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Vozme - Festival Speech Synthesis System Centre for Speech Technology

Grades
K to 12
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Change text into speech in your email messages, in your browser, website, or Wordpress blog. VozMe is free and easy. Save as an MP3 file and expand your possibilities. Languages ...more
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Change text into speech in your email messages, in your browser, website, or Wordpress blog. VozMe is free and easy. Save as an MP3 file and expand your possibilities. Languages include Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Hindi, and Apache. You can also choose a male or female voice.

tag(s): text to speech (19)

In the Classroom

Create a verbal classroom using speech in your email messages, blog, browser searches, and even class discussions, read alouds, and simple explanations. Lower elementary classes, ESL/ELL, or learning support classes can enjoy greater independence with both verbal and written text. Let students try making a blog post with synthesized speech. ELL students can hear written language to build listening skills and relate written English to the spoken sounds. Send an email with an anticipatory activity for a content lesson by polling, asking a question, or offering food for thought. At the end of the unit, have students create a review for content area subjects. Use in your writing class for students to listen to their own work read aloud. This allows for easier self-revisions. Share all written work on your class blog, allowing everyone to share (with parental permission, of course). Enjoy giving students writing prompts or homework assignments spoken aloud, playable as many times as each individual needs. Send a quick email to a sick or absent student, adding a more personal touch with them hearing your message. Use to read poetry or to illustrate inflection and emotion in your speech. Enjoy all the talking and listening you and your class will do!

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TagCrowd: Make Your Own Tag Cloud From Any Text - Daniel Steinbock

Grades
K to 12
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TagCrowd is a web application to visualize word frequencies in any text through creation of a word cloud, text cloud, or tag cloud. Simply type or paste in any text, ...more
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TagCrowd is a web application to visualize word frequencies in any text through creation of a word cloud, text cloud, or tag cloud. Simply type or paste in any text, import from any website, or upload a file to begin the word cloud. Choose from options such as language to use, limit number of words, exclude words based on frequency, or exclude unwanted words. Save as a PDF, print, or embed the finished image using links included with the finished product. The most frequently used words appear larger and in a bold font.

tag(s): speech (87), vocabulary (319), word clouds (11)

In the Classroom

This is a great visual tool to use. Take a poll and have your students type their answers into the word cloud builder. Then display on an interactive whiteboard or projector and see which answer was the most popular. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or to "see" themes of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Use this site to surprise students with words that appear often in their writing. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. More ideas for primary grades: Dolch words, class names, numbers to 20, words with the same beginning letters, collection of ALL the words that hang in the classroom (so students can walk around and find/touch them on a laminated Word cloud card in their hands), or any collection of similar words.

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Phrasr - Pimpampum.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Create online image phrases with this clever tool. Type any phrase into Phrasr's search box to find images to "match" the words. Narrow down your image choices for each word ...more
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Create online image phrases with this clever tool. Type any phrase into Phrasr's search box to find images to "match" the words. Narrow down your image choices for each word by choosing from many offerings. When complete, provide a title and name to publish your image phrase. The one misnomer here is that you can actually use a sentence, not just a phrase. Published phrases show the words in a slow left to right scroll easily read by anyone, with your selected images above each word. Make rebus-style messages by simply keeping the word with the "no image" option in some spots. View archives to find image phrases created by others (viewer discretion advised). Send phrases via email or other social tools when complete. You can also click to see your just-published phrase in the "archive" to copy the url directly. See a sample here. Our editors found that the image selections are rather unusual, unlike typical "clip art" collections.

tag(s): figurative language (16), images (285), phrases (6), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Use this site to make lessons grab your students' attention (which isn't always easy). Create images for content-related phrases and display on your interactive whiteboard for students to guess the phrase. "What goes up must come down" could introduce a lesson on Newton's laws! Use as a unit starter to provide image phrases related to upcoming lessons. Have students create their own phrases with images for classmates to guess the phrase (cover the sentence with a notebook tool or similar). Use pictures to display your morning message. Use this site during a poetry unit to talk about the many visual images used in poetry and for students to compose figurative language phrases that they can test in Phrasr. In art class, use Phrasr to discuss the way we relate images to meaning.

