GradesK to 12
Be aware: there is an allow/deny button that pop up on this site. You must allow access in order to fully utilize this website. Before the site opens, they ask permission to access your computers camera and microphone. This will enable audio recording functions. Denial of this access will still allow students to create and write stories.
tag(s): art history (72)
In the ClassroomPicture a story is an engaging way to inspire students to write. Working from this rich bank of imagery can nicely support writing lessons about voice, sensory description, point of view, descriptive narrative, and story structure. Use this site with a projector or interactive whiteboard when presenting a writers workshop mini-lesson to the whole class. Use this site together with younger students (unable to read on their own) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can submit their writing and record themselves telling their story. This is a great opportunity to address reading fluency, expression, and communication skills. Integrate writing lessons with art history. Have students research the historical significance of the images they choose. Take time to enjoy and review stories by other students and professional storytellers. This activity would work well for individual students in a lab or on laptops. Share the final project through email or submit it to the Delaware Art Museum's online gallery of pictures and stories.
General Tips and Reminders: Remember to obtain parent/guardian permission before allowing students to submit their stories. Also, check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to interact with the public online. Adobe Flash Player is necessary to record audio.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): journalism (52)
In the ClassroomWinkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.
Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWitness great storytelling techniques in action. Discuss these techniques with your students. How do storytellers use their voices to convey mood, tone, emotion, and sound? How can storytellers use descriptive language to paint a picture in the mind of the listener? How can onomatopoeias and sensory imagery make stories come alive? What can students infer from a story based on tone and verbal expression? What lessons and morals do some stories imply? Encourage visualization by asking students to sketch story events, create portraits of characters, or paint the setting. With younger children, help them learn to identify character, problem, and setting. Discuss story sequence and plots common to folk tales. Diagram how a circle story plot starts and ends in the same place. Search for stories that contain common themes of self-acceptance, friendship, transformation, or personal journeys. Let students use individual computers to listen (with headphones) to the stories.
After examining stories told on Story Bee, have students create and practice their own storytelling skills. Demonstrate how to compose modern versions of familiar tales, or retell family stories and recent events. Use plot diagrams to assist in the organization of their own stories. Record and share class stories with tools such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their stories by using sites such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. Post a link to Story Bee on your class web page or wiki so that students can access it both in and out of class.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is useful for drama, creative writing, psychology, or even character education and school counseling. Behavior support teachers may also want to use it to help students "read" body language. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Explore how people communicate emotion in verbal and non-verbal ways. It is also possible to write subtitles in different languages. Foreign language instructors may want to ask students to write subtitles in the language students are studying. Teachers may find this a humorous way to make class announcements, explain concepts, or even announce homework assignments. Have students work collaboratively to create commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Preview the site before hand and be sure to get permission from your school administrator to share commercials online. When presenting the site do so with cultural sensitivity. Take into consideration that the language used in the movie clips may be the first language of some students or their families.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): vocabulary (325)
In the ClassroomWhat a perfect addition to music or art class! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Encourage them to add terms of their own, as well. Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomEncourage your students to revise and edit their writing by turning their stories into stopmotion movies. Have students work in small groups to visually re-create events from their own writing. This will help develop stronger characters, dialogue, and draw attention to the elements of time and place. The planning sheets are a helpful tool to help students examine story structure and sequence. Alternatively, develop reading comprehension and fluency by asking students to re-create a fable or folktale. The new term for this is "Readers stopmotion." Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera and movie making programs before embarking on this project."
Challenge students to share their videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here or post them on your class website. Get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site and check with your school administrator to be sure that your school allows students to post videos on-line. Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera/webcam and movie making programs before embarking on this project.
Grades2 to 9
In the ClassroomPlan to use this site as the hub of your social studies units on westward expansion or related American History topics. What makes this site exciting is that students interact with other students from around the country. Through technology they get to meet online to make decision and chat with each other. At the end of the 5 weeks students could create a living museum by dressing up in character and present to parents how they accomplished their "journey." Have students videotape the living museums and share them using a resource such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): air (163)
In the ClassroomAt the simplest, you can open image files on your interactive whiteboard to make lessons more visual. Share images, video clips, and more as quick-starts for your lessons on your projector, interactive whiteboard, or speakers. Then share the collections of raw materials with your students as they create projects of their own on an assigned topic or one of several options. For example, have groups research and present their own creative ThingLink, reviewed here, on 18th century authors or historic sites in your state. ThingLink allows users to narrate a picture. You will need to browse or search what is available on Kitzu before making any assignments! Downloads are in zipped format. This means that the file must be saved on your computer (try your desktop for starters), then double clicked to extract, unzip, or unpack. The result is a folder of files -- or kit. Share this folder via your school network or on a USB stick. You can also send more savvy students to download from the site themselves. You might want to demonstrate on a projector or interactive whiteboard so you can include a demo of how they should give credit to their sources.
