TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 17, 2022

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

 

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Sync: Audio Books for Teens - AudioFile

Grades
6 to 12
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Sync is a free summer audiobook program for teens. The program runs for 13 weeks starting at the end of April and provides participants with two thematically paired audio books/short...more
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Sync is a free summer audiobook program for teens. The program runs for 13 weeks starting at the end of April and provides participants with two thematically paired audio books/short stories weekly. Listen to a short introduction to the book before reading. After enrolling with Sync, follow the directions to download the Sora app from iTunes or Google Play. Use the explore feature within the app to find and borrow weekly titles. Be sure to view the FAQ for additional information on accessing and participating in Sync.

tag(s): audio books (21), independent reading (104)

In the Classroom

Share Sync with your students to promote summer reading and provide a variety of reading topics. Play the audio introduction to gain student interest. Click the Toolkit on the left menu to download posters for featured books for each week of the summer. Post the information on your classroom or school website for availability to parents and students through the summer. If it is too late to participate in the program or listen to a weekly title, use the book list provided to locate the titles in your community library for checkout either in person or digitally at the beginning of the new school year. Encourage students to reflect upon the books using an online journal such as those found at Penzu, reviewed here. Penzu journals offers templates and you have the ability to add images or your own illustrations to sections of journals. Extend student learning by highlighting important areas of text within the books using WordSift, reviewed here. Copy and paste in key portions of any book into WordSift to visualize the text within a word cloud. Use the word cloud to explore and discuss new vocabulary or frequently used terms. Use Sync as a model for students to hear text read using intonation and phrasing. Ask students to create podcasts sharing their writing using Anchor, reviewed here. Refer students back to the audiobooks they listened to as a helpful reminder on how to engage listeners through the spoken word.

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Shakespeare Uncovered - PBS Learning Media

Grades
8 to 12
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This series of lessons uses video segments from the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered to tell the stories behind some of Shakespeare's greatest plays. Choose any link to access the full...more
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This series of lessons uses video segments from the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered to tell the stories behind some of Shakespeare's greatest plays. Choose any link to access the full lesson including suggestions for use, links to PDF forms, and introductory through culminating activities. Use links to assign to students in Google Classroom or share with social media links.

tag(s): england (51), literature (220), plays (24), poetry (182), shakespeare (91), sonnets (6)

In the Classroom

Incorporate the videos and lessons from this site into your current Shakespeare lessons. Instead of written responses for portions of your assignments, have students use a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here, to share answers. Upon completion of your Shakespeare unit, instead of a written test or research project, ask students to create a digital book using an online tool like Ourboox, reviewed here. Have students include images, videos, and their written work to create the book.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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What Jane Saw - The University of Texas at Austin/Janine Barchas

Grades
6 to 12
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What Jane Saw is a digital recreation of London art gallery exhibitions from 1796 and 1813. Visit the galleries to view exhibits as the famous British author, Jane Austen, saw ...more
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What Jane Saw is a digital recreation of London art gallery exhibitions from 1796 and 1813. Visit the galleries to view exhibits as the famous British author, Jane Austen, saw them. After entering each exhibit, click on the paintings to learn more about the artist and the canvas. Be sure to click on the About WJS portion within each display to find out more about the creation of each gallery.

tag(s): art history (75), artists (72), authors (99), great britain (17), shakespeare (91)

In the Classroom

Use this site to compare and contrast the exhibits from different times - in 1796 as a Shakespeare exhibit, and in 1813 as a display to promote local artists. Consider opening this site in two different browser tabs making it easier to go back and forth to see differences in displays and artwork. Have students explore on their own to gain an understanding of art in the late 1700's and early 1800's. Include this site when reading works by Jane Austen to consider the influence of art and Shakespeare on her writings. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Poster My Wall, reviewed here, or Lucidpress, reviewed here, to compare artwork from the different displays.