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The Dream Flag Project - Jeff Harlan and Sandy Crow

Grades
K to 12
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The Dream Flag Project is a poetry-humanity project that fits into any unit on writing, poetry, character development, history, art, social issues, or community service. Reading, writing,...more
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The Dream Flag Project is a poetry-humanity project that fits into any unit on writing, poetry, character development, history, art, social issues, or community service. Reading, writing, critical thinking, and artistic expression activities are available for a wide range of abilities and grades. Start with Langston Hughes, "The Dream Keeper" and his collection of poetry. Explore an introduction to the Harlem Renaissance and black history or focus on goal-setting to make the dream come true. This collaborative project is created by teachers for teachers with a step-by-step approach. The resources include ideas, lesson plans, printable handouts, opportunities to collaborate, and examples.

tag(s): black history (57), poetry (221), service projects (23)

In the Classroom

Transform your classroom into a community of poets and dreamers and even choose to participate in a global project by writing and sharing poems with students around the world. Share this site during Poetry Month. You'll love seeing the pride in students as they engage in reading, writing, creating, and sharing poetry that reflects their hopes and dreams for today and the future. Introduce the extensive photos, videos, and other resources on a projector or an interactive whiteboard. There are "quick links" to an abundance of resources. The outcomes can range from poetry reading and writing to integrating music, theater, videotaping, or social networking (be sure to check with your school's policies). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This can be done in a sixty minute lesson or expanded to a year long theme. It's your choice!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dr. Seuss Lesson Plans and Other Teaching Resources - Carla Beard- webenglishteacher

Grades
K to 8
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Find lesson plans, ideas, activities, materials, and resources for using the whacky, whimsical, words of Seuss in this collection of links to many places on the web. The mere ...more
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Find lesson plans, ideas, activities, materials, and resources for using the whacky, whimsical, words of Seuss in this collection of links to many places on the web. The mere mention of the name Dr. Seuss has become synonymous with kindergarten nursery rhymes, but even he would be pleased and amazed to see how useful and diversified his books are for not only teaching reading skills, but also for use in science to help students understand contemporary concepts like going green, or in social studies classes to teach World War II political cartoons, or in elementary math classes to learn basic operations. Click on the well-known book titles for creative ways to discuss, analyze, compare, contrast, sequence, write, resolve conflicts, recycle, and examine important concepts. Of course, there is also plenty of phonics, word play, and building comprehension activities for the language arts teachers who have always been loyal fans. Note: some of the links are no longer active, but the collection still has enough working to make it worthwhile.

tag(s): dr seuss (10), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

If there was anything that Dr. Seuss wanted us to learn in his later years that you won't find in Oh, the Places You'll Go, you'll not only discover just about everything else here, you will also find out how to do it. Compare the works of Seuss and Silverstein by having students work in groups to prepare critical thinking questions about issues of friendship or making wise choices, exploring the relationship between sound and spelling using onomatopoeia in a standards-based lesson from Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You?, reading Trees for Many Reasons to examine the importance of conserving natural resources, or introducing One Fish, Two Fish as a way to demonstrate Venn Diagrams with Teachersfirst Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here), you'll add humor that will liven up instruction. Permission is granted to link to any educational site, so feel free to post your favorite Seuss games and activities on your class page.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Poetry Read-Alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This read-aloud collection is part of TeachersFirst's Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although...more
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This read-aloud collection is part of TeachersFirst's Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of poetry books to read aloud and related activities and lessons will inspire young poets -- even reluctant ones. Invite them to read and write poetry on their own. Find both printable and online resources to extend the poetry reading and writing. Try this terrific read-aloud collection during April, National Poetry Month. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): book lists (131), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Use the before, during, and after reading activities in this read-aloud collection as the core of a poetry unit or simply to honor National Poetry Month. Mark it in your Favorites so you can use it from year to year. Share some of the activity ideas and links with parents to use at home or with other teachers to make poetry a schoolwide literacy celebration.

