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Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
K to 12
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed in the categories of Beginning Readers, Classic Stories, and Older Readers. The site was created by Johnnie...more
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed in the categories of Beginning Readers, Classic Stories, and Older Readers. The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher. He has found the "best of the best" interactive stories and activities on the web! The reading levels vary, so preview the stories before sharing them with your students.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous way to share classic stories, fables, fairy tales, and myths! Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to these wonderful stories. Use this website in your language arts classes, special education classes, with your ESL and ELL students to share these classic stories, or the other topics provided. Challenge your gifted students to create new "classics." Have students investigate the sites on their own (using headsets). Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computers. With elementary students use this site during your language arts block, use this website as a learning center for students to explore independently. (Be sure to provide headsets). Don't forget to list this link in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice their reading skills at home or maintain skills during vacations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Video: Twitter in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
5 to 12
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Are you "twying" to understand the "tweet" world of Twitter. Watch this short (less than 3-minutes) video about the "Twerrific" world of Twitter. This social networking site asks the...more
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Are you "twying" to understand the "tweet" world of Twitter. Watch this short (less than 3-minutes) video about the "Twerrific" world of Twitter. This social networking site asks the question, "What are you doing?". This site shares how to use Twitter to stay connected. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (51), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for professional development and further understanding of the current microblogging "twend": Twitter. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Twitter in the Classroom (with parental permission). Have students create writing prompts and share them on Twitter. Have your government students follow the "Twitter News" of politicians they can find on Twitter. Have students in science class follow the Twitter Feeds like Science News. Challenge students to create their own virtual collective Twitter scavenger hunt. The possibilities are endless! You can also use Twitter as a springboard for discussions about the changes in the political landscape and society with the advent of social networking tools. Ask them: are there any negatives or cautions to sharing your life on Twitter?
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Language Arts for Dummies - John Wiley & Sons

Grades
7 to 12
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Filled with a variety of essential language art skills, this site is a super teaching opportunity to be followed by students working on their own. With 42 lessons ranging from ...more
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Filled with a variety of essential language art skills, this site is a super teaching opportunity to be followed by students working on their own. With 42 lessons ranging from "Differentiating between who/whom" to "Writing Sonnets" to "Crafting Your Character's Dialogue in Your Screenplay," there is plenty to suit your particular class needs. You are able to write replies (comments), however an email address is required. Registration is not required for any other part of this site.

This site does offer the option of signing up for RSS feeds. There are some unobtrusive advertisements at the site.

tag(s): grammar (216), poetry (228), root words (13), writing (359)

In the Classroom

These lessons give great examples as well as "pop quizzes" as you go through them. It would be great to do these on a projector or interactive whiteboard, having students comment as you go; then you can assign their own writing to follow up. Of particular interest is the lesson on "note taking on a computer." As essential as computers are to writing these days, it may be the best place to begin. This might also be a good site to link from your class website. It is very easy for students to explore on their own and get extra help where needed. Or have small groups investigate a specific area together and then create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have the groups create a podcast to share using a tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here).

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Seventh Sanctum: Writing Generators - Steven Savage

Grades
6 to 12
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This site provides a detailed list of writing idea generators, what ifs, and more! If you have reluctant writers, students with writer's block, or just need to change things up ...more
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This site provides a detailed list of writing idea generators, what ifs, and more! If you have reluctant writers, students with writer's block, or just need to change things up a bit, this site will fit the bill. The site is visually bland but content-rich, mixing the unlikely with the unusual to build mental flexibility and help spark students' creativity. There are six categories of Story Inspiration: Envisioner, Quick Story Idea Generator, Quick Story Theme Generator, Romance Story Generator, Story Generator, Symbolitron, What-if-inator, and Writing Challenge Generator. An example of an "envisioner" story is "A fusion of the story of the little Dutch boy and the story of Romeo and Juliet that concerns a group of manicurists." The site also includes a TON of links to other writing "generators" - everything from Fantasy Novels to an Adventure Generator. Other ideas include character generators, song challenge, and villain plot generators as well as others. Clicking on one will give you a choice of generating anywhere from 1-50 results and you have the option to print them as well.

