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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
  
The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), images (266), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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NASA Digital Learning Network - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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Learn firsthand from experts and specialists at NASA! Join free and interactive video-conferencing events or view podcasts for use in classrooms. Use the "Event Catalog" to find events...more
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Learn firsthand from experts and specialists at NASA! Join free and interactive video-conferencing events or view podcasts for use in classrooms. Use the "Event Catalog" to find events for specific grade levels, science subjects, or topics. View the event's focus and description as well as downloading Adobe pdf files of introductory activities and complete educator guides for different grade levels. A variety of webcasts are available. For example, in 2009, NASA's offerings include "Exploring Other Worlds," "The Earth System," and "Global Warming, Causes and Consequences." Educators must create a login and register for events. Access to video conferencing hardware is necessary for the live video-conferencing events. Download applications needed for viewing the webcasts from the "Tools and Plug Ins" page. The tools are also available at the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), earth (228), environment (317), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Educators can view professional development webcasts from NASA's education experts. Download the pdf documents for use in class, and introduce concepts for students and formulate questions in class. Use several students to record fine points of the lectures, collect the most requested questions prior to the video-conference, and begin discussions following the event either in class or using web 2.0 tools such as a blog or a wiki. In lower grades, use the webcasts to introduce science concepts visually on a projector or interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visions of Christmas - American Antiquarian Society

Grades
2 to 12
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees,...more
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees, and evolution of Santa, this site will suit your purpose well. The four main topics include: Origins of Christmas, Evolution of Santa, The Christmas Tree, and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Students researching old customs will appreciate the simple approach.

tag(s): christmas (64), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Art teachers, enlarge the antique photos and engravings by double clicking on the small picture. The enlarged image can be printed to be included in a vast choice of art projects. Around the holidays, project one of the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to use as a writing prompt, as they write a story about what they feel the picture portrays.

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Clevr - Clevr Ltd.

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a panoramic photo without a special camera! Use a normal camera to take the photos. The CleVR Stitcher is the easiest photo stitcher available. Just drag and drop your ...more
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Create a panoramic photo without a special camera! Use a normal camera to take the photos. The CleVR Stitcher is the easiest photo stitcher available. Just drag and drop your pictures, click the button, and the application "stitches" them together for you. By joining your pictures, create a stunning panoramic picture. Clevr enables you to embed the image into your website or blog, share the images on various social networking sites, and more.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to log in to the website, upload and manage pictures from their computer, and use simple tools.

As an alternative, you can create a "class account" that all students can access. Share your panorama on the web in the interactive viewer. Embed it into your blog or website using the embed code.

Possible uses: Create panoramic pictures for blog headers on a classroom blog. Students can plan and take pictures representing their town, area, school, or classroom. Use the pictures to create a panorama for the top of the page. Social Studies teachers may assign students to create panoramas of local history. Art teachers can also assign a design challenge for students to create fictitious panoramas from diverse images. Literature teachers can offer an option of creating a "setting panorama" or "thematic panorama" as a project for visual/spatial students. Of course you will want them to explain their design choices in terms of the literary work.

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Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index - MSNBC

Grades
6 to 12
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political ...more
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political cartoonists and is constantly updated to provide fresh content tied to the news of the day. The site is surprisingly deep, however, and has cartoon galleries that go back at least five years.

Teachers should be aware of several cautions however: Preview the cartoons collections for age-appropriateness; understand that the site does contain advertisements; and recognize that the images are copyright protected. Teachers are advised to post links to specific cartoons rather than trying to "cut and paste" the cartoons into websites or other documents.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the political cartoons on this site to introduce a class discussion on current events, civics, or government. Try using a cartoon as a writing prompt either for individual students or for collaborative work. Post a link to a particular cartoon or cartoon series on your classroom blog for discussion. Have students try to create a cartoon (either drawing or using computer generated images) depicting current events in the news.