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Fiction Teachers - Meadowbrook Press

Grades
2 to 8
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Jump into fiction and poetry with fictionteachers.com. Find information about teaching reading, poetry, readers theater, and inviting such authors to visit your classroom. Write a Girls...more
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Jump into fiction and poetry with fictionteachers.com. Find information about teaching reading, poetry, readers theater, and inviting such authors to visit your classroom. Write a Girls to the Rescue, a mini mystery, or a new fangled fairy tale. Lesson plans have creative ideas to inspire students, teachers, and parents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (221), readers theater (15)

In the Classroom

Jazz up your language arts class with fun, laughter and great readers theater scripts. Find links for other websites for more resources. Discover book resources to make your language arts workshop become the favorite part of your students' day. Use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), at centers, for parent resource, or additional advice for tutors.

After students have experienced two or three of the reader's theater scripts from this site, have them create their own script for a favorite story. Use the script writing tips found on Aaron Shepard's Reader's Theater Page reviewed here.

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Tammy Worcester's Tech Tip of the Week - Tammy Worcester

Grades
K to 12
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Find a wealth of ideas and tips for using technology in your classroom. Tammy Worcester, an instructional technology specialist for ESSDACK and ISTE presenter, compiles her tips of...more
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Find a wealth of ideas and tips for using technology in your classroom. Tammy Worcester, an instructional technology specialist for ESSDACK and ISTE presenter, compiles her tips of the week here. Other portions of the site include her book sales and paid training and consultation services. See a list of over 100 technology of the week tips, such as creating lesson plans as a Google spreadsheet, sharing lesson plans using Google, as well as publishing them. Follow simple step by step instructions with screen shots embedded for even the most wary technology user. You will also find lists of internet resources given by category. Find 18 ideas and activities explained in simple formats. Some activities include: All about me scavenger hunt, idiom slide show, multiplication charts, Tall Tales, and poetry. This site is ever-growing, so check back often.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): folktales (48), idioms (45), number sense (96), operations (122), tutorials (49)

In the Classroom

Trying to think of new ways to use technology with your students (in all grades?). Want to learn just one small tip each week? The weekly tips are a great ice-breaker to using technology and new teaching ideas in your classroom. Try that one tip that is suggested and explore more as you feel comfortable.

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The Explorers' Graveyard - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
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Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities...more
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Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities abound, and the end product makes a great display for parent-teacher conferences.

tag(s): explorers (68), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free and interactive lesson plan! Just be sure to save it as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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Using Creative Dramatics With the Teaching of Poetry - Tracy 4/5 teacher

Grades
3 to 5
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This is a teacher-created lesson trying to get upper elementary students interested in poetry by involving them in groups. It is simple and easily adapted to different grade levels....more
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This is a teacher-created lesson trying to get upper elementary students interested in poetry by involving them in groups. It is simple and easily adapted to different grade levels.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan during a language arts unit on poetry. For a twist on the skit idea, you could also have students complete the almost the same task by creating online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Word Clouds for Kids - ABCya.com

Grades
K to 7
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This word cloud generator is made specifically for children. This site takes any text and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. The ...more
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This word cloud generator is made specifically for children. This site takes any text and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. The most frequent words appear larger. Paste in any passage or grouping of text to create a word cloud of the text. Students can choose their own colors, type of display, font, and the final cloud can be printed or saved.

tag(s): speech (87), vocabulary (319), word choice (28), word clouds (11)

In the Classroom

This is a great visual tool to use. Take a poll and have your students type their answers into the word cloud builder. Then display on an interactive whiteboard or projector and see which answer was the most popular. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or to "see" themes of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language.
 

