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Look Way Up Dictionary/Thesaurus - RES Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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This online dictionary claims to correct misspelled entries, so ESL and ELL students might want to try it. The spelling correction is a bit quirky, however, often suggesting an alternate...more
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This online dictionary claims to correct misspelled entries, so ESL and ELL students might want to try it. The spelling correction is a bit quirky, however, often suggesting an alternate word that is NOT the intended word. Students can download it to any web browser including those on cell phones. The dictionary itself is extensive; each item shows a series of definitions. Students can then click to see the word used in a sentence, synonyms, and related terms. There is also information on homonyms. Finally, definitions sometimes include a link to more information on the subject, including links to outside sources. The site can translate to and from German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Dutch. Note that there are Google ads on the page, so you will want to be sure that students know to avoid these. The necessary plug-ins for installation on other web browsers are included on the web page.

tag(s): homonyms (12), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Mark his site as a favorite on your classroom computer for ESL and ELL students who have problems looking up words in the dictionary. Make a game with this site: have students deliberately misspell words and see what they come up with. Give prizes to those who can find the worst guesses in the dictionary. Have them calculate how many times the dictionary actually finds the words they were looking for. This will help students understand how important context clues and contextual "does this make sense" strategies are. Students can also opt to sign up for "word of the second."

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ESL Reading Lessons - 5 Minute English

Grades
4 to 10
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This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics ...more
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This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics include sentences with grammar errors, students must figure out what is wrong with each sentence. This is excellent practice for any student learning proper grammar. True/ false comprehension questions follow the reading in most cases. Most of the answers are provided at the bottom of the website - so don't scroll too quickly. Before the reading begins, students can study difficult vocabulary words presented in an attractive format. There are full units (with many mini-lessons): grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, and writing. This site does have unobtrusive advertisements, but watch out for the audio announcements when you open the site. Some of the listening activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (216), listening (91), pronunciation (44), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site if you want your students to do additional reading. Project the topic, story, and questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector for group discussion. Have your students make up their own questions to go with the site. Have your students write up a similar subject relevant to their own culture and present it, along with questions to check for comprehension. This is a fabulous site to list on your class website for students to use for at-home practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phil Shapiro Websequiturs - Phil Shapiro

Grades
3 to 10
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears...more
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears in a box below the three choices. As students make choice after choice, the box fills up with the complete story which they can reread by scrolling up and down. Lots of comprehension checking, context clues, grammar review, punctuation, use of transitions, and paragraph organization work are wrapped up in this activity, all while students are anxious to find the next phrase to "make sense." Fiction, non-fiction, and humorous excerpts are available.

tag(s): humor (15)

In the Classroom

High intermediate and advanced ESL and ELL students will enjoy the stories and review their grammar usage at the same time when using this site. Reading teachers looking for a way to practice with context clues will find this site a refreshing change. Use this site as a complement to reading stories using sentence strips. Have your students create their own story building activities following the format of this site.

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Bunyips - National Library of Australia

Grades
2 to 8
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This entrancing graphic site portrays the cultural and literary history of the fictional Australian characters, the Bunyips. Students and teachers will enjoy learning about all the...more
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This entrancing graphic site portrays the cultural and literary history of the fictional Australian characters, the Bunyips. Students and teachers will enjoy learning about all the manifestations of its appearance on stamps, in books, and in folk lore. There are links for Education, Aboriginal Stories, Imagination, Evidence, and Fun & Games. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Although, a non-flash version is also available.

tag(s): australia (35), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Use this when doing a unit on Australian history, folk lore, or creatures of fantasy like the Loch Ness monster or the Wisconsin hodag. To encourage children to read books about the bunyip, show them this site projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask ELL and ESL students in your class to share similar legendary characters from their cultures. Conclude your folklore unit by having students write their own tales of fantasy creatures that lurk in the corners of your school.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Buggy Alphabetics - Cynthia Reeg

