TeachersFirst's Christmas Resources

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We Wish You A Merry Christmas! This collection of Christmas-related resources is sure to get you into the spirit. Find historical information and research, some neat ways to correlate the Christmas Holiday into your language arts classes, art, social studies, and many other subjects, plus some “educationally fun” ideas to use to celebrate. There are resources here for all grades. Don’t let the season pass you by without checking out these FREE resources. Be sure to check out our resources for all December holiday celebrations on our TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.  

 

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Sugar, Sugar the Christmas Special - Math Playground - Bart Bonte

Grades
K to 8
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With Sugar, Sugar the Christmas Special you won't even know you're improving your math skills using logic, creativity, and critical thinking. Direct the sugar crystals with your mouse...more
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With Sugar, Sugar the Christmas Special you won't even know you're improving your math skills using logic, creativity, and critical thinking. Direct the sugar crystals with your mouse to the mug(s). See how many tries you need. If you don't solve a level, try it multiple times. There's more than one way to solve each level. Sometimes the sugar even falls UP!
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tag(s): christmas (54), creativity (121), critical thinking (119), logic (235), puzzles (203)

In the Classroom

This interactive would be perfect for use on classroom computers. Demonstrate on your interactive whiteboard. Use the game as a prompt for math journals. Have students write about their efforts in directing the sugar crystals into the mugs and their thought process as they made changes. Have them record how many tries they needed for each level.
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NorthPole.com - Northpole Productions, LLC

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K to 7
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has games (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with Santa....more
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has games (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with Santa. Attend the Elf Academy, read stories about your elf, send animated Christmas postcards, write Santa a letter and get a reply! For those into the maker movement, there are holiday crafts to make with directions and free templates. Create an account and register your students at the same time. Students will be assigned a user ID and password.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (54), holidays (146)

In the Classroom

Introduce the NorthPole to students by projecting it for all to see the different areas to explore. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific areas. Post a link on your class web page or newsletter for parents and students to use at home. Consider demonstrating how to write a letter to Santa or send a postcard to a relative from this site.
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Torah Tots - torahtots.com

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K to 6
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah,...more
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah, Yom Kippur, Passover, or Rosh Hashanah. Other sections teach about the Jewish Calendar, Jewish history, and offer traditional Jewish music.
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tag(s): hanukkah (14), holidays (146), jews (26), puzzles (203), religions (67), rosh hashanah (7), yom kippur (7)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as an easy place to find lists of the Jewish months, Jewish symbols, information about Judaism, and plenty of information about Jewish holidays. Classes studying world cultures, the Hebrew language, and/or international holidays can learn from this site and also use it as a model to create similar games and projects for other cultures and languages. Select music for students to listen to while completing coloring pages and puzzles. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast traditional Christmas activities with Hanukkah events.
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Planet Publish - Planet Publish

Grades
4 to 12
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Find free downloadable ebooks of many classics. Some titles available are: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer,...more
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Find free downloadable ebooks of many classics. Some titles available are: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, The Iliad, The Red Badge of Courage, Oliver Twist, Heart of Darkness, A Christmas Carol, and many others. Find an introduction (or Gallery) to the books by scrolling down the page. View the menu on the right to see all titles. Download the PDF to get the full story.

tag(s): literacy (107), literature (273), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

When studying the classics, and using close reading techniques, pull up your PDF copy of the ebook to project on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use short passages to determine your literature circles. Read part of a story, and have students write the ending of the scene. Download to computers at centers for center time. Add to your classroom website to have ample reading material available for your students. Challenge your gifted students to read as many classics as possible. Locate classics to compliment your study of time, era, or author.
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Celebrating the Holidays with a Kid's Heart - Roxie Carroll - A Kids Heart

Grades
K to 4
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print,...more
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print, desktop wallpaper, and whole lot more! Build background knowledge about the many holidays people around the world celebrate. Some of the holidays included are birthdays, New Years, Winter, Father's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Valentine's Day, Summer Time, Independence Day, Presidents' Day, Purim, St Patrick's Day, Spring Time, Passover, Mother's Day, Earth Day, Grandparents' Day, Fall Harvest, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. Find informative, entertaining activities at this site.
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tag(s): christmas (54), earth day (110), fall festival (5), fathers day (10), hanukkah (14), holidays (146), july 4th (7), martin luther king (36), mothers day (12), new years (11), preK (294), rosh hashanah (7), st patricks day (12), thanksgiving (32), valentines day (15), yom kippur (7)

