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Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic...more
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic character, author, caption, and of course, the dialog that goes into the speech bubble. The 'creator' chooses the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props. Two actions are needed: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, and typing dialog into the bubbles. Then, presto....a genuine comic appears, ready for printing. The tool DOES support accent marks pasted from Word. (Unfortunately, there is no way to save your comic masterpieces.) This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), sequencing (31), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Instead of writing boring summaries, why not summarize through a comic strip. It's much like storyboarding, but the drawing has been left to the Comic Creator pros. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Reading A to Z - learninga-z.com

Grades
K to 6
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This site has downloadable, leveled reading books for sale, but there are plenty of free stories with illustrations. Along with the stories are worksheets to test reading comprehension,...more
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This site has downloadable, leveled reading books for sale, but there are plenty of free stories with illustrations. Along with the stories are worksheets to test reading comprehension, focus on grammar from the stories, and review what took place in the story. The stories are organized by reading level, from A to Z. New free offerings appear frequently. Schools can apply for a free trial to check out the full offerings. Some stories are available in Spanish. The site offers other genres for free download including poetry, comics, pocket books, alphabet books, and wordless books. Phonics books complete the offerings.

Caution: although you are able to use many of these items for free, most downloads ask that you input your email address. You can bypass this by clicking submit without inputting your email address. This website requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. .

tag(s): poetry (225), worksheets (61)

In the Classroom

The books can be projected on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight new vocabulary, signal words, etc. with their fingers then read independently. Tell your students' parents about this site to encourage them to read or download and print more stories for their children. Include the link in your class newsletter or on your website. Beginning readers, ELL, and ESL students will enjoy the wordless books whose stories they can tell themselves or tell in their own languages. Students may want to make up their own wordless picture books after seeing some of these examples.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ESL Writing Wizard - Nick Ramsay

Grades
K to 6
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This site allows teachers to make their own practice worksheets in D'Nealian, Zaner-Bloser style, or cursive form. . Each prints out with the full word, a dotted word, and ...more
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This site allows teachers to make their own practice worksheets in D'Nealian, Zaner-Bloser style, or cursive form. . Each prints out with the full word, a dotted word, and blank lines. Create your own word lists for children to practice or use some created and submitted by other teachers. The site also provides alphabet practice and a management tool for you to save your completed worksheets. This website is quick and simple to use. There are some unobtrusive advertisements at this website.

tag(s): alphabet (90), handwriting (17), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use the cursive option with even your advanced level ESL and ELL students, some of whom have only learned to write English by printing. With ESL and ELL students, combine writing practice with survival word lists, such as colors, numbers, days of the week, months of the year etc. Use this for extra practice for your students learning to print or learning cursive. Although this site was created for ESL and ELL students, it would be useful in any elementary classroom learning printing, cursive writing, or even spelling words. For kinesthetic practice with any students, project the worksheet on an interactive whiteboard for use with a finger as a "pencil." Children with special needs will find this kinesthetic option very helpful and engaging.

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Open English World - David Rogers and Michael Huskins,

Grades
8 to 12
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This site's free offerings include useful weekly idioms, business expressions to improve vocabulary, and listening activities on current topics. Translations of the listening sentences...more
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This site's free offerings include useful weekly idioms, business expressions to improve vocabulary, and listening activities on current topics. Translations of the listening sentences into the student's first language are optional and include French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and simplified Chinese. Spoken utterances are always in English. Be aware there are some advertisements on this page, but nothing too distracting. Students can complete a free registration at this site, but it is not required. There is a Forum for discussion. See TeachersFirst's safety and use tips for using this site in class under Classroom Use. The listening activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): business (58), chinese (49), french (88), idioms (44), japan (61), japanese (42), korea (15), listening (91), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Mark this site as a Favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page and assign ESL/ELL students to check it weekly for a new idiomatic expression. Newer ESL and ELL students may find the translation feature helpful. The foreign language options could be useful in a German, French, Spanish, or Chinese class. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in the forum area, and obtain written parent permission before students log on. You may want to use the forum as a whole-class activity with a teacher account. Monitor the discussion boards for a week or two before deciding if they are appropriate for your school situation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Telephoning English - English Portal.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone...more
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone is a big challenge when learning a new language, this site will be extremely helpful for newcomers. There are three levels of difficulty available.

