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Ninjawords - Phil Crosby

Grades
3 to 12
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A rapid-fire dictionary, this site gives you the definition of any word you type into the box. It also keeps a history of the words in a list on the ...more
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A rapid-fire dictionary, this site gives you the definition of any word you type into the box. It also keeps a history of the words in a list on the right as you look them up, a very useful tool. While the definitions are quite complete, including parts of speech and synonyms for most words, they are not comprehensive. A word such as "look" produces only 2 of the many definitions that could be applied to that word. However, entering in such words as "mercenary" or "ambiance" yields a great short, straightforward definition great for a quick check while reading. The site also provides the ability to enter a single listing of terms, separated by commas, and create a link to EXACTLY that list of definitions (as a glossary for a specific lesson, for example). See a sample created by the TeachersFirst editors here.

Be careful, since the site is nondiscriminatory and will give a response to any word you enter, regardless of the propriety of the word!

tag(s): vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use the "random" button to generate a word of the day in an instant! Create pre-made word lists for students to access online from your teacher web page by entering them all , separated by commas, and clicking "Link to this page" at the end of the page. The URL that then shows in the address bar IS the URL to access that word list any time from any computer. Have students make personal lists of their own for individualized vocab study. Open Ninjawords as students read a selection in class--even in science or social studies texts, and allow students to take turns entering new words they encounter. If you have a projector or interactive whiteboard, the entire class can "see" the current "word wall" created by the history function. Or you can simply keep it on a classroom desktop to help those who need it. If you mark each "glossary" page as a Favorite on your computer, you can NAME IT "Chapter 3 Glossary" or "Amphibian Unit Glossary" etc and make it available for students to use any time. The history feature allows you to "track" whether students have entered inappropriate words. The history list seems to remain on your computer for a period of time, probably by leaving "cookies" on your computer -- in this case a useful thing! Use it on your machine to recall vocab from day to day for continuing lessons.

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Kindersay - Webmosis

Grades
K to 1
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Although it describes itself as being "preschool" site, Kindersay is a great web site for primary readers, ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language....more
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Although it describes itself as being "preschool" site, Kindersay is a great web site for primary readers, ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language. This site offers simple, easy-to-use activities such as letter recognition and vocabulary. Each letter and vocabulary word has a corresponding video with correct pronunciation. The Favorites tab provides an opportunity to create differentiated instruction for each child. Registration is free!

tag(s): alphabet (90), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Add the link to a classroom homepage for center-time or for parents and children to practice at home. Use a different activity category each day or week with ESL/ELL or special ed students to build vocabulary. Then use a digital camera to create some pictures and sound files of your own for new categories using PowerPoint slides or the online "My Family" area.

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Inspiration Lane - Susan Alyn

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the ...more
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the Day," "This Day in History," "Article of the Day," "Comic Creators," "Cooking State," "Match Up," "Museum Town," and "Caption Central." All change daily! "Today's English Lesson" changes on weekdays. Like a newspaper, teachers and students can read a single feature or the entire sheet. Interspersed with the information are grammar reminders and practical applications. For foreign language students and beginning language learners, there is an option to translate the page into Korean, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese and even Arabic!

tag(s): cooking (35), news (265), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Project this on your whiteboard at the start of your lesson as students enter or to wrap up the final five minutes with interesting clips from history, quotes, ESL in music etc. Encourage your students to try a new vocabulary word each day on their own. If your students have Internet access outside of class (even in study hall), require a weekly current events response for writing practice--perhaps on a class blog?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zozanga.com - Zozanga.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This is an excellent, well-organized compilation site of links to the various language skills for ESL/ELL learners: grammar, listening comprehension, vocabulary, reading, general learning...more
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This is an excellent, well-organized compilation site of links to the various language skills for ESL/ELL learners: grammar, listening comprehension, vocabulary, reading, general learning skills and tips. Many of the links are internal, that is, created by the Zozanga project. Others are carefully selected; the presentation indicates care in formatting and precision in meeting the needs of students. Many skills include an ESL/ELL level. A list of English grammar skills makes it easy to find the specific skill your student needs.

tag(s): grammar (214), listening (92), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find extra practice for ESL/ELL students in the regular classroom, especially as specific needs show up in regaular assignments. Many of the language learning tips can be used by teachers of other languages, as well.