In the Classroom

Need to find quick activities for a special holiday in your class? Find ready-made activities to use during center time, class celebrations, or special reward time on your interactive whiteboard. After school programs can easily use activities for all different interests during holiday times.
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Interactive Sites for Education: Christmas - Weebly

Grades
K to 2
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Jingle all the way to find a merry collection of Christmas interactives. Here you will find the Reindeer Orchestra (music can be created by YOU), many math challenges, "decorating"...more
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Jingle all the way to find a merry collection of Christmas interactives. Here you will find the Reindeer Orchestra (music can be created by YOU), many math challenges, "decorating" art fun, coordinate challenges, word searches, logic games, puzzles, and more!

tag(s): addition (223), christmas (54), holidays (146), puzzles (203)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your lesson plans to use in December. They are sure to motivate your students! Introduce the activities on your interactive whiteboard. Bookmark (or save) these games at your classroom computers to used during center time. Share this link on your class website for students to use at home.
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Connected Classrooms Field Trips - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Take your class on virtual field trips through using Google hangouts, and, of course, Google. Participate in live events by signing up for upcoming field trips. Most trips include activities...more
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Take your class on virtual field trips through using Google hangouts, and, of course, Google. Participate in live events by signing up for upcoming field trips. Most trips include activities for students as well as opportunities for question and answer sessions. If you missed an event, no problem. Simply click the link to previous field trips to view at your convenience. Previous field trips have included visits to the San Diego Zoo, The White House Christmas decorations, and Ken Burns discussing the Gettysburg Address. If your district blocks YouTube, then parts of this site may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Hangouts require a Google account and may be blocked in some schools. Always test ahead of time before planning a class "trip."

tag(s): field trips (13), virtual field trips (52)

In the Classroom

Share the field trip offerings with your class, and together decide on field trips to take that fit with your curriculum. Before the presentation have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required). After the virtual presentation have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a person involved with the virtual presentation.
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Map Your Recipe - Wilfried Houjebek

Grades
5 to 12
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables....more
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables. These are the sources where the pants first came from, not necessarily where they can be found today. Also find a list of countries and their products. Click the example recipes included or copy and paste your own recipes right into the ingredient box. Our editors noticed that some fruits also could be mapped. Try entering cocoa to find out where the cocoa beans first came form.

tag(s): christmas (54), cooking (31), holidays (146), maps (294), nutrition (155), plants (166), species (30), thanksgiving (32)

In the Classroom

Use Map Your Recipe when teaching holiday traditions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas Around the World. Use this engaging way to find out where the vegetables (and some fruits) were originally domesticated. Include with a geography lesson and attempt to find recipes with ingredients native to countries located on the map and to your own region. In science class, talk about the conditions that allow a plant to find a new home on another continent. Are all plant species welcome? What conditions must be present for a plant to thrive in a new location?

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Sparky Teaching - SparkyTeaching.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Sparky teaching's goal is to ignite classroom creativity, and they provide resources to help you get started. Check out the resources section for many online and downloadable posters...more
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Sparky teaching's goal is to ignite classroom creativity, and they provide resources to help you get started. Check out the resources section for many online and downloadable posters and activities. Especially interesting is the "365 things that make you go hmmm..." portion. Find notes for teachers, today's big question, viewer responses, and archives of previous questions. Another great resource is the 10 word stories. Don't miss lots of wonderful reader-submitted stories. This site is sure to get your creative juices flowing! And the "site" doesn't want their name or headings starting with capital letters because they say they are not a title, but rather they are what they do in the classroom. Be aware: this site was created in the United Kingdom. You may notice some slight spelling/vocabulary differences. There are some items for sale on this site, but you can find free ideas and posters.

tag(s): christmas (54), creative writing (167), creativity (121), problem solving (289), thinking skills (17), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Display one of the 365 things that make you go hmmm... prompts on your interactive whiteboard. As students enter class, have the class use Postica (reviewed here), to create web-based sticky notes on a sticky board with responses. Demonstrate and share the 10 word stories with students then challenge them to make their own 10 word story to summarize classroom reading materials, books, math processes or tips, or any other classroom topic. Be sure to check out the articles and reviews on the site for more creative thinking ideas. Use the 12 Days of Christmas activity and worksheets to sneak in some math practice around the holidays!
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A Christmas Carol - English Language Teaching Resources - Kieran McGovern