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Classic Books - Library of Congress

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K to 12
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Explore this collection of public domain, classic books for children and teenagers from the Library of Congress. They are organized in alphabetical order. There are 51 books for younger...more
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Explore this collection of public domain, classic books for children and teenagers from the Library of Congress. They are organized in alphabetical order. There are 51 books for younger children, 6 books for teens, and 6 books for adults. Each has a short summary, a link from which to read the book, and a link to more information about the book. Enjoy these stories online. Although they aren't audio books, they could be very useful with all ages.

tag(s): book lists (125), independent reading (104), literature (220)

In the Classroom

Share the classics on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Read the stories together as a class and consider converting an excerpt into an interactive text using Active Textbook, reviewed here. You could add to it yearly, with each class taking a chapter or section to "liven up" with media. Or challenge your tech-savvy or gifted students to bring a classic to life with such a project. Share this public domain collection on your class website, blog, or wiki as a good place to find classics (FREE). Create a learning station on your classroom computers using these books.

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Children's Books and Reading - Stephanie at Childrens-Books-and-Reading.com

Grades
K to 4
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Parents (or any interested adults) can support young readers with this guide to reading instruction, Children's books, and Reading. Find support in many areas of reading such as book...more
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Parents (or any interested adults) can support young readers with this guide to reading instruction, Children's books, and Reading. Find support in many areas of reading such as book lists, early literacy ideas, ways to improve reading, spelling instruction ideas, and reading interactives. Don't worry, there is also material here to help children who are already reading - to increase fluency, comprehension, and more! Book lists include; audio books, read alouds, picture books, wordless picture books, classic books, books to hook reluctant readers, as well as recommended books. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay in touch with the latest ideas. Although this site is definitely text-heavy, it does offer a lot of information to both parents and teachers working with emergent readers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literacy (96), preK (238), reading comprehension (127), reading lists (76), reading strategies (67), spelling (90)

In the Classroom

This site is a great site to share with parents on your class website. Start a PTO meeting featuring literacy using ideas from this site. At a literacy night, show this site on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) to feature the interactives. Add the games to your literacy stations. Share at conferences to answer the parent questions of, "How do I help at home?" Looking for more audio books? Find a huge collection of audio books resources here to try some of the strategies suggestion by this site. Don't forget your earbuds!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Stick Figure Hamlet - Dan Carroll

Grades
9 to 12
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or ...more
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or choose any act or scene desired. This site is sure to motivate and interest even the most reluctant reader!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (44), hamlet (9), literature (220), shakespeare (91)

In the Classroom

Add Stick Figure Hamlet to your arsenal of tools when reading Shakespeare. Share images from the site throughout your class reading of Hamlet on your interactive whiteboard. Invite students to interpret what is happening in the comics. Challenge students to find omissions in the retelling or to draw their own, better versions. Share the link for students to view at home. The images may be very helpful to visual learners in understanding the content of this work. Browse the TeachersFirst Shakespearean collection for other ideas to use with Hamlet. Use this site as inspiration and have students create their own comics for any piece of literature. Find many ideas at TeachersFirst's Comics Collection.

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Young Adult Books Central - Kimberly Pauley

Grades
K to 10
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Young Adult Books Central, a section of Kids Books Central, is for tweens and teens to find and discuss books. Read book reviews by teens and staff reviewers, author interviews, ...more
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Young Adult Books Central, a section of Kids Books Central, is for tweens and teens to find and discuss books. Read book reviews by teens and staff reviewers, author interviews, and chapter excerpts. Books include two ratings: one by editors and one by site readers. Search to find books by top rated, recently added, most reviewed, and audio books (not all audio books are free). Find books for younger children in the "Kids" section. Members can write reviews; however membership is not necessary for other portions of the site. Although aimed at all tweens and teens, most reviews on the main page appear to be books that would appeal only to girls. You may need to take time to explore the site to find material for boys.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (125), independent reading (104), preK (238)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers, your website, or your blog to use as a resource for students to find independent reading material. For younger students, share the link directly to the Kids section. Be sure to share this site with parents at Back to School night. View book reviews together. Have students find examples of well-written reviews and poorly written reviews. Have students create their own book reviews. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Edublog, reviewed here, or Webnode, reviewed here. Share the review URLs on a class wiki and in the school library.

