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Exploratorium Magazine Online: The Evolution of Languages - Exploratorium Magazine

Grades
5 to 12
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This fascinating website investigates the origin and evolution of languages. Topics include "Where do Languages Come From?", "Table: An Example of Language Similarities", "Table: Global...more
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This fascinating website investigates the origin and evolution of languages. Topics include "Where do Languages Come From?", "Table: An Example of Language Similarities", "Table: Global Roots of the Words One and Two", "Examine Words", and "Learn How to Find the Histories and Origins of Words". Some of the audio features require FLASH or Real Player. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): greek (41), japan (61), japanese (42), latin (22), portuguese (18)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous tool to study the origins of language. Explore comparisons are made between English, Latin, Japanese, Classical Greek, Portuguese, and Sanskrit. This would be a great site to use during world languages week or as an introduction to a world cultures class. Gifted students would find it fascinating. Have students create a digital "dictionary" of particularly interesting words that have evolved in unusual ways, perhaps computer terms. They can make it in the form of anything from a word document to a wiki!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mama Lisa's World - Lisa Yannucci

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K to 10
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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 ...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 (88), lyrics (20), nursery rhymes (18), rhymes (33), spanish (108)

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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Langwitches - langwitches.org

Grades
2 to 12
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This site's goal is to encourage ESL and language teachers to use technology as yet another tool in language teaching and learning. Guidelines and examples for a number of projects...more
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This site's goal is to encourage ESL and language teachers to use technology as yet another tool in language teaching and learning. Guidelines and examples for a number of projects (digital recipes, digital movies) describe every step of the project from start to finish so that even a technological novice can complete them. Other features include a blog, a wiki teachers can contribute to, detailed tutorials for some of the projects, links to other projects including webquest creation, a regular podcast available by free subscription, and the promise of future project additions.

tag(s): blogs (88), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

This site provides specific ideas for you to try. The specific ideas for using things as simple as digital cameras for project-based language learning are easily accomplished in any language classroom.

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Language Guide - Language Guide

Grades
1 to 12
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska ...more
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska - Greek). Select your native language and a language you wish to study. Choose a category, such as fruits, and roll your mouse over pictures to hear the word, pronounced by a native speakers. There are also sections for grammar topics, such as verb conjugation. Site extras include sound effects to accompany some pictures (hear the bark, breathing sound, and growl of the dog)! This site avoids the problems of different alphabets by working from picture to sound, though the spellings do display as little text boxes as you roll your mouse.

tag(s): grammar (216), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a pronunciation backup when you do not have a native speaker teaching foreign language. If you have access to a lab or individual laptops, assign students to practice pronunciation as they learn new vocabulary. Be sure to share the link from your teach web page in your world language class. As you study world cultures or geography, some students may want to learn simple language selections, as well. Gifted students --especially younger ones curious about languages -- will enjoy trying to learn independently. ESL students may also use this site to hear authentic pronunciation. Speech and language and special ed teachers working on vocabulary development will want to use this site with students, as well.

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Illustrated Vocabulary - Institut de la Providence

Grades
1 to 10
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This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language...more
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This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language and category, and the graphics in the category ask for a word choice. Immediate feedback in the chosen language indicates a percentage of correct choices and allows users to guess again.One unfortunate note: since the site creators are French, they did not capitalize the months of the year--even in English. You probably will not want to use that section of the site.

tag(s): french (88), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a review for ESL students. French language students will also enjoy this quick way to check their knowledge. Speech and language teachers or primary reading teachers who are teaching simple reading vocabulary or spelling words may want to make this site as center in their classrooms.

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ILike2learn - Ilike2learn.com

Grades
3 to 10
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This website provides numerous interactive quizzes relating to geography and the language of Russian. Some specific topics include continents, Africa, Europe, USA, world lakes, oceans,...more
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This website provides numerous interactive quizzes relating to geography and the language of Russian. Some specific topics include continents, Africa, Europe, USA, world lakes, oceans, and many others. The interactive quizzes all ask users to find a specific area (by clicking on a map). Users are able to make 2nd (or 3rd) guesses for the correct locations. If you are not able to find the destination, you will receive a clue. This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): continents (49), maps (287), mountains (13), oceans (148), rivers (21), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

This website is perfect for a single-computer learning center, on a classroom computer cluster, or as a review activity for older students. Save this website on your desktop and offer it from your teacher web page, so students can utilize this resource when you are teaching about states in the USA, continents, oceans, or other countries throughout the world. Warning: tell your students to steer clear of the "Take the Dumb Test" link at the bottom of the page. It is an annoying distraction and asks for an email address.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quizlet: The End of Flashcards - Brainflare: Andrew Sutherland