Grades
1 to 3
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Children's author Cynthia Reeg offers a poem whose lines follow alphabetical order. The first word of the first line begins with "a," the next with "b," and so on. Imaginative ...more
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Children's author Cynthia Reeg offers a poem whose lines follow alphabetical order. The first word of the first line begins with "a," the next with "b," and so on. Imaginative illustrations change as the student clicks on the forward button to see the next lines.

tag(s): alphabet (92), alphabetical order (19), poetry (227), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use this poem to introduce your children to writing poetry by sharing the poem on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Students studying alphabetical order will also be intrigued by writing within restrictions of this order. Work together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. To begin, ask your students to think of a similar word that begins with the same letter, and change just one line. When they get the idea, give them a series of 6 - 8 letters and ask them to write their own list of adjectives or lines of poetry. Work as a class or have them work in groups to complete a poem using the entire alphabet. ESL and ELL students will enjoy looking for new words t to express their ideas in the poems.

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Stories for Children Magazine - SFC Magazine

Grades
K to 7
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This delightful ezine offers many stories for children of a variety of ages, a monthly author feature, games, crafts, book reviews, and more. For those who prefer to print out ...more
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This delightful ezine offers many stories for children of a variety of ages, a monthly author feature, games, crafts, book reviews, and more. For those who prefer to print out the entire magazine, that option is available. The pictorial table of contents along the right border of the page entices children with attractive titles and graphics. Each story title indicates the target age for the story. Warning: most of this site is free, but there are items for purchase available. There are also some simple advertisements.

tag(s): authors (120), crafts (40), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Choose one story a week to give children the idea of supplementary reading or to use as reading comprehension practice with main idea or other skills. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have them highlight the vocabulary words in the text using the whiteboard tools as you come to them. Encourage students to write or verbally share their own stories after viewing this site's offerings. Some school filtering systems may block this site because it it hosted on the tripod (user-created site) domain. Be sure to check it at school to be sure it will work in your classroom, and request that it be unblocked if it falls into the "tripod trap."

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Around The World in 80-Seconds - Scholastic

Grades
1 to 5
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This interdisciplinary math/ geography practice activity challenges students to answer several math questions in 80-seconds. Each correct answer flies Maggie and her helicopter to a...more
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This interdisciplinary math/ geography practice activity challenges students to answer several math questions in 80-seconds. Each correct answer flies Maggie and her helicopter to a new destination in the world. Students can choose a difficulty level of easy or hard. They can also choose to play the game using addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or a mix of all four. This activity is also available in Spanish here . This math journey requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), maps (288), multiplication (227), subtraction (208), vision (87)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to make this "flight" a class challenge. Assign a few students to be "recorders." Have them record the names of the cities, countries, and/or continents that you visit. Make this into a thorough geography lesson by having students complete research the locations that Maggie visits during her journey.

This website is also ideal for individual computers. This allows students to practice the particular math operation that they need most help with AND differentiates so that students can work at an easy or difficult math level. Provide a link to this site in your class newsletter or on your class web page, so students can practice their math and geography skills at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kids' Vid - Mike Keating

Grades
3 to 8
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing...more
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing it into a visual masterpiece. The site has classroom ideas, short exercises for story writing and learning video shots, an online storyboard creator, and lots of useful help from experts and kids on how to make the whole process an exciting educational experience. Some of the activities require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Start the activity by showing the student-produced videos on the web site. Use the resources on the site for a whole class jig-saw exercise. Assign small groups the task of learning one aspect of the process and then reporting and showing it to the rest of the class. Share the knowledge by creating working groups, which contain an expert from each aspect of the process. Use one of the many class ideas as practice activities for students to learn the finer points of video production before they start their masterpieces.

