Resources for Writing Prompts:


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This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational writing, there are ideas here to help. Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment. Student choice is key in helping student voice come through in their writing.

 

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Starship - BBC

Grades
3 to 6
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Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the...more
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Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the parts of their stories. Audio prompts tell the students what to do, and when their selection is made, a voice reads the newly created sentence as the story grows. After adding each sentence, writers hear the directions to click on the watering can to add more sentences. Before selecting from the four choices, writers can hold the cursor over each to see what the resulting sentence will be. As students go through the writing process, the audio support, a firefly, reminds them of what parts they have already selected, i.e., who, what, where, etc. At certain points during the writing, the process stops, and the firefly shows and reads the story as it has been written up to that point. After the story is read, you can print it, read it again, or write a new story. This site was created by the BBC, so you my notice some slight differences in pronunciations.

tag(s): narrative (24), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Make this a class activity by sharing the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Since it has audio support, be sure to provide headsets for the students. Use the printables from this site for your bulletin boards. The audio accompaniment makes this a great site to use with ESL/ELL students too!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Kids Should See This - Rion Nakaya

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and ...more
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and up. Media isn't divided into categories. The newest items appear first. However, you can search the site by keyword. Information ranges from animal stories of a dog without legs to video of Ella Fitzgerald scatting. Obviously, this site is updated frequently, so contents will change. Students and adults alike will love browsing for interesting stories and information.

tag(s): news (261), speaking (24), video (254), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Check first to be sure the media are not blocked by school web filtering. Choose one item from the site to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter on current topics or as a lead-in to a lesson. (Example: show the YouTube video about order of the planets when beginning an astronomy unit). Share the site with students and let them explore to find interesting topics for research reports. Ask students to choose one item from the site to share with other students as a way to practice oral presentation skills. Use videos or images as writing prompts or blog prompts. ESL/ELL students can practice their language skills by retelling a favorite video. Challenge your students to create their own informative videos on a topic that your class is exploring. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Max My Dream - Johnson and Johnson

Grades
K to 8
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Use 140 words about a dream beginning with, "I dreamed that..." When finished, click Play. This tool creates a visual representation of the dream in a surreal and ...more
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Use 140 words about a dream beginning with, "I dreamed that..." When finished, click Play. This tool creates a visual representation of the dream in a surreal and certainly not literal interpretation! Though not like an actual video, the elements of the dream do appear. Replay the dream, send by Twitter or Facebook, or embed in a blog, wiki, or site. The actual tool is an advertisement for a sleep aid, but you can ignore the ads!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), parts of speech (68), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Practice writing skills. Share an example on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Embed the dream in a blog or site and challenge others to guess the dream by trying to rewrite it. Create visual representations of writing. Or create visual prompts to spark others to write their own interpretations or "what would come next?" Ask students to guess what words the tool focuses in on. Does it pick up verbs or nouns? Your more inquisitive students will enjoy experimenting to figure out how it works.

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Brainyquote - Brainymedia

Grades
5 to 12
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Browse one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites to quickly find and display famous quotes by topics, keywords, authors, and even author types, such as poets, musicians, lawyers,...more
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Browse one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites to quickly find and display famous quotes by topics, keywords, authors, and even author types, such as poets, musicians, lawyers, or politicians. A quote of the day and a trivia game are also included. BrainyQuote is a free service that supports itself by revenue generated from a few advertisements on the site. However, they are not intrusive, and they are easy to ignore.

tag(s): authors (120), themes (12), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on Teachersfirst. If you are not already a member, just click on "My TF" to join for FREE. When you are searching for a writing prompt or universal theme to connect with your curriculum area, a famous quote provides a springboard for students to reflect on the topic they just read or studied. After reading two or three literary works or studying historic figures, you might try changing the quote into a question. Have students compare/contrast how each of the characters would respond, and support their responses by citing specific examples. Then, students could answer the question from their own point of view to relate the meaning of the quote to their lives. Create a class wiki for the quotes of the day (and student responses). Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Or invite students to choose a favorite quote from this site and interpret it both visually and verbally by creating an online poster using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here
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One Word - Oneword

