Building Schoolwide Literacy With Free Web 2.0 Tools
A Close-up of Recommended Tools

Introduction || Project Ideas for: Kindergarten1st Grade2nd Grade3rd Grade4th Grade5th Grade


Intro. Grade

Literacy skills developed


Makes visual displays of words in multi-color, multi-size graphic images, shared as images or by URL. See a sample.

(K) 1

vocabulary development, spelling, phonics, word choice, thesaurus, word relationships, cross-curricular terminology, word frequency in writing/literature


Makes interactive, online books, including digpix, uploaded graphics. Start from word files, PowerPoint slides, or templates. Shared by URL. Printed copies of books can also be ordered (for a fee). See a sample.

K, 1, or 2

writing, reading, oral expression, oral reading, listening, articluatin, vocabulary development (speech/language)


Makes online "threads" showing uploaded images (digital pictures, scans, PowerPoint slides, anything!) with accompanying adio or text "comments." Students can record narration, read aloud, record talking comments, and more. See a sample.

1 or 2

speaking, writing, narrating, articulation (speech and language), written and oral commenting, reading analysis, reading with expression, etiquette of commenting, story telling, story mapping, book critique, presentation skills, cross-curricular writing and expression, poetry


Adds markers and “stories” to Google-powered maps of the US and world. “Stories” are written text boxes and can include photos, as well. Readers can comment on “stories.” Markers can also have sounds attached. See a sample "story."


written expression, writing for an audience, informational and narrative writing, cross-curricular connections with geography and social studies, literature: setting


Makes online multimedia “posters” to include images, , videos, audio files, text, “fun” graphics, links to web site, and more. See a sample.

4, 5

integrating visuals and writing, bibliography, informational writing, organizing information, summarizing, book critiques, cross-curricular writing and organization/presentation of information, poetry, figurative language, research skills (KWL, finding sources), thesaurus, multimedia dictionary, writing for audience/purpose


Other TeachersFirst Editors’ Choice tools for K-5 literacy:

Diagrammr - make a map of ideas from sentences; Read our review

Fotobabble - record narration to go with a single picture; Read our review

Webspiration - Free online version of Inspiration software for graphic organizers; Read our review - (make graphic organizers); Read our review

Blabberize - (make talking graphics/images); Read our review

Automotivator - makes inspirational posters; Read our review

Big Universe - makes magazine covers, books, more; Read our review

Introduction || Project Ideas for: Kindergarten1st Grade2nd Grade3rd Grade4th Grade5th Grade