Be aware: there are some "social" features of this site (see the Community links. This site also includes some advertisements.

tag(s): air (163), writing (359)

In the Classroom

These ideas could be grouped thematically or at random for students. You might even choose a category, print the generated results and distribute them at random among your students or post them on your class web page for students who get "stuck" starting a writing assignment at home. Doing stories of this nature could create a great bulletin board/publishing opportunity for students. Have students create a multimedia writing assignment by creating a blog entry, or adding to a class wiki related to one of the prompts.

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Myths and Legends - E2BN

Grades
3 to 8
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you...more
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you listen and read myths and legends from countries around the world, but you can also record your own. In order for your class to upload myths and legends, you must do a quick registry at the site. Registration does require an email address. 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.

Click on the Teachers link to explore lessons and other resources. Your class may wish to leave comments after they listen to the stories. Check out the Gallery, which shows photos of the actual setting for the myth. Unsure of the archaic terms? Then use the glossary that's provided for each myth and legend. Flash is required and can be gotten here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, use this site in your listening/computer corner for students to listen and read along the multitude of stories at this site. Your class may opt to write their own story of local myths or legends, and then submit it to this site. Have students write online legend or myth books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Story Starter - Joel Heffner

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is quite simple, but also rather magical for writing. It has a link for young writers ("The Story Starters, Jr") as well as the original story starter generator ...more
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This site is quite simple, but also rather magical for writing. It has a link for young writers ("The Story Starters, Jr") as well as the original story starter generator which claims to have "373,067,200 creative ideas and writer prompts." The Story Starter, Jr. link has over 700 story starters especially for younger students. Clicking on the random story starter sentence generator gives an idea and students develop their own ideas from there. There is also a link that shows completed stories begun with the story starters given.

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

In the Classroom

Demonstrate HOW to use this simple site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is great not only for writer's block, but also ideas for stories, poems, dramas, and group stories. In the primary grades, use this site to create writing centers. With secondary grades, have the class create a collaborative wiki using a story starter. Have students create blog entries using the story starter.

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Zamzar - Zamzar

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion...more
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Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion of .pdf files to Word documents and Word to .pdfs. You can also convert music, video, and photo files to different formats of your choice. This is a VERY useful tool. Select the file to import or the URL of the video to download, the change to be made, and receive a link to the converted file in the new format via email. Then click to download the file from the link. You have only 24 hours to retrieve the file (RIGHT- click to download or Save Target as)!

The documents are editable after conversion. Images will not be as "editable" as text. The text comes in within a text box, but can be edited. Be aware that many school email spam filters may block the Zamzar emails because they view them as "spam." If emails do not come through or you cannot download from Zamzar's link, request the converted files be sent to a home email address and bring them to school "on a stick."

Be aware: there are MANY advertisements at this site, so this many not be a site that you want students to explore independently. Also, the site mentions having to register. You do not need to register to use most of the features.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites for easy access. Teachers should model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Making a "derivative work" from someone else's pdf handout should include a printed credit within the new document, giving credit for the original source, Ex. "Adapted from a handout by xxx available at www.theoriginalhandout.pdf." Such derivative use should only be done when the original copyright permits it, such as using materials that grant permission for classroom use. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

One main problem with the site is that you need to enter the email address and wait for the email to download the file. There is a nice pdf conversion site http://www.pdfaid.com where you can convert and download the file instantly. Disclaimer: I am the owner of the website. pdf, , Grades: 0 - 12

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The Teachers' Corner - The Teachers' Corner