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Have your students practice the language on this site in a simulated telephone conversation. Have them record the voice mail messages and then play them for other students to respond to. Share this site on your class website or in your class newsletter so ESL parents can benefit from understanding telephone conversation better, too. Teachers of world languages may wish to use this site as a model to create similar information for their students of French, German, Spanish, and other world languages. Special ed teachers working on life skills will find these phone skills helpful, as well.

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Slang Idioms and More - 5-Minute English

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides extra practice with phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang for ESL and ELL students and any students learning about idioms. The thematically organized idioms and slang...more
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This site provides extra practice with phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang for ESL and ELL students and any students learning about idioms. The thematically organized idioms and slang choices provide definitions, sentences, and comprehension exercises, all attractively packaged. The phrasal verb sections with "do," "come," and "go" provide practice and explanations of some of the most confusing verbs in English.

tag(s): idioms (44), slang (15), verbs (41), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or whiteboard when you have 5 minutes left or you want your students to do additional vocabulary work. Or provide it as a resource during your idiom lessons. ESL students have a very difficult time understanding idiomatic language and will benefit from the definitions and examples here. Ask them to share an example with your class of a similar idiom from their language. Often the translation of their idiom is funny enough to provoke classroom laughter but also explains why someone might say, "it is raining sheep and cows" instead of "cats and dogs."

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ESL Gold Picture Dictionary - ESL Gold

Grades
1 to 6
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ESL Gold's "Words and Phrases" page is a listing of vocabulary, grouped in categories ideal for learning a new language. The categories are divided by levels from Low Beginning to ...more
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ESL Gold's "Words and Phrases" page is a listing of vocabulary, grouped in categories ideal for learning a new language. The categories are divided by levels from Low Beginning to Advanced. Many of the categories provide a picture dictionary of all items. Some of the more advanced levels do not include pictures. All levels have audio pronunciation. The higher levels contain vocabulary in context, word phrases, and other vocabulary development activities without definitions. This site requires Windows Media Player or Quicktime to play the audio. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share vocabulary by category, using pictures, audio, and written words with your ESL/ELL students, primary students, special ed students, or speech/language students. Include this link in a newsletter that goes home with ESL/ELL students. Mark it as a Favorite on your classroom computer. Demonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work alone (or with a partner) at their current speaking level. This website could also be used in a regular education class with emerging readers. The five difficulty levels allow teachers the flexibility to differentiate the instruction. Note: small type fonts and some advertising may make this site difficult for some younger students to use. Preview and decide what your class can handle.

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Calibrated Peer Review - University of California

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers teachers the option of having students do writing assignments on the web. It also offers students the chance to comment on the writings of their classmates. After ...more
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This site offers teachers the option of having students do writing assignments on the web. It also offers students the chance to comment on the writings of their classmates. After registering as an institution administrator or just a class administrator, the instructor can put up the writing assignment and attach relevant links, graphics, and other references. Although the lesson plan is part of the overall site offerings, the student responses are not visible to anyone but the class administrator. Another option for the teacher is to browse the lesson plans already created by other teachers and use them if so desired. This site works with Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. You also must have cookies enabled in your web browser.

Although the collection of lesson plans is heavily science oriented, there are plans from other subject areas, for high school and college. The site appears to function just fine, though the copyright date on most areas is 2001.

tag(s): editing (66), grammar (213)

In the Classroom

Use this site to teach students how to do peer editing. Besides allowing them to see their classmates' writings, it has a series of specific questions, called calibrations, which give them ways to make effective comments. After students make comments on others' essays by responding within a "calibration framework," they can read, respond to, and correct their own writings.

