Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for current events or environmental science discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As a class or in groups, collect oil spill information on a class wiki, Padlet (can be an online bulletin board), reviewed here, or a good, old-fashioned bulletin board.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): house of representatives (9)
In the ClassroomThis site can be used in many ways. Use it on an interactive whiteboard or projector with the whole group to introduce the site and review the representative biographies. When using as a whole group, provide students cut out "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" signs for them to vote at their seats. The site can then be used as a center, for individual work in a computer lab or can be assigned as a challenge activity for advanced learners. Have students choose their local representative or one from a different political party. After the game, have students do more research on a particular representative using Kids in the House reviewed here and have them present a five minute monologue about their representative to the class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Use the map on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the physical location of the spill, as well as where the spill has had an immediate impact. For another view of the map, try this resource which allows you to superimpose the area effected onto your home town.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site and information it hosts are great at capturing two essential skills in Social Studies. To begin with, it's an excellent map reading source, especially to demonstrate regarding map distortions and how they can change the shape of something like a projected oil spill. It also highlights concerns about deep-sea drilling, a heavily contested topic, particularly after the oil spill of 2010. Both government and earth science classrooms could investigate aspects of drilling as real world topics related to the curriculum.
Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing cooperative learning groups to explore, giving the teacher a chance to explain how the map works and what kind of information is on the site. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site and summarize important details, such as how people and wildlife are affected by environmental disasters. This would be a great review activity before a debate on deep-sea drilling. Classes can also chart the growth of the spill for a period of days to trace how much it changes, providing evidence for the debate. Government classes could use this and other references as part of a simulation on how the U.S. government reacts to environmental disasters and discussions of related policy issues. Younger students will need assistance reading some of the text-based material.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to copy and paste text or provide a url to a page of text as well as determine parameters of more advanced word clouds. Alternately, these word clouds can be kept very simple. After creating the word cloud, be sure to save the image (or use a screen capture) to share with others. Another idea, use the url of the cloud or embed into a place to share such as blog, wiki, or site.
This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Help students develop creative fluency by creating their own taguls of words and ideas from scratch. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create taguls of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Collect thoughts about the class subject at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year to determine changes in thoughts about the subject matter.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomMake learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject. Feature one or more new study strategy each month and share this entire list as a link from your class web page for students and parents to access both in and out of school.
GradesK to 12
Tagxedo requires Silverlight. The site will appear as a blank page with the "Install Silverlight Plugin" button if your computer does not have it installed. See your tech folks to allow download and installation of this plug-in if school computers do not have it and/or are "locked down."
In the ClassroomNO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.
In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.
For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.
Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension.Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8
Grades10 to 12
tag(s): college (48)
In the ClassroomImagine projecting the museum image of Leonardo da Vinci's "resume" with its translation on your white board, to model for your class how one of the world's renowned geniuses might have earned his big break and got his foot in the door. Use it to identify how he "painted" his character traits and then, apply it as an inspiration for a unit on careers or business, or adapt the "resume" activity for classes studying famous and accomplished figures from history, including artists, musicians, writers, and political leaders. English classes would welcome this as a creative alternative to a book report or for a unique way to describe literary characters. Use a resume as a product for research on any famous person in a history or science class. As a new spin on current events or government, ask students to create a resume for any newsmaker. What would he/she promote as his/her greatest accomplishments?
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): news (264)
In the ClassroomView news stories and compare them to similar stories in different news media. Discuss the differences and similarities of these stories and use a Venn diagram to portray. Try using the tool "Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram" (reviewed here).
Discuss the focus of each article and reasons for the focus. Answer what the reporter is trying to convince and possible bias in various stories. Create an essay, letter, or blog post outlining viewpoints and linking these various sources for greater understanding of issues and how they are represented in the media. Have students share their letters or essays on a podcast using a tool such as (reviewed here).
Grades3 to 12
At this site the quality of the games varies from deep thinking to factual to cute. Learn everything from the history of dating to the geography of China to "Do I Have a Right?" exploring the Bill of Rights.
In the ClassroomThere is a wide variety of topics for the study of cultures and history here, so be sure to look through this site as you plan your new unit or lesson! There are many, many uses for this site in the class room: Share a game from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector for a whole class review, choose a game from this website to use as a center, a review, or to provide a student reward on individual computers. Some of the games can be downloaded into a pdf and printed out and used as a traditional card, or board group game. Since this is a collaborative website, you and your students can "rate" the games to give feedback for other users.