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Soar into Spring with Kites - Education World

Grades
3 to 12
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This web page consists of an adaptable lesson plan and information that is chock full of creative, interactive, practical, ready to use activities based upon the discovery and usefulness...more
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This web page consists of an adaptable lesson plan and information that is chock full of creative, interactive, practical, ready to use activities based upon the discovery and usefulness of the kite. There are interdisciplinary projects including art/history, science, geography, language arts, and math that are fun for students of all age ages. Spring, or any season, is the perfect time to introduce your students to the fascinating world of kites. At the time of this review, two of the links were no longer active. However there are many useful links that make this site a worthwhile tool!

tag(s): crafts (39), seasons (35)

In the Classroom

Check out this educational page for many ideas, links, and ready to do projects. This all-encompassing lesson plan challenges students to participate in enthusiastic learning activities about why kites have often appeared in poetry, legends, and folk tales, and have led to important scientific discoveries. Invite students to try one of the many ideas to create and decorate a kite that represents flags from various countries. Ask them to label the kite with that country's word for kite, using the link provided for the Kite Translation Table. Allow your students to be adventurous with technology by providing them with the opportunity to create online posters using Animoto for Education reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tar Heel Reader - University of North Caroline

Grades
K to 12
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide...more
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide free resources to give everyone an opportunity to learn to read and write. All books are free and available for download as slideshows using PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash. Book topics include biographies, fairy tales, history, science, math, nursery rhymes, poetry, food, and more! All stories have speech enabling, can come in as many as fourteen different languages, and are compatible with touch screens. Since a wide range of age groups use this site, they have a rating system to suggest what is suitable for younger readers. Tar Heel Reader is also a great way to write books. Upload images from your computer or Flicker, add text, create, and share student stories with an authentic audience of readers. Tar Heel Reader is a great way to engage students with reading material, increase class participation, and create inclusive instruction for those with illiteracy or learning disabilities.

** This site does contain some materials NOT suitable for all classrooms. Be sure to read the "rating" system, and contribute your own opinions (as the ratings are only as reliable as the pool of contributing voters). Books rated 'E' are meant for everyone but a 'C' means to use caution as it may not be proper material for some. Determine what titles are suitable and save them to the favorites file for students to access.

tag(s): literacy (106)

In the Classroom

Increase your big book collection ten fold by projecting Tar Heel Readers onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use interactive shared reading lessons to strengthen student recognition of common sight words, concepts of print, decoding skills, and use syntax cues and unlock the meaning of text. Ask students to circle known sight words, count the number of words in a sentence, trace capital letters, or point to the first letter of a word during a choral read. Help ESL/ELL students by creating books out of photos from class field trips, events, or experiments. Integrate text that uses key vocabulary words and creates reading materials that are both relevant to grade level curricular standards and match your student's readability level. All books you publish on the web site are public domain and available to all other users. Be sure to get parent permission before publishing student books on-line. In order to create a book, users will need to register. Unfortunately, this requires users to email gb@cs.unc.edu to request of an invitation code. With this code, simply create a username, submit your name, and email address. Set up a single teacher account and have all the students use that login to avoid safety concerns. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tagul - tagul.com

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for ...more
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for any blog entry or web page (including newspapers online) to create a word cloud of the text. This resource is currently free while in beta and intends to keep it free for NON PROFIT only. Enhance basic word clouds by using this site to create clouds in various shapes, use mouse rollover options, use font effects, and more. Elevate your word clouds into an art form. Once registered, change your password by clicking on the profile tab and entering your changes. Before creating a word cloud, agree to their terms that includes only using appropriate content. Copy and paste series of words or use the url of a page where the words can be found. Choose a shape such as a heart, cloud, or geometric patterns. Choose a font as well as other options, and then click "Build the Cloud." Preview your cloud before saving.

tag(s): images (285), vocabulary (319), word choice (28), word clouds (11)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to copy and paste text or provide a url to a page of text as well as determine parameters of more advanced word clouds. Alternately, these word clouds can be kept very simple. After creating the word cloud, be sure to save the image (or use a screen capture) to share with others. Another idea, use the url of the cloud or embed into a place to share such as blog, wiki, or site.