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UsingEnglish.com - UsingEnglish.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Check this site for things you need to help for ESL/ELL students. You will find lesson plans, reference links, grammar practice, reading comprehension work, tests, word lists for specific...more
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Check this site for things you need to help for ESL/ELL students. You will find lesson plans, reference links, grammar practice, reading comprehension work, tests, word lists for specific tests, vocabulary offerings, professional articles, and more. The site is easy to searchand well organized, present exercises and tests in a consistent and easy to read format. The "question bank" offers difficult grammar points in a poll format, with results constantly renewed; some answers are obviously wrong, but grammar, too, has its debatable points! With free membership registration, teachers get access to even more activities, exercises, quizzes, games, a newsletter, and more. NOTE: There is a Forum (bulletin board) feature on this site. If your school does not permit students to use such tools, be sure to spell out the consequences as you tell students to avoid that area.

tag(s): grammar (213), idioms (44), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Regular classroom teachers will want to use this site with ESL and ELL students fwhen they need a quick review on a specific grammar point. Use the professional articles for your own edification as well as links to other topics of interest.

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English Teaching Program - Jason

Grades
9 to 12
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This site provides scripts for English practice of dramatic scenes, short plays, idioms, and trivia. The subjects are definitely sophisticated and most appropriately used with high...more
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This site provides scripts for English practice of dramatic scenes, short plays, idioms, and trivia. The subjects are definitely sophisticated and most appropriately used with high school aged ESL/ELL students. Be aware - this website was obviously created by a non-native English speaker. You will notice some minor grammar and spelling errors.

tag(s): idioms (44), speaking (24), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to share the multimedia section of stories with the entire class. This site is very useful to encourage language learners and hesitant speakers to complete communication projects and gain confidence in public speaking.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Electronic Books for Beginners - Jessica N. Rivera

Grades
1 to 3
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This site shows teachers and students how to create their own e-books of their own stories (or their favorite stories, by another author) using the computer. Very ...more
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This site shows teachers and students how to create their own e-books of their own stories (or their favorite stories, by another author) using the computer. Very young students also learn computer skills and accompanying vocabulary. Students learn to compare the paper and digital books and also learn to produce books using a digital camera and PowerPoint. They learn to add graphics using various programs and to type in the words of the story. This website includes four detailed lesson plans including standards, assessment, and step by step instructions. It also highlights extension activities, resources, homework ideas and more. NOTE: Some of the links to support materials are no longer active, but there are many alternative choices still available.

tag(s): photography (161), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Try these plans in your primary grade classroom, using their own writings or a class favorite. Since the lesson plans require a lot of one-on-one instruction, why not create learning centers that relate to writing or other language arts topics. Have one of the centers be this small group lesson with the teacher or teacher assistant. The other centers could include independent reading or writing, comprehension activities, spelling practice, grammar games on independent computers, or whatever fills a need in your language arts class. This would also be an ideal activity for a big buddy/little buddy pairing with older elementary students, creating the project together.

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The Story Connection - Dianne de las Casas

Grades
2 to 6
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This website offers printable (retold) stories by Dianne de las Casas. She offers quite a collection, and adds new stories each month. The stories come from all around the world. ...more
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This website offers printable (retold) stories by Dianne de las Casas. She offers quite a collection, and adds new stories each month. The stories come from all around the world. Other offerings on the site include holiday stories, fingerplays, play scripts, activities to do with stories, and puzzles. Don't forget to check out the extensive suggestions under Resources such as Story telling games. These help teachers and parents know what to do after they've all read a story together. Teachers, school librarians, and even parents can sign up for a free monthly newsletter about using stories in education; The Story Connection Express. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use the activities in class after reading one of her stories from a country you have represented among your ESL or ELL students. Have your students write their own story activity suggestions after you have used a few of Dianne's. Be sure to include this link on your class website and in your letter home to parents. Suggest that they read just one short story and find accompanying activities for the family to do.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Season Sequence Stories - Crayola