Grades
3 to 12
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Oneword is a quick, simple-to-use writing prompt generator. Each day on the website, one randomly generated word appears at the top of the screen. You have sixty seconds to write...more
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Oneword is a quick, simple-to-use writing prompt generator. Each day on the website, one randomly generated word appears at the top of the screen. You have sixty seconds to write about it. Click "Go" and the page will load with the cursor in place. Don't pause to think; just start writing whatever that particular word inspires, and keep your fingers typing, (or pen moving), until time is up. WOW sums it up in "one word!" This activity builds creative fluency and flexibility! One word of caution: before you click on the button to submit, you must type your name and email. Students do not HAVE to submit their work. Carefully check your school's policy. See suggestions below for how to deal with this effectively in the classroom.

This tool also has a "read" section where you can see what others have written. Since this section is unmoderated and open to the public, it could contain writings not appropriate for the classroom. Stick with the writing prompts page to avoid this issue or prescreen before sharing.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), journals (21), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Oneword can easily be displayed on your interactive classroom whiteboard at the front of class or as an inspirational "sidebar" as students enter class. Preview that day if you plan to display the public submissions, since they are unmoderated! Teachers may use their school email (or free gmail account) address for submissions. When working on individual computers, you may want your students to write their entries offline and save them for the class to submit to a single account. The whole tedious task of entering student names and email addresses can be alleviated by the teacher signing up and creating a free account. This will also provide you with a continually expanding list of more "oneword" features and give you access to all of your entries in one place. Another option of course is keep it old school; students open their journals and just write. Like many other familiar writing prompts, they can be used in a number of ways, including daily warm-up activities, journal entries, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're finished" activity. The element of surprise is inherent in Oneword, which provides built in motivation, as students, ready-to-write, wait for the word to appear on the screen and then, without hesitation... Go! This is a spontaneous exercise in flow; therefore you may want to revisit these one minute entries and choose some for revising and editing into a cohesive piece at the end of a week or other designated time period. You can also use the prompts for student volunteers to model writing techniques on your interactive whiteboard. Have students brainstorm lists of words that would be good writing prompts that are only "one word." ESL/ELL students will improve vocabulary with such brainstorms. Teenagers can try something new by creating an interactive book online with the collection of various different entries for one word. Not sure how to do it? Create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Because the site is not moderated, any unsavory or objectionable entries are on full display. I did not request a membership so I don't know if there is a way for members to flag inappropriate comments. Not for my upper elementary kids, though I may use the idea off line. Ann, PA, Grades: 1 - 5

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34 Ideas to Inspire Writing - Mark Warner

Grades
5 to 12
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Want to spice up your writing program? 34 Ideas to Inspire Writing will have something just perfect for you. This is a slide show of more than 34 very creative ...more
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Want to spice up your writing program? 34 Ideas to Inspire Writing will have something just perfect for you. This is a slide show of more than 34 very creative ideas to get your students writing. The ideas range from writing a script to present the weather, using Voki reviewed here or Blabberize reviewed here to bring a photo, a character, or an inanimate object to life, or random story starters from the Scholastic Story Starter Machine. Some of the slides have a central idea with several alternate suggestions, so you end up with way more than 34 Ideas to Inspire Writing. Some slides include links to sites; others include interactives, videos, and photos.

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

You can select one of the ideas and use your projector and interactive whiteboard to have the class brainstorm for their writing assignment. You could have a link on your web page and use it as a center for students to rotate through, either choosing which idea to use for their writing, or you could designate which idea students are to use. You can also assign small groups to certain ideas and when the writing is done, all groups share what they've written with the class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. an Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): stories and storytelling (33), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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Writing Bugs - Education World

Grades
3 to 12
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Writing Bugs is an online library of writing prompts organized in a timely fashion by months, (for example: Describe snow to someone who has never seen it), as well as ...more
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Writing Bugs is an online library of writing prompts organized in a timely fashion by months, (for example: Describe snow to someone who has never seen it), as well as "Anytime Writing Bugs," such as: Write about a goal that you would like to achieve this year. Stop racking your brain for new writing ideas and start livening up your resources with this variety of topic and story starters. A huge advantage for these writing prompts is that the subjects are categorized month by month so you can be assured that the topics deal with relevant content, or you may choose from the many that are applicable all year round.