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Word Games at the Gameroom - LoveToKnow Corp.

Grades
4 to 12
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There are LOTS of word games here for all abilities and levels of understanding. The crossword puzzle sites are cool, and there are great ideas for kids like palindromes, writing ...more
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There are LOTS of word games here for all abilities and levels of understanding. The crossword puzzle sites are cool, and there are great ideas for kids like palindromes, writing your name in exotic alphabets, word oddities, and tongue twisters. There are even word games in other languages. Cautionary note: there is one area, "Online Games and Video Games," you might want to steer students away from. It is filled with games hints for other types of games, not related to words. ESL/ELL, world language, and learning support students will find these games helpful for building spelling and vocabulary.

tag(s): crosswords (18), spelling (166), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This would make a fantastic learning center, extra credit, or enrichment for the kid who finishes first. You can create your own worksheet using links from this site and have students do them like "cyber" stations right on the web. Have them check off each site as they have completed something there. They will be learning vocabulary, spelling, and more about words than they even realize.

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Word Champ - GlobaLinguist

Grades
3 to 12
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This free website allows users to choose a target language (out of a list of 100!) or English to learn new language through vocabulary drills, flashcards, flashcards with pictures,...more
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This free website allows users to choose a target language (out of a list of 100!) or English to learn new language through vocabulary drills, flashcards, flashcards with pictures, translation, listening comprehension, dictation, vocabulary, grammar, and word form practice. Management tools allow teachers to set up classes and monitor their students' progress, a feature often unavailable on free sites. Teachers can choose to either use the vocabulary list already in the program or set up their own. The site claims to have helped many people increase language ability to the point of being able to read web pages in other languages. Full interactivity engages the student in the process of language study and acquisition. A "web reader" takes authentic texts from native language newspapers and provides translation of any words when the reader passes the mouse over the unknown word. Pronunciation of those words is another option available. Users have the option of downloading vocabulary lists as MP3 files.

tag(s): grammar (214), news (265), newspapers (97), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use this site to set up extra vocabulary practice and reading for your language students. Have students create their own practice exercises for each other! Add your own vocabulary and homework assignments to materials available already within the program. Make sure to include the link on your teacher web page for outside practice and quick access.

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Robert Munsch Virtual Story Room - Robert Munsch

Grades
K to 5
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Beloved children's author Robert Munsch offers many of his stories/books here in audio format. All students, including ESL students, will enjoy hearing these stories as they read along....more
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Beloved children's author Robert Munsch offers many of his stories/books here in audio format. All students, including ESL students, will enjoy hearing these stories as they read along. Users must have the capability of listening through an MP3 player.

tag(s): folktales (65), listening (92)

In the Classroom

Set up these recordings as a center with the book at hand and headphones for the students (see download tips below). Or play them for the whole class with your speakers turned up after lunch or at the end of the day. Include the link on your teacher web page and newsletter for parents, as well. You must first click that you agree to the terms of use, then DOWNLOAD the files (SAVE to your desktop for easy access and delete after use). The "Terms of Use" appear in a pop-up, so make sure your pop-up blockers is turned off. The files will play with Windows Media Player, iTunes, or Real Player, whichever you have.