Grades
3 to 8
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A Christmas Carol is a fun and jam-packed resource of activities and lessons centered around this classic Charles Dickens book. Although there is a paid portion of the site,...more
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A Christmas Carol is a fun and jam-packed resource of activities and lessons centered around this classic Charles Dickens book. Although there is a paid portion of the site, there are many free activities to use in ELL/ESL and elementary classrooms. Resources include activities such as the structure of the text, A Christmas Carol timeline, infer and deduce skills development, analysis of character (Scrooge, Bob Cratchit), and much more. 24 pages of worksheets are also available to use both online and offline. Also included on the site is a link to a cartoon version of the book that is 24 minutes long and is noted to be very close to the original version of the book. The site is a little hard to follow, you may want to go to the site map link from the home page to get a listing of contents and follow links from that section.
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tag(s): christmas (54), dickens (13), video (278)

In the Classroom

Share the video on your interactive whiteboard then have students complete quizzes on their own. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain point of view from each of the characters in A Christmas Carol. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Use vocabulary from the site as a starting point for weekly spelling lists. Have students compare and contrast the video on this site to versions of the story they have already seen. Challenge groups to make comparisons using an online tool such as the site - Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
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Make a Victorian Cornucopia - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 10
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th...more
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th century. The printable pattern is included. See more Victorian Christmas activities on the TeachersFirst Victorian Christmas page.

tag(s): christmas (54), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Try this easy activity during a Christmas 'Round the World unit or as part of a study of the Victorian Era. Have students take digital pictures of the steps and include them on your class web page or wiki (with captions!) so others can try the activity at home. Make cornucopias as gifts for a visit to a local nursing home or children's home so the activity becomes a service project.

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Nutcracker Study Guide - Inland Pacific Ballet

Grades
4 to 8
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site...more
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site offers lots of ways to incorporate the Nutcracker story and history into curriculum.

tag(s): christmas (54)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource during a historic examination of Christmas. Have students re-write their own version of the story using a different setting, time period, or both be sure that they consider how costumes, sets, characters, folk dances,music, landmarks, locations, events, and animals might be different. Have students consider the Dance of the Snowflakes scene in The Nutcracker. Discuss what animals they might find living in this kind of habitat? What else would you likely find living in this habitat (plants, trees, insects, etc.)? Have students record their ideas on a graphic organizer and draw pictures to go along with it. Have students compare or contrast The Nutcracker with another folk tale, fairy tale or story they have read or are familiar with.

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Carol after Edgar Allen Poe - J.H. McNulty

Grades
8 to 12
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on ...more
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on Dickens holiday tale can serve as a summarization of the novel for your students, or as a springboard to a creative writing activity on Victorian poets and novelists. Composed by J. H. McNulty.

tag(s): dickens (13), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a tool during a unit about the Christmas Carol or as part of creative writing unit. Gifted students will especially enjoy the combination of two works into an original. Have them try their own, perhaps more contemporary combination of style from one work with substance from another for a creative synthesis extraordinaire.

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Dickens and Christmas - David Perdue

Grades
7 to 12
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to...more
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to many Dickens' novels, and explains several significant themes evident in A Christmas Carol.

tag(s): christmas (54), dickens (13), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a tool during a unit on Christmas or Charles Dickens. Divide students into small groups or pairs to read the information on this page. The text might be challenging for some students. Pair weak readers with a strong reader. Instruct students to use Webnote, reviewed here, to take "sticky notes" for the important information they learn. If some of the passages are difficult, even for the strong reader, have them use Rewordify, reviewed here, to replace the difficult text shown with easier to understand words. Be sure to tell students to use Webnote (mentioned above) to make a sticky for the difficult word or phrase and it's definition, or easier wording. Allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them.

Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation around a theme from Dickens using one of the TeachersFirst Edge reviewed multimedia tools. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Rooclick.

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Parlour Games - Old-Fashioned Living

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3 to 8
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What kinds of activities would be found at a 19th century Christmas party? Read and learn about some very popular games played by children and adults during the Victorian era. ...more
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What kinds of activities would be found at a 19th century Christmas party? Read and learn about some very popular games played by children and adults during the Victorian era. Clear, simple instructions are provided and little or no preparation is required

tag(s): christmas (54), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource for finding games that could bring history to life during a unit on Victorian England or Christmas. Plan a Victorian Christmas celebration with historically accurate games, food, and decorations.

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A Victorian Christmas - Malcolm Warrington

Grades
4 to 8
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions....more
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions. We wish the images were bigger, but this is a nicely designed introduction to Victorian celebrations.

In the Classroom

Use this website during a unit on Christmas or Victorian history. Allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them. Consider having students create their own online Victorian "albums" using a tool such as MyScrapNook, reviewed here.

