TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 8, 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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Generation to Generation: Preserving Our Past with Oral History - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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Do your students know how to prepare and conduct an interview to obtain an oral history? Learn about the different steps required to successfully prepare students to become the historian...more
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Do your students know how to prepare and conduct an interview to obtain an oral history? Learn about the different steps required to successfully prepare students to become the historian from start to finish. In addition to specific activities, this resource includes ideas for incorporating technology to extend learning through the study of storytellers and literature.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), interviews (13), literature (220), oral history (15), stories and storytelling (34)

In the Classroom

Use the ideas found on this resource to include as part of an oral history or storytelling unit. Engage students in learning by using Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to gather students' ideas for questions to ask, notes with important facts and dates, or to brainstorm possible interview subjects. Use a digital storyboard creator such as Storyboard Generator, reviewed here, to help students plan their interview or to prepare a presentation to demonstrate learning. Enhance learning by having students share their completed interview in a digital book created with Book Creator, reviewed here, that includes text, audio, and video.

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PDF to Flipbook Converter - Heyzine

Grades
K to 12
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Convert PDFs to flipbook magazines, brochures, and more without watermarks for free using this PDF to flipbook converter tool. Customize your creation by choosing from different options...more
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Convert PDFs to flipbook magazines, brochures, and more without watermarks for free using this PDF to flipbook converter tool. Customize your creation by choosing from different options for page-turning effects, change the look of the text, add interactive videos, and more. Upload your PDF document to begin using the customization options found on the dashboard. Options include adding links, images, changing the background, and embedding video. Changes are not automatically saved, be sure to save changes often. Share your flipbook using the link found on the site or embed it into a website using the embed code. Magazines created without creating an account are saved for a week; create a free account to save for future use.

tag(s): conversions (32), digital storytelling (129)

In the Classroom

Make a flipbook of a presentation as an engaging alternative to a web page or PowerPoint. Share classroom information such as rules and expectations in an easy to read format. Use for a great way to bring digital storytelling upfront in your classroom. Make photosynthesis a story instead of bits of equations and information. Portray a period in time in history or create books of different political or societal opinions. Create a flipbook with the viewpoints and personalities of characters in a story. Practice a different language by creating a themed flipbook. Lower grades can combine writing into a class flipbook to be shared online or read aloud. Any written assignment can easily be re-visioned as a flipbook! Make your literary magazine a flipbook or build new poetry collections during poetry month. Share all your flipbooks on individual laptops, or the interactive whiteboard or projector. Create simple flipbooks of Dolch words for beginning readers.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker - Adobe Spark

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Express Video Maker (was Adobe Spark Video Maker). Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start...more
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Express Video Maker (was Adobe Spark Video Maker). Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start from scratch. Add videos, text, music, and more to your video. Easily rearrange, change themes, and add components until satisfied. When finished, publish your video to share or download it to your computer.

tag(s): communication (135), digital storytelling (129), multimedia (42), video (242)

In the Classroom

Consider using videos in your classroom in a variety of ways. Upload your slide presentations and add audio to create flipped and blended learning experiences for your students. Ask students to create videos as an alternative to book reports or written presentations. Share videos on your class website for students to access when away from the classroom. As you ask students to create videos, use a bookmarking site such as Padlet, reviewed here, to share and organize information for students to use when researching. Include Adobe Excell Videos as part of a larger presentation using Book Creator, reviewed here. Embed your video along with images, text, drawings, and other media into your digital book creation. Book Creator is a Chrome app.

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ABCYA Paint - ABCya!

Grades
K to 4
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Engage in digital storytelling using the many features included at ABCYA Paint. Choose from the included tools to spray paint, draw, add stickers, and more. Be sure to watch the ...more
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Engage in digital storytelling using the many features included at ABCYA Paint. Choose from the included tools to spray paint, draw, add stickers, and more. Be sure to watch the tutorial for a complete overview of the features. When finished, save as a PNG file to your computer or print.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), drawing (58), painting (51), preK (238)

In the Classroom

Share how to use this site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector then allow students to explore on their own. Have students create drawings to demonstrate math problems, share science experiments, or draw scenes from a story. Include students' drawings in a digital portfolio like Seesaw, reviewed here. Seesaw offers tools for uploading images and creating an audio recording to share their reflections on their work.
 

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Imagine Forest - Imagine Forest

Grades
K to 6
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Imagine Forest offers tools to create and publish stories from anywhere. Start by creating your free account to access the many resources found on the site. Begin writing right away...more
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Imagine Forest offers tools to create and publish stories from anywhere. Start by creating your free account to access the many resources found on the site. Begin writing right away by uploading one of your own images or find inspiration by exploring the site. Choose the Activities link to earn points through writing challenges. Choose the Write link to create your own storybook using an image provided by Imagine Forest or uploading your own. Other activities include options like Fill in the blank stories, Character Creator, and a Rhyming Dictionary.

tag(s): creative writing (115), digital storytelling (129), writing (283), writing prompts (57)

In the Classroom

Imagine Forest is a must-have resource for elementary teachers of writing. Even your most reluctant writers will enjoy activities included on the site. Share how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector then allow students to explore on their own. Challenge students to set daily goals using activities found in challenges. Publish and share student work to create your own classroom library of student-created books. Ask students to create books for any content area studied during class, be sure to upload and include images taken during activities for students to use in their books. Create a classroom chart for students to share accomplishments like badges and points earned while using the site.