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How are You? - Genki English

Grades
K to 8
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This ESL site uses cute graphics to illustrate a variety of feelings. Users can view them online or print them out as flash cards. Genki's commentary adds suggestions of how ...more
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This ESL site uses cute graphics to illustrate a variety of feelings. Users can view them online or print them out as flash cards. Genki's commentary adds suggestions of how to use the cards. An accompanying song file (RIGHT-click and Save Target As to download onto your computer) and lyrics spice up the lesson. There are also illustrative photos of a Japanese elementary class using hand gestures to reinforce the lesson. A free online game allows users to click on graphics when they hear the description of a feeling, such as, "I'm sad." Although the page itself advertises products, enough of the offerings are free to make this a worthwhile beginning-level ESL/ELL, speech/language, or emotional support lesson. This site requires Shockwave. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share the activities on a computer cluster or interactive whiteboard with a group or a single computer with one or two students. Special Ed teachers may find the musical activity helps some students respond where they are usually more distant. For more lessons with illustrated gestures, flash cards, teaching suggestions, and songs for ESL students, scroll down to the bottom of this long page.

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Picture Books - Dandi Palmer

Grades
K to 4
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This site contains a nice collection of online picture books, some for very young children but also some for older children. Those with high-speed connections should click on the ...more
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This site contains a nice collection of online picture books, some for very young children but also some for older children. Those with high-speed connections should click on the teapot to access the best view of the books. Ms. Palmer wrote and illustrated this variety of offerings. The gallery also shares illustrations from a variety of older texts. You can also view books in progress and enjoy coloring sheets. Share this site with your aspiring readers and artists to help them appreciate the role illustration has in creating attractive texts.

In the Classroom

Children will enjoy reading online as a class on a projector or interactive whiteboard or reading at a center on your classroom computer. Share the site with parents via your web page. Art teachers can feature these illustrations as an inspiration for a picture book project.

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Let's Read It Again - Intl Reading Assn.

Grades
K to 3
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This lesson uses a bilingual (Spanish-English) picture book to increase comprehension and reading skills in ESL students by having them retell the story in a variety of ways. Many non-ESL/ELL...more
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This lesson uses a bilingual (Spanish-English) picture book to increase comprehension and reading skills in ESL students by having them retell the story in a variety of ways. Many non-ESL/ELL students would benefit from the same skills.They make vocabulary lists, make diagrams, retell the story, and rewrite the book using their own words. Teachers can generalize the knowledge gained after using this lesson plan to incorporating other bilingual books while teaching ESL students. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Allow ESL/ELL or other students to work on the various online tools included in this lesson on their regular classroom computer or cluster, printing the products and sharing them in partner-reading or other activities with non-ESL/ELL students. Learning support students would also benefit from the comprehension strategies involved.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Language Arts Online Clips - Thinkport

Grades
1 to 6
10 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This wonderful site has an extensive list of free video clips of favorite children's books, author interviews, and author documentaries. Users can open them with Windows Media or Real...more
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This wonderful site has an extensive list of free video clips of favorite children's books, author interviews, and author documentaries. Users can open them with Windows Media or Real Player (the listings tell which one is needed). Some clips offer both options. Get the plug ins from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..This site MUST have a high speed connection! It can be slow to load during "peak" times (11 a.m. to 2 pm Eastern time in the U.S.). Be patient while clips download, even on a peppy network. While the videos are downloading, you may not think anything is happening. TURN OFF your pop-up blocker (including the ones built into the Google and Yahoo toolbars) so you can see the video pop-up windows.

tag(s): interviews (17)

In the Classroom

Preview the video clips before recommending them to students or using in class, since the quality of video and audio varies significantly. None is designed for full screen projection, though some will project about half-screen. Share a partial video with the class or as a center to inspire children to read a book or allow them to watch videos after they have read books. (A Dark, Dark tale would be great for Halloween week). Remember to turn up speakers for group viewing or provide headphones at your center. If you are ready to try podcasting, use these dramatic readings as models for students to record some of their favorite selections as a podcast (and possibly illustrate with student artwork). Share this link with parents on your web page or in your newsletter to encourage reading at home. Most of the books will be in our school library, so students can follow along. School librarians should know about this site as well! ESL students and weaker readers always benefit from listening to different voices read the same story as they follow along.