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

You can easily click on the current month and display a particular journal entry starter on your whiteboard or choose to project a few to provide your students with options. They can be used to "get the ball rolling" at the beginning of class, as daily or weekly warm-up activities to practice general writing or skills that you are focusing on, preparing for state assessments, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're finished with your work" activity. They can be easily printed to use as "emergency" or substitute lesson plans.

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21st Century Questions - 21st Century Question

Grades
6 to 12
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21st Century Questions is a collaborative blog designed to pose thoughtful and challenging questions about the impact of technology on society. In partnership with efforts to...more
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21st Century Questions is a collaborative blog designed to pose thoughtful and challenging questions about the impact of technology on society. In partnership with efforts to promote digital literacy skills, teachers, students, and others can use this site either by accessing the questions already posed and exploring them with students, or by posing additional questions themselves. Each post contains a prompt, either in the form of a short video clip, a cartoon, or a short narrative, and then a series of open-ended questions. The rest is up to you!

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

These questions present a wealth of challenging writing prompts, class discussion starters, or extension/enrichment activities for gifted students or high ability writers in science or social students classes, in debate club, or in enrichment programs. Access the site yourself and cherry-pick your favorite questions. Alternatively, provide a link to the site and ask students to explore possible questions they'd like to answer or discuss. Finally, collaborate as a class to develop question prompts of your own as a group project and then post them to the site. Bookmark this site as one of those you go to when you have unexpected time to fill in class, or as a resource for a substitute teacher-led discussion. Science teachers can use technology issues to connect science with real world topics for students who may not otherwise see value in mastering concepts. Assign groups to explore a topic of their choice from this blog and present it in open-ended debate once a month in your science class or as part of a science careers unit.

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This is a treasure trove of prompts to ponder and spur editorial/argument writing. I LOVE THIS! Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Daily Writing Prompts - The Teacher's Corner

Grades
2 to 8
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Are you looking for interesting and fun ways to provide practice and inspire students to improve their writing? The "Daily Writing Prompt" page of The Teacher's Corner will make...more
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Are you looking for interesting and fun ways to provide practice and inspire students to improve their writing? The "Daily Writing Prompt" page of The Teacher's Corner will make your life a little easier for as many days as possible, when you are searching for an event to initiate a journal entry or any writing prompt. The ideas are written for various grade levels to meet the needs of both primary and intermediate students. Some of the prompts may not explicitly state that day's event; however you can easily cross reference them with this site's monthly events calendar. Who knows that June 1 is "Donut Day?" Many students consider donuts to be a great breakfast food, which leads to the describe your "perfect breakfast" prompt. However you decide to use "Daily Writing Prompt," you will find them to be a helpful addition to your resources.

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

One advantage to the "Daily Writing Prompt" is that they can easily be displayed on your interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. They can be used in a number of ways to improve your students' writing, including daily warm-up activities, practice in writing for state assessments, journal entries, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're done" activity. The writing prompts have creative ideas and options for how to implement them. They can be easily printed to use as practical "emergency" or substitute teachers' lesson plans.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Class Chatter - Daniel DeLuca

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has a useful choice of blogging tools that are simple to learn for students and teachers. The class mail feature is especially valuable because many schools do not ...more
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This site has a useful choice of blogging tools that are simple to learn for students and teachers. The class mail feature is especially valuable because many schools do not allow students access to an email program. Class mail permits students and teachers to exchange information in a controlled professional environment similar to email or instant messaging without the hassle of having IM or e-mail accounts. There are several types of blogs available including; personal, assignment, and topical. Personal blogs provide students with a space to write and communicate freely. Assignment blogs allow the teacher to post and grade writing assignments. Topical blogs offers a forum for students and teachers to communicate about a common idea or topic. A co-teacher can be added to a class to share administration of blogs and other features.

tag(s): blogs (88), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

A user's guide and introductory video are provided for registered users once they are logged in. The video explains in detail how to use all of the features available. After becoming familiar with the program, start with one class to pilot the program. Setup a test student account and become familiar with way in which students will use the program. It is important to understand the unique features that each type of communication offers. Familiarity with blogging and blog etiquette is important for safe ethical implementation. The help page includes a link to Information about educational blogging to help teachers and administrators understand the educational benefits to electronic communication.