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Timelinely - Daniel Levin

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive video experiences with Timelinely. Just paste your YouTube video URL to get started and bring up your video to annotate. Select any portion of the video timeline...more
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Create interactive video experiences with Timelinely. Just paste your YouTube video URL to get started and bring up your video to annotate. Select any portion of the video timeline and add images, maps, links, and more to the annotation box. Edit and add as many highlights as you like, then publish when complete. You need to create a free account to publish your work. Share using social media links or the Timelinely URL provided after publication.

tag(s): communication (135), digital storytelling (129), video (242)

In the Classroom

Create flipped learning lessons for your blended learning classroom using Timelinely to provide questions, additional links, or notes to any video. Enhance student learning by asking students to use Timelinely to share information learned through videos. Include annotated videos with any multimedia presentation. Sway, reviewed here, offers many tools for including images, video, and more as part of online presentations.

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Digital Storytelling Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and...more
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and will work on all devices in both web browsers and apps. Find tools ideal for all grades. Use digital storytelling in all subject areas to assess, collaborate, share results, and more. Find options in the resources for student projects. View and learn from the professional resources shared.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), writing (283)

In the Classroom

Find an abundance of digital writing tools to use in your classroom. Share sites on your interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to create their own projects using tools on this list. Rather than a unit test, have students create a book demonstrating their understanding of concepts. Bring out creativity with these engaging tools!

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Breaking News Generator - Russell Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Design professional looking front pages for a newspaper with this tool. Simply fill in the pertinent information (headline, date, place, and more) and an image. Share via URL, Twitter,...more
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Design professional looking front pages for a newspaper with this tool. Simply fill in the pertinent information (headline, date, place, and more) and an image. Share via URL, Twitter, or download to your computer. Be sure to view the several samples available, and click on the little question mark at the end of the title to see ideas for use of this tool. No registration is necessary.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), images (247), newspapers (90)

In the Classroom

Assess students prior knowledge by creating a Breaking News piece to introduce a new unit. Replace paper and pencil and ask students to fill in an interactive KWL chart from Holt, reviewed here, or discuss in small groups what they know about the topic. Transform student learning by using their "Breaking News" in presentation slides by downloading the image from your computer. Then upload the image to a slide presentation creator such as Slidestory, reviewed here. Suggest to students that they do the same for their presentations. Use as a timeline of events for lab experiment, a novel study, historical event, and more. You might want to think about using this tool as a storyboard for digital storytelling as this tool could work well for storyboarding.

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Story Map - Read Write Think

Grades
1 to 8
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for...more
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for what to write. Returning to an organizer to edit is possible. Print your Story Map, since it is not saved.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), graphic organizers (43), writing (283)

In the Classroom

Substitute paper and pencil story mapping by introducing your class to Story Map and writing a class story. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and be sure to point out the prompts to answer with each organizer. Bookmark Story Map on class computers as part of stations when developing a writing project. Put a link to this tool on your website or blog for students to access at home.
 

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Lucidpress - Lucid Software Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share beautiful digital content with Lucidpress. After registering for a free account, follow the prompts to add a document type from the available templates. Short tutorials...more
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Create and share beautiful digital content with Lucidpress. After registering for a free account, follow the prompts to add a document type from the available templates. Short tutorials along the way help guide you on using available features. The easy drag and drop features allow you to personalize flyers, posters, presentations, and more. The free features allow you to include three documents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), posters (46), social media (44)

In the Classroom

Have students collaborate on any kind of document using Lucidpress. Collaborators can view, edit, and comment as they work together. The possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own story page for parents and students where they can stay updated about what is happening in your classroom. Have students create a visual story to accompany books read in class, tell about social studies events, or display images for different science terms. Make flyers for upcoming events, to share book reviews, or as campaign posters for class elections.