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Help students develop creative fluency by creating their own taguls of words and ideas from scratch. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create taguls of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Collect thoughts about the class subject at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year to determine changes in thoughts about the subject matter.

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Tagxedo - Hardy Leung

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. ...more
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. Create a visual representation of a passage to pull out and identify important words or show the text in an interactive, visually appealing way. The resulting cloud pops out the words as you roll over them, so viewers can "see" each word separately. See a sample, created by the TF Edge review team. Explore the gallery for many inspiring examples, including some that use the customizable image shapes uploaded from your own computer (premium feature). Some features may change slightly after the beta phase, but developer Hardy Leung assures TeachersFirst users, "Even after beta you'll be able to save the animated version of the Tagxedo for free to your computer or to the web without the paid version. I may require a membership, though unlikely, but even then I'll make sure there is a free version for teachers and students."

Tagxedo requires Silverlight. The site will appear as a blank page with the "Install Silverlight Plugin" button if your computer does not have it installed. See your tech folks to allow download and installation of this plug-in if school computers do not have it and/or are "locked down."

tag(s): firstday (25), vocabulary (319), word choice (28), word clouds (11)

In the Classroom

NO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.

In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.

For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.

Comments

Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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The Writer's Resource Directory - Carol Kluz

Grades
8 to 12
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Carol Kluz's site has hundreds of resources for writers that link pages to book reviews, writing workshops, tips, and more. Winner of the 2009 Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for...more
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Carol Kluz's site has hundreds of resources for writers that link pages to book reviews, writing workshops, tips, and more. Winner of the 2009 Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers, The Writer's Resource Directory provides an organized place holder for many tried and true essentials, as well as other perks and frills like interviews with authors, their words of wisdom, writers' tools, and a clever thesaurus of phrases and sayings which includes definitions and origins. Please do not let a few broken links discourage you; most links do work, and they are real gems. Whether you're a novice or an expert, there is something valuable for every teacher, student, and writer on this site.

tag(s): literature (270), poetry (221), resources (106), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the numerous tips and tools to spark a new idea or expand one that you already have going on. Save this site in your favorites and use it as a massive compilation of resources while planning your entire English language arts lessons, not just writing. Use your whiteboard to show a "how-to" video or display information to enhance your lessons. Provide a direct link on your class page to any one of the sites that you choose to feature; perhaps a literary genre, book, or author that you are focusing on, or daily writing tips, grammar help, and guides for students to develop practical writing skills for reports, e-mail, letters, resumes, and more. Share students' writing projects interactively by having students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stories Behind the Songs; Introduction - Jonathan Chase

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is part of the Musicians United for Songs in the Classroom, (M.U.S.I.C.), nonprofit website that promotes the educational use of songs by teachers in all subject areas. Here,...more
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This site is part of the Musicians United for Songs in the Classroom, (M.U.S.I.C.), nonprofit website that promotes the educational use of songs by teachers in all subject areas. Here, the use and study of songs extends beyond traditional general music classrooms. Lyrics are a timeless expression of the human experience that captures the history that shapes our people and culture. The creative process of analyzing and interpreting song lyrics helps students to develop critical thinking and media literacy skills. In each song entry you will find information including artists' commentary, discussion of corresponding songs, referenced and related works for study and comparison, music and lyric resources, and samples of classroom activities. Song lyrics are a powerful teaching tool that engage, excite and motivate young people. Some songs only include lyrics, while others include video an/or audio. All students can learn, but first you must get their attention. This resource is music to their ears.