Using the customize class feature, teachers can control student access to information and Class Chatter features such as class mail. Teachers have detailed control of students' post including safe guarding students' identity from others and editing posts including posts they created. It is important to follow any school procedures before using Class Chatter.

A class blogging program has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions using a topic blog on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. The class assignment feature creates a formal way for teachers to assess students' writing. Students can create an online journal by creating a personal blog. Class mail offers the chance for quick informal exchanges such as a response to a post, question or idea. The robust features of Class Chatter capitalize on students' eagerness to communicate electronically while allowing the teacher to control the format and flow of information. Convert current assignments to an appropriate electronic exchange. As an extension assignment have students create a personal message using the design of their blog page as the medium. This gives students ownership of their communications. Find many more ideas for class blogs in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom .

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Phylotaxis - Seed Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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As explained by the author/artist of this website, "phylotaxis" is the study of the ordered positions of leaves on a plant stem; scientists have discovered that these positions are...more
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As explained by the author/artist of this website, "phylotaxis" is the study of the ordered positions of leaves on a plant stem; scientists have discovered that these positions are not random, but governed by the Fibonacci Sequence. This website uses this word to describe the exploration of the space where science meets culture. Flash gives this site one of the most elegant visual impacts currently out there on the web. A collection of round icons is all gathered together in a flower-like structure. Each icon represents a news story about either science or culture. Use the slider bar to make the icons scatter in a more random (like culture) pattern or a more ordered (like science) arrangement. Click on "discover" to read any of the news stories; click on "agitate" to make your mouse disrupt the patterns and move the icons around. Load another arrangement for another date.

tag(s): news (261), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Aside from the pure "wow" factor of this site's appearance, projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector, it would serve as a good current events warm up for a social studies or science class. Additionally, its very configuration would spark an interesting science or culture discussion. Perhaps more beautiful than practical, it still deserves a place in your bag of tricks. Pull it out when you need something to spark discussion or wake up your class. Have students investigate a story of their choice and create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. As a higher level thinking challenge, have students discuss the "why" connections behind these articles or use ideas from this site to spark an unusual essay or blogging assignment. Teachers of gifted will want to share this link on their class web page, for sure!
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Writing Fix - Northern Nevada Writing Project Coordinators and Consultants

Grades
2 to 12
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Here's another thought-provoking site that creates writing prompts on the spot, categorized in some unique ways to address learning styles such as prompts for right-brained people,...more
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Here's another thought-provoking site that creates writing prompts on the spot, categorized in some unique ways to address learning styles such as prompts for right-brained people, for left-brained people, for kids, practice prompts for state exams, and many more topics. WritingFix has interactive lessons for building stronger writing skills in writers of any age, with the "kids" portion dedicated to the elementary/middle school student.You will also find lessons and links to resources to enhance your writing instruction. WritingFix is an ongoing professional development project. Your initial reaction to the page might be that it is very busy, but do not let that scare you off. Once you get started, you will find the organization quite easy to navigate.

tag(s): resources (112), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use the writing prompts before, during and after reading to foster the reading/writing connection. There are abundant ideas ranging from simple responses and mini essays to constructed responses. The daily writing practice and student choice is a popular page for assigning daily or weekly prompts to your whole class or allowing your students to feel they have a choice in what they can write about, by giving them access to a set of class computers and letting them click the button until they find the prompt that fits them for the day. They can type their responses right on the interactive page, save or print, and come back to it to expand, revise, and edit later.

