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Youth Leadership Initiative - Center for Politics - University of Virginia

Grades
3 to 12
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This site is a civic education program that encourages students to be involved in the electoral and policy making process of the US government. Through interactive multimedia, the site...more
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This site is a civic education program that encourages students to be involved in the electoral and policy making process of the US government. Through interactive multimedia, the site offers technology-based civic education resources that foster long-term civic engagement. There are parts of this site that are available to non-members, while other features are "member only." Membership requires name of school, email, and address. Teachers and curriculum leaders can sign up for a free account, and approval takes 2 - 3 days. Once approved, you will have access to several multimedia rich content areas.

tag(s): congress (33), elections (75), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use the site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative groups and take part in the mock congress. They will develop critical thinking and collaboration skills as they research, draft, and pass original legislation. Use the downloadable campaign simulation software (free), and have your students role play and run a senatorial campaign.
br> 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.
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The Lincoln Log - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grades
4 to 10
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by ...more
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by clicking on search this day. Links to supporting documents and additional information is embedded in the entries.

tag(s): lincoln (86), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies or history class. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. Create a class job for a student called Historian. They can check the website to see what was happening that day and report it to the class. Have students choose an event from the site, find an image of Lincoln and upload it to Blabberize reviewed here They can then have Lincoln "talk" about an important day of his life.

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Debategraph - Thoughtgraph, Ltd.

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this decision-making visualization to outline the strongest case currently in a debate. This visualization tool follows the debates to show public transparency in the issues. Click...more
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Use this decision-making visualization to outline the strongest case currently in a debate. This visualization tool follows the debates to show public transparency in the issues. Click on the bubbles in the graph to expand them into other areas. Hover over areas of the bubble to read information about the topic. Visit the gallery to find all of the possible debates. View all visualizations without logging in. You can find maps using a key (issue, position, supportive/argument, and more). Members can also use this tool to create maps by clicking the "Create map" link. Create a login to be able to rate aspects of the visualizations. Login requires an email address.

tag(s): debate (41)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to view various viewpoints and information about topics in the public eye. Use to create subtopics to be investigated in a class debate. Use the process to delve deeper into debates created by the class. Create visualizations using organizational software to help students follow through on all aspects of a debate topic. If you are having students log-in, rather than using your personal or work email, 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.
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9/11: The Day that Changed America - CBS News

Grades
7 to 12
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These collections of stories and interactives from CBS have information about the effects of 9/11 as well as a few stories explaining the historical context behind September 11th. They...more
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These collections of stories and interactives from CBS have information about the effects of 9/11 as well as a few stories explaining the historical context behind September 11th. They also host information about the victims, coverage about the opening of the new Trade Center, and information about the re-building efforts on ground zero. To see a montage of the events that led up to 9/11, check out While America Slept, at here.

tag(s): sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a cooperative learning activity during a lesson or unit on the events of September 11th or as part of a broader discussion on international relations, terrorism, or the role of government in balancing personal liberties and national security. Create a graphic organizer to guide students through the site (or have them create their own in small groups), highlighting what's most important and the important facts and details. For help creating easy graphic organizers, try using Graphic Organizer Maker reviewed here or bubbl.us, reviewed here.
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While America Slept - The True Story of 9/11 - CBS News

Grades
7 to 12
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Often times students only hear about the catastrophe of 9/11, and not the events that lead up to it. Although it's a little "plain vanilla," this site from ABC offers ...more
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Often times students only hear about the catastrophe of 9/11, and not the events that lead up to it. Although it's a little "plain vanilla," this site from ABC offers a contextual timeline about the events leading up to 9/11. Starting from August 11, 2001, the timeline details what America was doing and what the hijackers were doing, day-by-day, and shows how CIA analysts and FBI agents try to sound the alarm about the rising threat, and were ignored.

tag(s): sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the context of the day. During a class discussion, display the timeline on a projector or interactive whiteboard for students to see and navigate together. Read the details aloud, or have student volunteers take turns reading the events aloud. Make sure that between each event you provide some sort of explanation, i.e. who the people mentioned are and what the significance was of each action. Include this discussion as you study the role of government in the protection of its citizens and balancing individual liberties with national security. Assign students to create multimedia posters on GlogsterEDU, reviewed here showing the conflicting roles of government.