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StoryMap JS - Northwest University Knight Lab

Grades
7 to 12
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this ...more
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this tool syncs to Google Drive editor to create a storymap. The created storymap is a sequence of slides for a map location or image that includes a heading, text, and even images and embedded video. The map or image and included information appear side by side. You can click between the slides connecting one location to another (or portions of an image to another). Your story is now interactive! To use: Follow the prompts to connect your Google Drive to the tool. Choose the type of story to create, Map or Gigapixel (image). Don't worry about the map image showing on the first page. When building a map, the front page will include the portion of the World Map based on map points throughout the project (ex. USA or Europe). Add a headline and detail to the appropriate areas. Include links and change font to bold and italic if desired. Add images to any page by uploading from your computer (through Google Drive) or by entering a link to an image. Enter the URL of the Vimeo or YouTube video you wish to use. Need help? Click on the Gigapixel tab along the top for help in uploading images and videos. The Media box not only has an area for the URL, but also an area to enter a caption and credit for the image. Add additional pages by clicking "Add Slide" in the left-hand menu. Add points to your map, one per slide, by typing the building, street, city, and country. Use the zoom bar in the top left to find the location. Customize the map style, background color, and font using the Options buttons. Click Share to send through social media or to use an embed code. The embed code can be used in any site, adjusting its width for different sites. If using Gigapixel, use a large image (as the image will literally be the "map" and your points move around the image). Save your image to Google Drive and copy the URL of the image as you will need it in the first step.

tag(s): maps (209), stories and storytelling (34), timelines (47)

In the Classroom

Be sure to stress Fair Use and Copyright with students when using online images and crediting sources. Find great resources and information on TeachersFirst. Of course, if possible use your own images. In Science, use this tool to upload a picture of a science experiment from class and retell the story of the "experiment" by connecting with each of the individual parts of the image. In a Technology class, use this tool to create a project of anything that could be considered "mappable." Some examples include a timeline tour of an event, tour routes of a favorite band, the movement of a character in a movie or novel, or various events in a War. Find various shapes in nature and buildings for a Geometry class, showing their locations in a map. This tool would be wonderful for gifted students to showcase an interest or extend learning from a concept learned in class. Use this tool to trace the history of various recipes or ingredients in a Family and Consumer Science class. Trace the history of people, religions, and events. In Science, create a tour of various animals found in specific areas of a given biome or locations of various types of rocks and their information around the world.

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Draw A Stickman - drawastickman.com

Grades
1 to 10
13 Favorites 2  Comments
 
Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving...more
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Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving mysteries, thinking creatively, and solving problems. Start by selecting an episode, then begin the adventure, you draw a simple stick figure and then bring him or her to life. Your figure is faced with several challenges; you must follow directions and draw several props for your stick figure to use. You will love the hero of the story (the character you created) and the villain (a dragon). Finished stories can be replayed or shared on Facebook, Twitter, or email. There is also an online gallery for students to explore and view others' creations.

tag(s): creative writing (115), digital storytelling (129), directions (12), drawing (58), interactive stories (18)

In the Classroom

Aside from just fun practice at following instructions, Draw a Stickman would be a great fictional story prompt. Students have the bones of a story and can fill in details, vivid verbs, adjectives, etc. to tell the story. This would be a good practice activity with writing sequences of "first, then, and next." Students can elaborate on their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can write a moral for a story to add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class...how wide a variety can come from the same basics? Share finished stories with a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can "read" the story. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here. Teach story mapping easily with this activity: On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), students can go through the stick figure story together, labeling the different parts of the story (beginning, problem, climax, resolution, ending). This interactive can help students identify story elements, including setting, characters and plot. This site would also be perfect for ENL/ESL students for practice in reading and following directions or for speech/language students to practice retelling a story from the visual prompts. Another idea: use this activity for verb/vocabulary practice in a world language class.

Comments

This will be a great fill-in activity when my students finish their assignments. I can't wait to use it! Beverly, TX, Grades: 6 - 12
Love this! So creative. I know the kids will love it too and I think the learning activities sound very promising too. Jeannie, MI, Grades: 0 - 5

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Newspaper Clipping Generator - fodey.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Create a fictional portion of a web page easily by entering a fictional Newspaper, Title of article, Date, and body of article. The final image will be downloaded and not ...more
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Create a fictional portion of a web page easily by entering a fictional Newspaper, Title of article, Date, and body of article. The final image will be downloaded and not retained on any website except the ones that you publish to. Note: Model ethical behavior: Do not plagiarize or use real names of newspapers or people.

There are also links at the top of the page to create: a newspaper, ninja text, wizard text, talking flowers, talking tomatoes, talking owls, a wanted poster, talking cats, talking squirrels, and a clapper board. Be aware: this site does include some minor advertisements.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), firstday (17), news (232), posters (46)

In the Classroom

Basic ability to enter text into fields, download and find the finished file. For file to be shared, understanding how to upload the file onto another site or blog. The "clippings" you make do NOT remain on the site for access later by URL.

As files are downloaded to the desktop, you may want to create a Favorites folder, or other "collection" of students projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Another idea: use a class wiki with all projects.

Create a fictional account of a happening or description to identify the errors or determine the item being described. Create an account of a class celebration or a fantastic project that should be shared. Students can use this site to create a fantastic account of a vacation or experience. Have students develope a newsworthy article on an event from the novel they are reading. Use this site as a "first week" activity for students to write articles introducing themselves to the class. Have them use pseudonyms in their "articles" and share them on your class wiki or web page. A week later, have a matching contest where classmates must identify the mystery students! You could do a similar "famous Americans" or "important scientists" activity where students learn and share.

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