tag(s): lyrics (21), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Many students' favorite past time, when not texting or social networking, is listening to their iPods. Why not use that venue to hook them into understanding the 'music of poetry?" Stories Behind the Songs; Introduction includes the music, lyrics, song-based lessons, projects, and activities for many popular songs and ballads that express universal themes of poverty, hunger, discrimination, and hope. Students listen to the music and examine the origins and inspiration for contemporary lyrics. Popular songs can be used in a classroom setting to facilitate meaningful discussions on a particular theme or topic. Songs also create an emotional hook and may be used as a springboard to introduce poetry, literature, and historic documents. Students enter the Song Guide by clicking on the song's title to enjoy the full authentic cultural experience the music and lyrics offer. Follow up with asking students to write poems or short essays describing their feelings and impressions of the lyrics, or have them create new poetic verses and images to accompany the music. Challenge students to narrate an image using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Poem in Your Pocket - Michael Bloomberg

Grades
5 to 12
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Poem in Your Pocket is a site dedicated to the annual Poem in Your Pocket Day in April and hosted by New York City for the past several years. The ...more
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Poem in Your Pocket is a site dedicated to the annual Poem in Your Pocket Day in April and hosted by New York City for the past several years. The website provides background information about the day and ways to participate. A variety of unique activities, lessons, and ideas will help bring poetry to classrooms and schools.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Go through this site with students and then have students read the suggestions for students under the curriculum ideas section. Have students create a plan of action for celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day for your class or school. Have them use a plain and simple tool like Boardthing, reviewed here, for their planning, or Corkboard, reviewed here, where students can add images and have links to websites. Students can present their ideas using either Corkboard or by creating an interactive, multimedia poster using a tool like Genial.ly, reviewed here.

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Colors in Motion - Claudia Cortes

Grades
K to 12
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If you teach any aspect of color and design, this is a great site to introduce not only color theory but also the psychology of color. This interactive presentation explains ...more
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If you teach any aspect of color and design, this is a great site to introduce not only color theory but also the psychology of color. This interactive presentation explains the symbolism behind color and the psychological impact each has on our emotions. Animated characters representing each color, playfully describe their symbolism and lists words that describe the emotional sense of each color evokes. The rich word bank provides valuable adjectives useful for writing instruction. It is an excellent resource for writers learning how to be more elaborate, develop mood, tone, and enhance the use of description in their writing. This is the site's author, Claudia Cortes, master's thesis for a degree in Computer Graphic Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. You can view the site in English or Spanish. Note: The pages actually launch in a pop-up window. Watch the top of your browser window for a pop-up alert and tell it to "allow pop ups from this site."

tag(s): creativity (117), design (88), elaboration (2), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use it to introduce color names and primary and secondary colors with students as young as kindergarten or ESL/ELL students. It would also be a great resource to support a poetry unit or mini-lessons on elaboration. Two of the interactive activities give students an opportunity to create stories with colors. This site will help older students understand the evocative nature of color. This knowledge may help them create more engaging presentations or designs that are cognizant of mood and tone. There are several on-line interactive activities to use on an interactive whiteboard. All creations made on-line are printable. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Newspaper Blackout - Austin Kleon

Grades
4 to 12
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!)....more
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Newspaper Blackout is a clever way to unlock the secret poetry hidden within any printed page. This Tumblr site shares examples (unmoderated, so preview before sharing in a classroom!). Poetry no longer needs to be a gray area; this activity makes it black and white! There are no gimmicks, no magic pens, and no camouflage paper, but this is certainly a tricky way to write a poem! All you need are newspapers and black markers. Hunt for and select a few words from each of the lines as you read a newspaper or magazine article. Remember to start with the title. Instead of the typical bottom-up approach to writing a poem by starting with a blank page and filling it with words, try this fresh, top down approach by starting with a page already crowded with words. Then use permanent markers to blacken out all the trivial words in each line until the poem appears. (Put something under your page so the ink does not bleed through on furniture!) Click Share your poem to learn how to upload your work to the site.

tag(s): creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

This poetry activity (aka Found Poetry) opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and having each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site. You may want students to start saving their work in a digital portfolio. Suggestions are bulb, reviewed here, for high school students, or Dropr, reviewed here, for fourth through eighth grade students.

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