TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 23, 2020
Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the immensely popular musical, Hamilton, to engage students as they learn about early American History. Include activities found on this site, along with your other resources, on a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, for younger students try Padlet, reviewed here. Ask students to share their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Examples might include an infographic of Hamilton's life, comparisons between Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, and Hamilton's influence on creating the two-party system in the United States. Extend learning by providing students options for sharing their perspectives on early American History. Have students who love drama and music use the play as inspiration to write and produce their own short play. Ask another group of students to create an interactive timeline of events using one of the timeline creation tools located here. For students who enjoy computer programming and games, encourage them to use Scratch, reviewed here, to design a game using information from their research and learning activities.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis list will be a natural fit for anyone teaching art whether in elementary, middle, or high school. Use the books to introduce concepts in art and have students create digital sketchbooks about the styles and concepts they like. Replace the paper journal or sketchbook with one that can be accessed anywhere and never left behind. Use a digital "idea bin" collector like Padlet, reviewed here, that offers tools for creating shelves or grids to organize information about the concepts learned and post ideas and photos. Be sure to share this list of CurriConnects books about art with parents on your teacher webpage.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to find and compare the work of different children's book illustrators. When reading books with pictures by these artists, share their different images with your students to compare and contrast the different styles in the books. Ask students to browse through the site to find images that inspire them, then have them create illustrations to accompany their own work using the same style. Use those images when publishing student work using Book Creator, reviewed here. Don't forget to include a short biography of the author with the book!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAutoDraw is an excellent tool for artists and non-artists. Use this site to quickly draw professional looking images for any number of classroom purposes. Create images to accompany presentations on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) or for use on your class website. Ask students to create drawings when retelling stories or creating math problems. Use with students who have any disability as an aid for conveying information through pictures. When teaching ESL/ELL and world languages, use AutoDraw to create images to replace words in texts. Have students create and personalize their images to include with multimedia presentations.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to check out the Teacher Zone and its free lesson plans and resources. This site is perfect for differentiation in the music classroom. Allow students to choose an instrument and learn at their own pace and level. Share a link on your classroom website for students to practice at home. Take advantage of the vocal lessons to learn about songwriting. After watching videos, have students write a song to summarize a novel, share information on climate change, or sing about an event in history. You may wish to take that a bit further and challenge students to record the song using a tool such as UJAM, reviewed here, where you simply record your voice (even talking and not singing!). UJAM is free and synchronizes your voice and its speed to a variety of different background music options.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomArt teachers will love this collection for use when teaching various types of arts and artists. Be sure to take advantage of the audio tours for a wide variety of art information for students. Include a link with specific information on your class website for students to view (and hear) at home. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Slidestory, reviewed here. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report.
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomShare students' musical creations online! Demonstrate the art of composition while using Noteflight on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Explore different musical instruments and how they affect the tone and mood of the piece. During a multimedia presentation, have students create their own music. In Destination Imagination or Odyssey of the Mind, use your scores to showcase talent. In honoring multiple intelligences, highlight the students' with musical talent. While reading historical fiction novels, have students compose a song typical of that period with the commonly used instruments and style. Offer in your after school clubs for music, guitar, or band.
GradesK to 2
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): alphabet (71), animals (319), birds (51), colors (75), continents (46), dinosaurs (48), holidays (138), numbers (179), nursery rhymes (14), planets (134), preK (277), presidents (127), space (233), transportation (44)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site as a resource for coloring pages in many different topics. Share a link to the site with parents for practice at home. Color pictures of the continents during geography lessons. Explore the dinosaur coloring pages during dinosaur month.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomPrevious experience with layer-based design software editing such as Photoshop is extremely beneficial. The "Sumo Paint Help" page provides helpful tutorials but individuals without previous training may need additional support.
Challenge students to learn about the tools professional designers use today. Select and then project video help tutorials to the whole class. Before sending students off for independent practice, demonstrate how to use the image editing and painting tools on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The videos in this section link to YouTube, so systems that block YouTube access may not be able to access this. Rather than a traditional report, challenge students to write articles and create magazine covers for biographies, history or science reports using Magazine Cover Maker, reviewed here. Have students create icons for logos for websites. Have students create artwork for CD labels for portfolios or multimedia projects using CD Cover Maker, reviewed here. Post a link to Sumo Paint on your class website for student access outside of school. The beauty of this free cloud based software is that students can start a project in school, collaborate on a single image, and continue to work on it after school hours.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be shared by URL
Grades6 to 12
One of the nice things about this site is the easy access to the section they call "Classroom Activities." Scroll down to the bottom of any page to find it. Here they provide activities for grades 6-8 and 9-12 that are specific to grade level as well as links to lesson plans if you choose to use those. Visit the Media Player link to find video clips, audio clips, text, and images. Some require RealPlayer. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomBecause of the sheer variety of links offered, this is an ideal lesson to spread among a class. As a culminating activity have a "Harlem Day" where students present their information. They might dress and speak as the person they studied; they might present music, poetry, or art from that time, or even create a Harlem "nightclub" to share their information.
Why not extend student learning and have them create video clips using Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector via TeacherTube (explained here). Other project ideas could be a blog using Edublogs, reviewed here, written from the perspective of someone living in Harlem during the great depression, or a wiki written between one of the famous artists and the president at the time (Herbert Hoover, for example). A good wiki tool to use is PBWorks, reviewed here.