Grades
3 to 12
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study...more
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study in any language or a content area. Students may choose to create electronic tests, or the networking page allows them to interact and learn with other users who have the same words. Teacher or students can create groups to share word lists. See a sample matching activity about TeachersFirst created by our editors to show a variation on using this online tool for simple words/definitions. Use this tool from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. The iOS and Android apps practice tests can be multiple choice, true/false, or written questions. Turn on "Instant Feedback" (new feature for the apps) that will give real-time feedback on right/wrong answers as you go; or wait and get your score at the end. As wonderful as this technology is, the coolest thing about Quizlet might be in its history--its creator was a high school student who tells his inspiring story and shares his blog through links at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), quiz (84), spelling (168), vocabulary (323), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Membership asks for an email. Email allows you to notify others that you want to share a word list or activity with them. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here, this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. KEEP A LIST of students usernames (non-identifying) and passwords, incase they forget them! If you already use Google Classroom with your students, it only takes a few minutes to get them set up with a Quizlet Class.

There is a very thorough "Help Center" to get the idea of how the site works. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be entirely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." Create your own groups for each class or subject. Be sure to note the fact that you can upload vocabulary lists by copy/pasting from various formats--- a time real saver! Use this tool easily in your byod classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Content and English teachers may set up their personal network of users. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Learning support teachers will want their students to create their own Quizlet sets and help learn them in the process! Teachers may create your own sets of words, or let students do the work for themselves and each other. Use the interactive whiteboard for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets. World language and ESL/ELL teachers will find many word sets already built and ready to use at this site. If you team teach with others at your grade level, take turns making the online Quizlets to accompany your science or social studies chapters. Be SURE to share this tool on your teacher web page for students to use at home.

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World News - WN Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An ...more
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An excellent plus here is the ability to choose to read the news in a variety of languages. World Photos today, multimedia, global weather, and sports are just a few of the many attractive sections that add to this site's appeal.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's foreign language teachers. Have students do comparisons between English and foreign language versions of the news. If you teach writing, you can find controversial topics as writing prompts for persuasive writing among the articles, as well, and have students find facts to support their positions. Make this site available from your teacher web page for current events assignments. Reading teachers will want to use the articles on an interactive whiteboard to teach main idea and summarizing: highlight key words to use in a main idea or summary sentence you write together below the article.

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Space Wander - E. Amini

Grades
4 to 8
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Users jump aboard a spacecraft and experience liftoff and travel to Mars, Jupiter, and other parts of the solar system. Still pictures and video (all actual NASA photos) from the ...more
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Users jump aboard a spacecraft and experience liftoff and travel to Mars, Jupiter, and other parts of the solar system. Still pictures and video (all actual NASA photos) from the space craft help the visitor "experience" the trip from the inside. Besides hearing the progress of the trip and seeing its descriptions in English, viewers can also select French, Italian, British English, or Spanish; German is coming soon. NOte that some of the simulation is explained in text subtitles and NOT in the audio. Viewing options include text only and Flash versions for those with partial eyesight. There are also accommodations for Braille readers.

tag(s): nasa (39), solar system (119), space (205)

In the Classroom

This is an exciting "trip" for students as an anticipatory set or activator for a unit on the solar system or space exploration. The alternate language versions would also be useful for listening skills in a foreign language classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Proverbia.net - Vicent Jorda

Grades
3 to 12
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Finally, a rich resource of proverbs to use for classroom bulletin boards, quotes of the day, and, most importantly: teaching figurative language and idioms. Find proverbs alphabetically,...more
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Finally, a rich resource of proverbs to use for classroom bulletin boards, quotes of the day, and, most importantly: teaching figurative language and idioms. Find proverbs alphabetically, by topic, or by author. Click for the Spanish version of the site, as well. Spanish teachers will love this way of teaching the nuances of the language. If you teach about Ben Franklin, you could spend a full class on his proverbial sayings found here. ESL/ELL students will benefit from exposure to the idioms included in the proverbs, as well.

tag(s): figurative language (16), franklin (12), idioms (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Ask students to find three proverbs unknown to them and explain them visually on a PowerPoint slide (can easily be printed into a big book or poster). Feature a proverb a week in your classroom or on a bulletin board to build analogous thinking, cultural literacy, and inferencing skills as you ask students to explain what it means. This will gently ease your concrete thinkers into broader understanding.