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TeachersFirst's September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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Quiznator - Quiznator

Grades
2 to 12
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access ...more
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access your creations online from anywhere! Email is required to join, however, verification is not required. Add your documents, test questions, and worksheets and let Quiznator organize and update them for you. This makes creating multiple version of the same exam quick and painless. This is a great way to back up files on the web for school!

tag(s): worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

Upload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The new $100 Note - Dept. of Treasury

Grades
3 to 12
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. ...more
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. The video quiz can also be seen with captions. In addition, there is a link to materials that can be downloaded for classroom use.

tag(s): currency (20)

In the Classroom

Take the quiz together as a class to learn about the features of the $100 bill. Research the reasons for changing from the old bill to the new style. Create and design a new bill that incorporates various security features and relevant symbols. You could also include this in your unit on national symbols and how they are used.
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Climate Challenge - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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In this interactive students pretend that they are the president of a European nation. The object of the "game" is to take on climate change and stay popular with voters ...more
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In this interactive students pretend that they are the president of a European nation. The object of the "game" is to take on climate change and stay popular with voters so they can stay in office. Students have to make decisions on what issues they will support and the local newspaper will let them know how the people are feeling. Students can even buy ads in the local paper to support their cause.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to help students better understand what is happening with climate change. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is a good way to bring in the topic of climate change and how it is effecting the entire globe. This is also a great way to discuss the topic of political popularity. When students have finished the simulation, have them choose a topic to do more research on. Have them each write a news article and create a class newspaper on climate change. Teachers be sure to check out the Science Behind Climate Change. It provides information and additional links about climate change.
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Flag Day Resources - Fact Monster

Grades
1 to 12
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TeachersFirst doesn't normally review lists of "links," but this hotlist from Fact Monster was good enough to pass our review team. The links here provide all kinds of ideas for ...more
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TeachersFirst doesn't normally review lists of "links," but this hotlist from Fact Monster was good enough to pass our review team. The links here provide all kinds of ideas for classroom activities for Flag Day, including quizzes, puzzles, and a flag timeline. There's also additional information about the national anthem and Betsy Ross.

tag(s): american flag (11), american revolution (86), evolution (100), flag day (6)

In the Classroom

Use the U.S. flag quiz on this site as a learning center or station during a Flag Day celebration or national symbol unit. Have students complete the quiz in cooperative learning groups, allowing them to assist each other when there is confusion.

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The Star Spangled Banner - Smithsonian Institue

Grades
3 to 12
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This site from the Smithsonian provides ample information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. The Explore option on the site allows you to investigate and discover...more
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This site from the Smithsonian provides ample information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. The Explore option on the site allows you to investigate and discover important facts about the flag and its creation. There is also a section about the National Anthem, as well as an interactive quiz about the early days of American government. A great site for Flag Day or early U.S. history!

tag(s): american flag (11), american revolution (86), evolution (100), flag day (6), national anthem (4)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive quiz on this site as a review tool before an assessment or to introduce a mini-unit on the flag. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to complete the quiz individually on classroom computers. Because of the amount of reading on the site, be sure to provide lower achieving readers with the vocabulary beforehand or a tool to help them look up complex words. Younger students would do better with partner readers or whole-class reading on an interactive whiteboard where they could highlight new words.

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History of the American Flag - FoundingFathers.info

Grades
3 to 12
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Although this site may look pretty simple, it has some great information on the history and evolution of the American Flag. The site hosts images of all the flags, including ...more
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Although this site may look pretty simple, it has some great information on the history and evolution of the American Flag. The site hosts images of all the flags, including the famous "Don't tread on me," flag from the revolutionary period. Besides images, each flag hosted on the site has a brief history accompanying it.

tag(s): american flag (11), american revolution (86), evolution (100), flag day (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource during Flag Day celebrations or a unit on national symbols. Use the site as an activity to help students better understand the significance of Flag Day, as well as the American Flag. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing cooperative learning groups loose on the site. Have students investigate the "story" of the flag, presenting the information in a multimedia presentation. Have cooperative learning groups or the whole class (younger students) create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Oil Spill Lesson Plans and Resources - NOAA

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, ...more
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, as well as the science of oil dispersal, how to clean animals, and more.

tag(s): disasters (39), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this site! Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on. Students can select different aspects of oil spill cleanup and mitigation and play the role of experts in a mock blog post playing their role. Have students continue their role play by commenting on each other's posts.

