Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThese questions present a wealth of challenging writing prompts, class discussion starters, or extension/enrichment activities for gifted students or high ability writers in science or social students classes, in debate club, or in enrichment programs. Access the site yourself and cherry-pick your favorite questions. Alternatively, provide a link to the site and ask students to explore possible questions they'd like to answer or discuss. Finally, collaborate as a class to develop question prompts of your own as a group project and then post them to the site. Bookmark this site as one of those you go to when you have unexpected time to fill in class, or as a resource for a substitute teacher-led discussion. Science teachers can use technology issues to connect science with real world topics for students who may not otherwise see value in mastering concepts. Assign groups to explore a topic of their choice from this blog and present it in open-ended debate once a month in your science class or as part of a science careers unit.
This is a treasure trove of prompts to ponder and spur editorial/argument writing. I LOVE THIS!Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate a new map by entering the details such as a title. Choose from the template styles given. Preview the template, zoom in and out, and scroll around the mindmap using the simple tools. Click the "Edit Content" tab to change each node in your mindmap. Edit the name of the node, the description, and upload or link to a picture. Nodes can also link to a You tube video. When done, click preview to not only see the finished mindmap, but to publish on the Spicynodes site or copy the embed code for placing on a wiki, blog, or other site.
There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Create a site map that guides users throughout the features of your class website.
Collaborative Projects: Have small groups research together a topic such as unsolved mysteries of the world, planets, legends from their countries, plants, famous mathematicians, or any topic that can be broken down into parts. Each student would have their own node and color and would then upload pictures, videos, links, and other information they have found about their part of the topic. If the whole class is researching a topic, students with the "like" assignments could get together to share information and create their part of the small group node (also know as jigsaw in cooperative learning). Once all the nodes are completed, the original small group would share information with each other. There are a variety of ways students could use this mindmap. You could just leave it at the small group share out. Or, you could have the groups decide what information is important enough to present to the class and put their ideas on a Writeboard document reviewed here. A third step could be that once they've honed down the information, they could create a presentation for the class in a variety of formats: Glogster reviewed here, or Animoto reviewed here are only two of the many presentation formats we have reviewed on TeachersFirst.
Student project ideas: Have students... organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum."
Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in.
Grades2 to 12
Navigate carefully as this site has many advertisements! But the great interactives make it worth the hassle.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Provide a link to these activities on your class website.
Grades4 to 12
To create a new trip, you must register at the site. Registration requires a username, password, and valid email address.
tag(s): maps (288)
In the ClassroomSuggested uses on the Tripline site are to use along with moments in history such as Paul Revere's ride and Lewis and Clark's expedition to demonstrate stops along their path. Other classrooms uses would be for students to create a Tripline map of their summer vacation to use as an enhancement to a regular report, map out your favorite sports team's schedule, historic state sites, and much more.
Registration does require an 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.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): images (265)
In the ClassroomThis is a handy, fun tool to make available to your class. Provide a direct link from your web page or wiki and bookmark it in your favorites. The uses are endless! Students can generate words related to any of the literary themes or character traits related to love, family, or friendship, or write a poem. When studying grammar, have students fill the heart with verbs, or nouns. Use it to generate synonyms or antonyms. Another idea, have students "capture" the picture and save. Then have the students narrate their word heart using a site such as Slidestory, reviewed here. This tool allows you to narrate the slides and images.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): book lists (126)
In the ClassroomTeachers can use this as a reference site, especially when preparing a new unit in another subject area and trying to find related independent reading or literature circle options.
Grades5 to 8
tag(s): vikings (10)
In the ClassroomThis site will fit perfectly into any social studies, history or language arts classroom. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Introduce the site on an interactive whiteboard. Then have students work independently or in groups to complete the webquest. Instead of having students perform their poem have them use GoAnimate reviewed here to present their poem to the class. Check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to set up individual accounts on on-line sites. Utilize the interactive timeline found in the Putting it All Together section and use it to create timelines in other lessons.
GradesK to 10
In the ClassroomUse these lessons in your health classes to help students understand the importance of heart health, CPR, and good emergency responses. Or, go to the comics, find a one that matches your lesson, copy it into a PowerPoint, and show on the interactive whiteboard to start class or as an entry journal topic. Use these resources to prepare your class for Jump Rope for the Heart or the other opportunities provided at this site.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to locate files on their computers to upload. Beyond that, a few clicks that follow onscreen instructions will complete the job!
Use this site as transportation to and from school when students are working on powerpoint presentations for class. This tool could be used in any subject or topic area. If Powerpoint isn't available at your school, use this site to create presentations instead of traditional book reports. Use this tool in social studies to have students create presentations about the branches of government, continents, or economics. The possibilities are endless.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): authors (120)
In the ClassroomPrint out book reviews as examples before having students create their own book review. Use this site to help students find some fresh literature to read. Use trivia questions as quiz questions after reading books in class or during independent reading time. Use the author links to learn about authors popular with students.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site with ESL/ELL learners as designed. Share the lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have students view the lessons independently (with headsets) and create multimedia projects to demonstrate what they have learned. Have students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Better yet, if students get used to the video and exercise formats, have them produce similar videos teaching a few lessons about their home cultures! Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
Special ed teachers and those seeking combination video/text lessons to use to teach listening/reading comprehension may find these lessons valuable, as well.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomAllow students to read through the reviews to choose literature. After reading the book, have students write their own reviews. Compare and contrast their reviews with the database write-ups. Have students create their own podcasts reviewing the book using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Differentiate reading assignments by assigning Book Clubs in accordance with student reading levels. Teachers who use the Book Clubs with classes should check school policies on posting student comments on-line and obtain written parent permission. Be sure to establish class guidelines for safe commenting and comply with school policies for identifying student (initials? first names?).
