UtellStory, reviewed here.
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Poems = Word Comics - Austin Kleon

Grades
6 to 12
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Poems = Word Comics is the perfect venue to view poetry in an entirely new way and hook your students into creating poems. You won't hear any more moans and ...more
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Poems = Word Comics is the perfect venue to view poetry in an entirely new way and hook your students into creating poems. You won't hear any more moans and groans when you mention poetry workshop time. Many poems are like word comics, in that they jump from one image to another in a short amount of lines. Transform your poets into cartoonists by creating a comic strip of images on a page and using the artwork to propel text to convey a message. After all, communication is an art. Be careful, it may become addicting!

tag(s): creative writing (166), poetry (228), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Visual thinkers sometimes experience difficulty expressing their thoughts in words and when asked to write a poem, they literally fall apart. Poetry has images inherent in its form; therefore, spark your students' creativity by enabling them to think of a line in a poem as a frame in a cartoon. By jumping from image to image, the poem takes on a comic-like element, where the words and images are dependent upon each other. Rather than getting jammed up on words that rhyme, this approach offers a clever and amazing way to "write a poem." This activity would work well for pairing visual learners or artistically inclined students with the stronger writers in the class, or by using individual computers to combine the Poems = Word Comics concept with The Comic Creator, reviewed here, to create professional looking poetic comics.
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Pinwheels for Peace - Ayers & McMillan

Grades
K to 12
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Promote world peace by joining this global art installation project. Pinwheels for peace gives students and teachers, artists and non-artists and the young and old alike an opportunity...more
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Promote world peace by joining this global art installation project. Pinwheels for peace gives students and teachers, artists and non-artists and the young and old alike an opportunity to voice their common desire to live in a world free of violence. Bring your family, classmates, school district, or local organizations together to assemble and decorate pinwheels containing messages of peace. On September 21, the International Day of Peace, insert them in the ground of a visible location in your community and let your wish for peace resonate with others around the world. The pinwheel template and directions are available for download or feel free to build your own design.

In the Classroom

Begin the school year by discussing what peace means to your students and how to promote it in your own school community. Have your class write prose or essays on the subject on the interior section of the pinwheel and then decorate the exterior with patterns or symbols of peace. Use this same concept as a part your world history study and have students write persuasive letters about peace on the pinwheel to world leaders or historic figures from the past. Most importantly, enjoy this team building with your students.
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