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Prince William Sound: An Ecosystem in Transition - NOAA

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about the lasting impact of oil spills and how the environment does and does not recover, specifically from the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989. Use this information to compare the...more
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Learn about the lasting impact of oil spills and how the environment does and does not recover, specifically from the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site provides details about the impact the spill had on the sound and wildlife, as well as how recovery has progressed over the years.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Share some of the text portions on a projectir or divide up the site among different student groups. 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. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for to narrating and adding text to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo of the oil spill, and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.

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My US Rep - Role Play Congress - Booga Holler

Grades
5 to 12
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In this interactive game, students pretend to be a US Representative. To begin the game they can select a representative and read their biography. The goal of this activity is ...more
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In this interactive game, students pretend to be a US Representative. To begin the game they can select a representative and read their biography. The goal of this activity is to raise your representative's popularity by a specific amount as well as raise money. As they move around the game they must read bills and see how their representative voted. What makes this activity special is that they are using real time voting data. They then have to decide whether they approve or disapprove of that decision.

tag(s): house of representatives (9)

In the Classroom

This 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.
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Oil Spill Crisis Map

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about the impact of oil spills, specifically the BP spill of 2010. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site ...more
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Learn about the impact of oil spills, specifically the BP spill of 2010. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site provides details about the land, animals and human health that have been negatively affected by the spill - all in map form.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard for 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 the map, and report back to the class how the environment, wildlife, and humans in the area were affected. Have students use a tool 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.

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Tracking the Oil Spill in the Gulf - NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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Follow the footprint of the Gulf Oil Spill 2010 in this interactive map. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site ...more
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Follow the footprint of the Gulf Oil Spill 2010 in this interactive map. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site provides details about mapping the spill, as well as the geographic range the spill has affected.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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Prince William's Oily Mess: A Tale of Recovery - NOAA

Grades
6 to 12
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"How does an ecosystem recover from a major one-time insult such as an oil spill?" This site provides details about the impact the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989 on the environment, ...more
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"How does an ecosystem recover from a major one-time insult such as an oil spill?" This site provides details about the impact the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989 on the environment, as well as how the recovery that has occurred in the area. Learn about the impact of oil spills, in general. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21), sound (101)

In the Classroom

Use 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 form this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As a class or in groups, collect oil spill information on a class wiki, GlogsterEDU (reviewed here) or good, old-fashioned bulletin board.

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Ifitwasmyhome - Ifitwasmyhome.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site hosts an interactive map, along with bountiful information about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. The interactive map updates daily during the aftermath of the ...more
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This site hosts an interactive map, along with bountiful information about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. The interactive map updates daily during the aftermath of the spill, allowing users to chart the gradual growth of the spill in the Gulf Coast. It also allows users to "move the spill" to their hometown, providing a better perspective of how big the spill actually is. The information on the site is mostly specific to this spill, but there are connections to how wildlife has been affected by this and others like it in the past. Note the links on the bottom that host information about other spills, and the dramatic pictures of the wildlife suffering from the sludge. The images are graphic, so use with caution in an elementary classroom where students are apt to react strongly to images of animals suffering.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

This 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.

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Tagul - tagul.com

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for ...more
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This site takes any quotation or poem and creates a "word cloud" (graphical display) of the words in a passage of text. Paste in any passage or the URL for any blog entry or web page (including newspapers online) to create a word cloud of the text. This resource is currently free while in beta and intends to keep it free for NON PROFIT only. Enhance basic word clouds by using this site to create clouds in various shapes, use mouse rollover options, use font effects, and more. Elevate your word clouds into an art form. Once registered, change your password by clicking on the profile tab and entering your changes. Before creating a word cloud, agree to their terms that includes only using appropriate content. Copy and paste series of words or use the url of a page where the words can be found. Choose a shape such as a heart, cloud, or geometric patterns. Choose a font as well as other options, and then click "Build the Cloud." Preview your cloud before saving.

tag(s): images (266), vocabulary (323), word choice (26), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

Users 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.

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