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NationMaster - Luke Metcalfe

Grades
6 to 12
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Created in response to the CIA Factbook and other data sources, NationMaster draws together data from multiple sources so students (and adults) can compare and contrast using the tools...more
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Created in response to the CIA Factbook and other data sources, NationMaster draws together data from multiple sources so students (and adults) can compare and contrast using the tools of the web site itself. Use pulldowns to select a statistic to compare, such as Education, and the specific statistic you wish to look at (Average years of schooling of adults, for example). You will see the actual data as well as a bar graph or switch to a colored world map representing the data. The site makes working with data more student-friendly. You will have to ignore some of the ads along the top and left side of the page.

tag(s): data (148), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Provide this resource as a link on your teacher web page or in class for supporting data to be used in discussions or debates. In math classes, use the data to create and compare alternate graphical representations of real-world data. In geography classes, use the site tools to see correlations provided for many types of data. World language classes can study and compare the various nations that speak the language they are studying. If you are lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard, highlight data and create graphs for comparisons on the board using the board tools and spreadsheet software, as well.

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CIA World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency

Grades
6 to 12
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Get the facts fast. Use a simple pull-down to find a country of the world and learn all about its significant data. The information is separated into categories:Introduction, Geography,...more
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Get the facts fast. Use a simple pull-down to find a country of the world and learn all about its significant data. The information is separated into categories:Introduction, Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications, Transportation, Military, and Transnational Issues. All the information is presented in a dry, factual format (mostly numbers) but provides an excellent way to compare countries, draw inferences, and predict trends, hypothesize cause/effect, and more. By researching the data, your class can look for possible connections between demographics and economics, for example.

tag(s): data (148), demographics (19), population (60)

In the Classroom

Provide this resource as a link on your teacher web page or in class for supporting data to be used in discussions or debates. In math classes, use the data to create and compare graphical representations of real-world data. In geography classes, use the information to draw connections between physical features of a nation and its economy. World language classes can compare the various nations that speak the language they are studying.

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Homework High - 4Learning

Grades
5 to 10
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This is a great website to provide for your students to use at home. If they get stuck on a homework question, they can try searching for the answer ...more
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This is a great website to provide for your students to use at home. If they get stuck on a homework question, they can try searching for the answer at Homework High. The variety of topics includes math, science, history, geography, English and language (including French, German, and Spanish). The website also provides links to other websites for additional practice. There are also tips for improving study skills.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), homework (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Include a link to this website on your classroom newsletter or from your teacher web page for student help at home.

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Educator's Reference Desk of Lesson Plans - Information Institute of Syracuse

Grades
K to 12
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Over 2000 lesson plans are at your fingertips when you visit this site. Find lesson plans on these topics: Arts, Computer Science, Foreign Language, Health, Information Literacy,...more
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Over 2000 lesson plans are at your fingertips when you visit this site. Find lesson plans on these topics: Arts, Computer Science, Foreign Language, Health, Information Literacy, Interdisciplinary, Language Arts, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, and Vocational Education.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

Some of the lesson plans are actually units designed for a week or more of study. The site allows for printer-friendly versions of the plans to make printing them a neat option. When you need quick plans for the substitute--or if you are a substitute-- this site is a must-have.

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Colorin Colorado - WETA

Grades
1 to 10
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ELL/ESL and regular classroom instructors...more
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ELL/ESL and regular classroom instructors about how to encourage reading. Although the focus is on Spanish speaking students, the information is specific and easily adaptable for all reading learners. Lots of information is available on the site concerning not only reading instructional techniques, but building partnerships with families of Hispanic students, placement and assessment, and important authors. Webcast information programs include accompanying reading and discussion questions. This site is a good resource to help meet the needs of increasing numbers of students born speaking other languages. Videos and webcasts reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the they may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): hispanic (18), parents (56)

In the Classroom

All classroom teachers who have ELL/ESL students should consider this a primary source of information about how to teach and help second language learners. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who are concerned with the challenges of the increasing number of ELL/ESL students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ARTnatomy: Anatomical Basis of Facial Expression Learning Tool - VICTORIA CONTRERAS FLORES