Grades
K to 12
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and ...more
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and crafts, nutrition, health, music, math, reading, physical education, technology, writing, science, and social studies. Visit the Seasonal Items link to find even MORE resources related to Read Across America, 100th Day ideas, Daily seasonal writing prompts, and much more! Many of the links will take you to other sites, but the onsite printable worksheets and calendars make it worth a visit. Note: the site is laden with advertising, something TeachersFirst users may not appreciate! This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fractions (239), nutrition (154), parts of speech (68), phonics (75), speech (92), themes (12), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Although this site has a TON to explore, one of the best places on this site is the daily writing prompt section (find seasonal prompts at the Seasonal Items link). You can share them on your interactive whiteboard or projector with a picture and fact about the day and a question requiring a written answer. This is a great discussion starter or activating strategy with any grade level and it can already be posted when the kids enter the room or used as a prompt for blogging. Whatever subject area you teach, if you are looking for some new strategies to reach your students, check out this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Write Prompts - Squidoo, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is full of writing ideas and different prompts. You can get a different prompt for every day, including printing them out by the month and daily word prompts. ...more
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This site is full of writing ideas and different prompts. You can get a different prompt for every day, including printing them out by the month and daily word prompts. There are prompts for younger students up through 12th grade. Powered by Squidoo, it has a lot of ads, which makes it more suitable for teacher use than student, but the variety of prompts and links to other writing prompt sites makes it worthwhile.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use this as a source for any kind of daily or specialty writing you would like to do with students. Take a look and choose a few options for your students to use. Have students model them on your interactive whiteboard in conjunction with a specific writing or grammar skill. For example, choose a prompt to challenge the class to use quotation marks correctly or to add vivid verbs. Have students use the writing prompt of their choice to create a blog entry.

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The Lost Book - Helen Jackson & Adam Brewster

Grades
6 to 12
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Would you like to get your students involved in something truly interactive and ongoing? Then this is the site for you! Through Binary Fable, this site is a collaborative adventure...more
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Would you like to get your students involved in something truly interactive and ongoing? Then this is the site for you! Through Binary Fable, this site is a collaborative adventure story that began in January 2009. Click on the Watch The Story So Far button to get caught up on the story. The video/stories are not long (only a few minutes each). Other options for students include "Leave a Comment," voting for where "Aileen" can go next, and more. While this site would require supervision due to the openness of it, it would be a great class project that you are able to join in on at anytime.

The Lost Book has been developed through the efforts of many groups including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bookcrossing.com, and Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature. Be certain to preview any video before you share, as our editors did notice one questionable word in the introduction episode. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

This is a great opportunity to work with others around the world in a controlled environment within the classroom. Every episode offers opportunities for students to PARTICIPATE in the story, rather than being passive observers. Share the "catch-up video" on your interactive whiteboard or projector (previewed, of course). Have students vote as a class or individually. Have your class create their own interactive stories. There are many creative options. Have students create a collaborative wiki with a new episode on each successive page. Or have students work in cooperative learning groups to create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Jeopardy Labs - Matt Johnson

Grades
K to 12
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Looking to make a great jeopardy game with no fees, registration, or powerpoint slides involved? Now you can with Jeopardy Labs! Create your own Jeopardy game or browse the already...more
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Looking to make a great jeopardy game with no fees, registration, or powerpoint slides involved? Now you can with Jeopardy Labs! Create your own Jeopardy game or browse the already created jeopardy games! Be aware: there are over 6,000 Jeopardy Templates ready to use in the classroom, beginning at kindergarten! You may notice that some of the already created Jeopardy Templates are not in "question" format. The topics include nearly everything one can imagine: European Settlement, South America, various books, specific math topics, media, aircraft, and many, MANY more.

Note that all jeopardy templates created become part of the domain and can be used by others.

tag(s): grammar (216), keyboarding (38), literature (275), meiosis (15)

In the Classroom

Use any already-created game as a quick assessment of prior knowledge or review on projector or interactive whiteboard.

To prevent others from editing your template you create a password when you start. Others will be unable to edit your created game without your password. After creating your password, you are taken to the familiar blue jeopardy screen. Here, enter the title at the top and the topics at the top of the columns. Click on a dollar amount under each topic to enter the clue and the What is... question in a pop-up box. Click done to enter the information. The dollar value square becomes blank to let you know it was completed. When done, click "Save." Click on Browse to view random template titles or enter a term into the search bar. On the "Build" page, follow the quick instructions and even browse tips for editing. When done, an internet link will be given for your Jeopardy game. Put this link in any website, blog, or wiki for students to click on and review information for study.

Use this as an introductory activity to uncover misconceptions. For example, prior to a unit on viruses, create a jeopardy game about myths and truths about viruses. Share the Jeopardy activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these as a starting point for understanding concepts in the unit. Create review games for students to learn and remember content. After making one game together as a class, allow students to make their own games to challenge each other on segments of the material. This not only provides students with material to review, but the creation of a game takes thought and understanding of the material. Be sure that students understand how to create such a game and how to choose parts carefully. Check student games prior to saving. Maintain a page of Jeopardy links for review of a wide range of curricular topics.