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Lincoln Bicentennial: 1809-2009 - Library of Congress

Grades
K to 12
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there ...more
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there is an interactive timeline, online quiz, podcasts, detailed lesson plans for all grades K-12 (with standards), printable pages, research information, suggested literature for all ages, information about the Civil War, Gettysburg, and more! Much of the site requires Flash; some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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One Life: The Mask of Lincoln - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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Art, history, and government teachers will all delight in this informative website about Lincoln. There are pictures, detailed information, and even podcasts answering some famous questions...more
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Art, history, and government teachers will all delight in this informative website about Lincoln. There are pictures, detailed information, and even podcasts answering some famous questions (such as Why Did Lincoln Grow a Beard). You will also see the works of Mathew Brady. Take your students on the "Audio Tour" of the exhibit - be sure to turn up the volume! Specific topics cover "The Rise of Lincoln," "The Civil War," and "Lincoln's Contemporaries." This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), oil (45), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on the audio tour of the exhibit which features several podcasts. Art teachers, share the pictures with your students (especially the podcast about the cracked portrait). This site also provides some excellent research information. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site and then create a project: blog entry, wiki, video, PowerPoint, or something more "traditional."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Civil War@Smithsonian - Smithsonian

Grades
7 to 12
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This outstanding site examines America's most profound national experience through artifacts that are housed in the Smithsonian Institution. Twelve topics - including Slavery and Abolition,...more
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This outstanding site examines America's most profound national experience through artifacts that are housed in the Smithsonian Institution. Twelve topics - including Slavery and Abolition, Appomattox, Life and Culture, Weapons, and Mathew Brady - link to virtual collections of objects that can be individually explored. A Civil War timeline is included. Some of the interactives require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): abolition (7), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent addition to a unit on slavery and the Civil War OR an art class! Have students write captions for the pictures. Challenge students to create a blog entry from Lincoln, a slave, Mathew Brady, or someone else shown in pictures. What were they thinking? Why did they do what they did? How would life have been different if the Internet was around during the Civil War?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bookmaking with Kids - Cathy Miranker and Susie Peyton

Grades
K to 12
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the ...more
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the extensive blog material to learn about author presentations and how schools incorporated those visits into making books. The creators say this site is part scrapbook and notebook, so click on the categories frequently to see the new content.

Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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GeoGebra - GeoGebraWiki International

Grades
K to 12
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Choose from a wide variety of lesson plans and ideas for elementary, middle school, high school, or college, all created using GeoGebra. View concepts on individual pages that house...more
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Choose from a wide variety of lesson plans and ideas for elementary, middle school, high school, or college, all created using GeoGebra. View concepts on individual pages that house interactive applets (mini-programs) and downloadable, zipped versions. Depending on your computer's security settings, you may need to "tell" your computer to "trust" the source of the activity before it will "Run." Explore Math resources for Art, Music, and Physics. Some of the available activities have demos with audio explanations, as well. Be aware this wiki allows users to add content. You must log-in to add content, but you still may want to preview for accuracy before you share this site with your students. The users appear to all be math teachers, but some activities may be created by students.

tag(s): angles (88), coordinates (32), decimals (133), equations (155), fractions (239), integers (41), percent (82), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Use the applets to demonstrate concepts in Math. Use these as a review or as an introductory lesson for students to identify the rule. Many are well-suited for interactive whiteboards.

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Art Through the Ages - Erin Kubarewicz, Katie Reiss, Danielle Smith, Brie Walsh

Grades
9 to 12
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This site gives a simple webquest that helps students apply research to see a more complex idea. While it is geared to making students "experts" in a certain type of ...more
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This site gives a simple webquest that helps students apply research to see a more complex idea. While it is geared to making students "experts" in a certain type of art in a given century, it can easily be expanded to incorporate the ideas of literature, music, and philosophy that tie into those art periods. Throughout this site, students learn about baroque, classicism, cubism, dada, expressionism, romanticism, and surrealism. The evaluation is a PowerPoint that students present to the rest of the class.

tag(s): romanticism (2), surrealism (4)

In the Classroom

This webquest can easily be expanded by using your own web sources to help students analyze the arts as periods in their entirety rather than just the fine artists of the time. It could also be modified to have groups of students include architecture, theatre, dance as they affected the history of the time (or the history was affected by the art) and present this as "experts" on that time period. You may want to use a more current collaborative tool instead of PowerPoint. Consider having students collaborate on a Google Docs presentation (tool reviewed here), an online Bookemon book (tool reviewed here), or a Simplybox collection (tool reviewed here) about art during their assigned time period.