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Aaron Shephard's RT (Reader's Theater) Page - Aaron Shephard

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on...more
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on Aaron's Extras to find scripts for plays and tales you can use in the classroom. Other offerings include worksheets, examples of scripting sheets you can use or learn to do it yourself, tips for using RT, and links to other references. You can search among the many materials available by genre, country, historical period, theme, etc.

tag(s): plays (36), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Use this website to find hints on how to dramatize the literature or folklore you're studying in the classroom. ESL students will find using Reader's Theater particularly helpful as they can read, speak, and listen to the materials and have more chances at comprehension. Similarly, students who are visual or oral learners will benefit from the multi-sensory presentations.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual ESL - Learn English Vocabulary Visually

Grades
1 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Visual ESL has created quite a selection of engaging drag and drop vocabulary lessons and quizzes. For example, the "Basic Verb" lesson uses stick figures jumping, punching, running...more
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Visual ESL has created quite a selection of engaging drag and drop vocabulary lessons and quizzes. For example, the "Basic Verb" lesson uses stick figures jumping, punching, running etc to illustrate the verbs. Users drag the correct label to a box beneath the figure. The offerings in the drag and drop section are much more interesting than the grammar section which is text only. There is a wide range of game selections. They include fill ins and grammar illustrated with cartoons. There are advertisements on the site (text links).

tag(s): grammar (214), quiz (88), quizzes (99), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This is a good site for ESL students who are more visual learners to practice concepts. Special Ed teachers may find some games helpful for vocabulary development and basic grammar, as well. Many of the drag and drops would work well on an interactive whiteboard or as a learning center on a single classroom computer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How J Say? - Tim Bowyer

Grades
3 to 12
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This site pronounces English words and phrases. The British pronunciation is first, but if there is a difference in the American English pronunciation, the voice says, "Also, American:_____."...more
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This site pronounces English words and phrases. The British pronunciation is first, but if there is a difference in the American English pronunciation, the voice says, "Also, American:_____." Once entered and submitted, the word or phrase appears in pink, along with a list of words before and after it in alphabetical order display. This helps with similar spellings and cognates. The pronunciation plays right away and repeats on mouse-over. With 76870 words in the database at the moment, the odds are that students will find the word they're searching for. ESL students will find the speedy help with pronunciation very useful. There are some advertisements down the side, but they are not objectionable.

tag(s): pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your Favorites on your classroom computer for a handy reference for ESL/ELL students. Speech and language students will also benefit from hearing and repeating the pronunciations.

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Mama Lisa's World - Lisa Yannucci

Grades
K to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site provides a multitude of songs and nursery rhymes from North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia. It is a user-friendly site with lyrics as ...more
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This site provides a multitude of songs and nursery rhymes from North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia. It is a user-friendly site with lyrics as well as audio of the song tunes (requires Quicktime). There are songs listed about colors, phonics, and much more in every language imaginable. Simply reading the titles will bring lesson plan ideas to mind! The options are endless with this site for primary and ESL students. World language teachers will also love the options for teaching basics.

tag(s): french (89), lyrics (20), nursery rhymes (18), rhymes (32), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Be sure to turn up your speakers to use the audio portions. In primary grades: Use the rhymes for phonics and phonemic awareness activities as well as multicultural linguistic comparisons. Offer these songs, along with the corresponding song sheets as a listening center during guided reading. Teachers may find songs they forgot about long ago and would like to introduce them to the children with a personal anecdote or historical background as listed on the site.

In World language classes: use the songs to teach basic vocabulary and culture. ask your students to find and learn a song, then perform it for the class. Or even record a podcast of Spanish or French songs!