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Persuasion Quest - D. Ray

Grades
6 to 9
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This is a very simple WebQuest designed to teach the power of propaganda. It uses commercial websites such as Kellogg's and the Baltimore Orioles to teach students how to distinguish...more
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This is a very simple WebQuest designed to teach the power of propaganda. It uses commercial websites such as Kellogg's and the Baltimore Orioles to teach students how to distinguish fact from opinion. The ultimate project is to take a stand on Internet use and its value in schools. Standards are included. Some of sites used for the research require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Because this is a plain vanilla site, it is easy for younger students to use. It is straightforward in both design and conclusion. You can expand this by adding other commercials sites after teaching and discussing propaganda techniques. You might have students create advertisements based on those they see and have others refute or improve those created advertisements. Have students video their commercials and share the videos on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here), then allow others to comment and refute the techniques.
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Befuddlr - Erik Kastner and Amy Hoy

Grades
K to 12
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as ...more
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as "Patterns," "Hello kitty," "Water drops," and many others. Choose a picture you wish to "befuddlr." Pieces of the original picture are moved around in a new order. Continue to choose a different combination, change the lines that divide segments of the picture, and even drag a button to your toolbar to "befuddlr" any picture. Once done, use the snapshot function of your computer to take a picture. In Mac, use apple-shift-four to take a snapshot. In PC, use the print screen (Prt Sc key) function to "copy" the picture and then paste it into a document or elsewhere. You are able to submit your own photos to the site (found on Flickr, of course). Learn more about flickr, a photo storage and sharing site, in the TeachersFirst review here.

tag(s): images (266), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

To use the pictures provided, simply chose a "group" title, such as water drops, and click to befuddlr it. If you wish to befuddlr your own pictures, you must first upload them to Flickr, so you will need to learn that simple tool. Be sure to TAG your pictures so you can FIND them again! No membership or saving are available on befuddlr. Its is an on-the-spot tool. Be sure to use your own images or copyright free images and images that are available to be built upon. If students click to choose other pictures from Flickr, they could encounter ANYTHING that someone has uploaded, so be sure to guide them to the pictures you want them to use and have a stated policy and consequence for those who wander off into inappropriate places. Flickr does have anti-porn policies, but girls in bikinis, for example, are still available! Use snapshots of animals, numbers, letters, or other pictures and have students scramble the pieces. Befuddlr a picture on your interactive whiteboard to start a language lesson! Students can create their own and provide hints using a variety of constraints such as no more than 5 words, a poem, using adjectives only, etc. in order to help those guessing the original picture. In Art, create new patterns for analysis. Use befuddled pictures to practice new vocabulary for young ones or for ESL and world language students. Accompany student poetry with befuddled pictures
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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By Popular Demand: Jackie and other Baseball Highlights 1860s-1960s - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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This Library of Congress collection has information on Jackie Robinson and lots more. As always, the images are the star of the show, and there are pictures of early teams, ...more
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This Library of Congress collection has information on Jackie Robinson and lots more. As always, the images are the star of the show, and there are pictures of early teams, documentation about Robinson's entry into the big leagues, and much more. Students can click on a time period (1860s-1890s, 1900s-1930s, 1940-1946, 1947-1956, 1957-1961, or 1962-1972) to learn more about the history of African-Americans and baseball.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Provide your students with this website and a good 20-minutes of exploration time. Then, have your class write journal entries through the eyes of the African-American baseball stars. Or divide up the class into cooperative learning groups. Have each group research a specific time period and share their finding with the class.

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Language is a Virus - Unknown

Grades
6 to 12
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In spite of the annoying ads, the rich choices of writing ideas, prompts, exercises, and "widgets" on this site are well worth the time to digest and wade through. There's ...more
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In spite of the annoying ads, the rich choices of writing ideas, prompts, exercises, and "widgets" on this site are well worth the time to digest and wade through. There's so much! There are 17 "widgets" for curing writer's block: Electronic Poetry, Haiku-a-Tron, Character Name, Text Collage, Creative Writing Prompts, Random Line Generator, and MANY others. There are also 7 links to post your fiction and poetry, 2 sections on creative writing and prompts (including 60+ writing experiments by Charles Bernstein), poetry links, visual inspiration, and a long list of authors you can click on to read articles or see questions answered, plus more articles and extras.