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Using Art to Define the Renaissance - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 10
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This unit, ideal for classes in Art, World Cultures, or World History, can also be used in conjunction with the study of Renaissance literature. Students should already have a basic...more
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This unit, ideal for classes in Art, World Cultures, or World History, can also be used in conjunction with the study of Renaissance literature. Students should already have a basic understanding of the Classical Period and the Middle Ages. Beginning from the premise that "art imitates life," the unit connects art with the philosophical underpinnings of the Renaissance. This unit will take students through a process in which they will not only experience masterpieces from the Renaissance, but will also learn to analyze art, draw conclusions, and, at the advanced level, apply lessons from the art to their own lives. In doing so, students will gain an understanding of the characteristics that define the Renaissance.

tag(s): renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

This unit was developed to be used by a wide range of ages and abilities. It can be altered for different ability levels. TeachersFirst editors have included options for more student-centered, project-based activities using technology throughout the unit. You can adjust the time requirements depending on which activities you decide to do.

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NMAI: Identity by Design - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native...more
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native women's clothing as insight into Native American culture of the time period, and features stunning photographs of Native dresses and commentary by present-day Native women. The site both describes the ways Native women made their clothing in the 19th century and the ways that clothing can give us important clues about the role of women in Native society. Of interest also are the ways clothing began to reflect the influence of the dominant white culture on traditional Native practices. The site also includes information about today's Native Powwow dance competitions which bridge the distance between traditional culture and the modern world, and bring 19th century Native women's clothing and costume into the 21st century. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): clothing (9), native americans (78), women (101)

In the Classroom

Traditionally, American history has been taught as the story of the dominant European culture's triumph over more primitive Native cultures. Native American culture is too often pictured as one-dimensional rather than as a rich collection of diverse tribes and cultures. If Native women are featured at all, they may be represented only by Pocahontas and Sacajawea. This site allows a fuller exploration of the variety of Native women's cultures and would serve as an outstanding supplement to a study of the European settlement of the West. The photographs of the women's dresses are lovely and would display nicely on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The commentary would be useful for any student doing more in-depth research into Native culture. The site's focus on women's roles and culture would also fit nicely with a unit on women's history. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. To extend the clothing-as -culture approach in your classroom, ask students to create a wiki showing the role of clothing in ethnic subcultures of the U.S. today or at other places and times. Middle school grades might want to work together with the art or FCS teachers on this.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Drop Me Off in Harlem - Artsedge

Grades
6 to 12
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Presented by the Kennedy Center's Artsedge program, this site is a wonderful kaleidoscope of information about Harlem from 1917 through 1935. It explores the artists of that time, including...more
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Presented by the Kennedy Center's Artsedge program, this site is a wonderful kaleidoscope of information about Harlem from 1917 through 1935. It explores the artists of that time, including writers, artists, actors, dancers, and musicians. It has sections of the activists of the time such as W.E.B. DuBois and Charles Johnson. Clicking on a place name will show you a map of that area and where it was located (the Lafayette Theatre, for instance, was on 7th Avenue).

One of the nice things about this site is the easy access to the section they call "Classroom Connections." Here they provide activities for grades 6-8 and 9-12 that are specific to grade level as well as links to lesson plans if you choose to use those. Visit the Media Player link to find video clips, audio clips, text, and images. Some require RealPlayer. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1910s (9), 1920s (16), 1930s (15), dance (28), harlem (9)

In the Classroom

Because of the sheer variety of links offered, this is an ideal lesson to spread among a class. As a culminating activity have a "Harlem Day" where students present their information. They might dress and speak as the person they studied; they might present music, poetry, or art from that time, or even create a Harlem "nightclub" to share their information.

Why not make this lesson even more interactive and have students create video clips to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector via YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). Other project ideas could be a blog written from the perspective of someone living in Harlem during the great depression, or a wiki written between one of the famous artists and the president at the time (Herbert Hoover, for example).

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Queeky - Philipp Hennermann

Grades
2 to 12
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Queeky offers two feature-rich, online draw/paint programs: Queeky Paint (also available as a downloadable, offline paint program for Mac or Windows) and Multidraw. Queeky Paint provides...more
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Queeky offers two feature-rich, online draw/paint programs: Queeky Paint (also available as a downloadable, offline paint program for Mac or Windows) and Multidraw. Queeky Paint provides sophisticated draw and paint tools. QueekyPaint supports upload of your own image to then draw, paint, or alter. Multidraw allows multiple people to collaborate on a drawing board while text chatting in near-real time. Multidraw offers more than tools and options the simple paint programs and also adds a playback feature so you can watch the drawing process played back over and over. Chat as you draw together with other in Multidraw. Multidraw also uses HTML5 computer language so it works on mobile devices that do not support Flash! You have complete control of transparency, line thickness, colors (within a web palette), and much, much more. Queeky also hosts a community of very accomplished digital artists to learn from, even if you never lift an electronic pencil. Watch featured artists' works played back to see they were done, and even start from one drawing to create a new version ("variate"). If you are fortunate enough to have a mobile tablet, use the Multidraw tools with your finger! There is a full screen option to use while drawing or playing back, as well. Begin a multidraw drawing without any membership. You can password protect it to limit those who have access to make changes. Be sure to mark the url in Favorites or copy/paste it somewhere it will not get lost! Share it with others to join the drawing simply by giving them the url (and password). Drawings without passwords are open for the public to join in -- probably not a good idea! Save completed (NOT playable) drawings by clicking Save.It will open in a new window for you to RIGHT click and SAVE As a png file on your local computer. Note that the files are designed for use on computers and are not high resolution print-quality images for brochures, etc.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), design (84), drawing (78), graphic design (35)