Another idea is to have students help you incorporate the site into the class. Because many of these prompts are individual, you can have students working on individual projects at once. If you have only one or two computers available, allow students to have (or earn) a 30 second "prompt finder" slot before a writing assignment in class or for homework. Put a timer by the computer. You may find they compete to see who can find the best ideas- FAST. Build a "favorite prompts" list in a document on the classroom desktop -- allowing each student to record (copy/paste?) the idea he/she generated and his/her name. This will give you yet another source for prompts--promptly!

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TubeChop - TubeChop.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Chop pieces of You Tube videos easily and effortlessly in as little as a few steps. Quickly share your chopped video by providing a URL link or using the embed ...more
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Chop pieces of You Tube videos easily and effortlessly in as little as a few steps. Quickly share your chopped video by providing a URL link or using the embed code in a wiki, blog, or other site. View easy instructions and examples of chopped videos on the front page of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): gamification (65), movies (65), video (254), webquests (29), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

No registration is needed to use this free, web based application. Users need to be able to find an appropriate You Tube video and know where the start and end times of the portion they wish to cut. If more than one portion is wanted from the video (i.e. remove the whole middle), users will have to create two chopped segments which can be posted separately.

First, select the video you want to use. If the URL is not known, no problem. Search for the video within TubeChop itself. Once the video is selected, click the "Chop" button. Select the part you want by dragging the two black sliders that appear under the video to choose the desired start and end times of your chopped piece. It is helpful to note the time markers when you are previewing the original video and then move the markers to those points. Once your chopped piece has been chosen, simply click "Chop it." The chopped video appears with its own Tubechop link. Copy the embed code to share the video on your blog or website. The embed code is easily entered on a wiki as well.

If YouTube is blocked in your district, Tubechop videos will not show, either, since they are "pulled" from YouTube. Check school access before you plan to use TubeChop! (When tested in a district that blocks You Tube, the actual Tube Chop video did not play.) Be sure to check District policy about use of You Tube videos. Even if YouTube is not filtered, as with all resources used in the classroom, be sure to preview the appropriateness of the video before using in the classroom. TubeChop removes unwanted material whether inappropriate or not needed for that particular lesson.

Choose only portions needed for use in that particular lesson or remove unwanted portions that are inappropriate (or boring!) Create little clips to use as a webquest. Though it is time consuming, it would be easier for younger students to focus on smaller pieces of video to locate information. Chop small pieces of video for use as writing prompts for essays, creative writing, or blog posts. Chop portions of videos showing different viewpoints or arguments to any scientific, political, economic, or historical event. Use in the Arts to showcase music, dance, art, or other creative pursuits. Use chopped portions of video footage captured by the public to compare with news accounts to uncover bias and discuss perspective.

Comments

TubeChop is a great tool to select one part of some YouTube video, but if you are interested in selecting multiple parts of the same video, then you will need something else. I've found www.vibby.com to be great for this purpose - and it even allows annotating and commenting each specific part! Toni, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Big Huge Thesaurus - Big Huge Labs

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of...more
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This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of the words offered provides the same information for THAT word, sending you on word-paths through the English language. Innocent-looking links at the top of the page also provide hundreds of prompts for blog posts and stories, with enough choices to inspire any writer. Don't let the boring white background and plain-text presentation fool you. This tool has magic powers to make words interesting to almost anyone. The database of words used to generate this thesaurus comes from "the Princeton University WordNet database, the Carnegie Mellon Pronouncing Dictionary, and suggestions from thousands of people on the internet just like you." See a special note to teachers below regarding student behavior!

tag(s): rhymes (33), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (323), word study (80), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Keep this link handy among the resources on your class web page or wiki, and be sure to bring it up on your screen or interactive whiteboard to remind students of the rich tools it offers as you teach grammar, revision, poetry, essay-writing, or even letter and resume writing. With primary grades, share the rhyming words to help teach spelling and phonics! As students share in revising a passage or writing a poem on the interactive whiteboard, have this thesaurus available on another window to model their search for just the right word. Encourage students to look up any new vocabulary or terminology at the start of new science or social studies units so they can gain a broader "sense" of the words themselves through a constellation of synonyms and related words. Help students refine vocabulary by having them rank the various synonyms offered for a certain word, deciding which has the most positive or negative connotations. Offer the writing prompts for student journal or blog posts or creative stories. ESL/ELL students can explore new words with this tool, even practicing the rhyming sounds and noticing their varied spellings. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

NOTE: If students enter an inappropriate word, they WILL find classroom-inappropriate terms. As with use of any reference, your students need to know your classroom's consequences of such activity. The options are no different from students looking up body parts or pornographic terms in a print dictionary or on Google.