To post any stories or poems at Language is a Virus you must be registered. The log-in process does require an email address. 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.

Before having students post anything on this site, check your school's Acceptable Use Policy and BE CERTAIN to obtain parental permission. Be aware this site has several advertisements and includes Twitter Buttons, Badges, Backgrounds, and Images. Be sure to provide students with specific instructions of where they MAY and may NOT go. Or make this site a whole-class activity (too bad, though, since writing is so individual).

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Just using the "Widgets to Cure Writer's Block" section makes writing fun. From Mad-lib poems to a random line generator this offers lots of laughs as well as creativity nudging for students. The "66 Writing Experiments of Charles Bernstein" offers a variety of activities for students from sentence combining to poetry to transcription to chronology.

Share the prompts and activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work on individual computers to use these activities to cure their writer's block. Just be sure to give instructions of where they can and can't visit! Keep your pop-up blocker turned ON to avoid at least some of the annoying advertising.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
  
The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), images (266), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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Real Trees 4 Kids - The National Christmas Tree Association

Grades
K to 12
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Trees, trees, and more trees - that is what you find at this site. There are lesson ideas and activities for all grade levels (K-12). The activities are broken down ...more
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Trees, trees, and more trees - that is what you find at this site. There are lesson ideas and activities for all grade levels (K-12). The activities are broken down into grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each level includes several "Teacher's Guides." In grades K-2, the site's goal is for students to learn about trees and their parts using writing, science, and math! The Grades 3-5 section focuses on the life cycle of conifer trees. This level also discusses how real trees are recycled, the types of trees grown on farms, and new vocabulary words. In grades 6-8 students learn about the life cycles and scientific names of the trees and take a look (first-hand) into the life of a real tree grower. Grades 9-12 challenges students to dig deeper into the soil and check out how REAL TREE growers keep their crops healthy, how supply and demand works, and more details about conifers. There are many other highlights at this site: ready to go units, photos, and more. The TF editorial staff checked many of the links; there were two not working at the time of this review. However, the other 30-40 links did work. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): conservation (127), earth (228), earth day (112), plants (145), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site to "spruce" up Earth Day or your study of plants and trees! The Teacher's Guides are basically ready-to-go units of study. Some of the activities are more interactive than others. If you are looking for a more "technology" friendly activity, consider having students create a wiki guide to the various trees in their hometowns (or around their school). Or have them create a video "Tree Tour." Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Punny Costumes - Bonnie Neubauer

Grades
4 to 7
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Who needs Halloween when you can have costumes based on word play? Think beyond October 31. At Punny Costumes, you will find a list of simple (no sewing required) Halloween ...more
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Who needs Halloween when you can have costumes based on word play? Think beyond October 31. At Punny Costumes, you will find a list of simple (no sewing required) Halloween costumes that are all based on word plays. The website claims that these idiom costumes will, "elicit moans and groans from bad puns." Some of the costume ideas include "All Thumbs," "Black Holes," and "Hip Chick".

tag(s): costumes (6), halloween (40), idioms (44)

In the Classroom

You may want to list this link on your website for parents and students to use at home (to create some "unique" costumes). Challenge your students to create some additional "Word Play Costume" ideas. Plan a Punny Costume day as a culmination of your idioms unit! Be sure to share pictures (unidentifiable) on your class wiki or have students vote for their favorite costume picture using an embedded polling tool such as Poll Junkie (reviewed here).

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Myths, Folktales, & Fairy Tales - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities,...more
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities, reproducible pages, and more. The lesson plans and activities are divided by grade level (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12). The site says that the lessons (for all levels) will take approximately one day/class period. Don't miss the colorful interactive: Myths Brainstorm Machine (designed for grades 3-8). This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are endless! Take advantage of the grade-appropriate activities, interactives, lesson plans, and printables. Have students work with a partner to try out the Brainstorm Machine. Use this site to create a writing station. After studying the genre, wy not have students create illustrated virtual books of their own using a free tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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