In the Classroom

To view and share drawings on a projector or interactive whiteboard with your class, you do not need to join. You can even draw. collaborate, and play back a drawing without saving. For full features, join the site (free). The confirmation email is slow to arrive, so join a day or so ahead of time. We suspect that the Germany-based site has real humans checking memberships on Germany time! While you wait, you can experiment with the drawing tools or learn about them by visiting the gallery and "playing" some drawings to see how some of the tools can be set to create truly artistic images. Be sure to experiment with the tools together with your students. There is an undo tool--very important as you start out. There are no demonstration videos or help screens, so you may learn best by doing or watching what others have done. There is a forum where users discuss tools, etc. Preview before sending students here, but the advice may be very helpful.

This is a public site, so even though the Terms of Use prohibit obscene drawings, teachers will want to preview Galleries they plan to use and have a specific policy in place for students who navigate the site on their own. The public can see any artwork you create and view your profile, so students should have parent permission before creating any online artwork of their own and should maintain an anonymous identity on the site. Consider using a whole-class account so you can monitor activity. Students could name their works using a coded initial system so you would know who created what. This site allows outsiders to comment on public projects. You will want to discuss these features in the context of Internet Safety or establish specific written class rules and consequences for interacting with outsiders. This is a good opportunity to discuss netiquette and how to participate positively and safely in online communities.

Art teachers will love the chance to teach about design elements in a public, hands-on environment. Assign students to use only certain tools or to "variate" on a starter drawing you provide to demonstrate both creativity and mastery of the elements. Students using the tool from home could generate an actual portfolio of drawings without expending precious art materials. Have students or groups create collections or locate artworks in the galleries that demonstrate the design elements or techniques you want them to notice. Without joining the site, play selected drawings on a projector or interactive whiteboard and have students narrate what they see the artist doing.

Students in other subjects can use password protected Multidraw "rooms" (save the URL!) to create and share collaborative visual explanations of science processes, book covers for literature (with explanations for the design choices, of course), visual responses to poetry, graphics or logos for "companies" they create in a business or math class, etc. The animated playbacks of drawings could even show how to form letters in manuscript or do calligraphy (if you can do it without making a mistake!). An animated playback of a science process like the water cycle would be a great way to assess student understanding or reinforce the concepts. Challenge your gifted students to collaborate on Multidraw diagrams and playbacks to explain processes, sketch out ideas, or plan a project.

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ArtScope - San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art

Grades
2 to 12
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Explore a collection of 3500 pieces of artwork from the San Francisco Museum of Fine Art by clicking on one of the thumbnail pictures displayed on the screen or by ...more
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Explore a collection of 3500 pieces of artwork from the San Francisco Museum of Fine Art by clicking on one of the thumbnail pictures displayed on the screen or by entering a search term. Dragging the lens over the thumbnails highlights the artist, year, and information about the piece. You can zoom in further and further to see the images up close. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Use this collection to choose pieces of artwork for students to critique or compare. Students can reflect on their choice or conduct an oral critique on your interactive whiteboard or projector, describing techniques, styles, and more. Start class with a "one minute artstorm" by having a student randomly click on a thumbnail on the interactive whiteboard and having the class brainstorm characteristics or thoughts about the piece as you zoom in closer and closer. Ask them to caption it, compare it, or outline the movement of its design in the air during your one minute display. You could even ask them to debate whether or not they consider it to be "art."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Art and Architecture Thesaurus - Getty Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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The Getty museum has compiled a very complete, easily used thesaurus of art and architecture terms. Type in a generic search word related to art and architecture, and this handy ...more
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The Getty museum has compiled a very complete, easily used thesaurus of art and architecture terms. Type in a generic search word related to art and architecture, and this handy research tool will provide its definition, related terms, and position within the site's hierarchical database. Art teachers and students will find this one a valuable research and study tool for understanding art terminology and vocabulary. This is a text-only resource, but useful for clarifying concepts and styles.