Grades
K to 12
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Amazing! This site uses a highly-accurate Flash representation of the complete muscular and skeletal structure of the human face and head in an interactive tool. The parts are all...more
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Amazing! This site uses a highly-accurate Flash representation of the complete muscular and skeletal structure of the human face and head in an interactive tool. The parts are all labeled (probably enough for a med student), but then the user can make them move to understand how they work. You will find yourself looking far more closely at any facial expression after you play with this for a few minutes. The tool is available in both Spanish and English. Don't miss the sliders that make the skull or muscles show more beneath the "skin." You MUST have Flash to see this site. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): drawing (77), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Teach figure drawing (head and face) by exploring this tool on laptops or an interactive whiteboard. If you teach anatomy or even athletic training/physiology, the detail of the anatomical illustration is amazing. Creative writers can use the emotion descriptors at the right to learn how to SHOW characters' emotions in their writing by explaining what their faces do instead of TELLING readers how the characters feel. Spanish teachers and ESL teachers may want to use the facial expressions to teach words that describe emotions. Other teachers-- even those who teach emotional or autistic support-- could use the facial expression of emotions to help students who have poor social skills recognize what someone else is feeling or build vocabulary of "feeling words." Speech clinicians interested in showing students how to form sounds (for articulation) will love this site, as will their students!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Parts of the Body - Nick Crossland

Grades
3 to 12
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ESL students or foreign language learners (French, Spanish, or German) can learn and/or review names of body parts by playing interactive games on this UK-originated site. In addition...more
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ESL students or foreign language learners (French, Spanish, or German) can learn and/or review names of body parts by playing interactive games on this UK-originated site. In addition to the four main games, there is an interactive dictionary which supplements the learning of parts of the body. There are also downloadable worksheets of body part activities. Simply click the Launch button to start the games. This site requires Adobe Acrobat for the pdf worksheets and also FLASH. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. One caveat about the site is that the directions for the games are in the target language, so at times beginning the game is a bit confusing. There are standards on this site, but they are for the UK.

tag(s): directions (20), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Have your students review names for body parts and/or learn the language of directions. Include the link on your teacher web page for review or independent practice both in and out of school. Students must be able to SPELL and type the answers, so basic keyboarding is a must. Directions are in written form, so non-readers should use a different site for practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Spanish Verb Conjugation Trainer/ Learn Spanish Online - Peter Klein

Grades
6 to 12
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This website focuses on Spanish grammar, offering conjugation practice with any verb in 7 tenses, instant conjugation of a selected verb, grammar explanations of the tenses and translations...more
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This website focuses on Spanish grammar, offering conjugation practice with any verb in 7 tenses, instant conjugation of a selected verb, grammar explanations of the tenses and translations from Spanish to English tense phrases. Practice or learn from one of 5 predetermined verb sets: regular, irregular, basic, learning, and traveling. Learners can also create their own verb sets with lists of 10 verbs they select. The site offers clear grammar explanations, comprehensive verb lists, and great flexibility for both student and teacher.

tag(s): spanish (108), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Include this site on your teacher web page for students to access and use for review as you teach about all differenet Spanish verbs. You can also plan in-class activities using one of the tools for reinforcement of new skills on laptops or lab computers. Some may also be suited for team competitions on an interactive whiteboard or projector as test review.

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KidsSpace Stories - Toronto Public Library

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Mainly intended for the elementary crowd, this collection of online stories includes options of listening online or downloading them for more permanent access. The oral recordings of...more
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Mainly intended for the elementary crowd, this collection of online stories includes options of listening online or downloading them for more permanent access. The oral recordings of the stories are delightful, often featuring the author of the story as the reader. The stories are accompanied by appropriate sounds and songs and are very fresh and appealing. Besides stories in English, listeners can select stories in French and Italian as well. High school world language teachers will enjoy the chance for students to hear a full narrative read well in the language. Requires Quicktime. Downloading the stories offers them in MP3 format.

tag(s): french (88), italian (33)

In the Classroom

Use these delightful stories as opportunities to develop listening skills by playing the story, then asking questions. Or inspire your children to build fluency and expression by creating their own recordings (podcasts) after listening to these. Be sure to place the link on your teacher web page for students to share stories over and over at home, too.

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Geographia - interKnowledge Corp

Grades
6 to 12
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Although this site advertises itself as a travel destination site, it offers far more than the ordinary travelogue. Each of the areas chronicled includes lots of information about...more
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Although this site advertises itself as a travel destination site, it offers far more than the ordinary travelogue. Each of the areas chronicled includes lots of information about culture, history, and interesting tidbits about the area. The list of countries or areas covered is not exhaustive, and lacks anything in North America, and not much on South America. There is some advertising, and the usual "where to stay" information, but the focus is squarely on people and culture and not on booking cruises and the like.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), europe (75), latin (22)

In the Classroom

This would be a good reference resource for students doing "country and culture" reports or displays or for background when reading a novel from another culture. World language teachers can also use this as a source for cultural information. Note: the reading level is comparable to the Wall Street Journal, so you may want to partner weaker readers with others or offer multiple options for sites to use.

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