Video is a great tool for authentic assessment - especially for ESL, ELL, and Special Education students. Think about letting each of your students create a short video about what they know for their parent conference meeting or Open House. Explore the realm of possibilities by having students develop and ask peers a "Question of the Week" and document the responses on video. Let students produce a walking tour of the school and key personnel as an introduction for new students. Post this video on the school website, but check the district and students' Acceptable Use Policies before videoing any student faces. You may want to ask your school's funding sources to consider purchasing a few USB plug-in "flip" video cameras that cost about $100 each so students can do these projects with an "indestructible" tool.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lingro - lingro.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A ...more
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A clicked word immediately displays its definition from the Lingro dictionary pages. The website looks visually the same within the Lingro window, but all words become clickable. You can also use Lingro to translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Polish with more languages to be added. When students use the translation/definition tool, the site keeps a short-term record of their words and web pages, allowing them to study their own wordlists and to play games with these words. The wordlist and history feature only works short-term and at the SAME computer, unless you register, for free, to be able to take your personal history to any computer. With the translation capability, you can read websites in other languages. If you spell a word incorrectly, Lingro has a "best match" feature which finds likely definitions for your word of choice. There is also a tool to create electronic flash card type games from your saved wordlists.

Important technical note: Lingro cannot "see" words included in Flash interactives such as the "What's New" rotating content on the TeachersFirst home page. If you RIGHT click on an area of text and see "About Adobe Flash Player...," this means that the text is displayed in Flash and not "legible" to Lingro. Often pages offer a non-Flash version as an alternative.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), germany (28), italian (33), spanish (108), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

When your ESL/ELL, learning support, or weaker readers do Internet research on sites above their independent reading level, have them open Lingro first and then enter the URL (web address) they wish to read. Use Lingro for vocabulary development in any subject. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page so that ESL/ELL, world language students, or weaker readers can use the definition and translation feature and benefit from instantly-created word lists. If your school permits individual student accounts on web tools, this is a good one. If not, create a single teacher account to compile class word lists.

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Owly Comics - Andy Runton

Grades
K to 4
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This cartoon/graphic novel site offers free previews of many wordless comic books and short graphic novels. You can select the regular length or mini-books. Some examples of the stories...more
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This cartoon/graphic novel site offers free previews of many wordless comic books and short graphic novels. You can select the regular length or mini-books. Some examples of the stories include The Way Home, A Time to Be Brave, Bee Nice, and several others. There are twelve lesson plans available for free download at the Teaching link. Pre-readers, ESL and ELL students, and those learning foreign languages will delight in making up the words to go along with the very expressive pictures here. The lesson plans at this website require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), graphic novels (7), novels (24), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Ask students to dictate captions for these stories, write the captions on strips, and put them with the printed pictures. For students able to write, have them write their own captions. Have a caption-writing contest among pairs of students in the classroom. Have ESL and ELL students write simple captions and learn the words for items in the pictures at the same time. Students in foreign language classes can generate desciptions or dialog to go with the stories. Special ed teachers will appreciate the opportunity for students to "narrate" the comics -- and possibly place pages in sequence -- to develop vocabulary. Use printable versions for take-home work with parents, as well. Challenge students to create their own wordless books. Don't forget to check out the twelve lesson plans available at the
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Power Point Games - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
2 to 12
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This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a...more
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This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Password, Twenty Questions, and others. Most of the games are done in PowerPoint. Depending on the version of PowerPoint you have, the formatting may be slightly off once you input your words, questions, or answers. Original games created by a teacher complete the offerings. Our editors note that the sound files included with some templates may be copyrighted material, and TeachersFirst does not condone the use of this content without the permission of the copyright holder(s). Most templates are "clean" of such potential problems. This website requires PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. Download both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Use these templates with any subject you wish to review: foreign language word lists, social studies terms and concepts, science, language arts, art, music, sped, etc. These activities offer an excellent method to review information through a fun and different approach. Teachers can also have students create their own versions of review games.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic...more
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic character, author, caption, and of course, the dialog that goes into the speech bubble. The 'creator' chooses the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props. Two actions are needed: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, and typing dialog into the bubbles. Then, presto....a genuine comic appears, ready for printing. The tool DOES support accent marks pasted from Word. (Unfortunately, there is no way to save your comic masterpieces.) This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), sequencing (31), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Instead of writing boring summaries, why not summarize through a comic strip. It's much like storyboarding, but the drawing has been left to the Comic Creator pros. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Reading A to Z - learninga-z.com

Grades
K to 6
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This site has downloadable, leveled reading books for sale, but there are plenty of free stories with illustrations. Along with the stories are worksheets to test reading comprehension,...more
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This site has downloadable, leveled reading books for sale, but there are plenty of free stories with illustrations. Along with the stories are worksheets to test reading comprehension, focus on grammar from the stories, and review what took place in the story. The stories are organized by reading level, from A to Z. New free offerings appear frequently. Schools can apply for a free trial to check out the full offerings. Some stories are available in Spanish. The site offers other genres for free download including poetry, comics, pocket books, alphabet books, and wordless books. Phonics books complete the offerings.