Oh MY GOSH! Who knew? This is a wealth of information available through game-playing. By searching the term "social justice," I arrived at numerous options for delving into the various aspects of a complex problem. I cannot wait to share this resource.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is one of these sites that is just so perfect for the interactive whiteboard, you feel you must find a way to use it. Use this presentation as a "stop and check for understanding" lesson within the larger discussion of the American Revolution. On an interactive whiteboard or projector, the whole class can participate. Additionally, the site might be available on a classroom computer for those who need some further reinforcement or for students who are ready to challenge themselves to move to the next lesson. Have cooperative learning groups investigate a specific portion of this site and create an interactive online poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to visit each area of the supreme court. Share the video clips. This site is also a good tool to use to prepare for a field trip to the Supreme Court. In addition it can be used as a review tool after a field trip. Students can work cooperatively and research one of the areas on the site. They can then use the interactive whiteboard and site as a visual aid for their presentation. Art teachers can use the pictures on the site to teach about historical architectural features. Have art students narrate a picture using ThingLink, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe map is a good visual for any discussion of the US as a nation of immigrants. The map is ideal for a projector or interactive whiteboard. Additionally, it would provide a large data set for "real life" statistics in a math class. Asking students to predict the ebb and flow of immigrants from various parts of the world as you slide through the years should spark some good class conversation. Have cooperative learning groups investigate specific time periods and create multimedia presentations sharing their findings. Have students create an online interactive poster using Adobe Spark, reviewed here. Another option, have students create videos and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. What will the map show after the next US Census?
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): courts (15)
In the ClassroomIn the classroom: Start out using this site with your projector or interactive whiteboard. Divide the class into two teams and assign the teams to be either the prosecutor or the defense attorney. Have students draw straws or pick a number to decide which side will be represented on the whiteboard. On your interactive whiteboard, as each jury candidate appears, list out or underline the reasons why each jury member would be good for either the prosecutor's case or the defendant's case. Teams vote on whether or not they want that juror. The good news: Neither team will lose if the choices are made correctly. Next, have the students play this on their own or as partners, possibly taking the opposite side they were on when this was presented on the whiteboard.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): cold war (28)
In the ClassroomPrimary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting, but should have the same general topic) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site for differentiated instruction. The interactive games, for example, the Bill of Rights Match game - can be played as individuals, and then they can print their certificate out (could be used as a "ticket to leave" for understanding). The "Preamble Scrabble Game" could be a timed exercise for groups or teams of students. The teacher could have the game on the projector or interactive whiteboard or again on individual workstations. Allow students to learn about the documents on their own, and then share their understanding by writing a blog post from the point of view of a person whose rights have been violated or a writer of the Constitution. Younger students will benefit from accessing the safety activity both at school and at home, Be sure to share this link with parents on your class web page.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): bill of rights (29)
In the ClassroomThis is a great site for both introducing and reinforcing topics about the Constitution. Teachers can print out crosswords puzzles for a "What Do I Know" activity. Students could find out which founding father they are in the interactive portion and create a multimedia project on the result. Challenge students to use ThingLink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo. What a new twist to an oral report! Students could create a Photostory on their own version of the Story of Fourth of July. The possibilities are endless. For fun, teachers can present the Real or Fake Quiz on the projector or interactive whiteboard as whole class instruction or have discussions after each answer.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a must for critically evaluating much of reporting that students may hear in the world today. Use this site along with others to compare information, seek reasons for bias, and spark true discussion about the complexity of world issues. Use the information as tickers or clocks that can be placed on your website, wiki, or blog for students to use to draw conclusions or offer explanations. For example, discussion of gas prices, supply and demand, and issues in global oil trade can grow out of looking at average gas price tickers. If embedding information from this site into your own site, be advised that the author requests attribution by a link back to this site. Have cooperative learning groups investigate one of the topics further and create a multimedia presentation. Have students create news broadcasts and record them on video. Share the video clips using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Be careful of this site....it is politically biased toward democrat ideologies. The author says he's not biased...perhaps he really believes he's being objective. But no way....just good a cocercing graphs to fit the ideology. If you want to slant your students minds to the left...this site is for you.John, , Grades: 9 - 12
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): census (19)