Utilize the Game Show formats as study tools for test prep. Have students create their own test prep formats and present to the class in a Power Point presentation.
This blog site is a model for many effective reading projects upper elementary and middle school classes can create on their own: video summaries (using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here), book club blogs, Power Point "Jeopardy" book quizzes, and more. The blog promises to continue adding new projects in the future. Use the examples here to inspire your own students.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomAs you plan to teach the novel, include this well-organized webquest as part of the ongoing and post reading learning activities. Use it in its entirety or choose parts to meet your time frame and purpose. Attention is given to all aspects of literacy: reading, critical thinking, writing, infusion of technology, and presentation. Both individual tasks and group work is involved. Students are active participants, and everything they need to increase their appreciation for this literary work is available to them, including vocabulary, clear instructions, and links for further information and details. You may want to find some additional research links for students to use to replace the links no longer active. You may want to share the project with social studies teachers for a joint effort and shared time. Introduce it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, and then make sure that you have scheduled time in the computer lab or with a class set of laptops. Students can jazz up their multi-media presentations by creating an online book using Bookemon reviewed here, or a podcast by using Podomatic (reviewed here). Be sure to make them directly available from your class webpage to share with colleagues and parents.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomHelp your students understand why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and raise their awareness of discrimination and the struggle for civil rights by involving them in active viewing of A Class Divided projected on your classroom interactive whiteboard or projector. You can view the film in its entirety, or in separate chapters followed by the Discussion Questions. You may want to give students a specific task to do during the film. For example, you might ask them to listen for a particular issue or the answers to a set of questions, or take notes in preparation for one of the post-viewing activities. Replay the video or pause for discussion whenever you choose for focused, in depth exploration. Depending on your students' background knowledge and grade level, you may want to review or introduce some of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution that provide the legal grounding for equality and protection of individual rights. Explain that there are examples in American history when individuals' rights were denied and that many civil rights activists were arrested for either challenging demonstrating or breaking rules that they thought were unfair. Pose some of the questions for written assignments and discussion. This is a perfect lesson for Black History Month! Divide the class into groups to brainstorm situations that exist today within our own communities, and how they would feel and deal with it if they were the subjects. Students can easily create mind maps using free tools from Teachersfirst, such as diagrammr.com reviewed here or bubbl.us reviewed here. Have students choose words from songs to explore themes of freedom and equality, using Stories Behind the Songs reviewed here. High school students could extend this to a reading and study of the final chapter of "One America in the 21st Century," the 1998 report of President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race, which lists 10 things that every American should do to promote racial reconciliation. Ask students to add anything they think is missing and make a commitment to continue the crusade to end discrimination.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a great resource for students researching politicians and their viewpoints. If you're sponsoring a class debate, keep the site handy for each side to check the assertions of their opponents. When students have questions about the content of political advertising, for example, refer them here to find out more. As an assignment, consider having the class pick a political ad, and using the information on this site, write about how the creator of the ad selected the facts that would best portray the viewpoint of the candidate. They could share their critique on a class wiki or on a classroom bulletin board. Have groups create a "mythbuster" political poster on ThingLink, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare CurriConnects as links on your class web page or wiki or share them with school and local libraries where students can select books to accompany what they are studying. Explore the many ideas TeachersFirst offers for using CurriConnects in your classroom. Be sure to share these lists with ESL/ELL teachers for reading selections to build student vocabulary and understanding of curriculum.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
Grades5 to 9
In the ClassroomEnglish and Language Arts teachers you will find lots here to keep your students engaged. Though this site is geared towards boys ages 11 - 14, girls will find these lessons fun too. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the presentations. There are various graphic organizers that go with the lessons. Use them on an interactive whiteboard and fill them out with the whole class. Print the completed organizers for students to use for reference. Teachers in any subject can have their students use the graphic novel creator to create short stories. Students can choose their own characters, write text and add captions. Depending on the level of your students, have them create a one page, two page or an entire book. Print the books and add them to the class library. Or have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the "Take Action" ideas to develop ways to make a change in the local area. Create small changes as individuals and broadcast their effects to make even larger changes over time. Create a campaign to understand the issues with water and to encourage others to make a change. Audit the water use at the school to make recommendations to the local school board or town council. Create blog posts or letters to the editor (possibly coordinating with language arts class for persuasive writing) to make a point and offer solutions. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
Be aware: there is an allow/deny button that pop up on this site. You must allow access in order to fully utilize this website. Before the site opens, they ask permission to access your computers camera and microphone. This will enable audio recording functions. Denial of this access will still allow students to create and write stories.
tag(s): art history (69)
In the ClassroomPicture a story is an engaging way to inspire students to write. Working from this rich bank of imagery can nicely support writing lessons about voice, sensory description, point of view, descriptive narrative, and story structure. Use this site with a projector or interactive whiteboard when presenting a writers workshop mini-lesson to the whole class. Use this site together with younger students (unable to read on their own) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can submit their writing and record themselves telling their story. This is a great opportunity to address reading fluency, expression, and communication skills. Integrate writing lessons with art history. Have students research the historical significance of the images they choose. Take time to enjoy and review stories by other students and professional storytellers. This activity would work well for individual students in a lab or on laptops. Share the final project through email or submit it to the Delaware Art Museum's online gallery of pictures and stories.
General Tips and Reminders: Remember to obtain parent/guardian permission before allowing students to submit their stories. Also, check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to interact with the public online. Adobe Flash Player is necessary to record audio.