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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (144), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Toasted Cheese - Stephanie

Grades
8 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This is a useful site that makes life a little easier for writing teachers. BUT USE CAUTION! Looking for different daily prompts to address different kinds of writing and ...more
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This is a useful site that makes life a little easier for writing teachers. BUT USE CAUTION! Looking for different daily prompts to address different kinds of writing and issues? This site has current and past calendars that offer everything from first lines to assorted kinds of poetry. It has writing articles by both amateur and professional writers, writing exercises called "A Pen in Each Hand," links to other writing prompt sites, as well as chats and forums. The "Pen in Each Hand" link provides archived writing activities. BE CERTAIN to preview whatever you are using and do NOT permit students to surf this site. There are some inappropriate topics for use in school. Obviously the chat/forum option should be closely monitored or avoided entirely. Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This site is worth it if only for the variety of the daily prompts; however, there is a lot here to engage students. The story examples (such as the "Pushcart Prize Nominations"), the online literary journal, and the assortment of writing exercises give teachers a smorgasbord of activities to choose from. Just be sure to preview whatever material you wish to use in class and do so on a teacher-controlled machine. Or avoid recommending the site itself and find ideas you can use by projecting a writing prompt alone on your interactive whiteboard or projector, having students brainstorm ideas and write on their own to avoid potential "public" content here. Introduce blogging using one of these prompts and a tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Prompts - Creativity-Portal.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available...more
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available at your fingertips, teachers will find inspirational starters in a form which will appeal to all types of students.

There is a submission option at this site. You are able to submit articles or projects, suggest websites with FREE learning content, creativity journey blogs, or inspiring success stories. Before you submit any students' work, be sure to check with your school's Acceptable Use Policy and always get parental permission.

tag(s): drawing (78), journals (21), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use these writing prompts with your ESL or ELL students to get them to incorporate new vocabulary into a written piece. Share the on your teacher web page for all students to use as starters for blog writing or journaling. Have students share their own ideas of writing prompts, drawings, and photos that they feel may help others start writing. Submit students' work and ideas, after the proper precautions have been taken.

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Bill'z Treasure Chest - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
4 to 10
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This writing site offers interesting prompts for intermediate and secondary students. The site is set-up as a blog, and you are able to make comments on the writing prompts. New ...more
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This writing site offers interesting prompts for intermediate and secondary students. The site is set-up as a blog, and you are able to make comments on the writing prompts. New prompts are added at least once per week, sometimes twice or more. There are archived writing prompts dating back to 2005 - so there are PLENTY of choices to use in your classroom. Adding a comment requires an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email addresses, create a free Gmail email address.

tag(s): blogs (88), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share the writing prompt(s) on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students independently writing on paper or typing on the computer. These would be terrific prompts for student blogs! Provide two or three choices for students to use writing prompts. Have younger students work with a partner to brainstorm and list possible stories based on the prompt.

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Dragon Writing Prompts - Joyce Fetteroll

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
While this site would require some supervision, the variety makes it very attractive to the writing teacher. It has prompts that are pictures, others that are quotes, still others that...more
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While this site would require some supervision, the variety makes it very attractive to the writing teacher. It has prompts that are pictures, others that are quotes, still others that give first and last lines, or simply words-- either real or made up. The categories given in the right hand column range from adopt-a-plot to year-long mystery. Both students as writers and teachers as instructors are limited only by their imaginations! Check out the site first as some schools may block what appears to be a blog site, but really is something quite different.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Assign a small group of students to each kind of prompt category and create a writing contest for each week or month. You can create prizes, publish bulletin boards, or even create your own class online writing magazine wiki with the results.

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