Caution: although you are able to use many of these items for free, most downloads ask that you input your email address. You can bypass this by clicking submit without inputting your email address. This website requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. .

tag(s): poetry (227), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

The books can be projected on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight new vocabulary, signal words, etc. with their fingers then read independently. Tell your students' parents about this site to encourage them to read or download and print more stories for their children. Include the link in your class newsletter or on your website. Beginning readers, ELL, and ESL students will enjoy the wordless books whose stories they can tell themselves or tell in their own languages. Students may want to make up their own wordless picture books after seeing some of these examples.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ESL Writing Wizard - Nick Ramsay

Grades
K to 6
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This site allows teachers to make their own practice worksheets in D'Nealian, Zaner-Bloser style, or cursive form. . Each prints out with the full word, a dotted word, and ...more
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This site allows teachers to make their own practice worksheets in D'Nealian, Zaner-Bloser style, or cursive form. . Each prints out with the full word, a dotted word, and blank lines. Create your own word lists for children to practice or use some created and submitted by other teachers. The site also provides alphabet practice and a management tool for you to save your completed worksheets. This website is quick and simple to use. There are some unobtrusive advertisements at this website.

tag(s): alphabet (92), handwriting (18), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use the cursive option with even your advanced level ESL and ELL students, some of whom have only learned to write English by printing. With ESL and ELL students, combine writing practice with survival word lists, such as colors, numbers, days of the week, months of the year etc. Use this for extra practice for your students learning to print or learning cursive. Although this site was created for ESL and ELL students, it would be useful in any elementary classroom learning printing, cursive writing, or even spelling words. For kinesthetic practice with any students, project the worksheet on an interactive whiteboard for use with a finger as a "pencil." Children with special needs will find this kinesthetic option very helpful and engaging.

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Telephoning English - English Portal.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone...more
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone is a big challenge when learning a new language, this site will be extremely helpful for newcomers. There are three levels of difficulty available.

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Have your students practice the language on this site in a simulated telephone conversation. Have them record the voice mail messages and then play them for other students to respond to. Share this site on your class website or in your class newsletter so ESL parents can benefit from understanding telephone conversation better, too. Teachers of world languages may wish to use this site as a model to create similar information for their students of French, German, Spanish, and other world languages. Special ed teachers working on life skills will find these phone skills helpful, as well.

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Slang Idioms and More - 5-Minute English

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides extra practice with phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang for ESL and ELL students and any students learning about idioms. The thematically organized idioms and slang...more
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This site provides extra practice with phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang for ESL and ELL students and any students learning about idioms. The thematically organized idioms and slang choices provide definitions, sentences, and comprehension exercises, all attractively packaged. The phrasal verb sections with "do," "come," and "go" provide practice and explanations of some of the most confusing verbs in English.

tag(s): idioms (44), slang (15), verbs (41), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or whiteboard when you have 5 minutes left or you want your students to do additional vocabulary work. Or provide it as a resource during your idiom lessons. ESL students have a very difficult time understanding idiomatic language and will benefit from the definitions and examples here. Ask them to share an example with your class of a similar idiom from their language. Often the translation of their idiom is funny enough to provoke classroom laughter but also explains why someone might say, "it is raining sheep and cows" instead of "cats and dogs."