Grades
K to 4
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This mini-lesson plan teaches children sequence, observation, season awareness, and creative expression. The children either make multiple drawings or cards which capture the outdoor...more
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This mini-lesson plan teaches children sequence, observation, season awareness, and creative expression. The children either make multiple drawings or cards which capture the outdoor scene of the present season. They also put the cards or drawings in sequential order. Children who can't write can dictate their comments to the teacher. As the children share their sequential stories with each other, they all practice listening skills, learn new vocabulary, and understand differences in points of view. Children can also take their classmates' pictures and cards and rearrange them and tell or write new stories.

tag(s): drawing (79), seasons (38), sequencing (31)

In the Classroom

Use this activity in response to a field trip or outdoor excursion around the school. This lesson allows ESL and ELL students who can't express themselves as well as the rest of the class to be full participants. Teachers might want to review pertinent meta-questions before taking a trip, such as "What is the name of that?," "How do you spell that word?," and "Can you repeat that?" before going outside the classroom.

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What's in a Name? - Judi Hayes

Grades
2 to 6
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This simple lesson plan helps a regular elementary class learn and understand international student's names. The website features several intriguing activities used to learn the meanings...more
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This simple lesson plan helps a regular elementary class learn and understand international student's names. The website features several intriguing activities used to learn the meanings of names. One activity challenges students to write a poem about the person with the "unusual" name. It also helps the foreign student accept his/her original name by focusing briefly on their culture during this activity. This lesson easily adapts to having American students choose names their ancestors might have had, depending on their country of origin. For students who can't read, this lesson works as a way to help them learn to write their names. Some of the activities are PDF and require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Make a list of the names of all your students. For students who can't read, display photos of the children instead. Compare the American names the international students have chosen with their original names. For students who write using a different alphabet, have them write their names on the board and explain the equivalents with the help of a teacher. Foreign language teachers can also use this lesson plan in reverse when choosing foreign names for their language students.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Literactive - Entertainment & Information Industries Ltd

Grades
K to 3
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This site assists beginning readers by providing screen sized, illustrated stories with limited rhyming vocabulary. You are required to go through a free registration. You can play...more
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This site assists beginning readers by providing screen sized, illustrated stories with limited rhyming vocabulary. You are required to go through a free registration. You can play rhyming games with the newly-learned words. The site also has a sections of stories for ESL and ELL students, guided reading for kindergarten students, downloadable traditional picture books, e-poetry, and many learning activities! Some of the topics of the learning activities include Match the Sounds, Sequence Game, and several others. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): guided reading (47)

In the Classroom

Provide this link in your class newsletter and on your class website, so parents can reinforce the reading skills you are teaching their children in school. Share the activities link with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have your students explore the activities with a partner on your classroom computer center or cluster.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Loud Lit - Loudlit.org

Grades
1 to 12
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature....more
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature. You are given the options of listening to the literature, listening and reading the literature, or downloading the literature to an MP3 player. The number of items available for public use is constantly increasing. The current contents include novels, poetry, classic children's literature, a few historical items, and classic short stories. Some examples of the available literature includes A Tale of Two Cities, The Little Match Girl, The Gift of the Magi, The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address, and countless others. A separate column lets you know about newly recorded items. This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): declaration of independence (13), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), literature (275), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

This site is helpful for many subjects and grade levels. Have students use this website when they have to memorize poetry, the Gettysburg Address, or the Declaration of Independence. ESL and ELL students and many learning support students will benefit from the option of "reading" in multi-media format. Use the audio stories with younger students for listening skills. During a poetry unit, why not have students choose one of the poems to read and listen to? Have the students analyze and write in their journal about what they think the poem means. Then have the students share the original poem and their own opinions with the class, making this activity a listening, reading, writing, and speaking lesson. If you are into podcasting, encourage students to create some of their own poetry readings with commentary.
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Meg Cabot - Meggin Cabot