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Celebrate a Victorian Christmas - Victoriana Magazine

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1 to 8
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December...more
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December 1860 issue of Godey's Lady's Book, and explore appropriate 19th Century gift suggestions. This site also contains a complete dinner menu from 1890, with recipes for plum pudding, easy to follow directions for making a pine cone Santa (Harper's Bazaar, December 1867) and a facsimile of the first Christmas card, sent in 1843.

tag(s): christmas (54), makerspace (8), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

This site is especially useful as a teacher-resource in planning a series of activities centering around a historic, Victorian approach to Christmas. It's an excellent resource to use as the basis for an informational treasure hunt with students from upper elementary through middle school. Use a tool such as TrackStar, reviewed here, to create a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, or webquest. Use Celebrate a Victorian Christmas as a resource for study of the Victorian Era. Allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them.

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Learning Chocolate - learningchocolate.com

Grades
K to 12
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of...more
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of the week, Europe, Fruit, Work Site Problems, Medical Jobs, and much more! Click on a category and you get common vocabulary as well as five review games for that category. Each word has sound, and many of the review activities are based on hearing the word to complete the required work. An added benefit to the site is that it is easy to switch the target language from English to three other languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chinese (50), japan (60), japanese (45), spanish (111), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Save/bookmark this site on your classroom computers to serve as a vocabulary resource for ESL/ELL and also world language students. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Share this site with Chinese, Japanese and Spanish teachers as well as with special needs professionals for help with vocabulary development and articulation. You could also have students create their own narrations of photos (similar to this site) using a site such as Thinklink reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google Treks - Dr. Alice Christie

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
GoogleTreks allows teachers and students to synthesize information in one easy-to-use Google Map that places text, pictures, audio files, video files, and much more in one central location....more
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GoogleTreks allows teachers and students to synthesize information in one easy-to-use Google Map that places text, pictures, audio files, video files, and much more in one central location. This site offers possibilities for exploration in all subject areas for all grades. The site is organized by both subject and grade-level tasks. Currently there are only a few examples to follow; however, they offer a variety of material and ideas for creating your own Google Trek or for students to create their own. After choosing a pre-made GoogleTrek, you are directed to a Google Map with different tasks and links.

There is an excellent tutorial for creating your own GoogleTrek that includes step-by-step directions with pictures. After creating a GoogleTrek, it can be posted to the site for others to use. Also included is a rubric that can be downloaded in pdf form. More information on Google Maps can be found at the TeachersFirst review. You can also view the maps in Google Earth. To learn more about Google Earth, see the TeachersFirst review (here).

tag(s): maps (294)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore independently or in small groups. Older students can create their own GoogleTrek after viewing examples for any subject. To post the GoogleTrek, you must email the creator (directions are explicitly explained on the "Posting Your Own GoogleTrek" link. Have students create GoogleTrek's about Christmas Around the World, routes of explorers, famous landmarks, and important inventions. While presenting a GoogleTrek, have students identify points displayed on paper maps located at their seats.

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Christmas Fun - Mrs. Robin Martin

Grades
K to 5
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If you are looking for fun activities to feed the holiday spirit check out Mrs. Martin's blog. Students will enjoy decorating digital gingerbread cookies, "elfing" themselves, making...more
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If you are looking for fun activities to feed the holiday spirit check out Mrs. Martin's blog. Students will enjoy decorating digital gingerbread cookies, "elfing" themselves, making virtual snowflakes, creating colorful sand drawings, and counting down the days to Christmas on advent calendars from around the world.

*BE AWARE: at the time of this review, a few of the links were "under construction." However, what IS available is worth taking a look at!

tag(s): christmas (54), snow (21)

In the Classroom

Incorporate fun digital activities into your interactive whiteboard or projector lessons this December. Make a shortcut to links from this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Read Jan Brett's book "Gingerbread Baby" and then have students create virtual gingerbread cookies from the variety of sites on this blog. Science units covering the states of matter, weather, or water cycle can include a fun diversion to cutting out virtual snowflakes. Schools that celebrate Christmas will enjoy projecting an advent calendar daily and seeing what surprises each new day brings.

General Tips and Reminders: Fully preview the links on this site at school before introducing them to students. Some sites may be down or not accessible on your school network. There is some advertising on a few sites. Students may have the opportunity to create virtual cards. These require users to enter email addresses directly into the site. Advise your students to print their work rather than submitting personal emails. Or use a class email (rather than your personal email, create a class gmail account for all students to use).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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