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Alphabet Organizer - Read Write Think (Iron Monkey Interactive)

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning...more
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning advanced vocabulary. On the interactive keypad, key in the beginning letter of a word. Key in the rest of the word on the blanks provided. You also have the option of typing in the word's meaning. When your list is entered, you may choose a booklet or a chart format for the presentation of your information. Studying content-area words or vocabulary meanings have never been so easy.

tag(s): alphabet (90), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Think outside the 'box' when considering this application. Teachers may opt to teach the elements of the story through entering character traits, setting, plot events, etc., then printing a chart to teach those concepts. Special Ed or ESL/ELL teachers and teachers will love using this organizer to help students organize new words they must learn. If students use a three-ring notebook, new words can be added over time. Mark this tool as a favorite on your classroom computer for students to access as needed.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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firstfind.info - Westchester Library System

Grades
3 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from ...more
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This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from and each area has a variety of inside divisions. Of particular interest to K-12 students would be Government, History, Travel (includes maps), and Health. Especially useful for ESL students are the online magazines written in simplified language and the dictionary link.

In the Classroom

Suggest this site to your students from other countries when they are assigned a research project. Keep this one in Favorites on your teacher web page or classroom computers for ESL students to use the Dictionary or find simplified information on your government, history and health lessons. Special Ed teachers with students of low reading ability can also find adapted resources here.

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Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun - www.vocabulary.co.il

Grades
1 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find engaging ways to teach vocabulary to elementary and middle school students--and their ESL/ELL classmates. The numerous games: picture matching, oral pronunciation, scrambled words,...more
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Find engaging ways to teach vocabulary to elementary and middle school students--and their ESL/ELL classmates. The numerous games: picture matching, oral pronunciation, scrambled words, crosswords, quizzes, hangmouse(!), and word searches are available in varying levels. All the games start by choosing a word category. The site creators are constantly adding new words. At the time of this review, "there are now 219 topics and 10,353 words in the vocabulary database." SUbstitutes who find themesleves without lesson plans will also love this site. It requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): crosswords (18), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

These activities are ideal for individual computer time on laptops, classroom computers, or computer clusters. Use the word topics for students to build spelling and vocabulary skills; individualize their lists by category choice or choose a topic that fits the science or social studies unit you are currently studying. Speech and language teachers will like the variety of ways to develop language skills, as well. ESL students will find the variety of spelling and word lists a refreshing way to add to their vocabularies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Auto English - Bob Wilson

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This is a wonderful new "labor of love" resource for second language learners and ESL teachers created by an English teacher living in Spain. It includes the typical ...more
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This is a wonderful new "labor of love" resource for second language learners and ESL teachers created by an English teacher living in Spain. It includes the typical grammar lessons, flash cards, worksheets, phrasal verb practice, and idioms, but also less typical links to many video lessons and a few audio mp3's. Many of the sections have unique applications; for example, the vocabulary section has both online interactive practice and printable materials for the same lesson. The puzzles and games section includes a variety of printable worksheets. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (214), idioms (44)

In the Classroom

This is a good overall site you can rely on for a variety of ESL purposes. Use it to find lessons and review activities for your ESL students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ESL Monkeys Story Room - Mary and David Monkey

Grades
1 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers many readable stories; short, long, and classic stories are available in full by clicking on the links on the opening page. There are also tools for using ...more
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This site offers many readable stories; short, long, and classic stories are available in full by clicking on the links on the opening page. There are also tools for using current events selections. A reading tool allows students to copy and paste a puzzling text into a box and get definitions from words in that text by clicking on the unknown words. For teachers, there are many "teaching reading" hints and links to lesson plans. Although the site focuses on ESL students, the variety and number of short stories makes it useful to all aspiring readers.

tag(s): short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use the selections from this page to teach specific reading skills on an interactive whiteboard or for students to practice reading and language skills independently at a computer center or on laptops. If you allow students to select their own stories (ages are noted to help them find the appropriate level), they may be more interested in the story, as well.

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