Grades
6 to 12
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This official website for author Meg Cabot is a tool to encourage journal writing. It has journal writing tips, downloadable journal pages, a bibliography of other journal selections,...more
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This official website for author Meg Cabot is a tool to encourage journal writing. It has journal writing tips, downloadable journal pages, a bibliography of other journal selections, an opportunity to journal with the author, and more. This website requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use this site to encourage daily writing. Help students improve their sentence structure and use grammar painlessly through frequent personal writing. ESL and ELL students will enjoy journal-writing as a safe place to practice without corrections. Some journal-writing can also take place on classroom blogs, though you may want to keep uncorrected student blogs behind passwords until students are comfortable with the more public setting.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Self-study Grammar Quizzes - Internet TESL Journal/ teacher contrbutors

Grades
6 to 9
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This website offers various interactive quizzes all related to grammar. Although written for ESL/ELL students, this is a good practice site for middle school students who have trouble...more
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This website offers various interactive quizzes all related to grammar. Although written for ESL/ELL students, this is a good practice site for middle school students who have trouble remembering grammar basics. All of the quizzes are interactive, with the answers underneath each question for immediate feedback. It encompasses a wide range of grammar-related rules, everything from "a or an" to "active-passive voice." This would make a good review or independent study site.

tag(s): grammar (213), punctuation (42)

In the Classroom

Choose which of these quizzes would most benefit your students and make the links available from your teacher web page for them to access the quizzes quickly. As students work independently on them, you can do individual support and final testing with them as they finish each section. The "Other Quizzes" section offers some challenging quizzes that ask students to identify sentence problems and various other questions.

Why not use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the more challenging quizzes with your class. Divide the class into teams, project the questions on the screen, and see which team can answer the most questions correctly. This is great review before standardized testing.

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Awesome Comics Webquest - Grammarman.com

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This complete unit gives ESL/ELL students get an opportunity to create (write and draw) a new comic character for the Grammarman comic series. (See TeachersFirst's...more
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This complete unit gives ESL/ELL students get an opportunity to create (write and draw) a new comic character for the Grammarman comic series. (See TeachersFirst's review of the broader Grammarman web site for other activities that may require less time). Students are able to research the history of comics, drawing, manga, super heroes, character development, and more. Throughout the webquest, students can check out what other students have created. After going through the 8 stages of the webquest, reading, writing, and drawing, your students can submit the finished product to the student pages so others can enjoy their creation. Notes for teachers summarize each of the 8 steps and make suggestions about how to use this webquest in a shorter time period. Eager comic creators who aren't ESL/ELL students will also enjoy a modified version of this quest. This website requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), drawing (79), grammar (213)

In the Classroom

Share this webquest on laptops or a classroom computer cluster for students to accomplish the "quest." Use this project in an ESL/ELL class as a cumulative review of each student's specific grammar problem. Pair ESL students with a native speaker to work on the research and drawing. This creative activity is sure to excite ESL/ELL students and native English speakers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Grammarman - grammarman.com

Grades
5 to 12
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This online version of Asian-created Grammarman regularly appears in foreign newspapers. Before reading, students can click on each character under Bad Guys or Good Guys to get the...more
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This online version of Asian-created Grammarman regularly appears in foreign newspapers. Before reading, students can click on each character under Bad Guys or Good Guys to get the character's background. The people of "Verbo City" need help with grammar problems when Grammarman comes to their rescue. Both still and movie versions of the various episodes feature his triumphs over bad grammar. This site is a refreshing break from grammar exercises and quizzes for all students (ESL, ELL, special education, and in the regular classroom). Downloadable Grammarman Dominoes allow students to carry the characters in their pockets and play a game with each other. You may notice some slight spelling or vocabulary differences, because this website was created using British English.

tag(s): grammar (213)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous grammar website to use with all students. Use your interactive whiteboard to share the "grammar story of the week." Challenge your students to find the grammar errors and help Grammarman "save the day." Use the free, downloadable templates to have students create their own Grammarman comics featuring their personal grammar "demons." Have another teacher judge the entries and allow the "winner" to wear the Grammarman "cape" for the week (or earn a homework pass).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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