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ESL Gold Picture Dictionary - ESL Gold

Grades
1 to 6
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ESL Gold's "Words and Phrases" page is a listing of vocabulary, grouped in categories ideal for learning a new language. The categories are divided by levels from Low Beginning to ...more
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ESL Gold's "Words and Phrases" page is a listing of vocabulary, grouped in categories ideal for learning a new language. The categories are divided by levels from Low Beginning to Advanced. Many of the categories provide a picture dictionary of all items. Some of the more advanced levels do not include pictures. All levels have audio pronunciation. The higher levels contain vocabulary in context, word phrases, and other vocabulary development activities without definitions. This site requires Windows Media Player or Quicktime to play the audio. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share vocabulary by category, using pictures, audio, and written words with your ESL/ELL students, primary students, special ed students, or speech/language students. Include this link in a newsletter that goes home with ESL/ELL students. Mark it as a Favorite on your classroom computer. Demonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work alone (or with a partner) at their current speaking level. This website could also be used in a regular education class with emerging readers. The five difficulty levels allow teachers the flexibility to differentiate the instruction. Note: small type fonts and some advertising may make this site difficult for some younger students to use. Preview and decide what your class can handle.

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Electronic Books for Beginners - Jessica N. Rivera

Grades
1 to 3
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This site shows teachers and students how to create their own e-books of their own stories (or their favorite stories, by another author) using the computer. Very ...more
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This site shows teachers and students how to create their own e-books of their own stories (or their favorite stories, by another author) using the computer. Very young students also learn computer skills and accompanying vocabulary. Students learn to compare the paper and digital books and also learn to produce books using a digital camera and PowerPoint. They learn to add graphics using various programs and to type in the words of the story. This website includes four detailed lesson plans including standards, assessment, and step by step instructions. It also highlights extension activities, resources, homework ideas and more. NOTE: Some of the links to support materials are no longer active, but there are many alternative choices still available.

tag(s): photography (160), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Try these plans in your primary grade classroom, using their own writings or a class favorite. Since the lesson plans require a lot of one-on-one instruction, why not create learning centers that relate to writing or other language arts topics. Have one of the centers be this small group lesson with the teacher or teacher assistant. The other centers could include independent reading or writing, comprehension activities, spelling practice, grammar games on independent computers, or whatever fills a need in your language arts class. This would also be an ideal activity for a big buddy/little buddy pairing with older elementary students, creating the project together.

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The Story Connection - Dianne de las Casas

Grades
2 to 6
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This website offers printable (retold) stories by Dianne de las Casas. She offers quite a collection, and adds new stories each month. The stories come from all around the world. ...more
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This website offers printable (retold) stories by Dianne de las Casas. She offers quite a collection, and adds new stories each month. The stories come from all around the world. Other offerings on the site include holiday stories, fingerplays, play scripts, activities to do with stories, and puzzles. Don't forget to check out the extensive suggestions under Resources such as Story telling games. These help teachers and parents know what to do after they've all read a story together. Teachers, school librarians, and even parents can sign up for a free monthly newsletter about using stories in education; The Story Connection Express. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use the activities in class after reading one of her stories from a country you have represented among your ESL or ELL students. Have your students write their own story activity suggestions after you have used a few of Dianne's. Be sure to include this link on your class website and in your letter home to parents. Suggest that they read just one short story and find accompanying activities for the family to do.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Season Sequence Stories - Crayola

Grades
K to 4
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This mini-lesson plan teaches children sequence, observation, season awareness, and creative expression. The children either make multiple drawings or cards which capture the outdoor...more
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This mini-lesson plan teaches children sequence, observation, season awareness, and creative expression. The children either make multiple drawings or cards which capture the outdoor scene of the present season. They also put the cards or drawings in sequential order. Children who can't write can dictate their comments to the teacher. As the children share their sequential stories with each other, they all practice listening skills, learn new vocabulary, and understand differences in points of view. Children can also take their classmates' pictures and cards and rearrange them and tell or write new stories.

tag(s): drawing (78), seasons (37), sequencing (31)

In the Classroom

Use this activity in response to a field trip or outdoor excursion around the school. This lesson allows ESL and ELL students who can't express themselves as well as the rest of the class to be full participants. Teachers might want to review pertinent meta-questions before taking a trip, such as "What is the name of that?," "How do you spell that word?," and "Can you repeat that?" before going outside the classroom.

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