tag(s): architecture (84), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324)

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5 Sources for Free and Legal Images - The Blog Herald

Grades
K to 12
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging...more
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging students or using them on your whole-class blog or wiki. The sources include abstract photos and current events new stories, as well as general photos. Each has its own search/browse features. The services include: Voxant Newsroom, PicApp, GumGum, Zemanta, and PhotoDropper.

tag(s): blogs (88), images (266)

In the Classroom

Since each site has its own directions, our review team will not explain the how-to's of each here. Some require access to install a plug-in on your blog, such as wordpress. Many school blogging sites do not provide this access. Others permit embedding an image simple by copy/pasting code into your blog or wiki. Two are actually extensions you add to Firefox or Internet Explorer and may require tech department authorization or installation on school computers.

If you do allow students to join a site, be sure to adhere to school policies. As always, we recommend previewing the content available on each site before recommending it to your students. These images sites are NOT education-only, so some image content may not be classroom-appropriate. Have a policy and consequences in place before turning your students loose.

Art teachers or writing teachers can use the abstract images from the GumGum option as writing prompts or to launch discussion on design principles. If your students have individual blogs, allow them to personalize the "look" using these legal images. Be sure to model thinking aloud about why you are using a legal image source. Use news images or videos from Vixant Newsroom as prompts for current events discussions on your blog or wiki, or assign students to select a news story and write an in-depth analysis of it to accompany the image/video. English or social studies teachers teaching persuasive writing can assign students to use their multimedia skills as they present arguments both verbally and visually on a class "issues" wiki. Younger students can help select images to include on a whole-class wiki or blog then add their own writing about them. A teacher can embed a sequence of photos and ask student to tell the story that explains it. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page for your tech-savvy teens to use as they generate projects with LEGAL images. Of course you will require them to document their sources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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After the Deluge - Smith Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few ...more
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few words, it's perfect for students of all ages and English ability levels. The drawings are in chronological order and include weather pictures and before and after pictures, as well as specific events of the hurricane.

Warning: Be sure to PREVIEW each section before you show it to the class since there is some profanity in the speech of some characters.

tag(s): graphic novels (7), hurricanes (35), novels (24)

In the Classroom

In light of the increase of hurricane activity, this is a wonderful resource to introduce this weather topic. Use it also in art class, graphic design, and with ESL and ELL students learning to tell stories. Use this site to introduce the world of graphic novels to students who are reluctant readers. Have your class make their own graphic novel about another catastrophic or historical event, either in groups or individually. Check with your administration to be sure it's OK to use this site at student computers since there are spaces for students to respond and also to submit their own work. If that's a problem, use it with your classroom computer and project the novel on the whiteboard (avoiding scenes with questionable vocabulary). Extend the lesson by having students create their own collaborative graphic account of a local history event or fictional tale in small groups.

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Pixlr - Pixlr

Grades
2 to 12
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This free, beta site is a useful photo editing service. Edited pictures are saved on the computer and are not public for viewing. Use this site to create montaged ...more
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This free, beta site is a useful photo editing service. Edited pictures are saved on the computer and are not public for viewing. Use this site to create montaged images, resize photos for emailing or use on wikis, etc, or simply because your camera files are too big to store.

tag(s): editing (61)

In the Classroom

Know how to browse to find files saved on your computer and be willing to "play" with the tools and menus, if you are unfamiliar with photo-editors.

Click Jump In to access Photoshop-type tools. Select an image saved on your computer or your desktop or create a new one. Currently, pictures cannot be accessed from online photo storage sites. The top menu contains almost any option the average user would need to edit and manipulate pictures. The menu is easy to navigate and read. Help is minimal at this time. The site is easy to use, and users of other paint and editing applications will be at ease using this site. Students will love the filter options for altering pictures. Multiple images can be edited or "montaged." When editing is complete, save the image by specifying an image name and file type (JPEG or PNG). Click "OK," and the file will be downloaded to your machine. The simple interface and fast site makes this a great editing application to try.

Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.

Keep this tool handy as a link from your teacher web page for quick access any time!

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