Some ideas: have students use the materials on a class wiki (learn more about wikis reviewed here), for narrated ThingLink (reviewed here) on a topic or to make Bookemon (reviewed here) interactive books. Anywhere you can use images, sound, and video you can use Kitzu contents as raw material!
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomThe site is so simple, you can utilize the entire pre-prepared curriculum and lesson plans or just add pieces of it to your current curriculum. Integrate the lessons into your language arts component as cross-curricular activities. The pre-K to 1st grade activities and curriculum are available in Spanish. Choose the Spanish version for ESL/ELL lessons or enrichment activities. The Spanish version would be a great supplement for secondary Spanish teachers. Have your science or health class create a Heart Health wiki or use Mapskip (reviewed here) to map out walking landmarks for your community.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it a kinesthetic "center" for students to explore using your interactive whiteboard. Use these activities to strengthen skills, provide practice, and identify weaknesses. For example, use math games that teach graphing, analyzing, and counting. There is a wide variety of topics here, so be sure to peruse this site before your new unit or lesson! Using examples on this site, students can create their own homework help using a wiki, blog, or other site to help others. Allow students to "rate" the games using stars or smiley faces and comment on how the game helps them learn. Play a variety of word and other language arts games. Be sure to list this link on your class website or wiki for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
Grades9 to 12
One of the nicest features on the site is the "Script Archive," which gives access to full-length plays, one-act plays, 10-minute plays, and monologues. This is a fabulous source for theatre and speech teachers alike.
Be aware: this is a commercial site, so there are links to purchase books, but it is more subtle than most sites, and all the links are freely given without a need to register. There are also advertisements, preview for appropriateness before sharing with your class, as these ads change without notice.
tag(s): plays (36)
In the ClassroomAs theatre is inextricably linked to the history of a country, divide categories among a class of students and have them research on the site, creating humanity links between the theatre and culture of the time. Have them report their findings to the class in a panel discussion, PowerPoint, a video (share the video using Teachers.tv (reviewed here), or an online book using tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
Grades7 to 12
This site does offer the option of signing up for RSS feeds. There are some unobtrusive advertisements at the site.
In the ClassroomThese lessons give great examples as well as "pop quizzes" as you go through them. It would be great to do these on a projector or interactive whiteboard, having students comment as you go; then you can assign their own writing to follow up. Of particular interest is the lesson on "note taking on a computer." As essential as computers are to writing these days, it may be the best place to begin. This might also be a good site to link from your class website. It is very easy for students to explore on their own and get extra help where needed. Or have small groups investigate a specific area together and then create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have the groups create a podcast to share using a tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomSocial studies and language arts teachers will enjoy this site when talking about diversity, second generation immigrants, living between two cultural worlds, etc. Use some of the story extracts when your school is celebrating holidays around the world. Share the audio clips. And be sure to TURN UP THE VOLUME. When studying folk literature and culture, have your students search through the extracts for evidence of underlying myths and universal tales. Have your ESL students from Hispania compare their experiences to those in the stories.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the podcasts at this site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. You may want to make this site a class project, to ensure the podcasts are all appropriate for your students. After listening to the podcasts, have students write a blog entry from the perspective of Romeo, Juliet, or another character from the literature. Or ask students to create an image to illustrate a scene and then narrate it using UtellStory, reviewed here, or Podomatic, reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): writing (363)
In the ClassroomThis site works on so many levels from teaching what a monologue is and how it suits a particular character in literature to researching primary sources and understanding what they tell you. This is a good group project that could work for other novels as well as The Grapes of Wrath. Try using an online digital recording tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here)for students to record and share their monologues as a podcast.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomIf you are an art teacher, find some great seasonal activities here. In music class, project the songs on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have a class sing-along. Take advantage of the many FREE resources (ready to go and kid-friendly) at this site.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomHere's an opportunity for collaboration in which students can teach one another different aspects of the origins of Western theatre and then perform their own tragedy for the class. Be sure to try the interactive "staging" activity in small groups or on an interactive whiteboard. Then have cooperative learning groups perform their different tragedies for the class. Video the performances and share the videos on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents will love listening to the clips as well as watching the play excerpts. Share the clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The site invites them to try the blues themselves, and this is a good class or small group exercise. Use this site in music or U.S. history classes. Have students write a fictitious blog from the viewpoint of one of the music composers: what were they thinking? What was their life like? In music class, have students compose their own "Blues." Video the songs and share them on using TeacherTube (explained here). Gifted students, especially those with an interest in music, could use this site as a springboard for their own compositions.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
Grades6 to 12
Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.