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Shakespeare Bookshelf - IPl2: Drexel-College of Information Science & Technology

Grades
7 to 12
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in ...more
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in alphabetical order on the appropriate shelf of the bookcase. The titles link to the 1914 edition of The Oxford Shakespeare at Bartleby and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare from Jeremy Hylton at MIT. This is truly a librarian's, English teacher's, or any lover of literature's delight! You can find the actual text of any Shakespeare work.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literature (220), shakespeare (91)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will enjoy using this Shakespeare offering because it is just "As You Like It"! Include this site on your classroom web page to provide students, parents, and yourself ease of access to reputable on-line versions of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and all the other literary works. This website will come in handy for projecting text on your classroom whiteboard to highlight, compare, and interpret particular scenes and lines. If you assign students to create multimedia interpretations of sonnets or passages from the plays, this is a great way to find copy/pastable text, ready for any multimedia tool. Two tool suggestions that give students a choice of projects to complete are (click on the tool name to access the review): Genially and Sway. Both Sway and Genially will allow your students to create multimedia projects.

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Digital Books - librophile.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Digital Books (was Librophile) offers free audio books and free e-books. You have several options; you can play the audio book, you can also download chosen chapters for later use,...more
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Digital Books (was Librophile) offers free audio books and free e-books. You have several options; you can play the audio book, you can also download chosen chapters for later use, open as an e-book, or open as a free audio book in ITunes. Most of the free books are in the public domain. There are some books on the site that are available only for a charge. Simply click on "free" to see the ones available at no cost. Separate links offer popular, audio, and ebooks as well as genres. There are many genres available, even children's books.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (21)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their digital notebooks and lap tops. Share a story on your projector or interactive whiteboard (with speakers for audio). Provide this site on your class blog, wiki, or website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Learning support and ESL/ELL teachers can suggest this as an alternative source of books for book reports. Students can listen and read instead of feeling saddled by tough text.

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In Your Ear Shakespeare - In Your Ear Shakespeare

Grades
9 to 12
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With today's students plugged into their devices, this site offers a great way to attract students. It has posted podcasts (visit the "Chop Bard" link) that explains Shakespeare in...more
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With today's students plugged into their devices, this site offers a great way to attract students. It has posted podcasts (visit the "Chop Bard" link) that explains Shakespeare in a way that students will find appealing and more realistic than reading it alone or aloud in class. Several of the podcasts are geared specifically to Romeo and Juliet, a play often read in 9th grade which makes it familiar and an easy listen for students. The site includes a list of the chronology of plays as well as a timeline of Shakespeare's life. A caution that there is language slightly bawdy in the podcasts, so preview them first. However, listening to the "Chop Bard" either as a class or as individual students, gives students a lift and a laugh, creating a link with Shakespeare that they have never experienced.

tag(s): romeo & juliet (8), shakespeare (91)

In the Classroom

Share the podcasts at this site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. You may want to make this site a class project, to ensure the podcasts are all appropriate for your students. After listening to the podcasts, have students write a blog entry from the perspective of Romeo, Juliet, or another character from the literature. Or ask students to create an image to illustrate a scene and then narrate it using PowerPoint Online, reviewed here, or podOmatic, reviewed here.

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Shakespeare for Kids - Folger Library

Grades
6 to 12
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Make the Bard more approachable for younger students with this clever, interactive resource. Kids of all ages can enjoy delving into the life of Queen Elizabeth and the works of ...more
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Make the Bard more approachable for younger students with this clever, interactive resource. Kids of all ages can enjoy delving into the life of Queen Elizabeth and the works of William Shakespeare. Explore full texts of plays in PDF format, interactive word games, challenges, and puzzles, historical lessons (some are interactive), and fun facts about Shakespeare and his theater. A word of caution: many of the activities on this site require prior knowledge of Shakespearean plays and characters. Choose wisely based on the level and language skills of your students, and the depth of your study of Shakespeare. Use to introduce the Elizabethan era, review important concepts, or extend a literature unit with a bit of history. Created by the Folger Shakespeare Library.

tag(s): elizabethan (13), england (51), plays (24), shakespeare (91)

In the Classroom

Share some Shakespearean insults and vocabulary by way of introduction to students on a projector or interactive whiteboard before allowing students to use it individually or with a partner. Access the sections entitled "games, challenges and puzzles," and save them as a favorite on classroom computers for use as a learning center or station. Have students complete some of the puzzles or crosswords as a way to review a unit on the Playwright or courtship, courtly love and of course - Queen Elizabeth. Challenge students explore the site and create a quick presentation of what they learned. Students can create brief online posters using a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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