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Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright - Library of Congress

Grades
3 to 12
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The Library of Congress created this animated series of quick, short videos explaining what copyright is all about and why it is important for your students to protect their creations....more
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The Library of Congress created this animated series of quick, short videos explaining what copyright is all about and why it is important for your students to protect their creations. There is a timeline of some of the milestone copyright laws, frequently asked pertinent questions such as, "Is it okay to use someone else's work or for anyone to use my work?" and everything you need for actually registering a copyright electronically. For those of you who may choose to use a printed version of these materials, you can click on the link to view a plain text version of all the activities. Students are never too young or too old to learn about and be reminded about copyright responsibilities.

tag(s): copyright (51), plagiarism (37)

In the Classroom

Students have become "copy and paste" fanatics, but do they know the answer to, "If the material is on the Internet can I use it?" Even though they might not see a copyright notice on a website, that doesn't mean they're free to copy whatever they see or hear. Project these no-nonsense, impressionable videos on your classroom whiteboard or projector to set the tone for expectations when doing research and other projects, or use the printable versions, (these may be more adaptable and appropriate for older students), to emphasize your position on plagerism. Be sure to provide this link on your class website.

You may want to take it full circle by having the class compose and submit a song, poem, or other work to the Library of Congress to register a copyright. Be aware that there is a fee to submit the application, so you might want to consider doing a whole class project to send as one registration.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shmoop: Picture This - Shmoop

Grades
6 to 12
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Shmoop has done it again by adding slideshows to their literature, civics, and history sections! With "Picture This," you can add visual interest and engage visual leaeners in your...more
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Shmoop has done it again by adding slideshows to their literature, civics, and history sections! With "Picture This," you can add visual interest and engage visual leaeners in your history, civics or literature units. What's more, you can copy and paste the HTML for the slide show onto your own web page. There are slide shows for every unit in civics and history, and for 40 of the literature units. You will know if the literature unit has a slide show by looking in the menu bar at the top for "new photos." View photos of the presidents, The Civil War, Hamlet, and much more.

tag(s): literature (272), slides (65)

In the Classroom

Give students some background knowledge before they start reading for a unit. Put the slideshow on your own site so the captions don't show. Then use your projector or interactive whiteboard to show the images to the students while they jot down what they observe and infer about each image. Once the students have finished, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic. Then click on "full size." This will take you to Shmoop to see what the captions say about the picture. At this point you can click on one of the orange tabs at the top to read the summary for the topic, view a timeline, etc.

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No Name-Calling Week - GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for some "fresh" ideas to put an end to bullying in your classroom but are not sure where or how to start? Well, you are in the ...more
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Are you looking for some "fresh" ideas to put an end to bullying in your classroom but are not sure where or how to start? Well, you are in the right place. This web site brings attention to No Name-Calling Week: an annual week of realistic educational activities designed to end all types of name-calling. No Name-Calling Week was inspired by the young adult novel, The Misfits, and presents an opportunity to address bullying as an increasingly, ongoing issue. Whether you are a teacher, student, administrator, counselor, or parent, there is an abundance of useful ideas, activities, and materials for elementary, middle, and high schools to promote anti-bullying awareness, and they are all free!

tag(s): bullying (51), sports (99), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Use the resources from this web site to plan and implement lessons that students will relate to, and help to bring an end to harmful name-calling and "dissing." Select some of the many safe Web 2.0 tools reviewed by TeachersFirst Edge, such as Automotivator, reviewed here for designing digital posters that can be printed, or PhotoPeach, reviewed here for creating a digital slideshow that includes music, captions, and more. TeachersFirst also has an entire collection of on line resources to create comic strips, available here to drive home the message that bullying is never a laughing matter.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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What's Your Learning Style? - Edutopia

Grades
4 to 12
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Here you will find a quick and interesting learning styles quiz for your students to take. You don't need to sign in. No email address or registration is required. Once ...more
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Here you will find a quick and interesting learning styles quiz for your students to take. You don't need to sign in. No email address or registration is required. Once you've found your dominate style there is a description, and, best of all, tips for the best way for you to learn. Some of the learning styles also include possible career choices.

tag(s): learning styles (22), multiple intelligences (9)

In the Classroom

Have your students open a word document and save it. Then have them take the quiz, without signing up. Use the "Print Screen" feature on the computer to have the students copy their test. They can then paste it in their word document. Next have them look to see what is their most dominate style, and have them copy and paste the description for that style first, then their next dominate and so on. Not only can your students use this when trying to figure out final projects for assessments, but if they are having trouble with tests, they can look and see what might help them when it comes to study time. You can also use the results to group students or for them to select a "study buddy" before tests! Many of the styles include possible careers for students to pursue.

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Writing Bugs - Education World

Grades
3 to 12
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Writing Bugs is an online library of writing prompts organized in a timely fashion by months, (for example: Describe snow to someone who has never seen it), as well as ...more
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Writing Bugs is an online library of writing prompts organized in a timely fashion by months, (for example: Describe snow to someone who has never seen it), as well as "Anytime Writing Bugs," such as: Write about a goal that you would like to achieve this year. Stop racking your brain for new writing ideas and start livening up your resources with this variety of topic and story starters. A huge advantage for these writing prompts is that the subjects are categorized month by month so you can be assured that the topics deal with relevant content, or you may choose from the many that are applicable all year round.

tag(s): writing (365), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

You can easily click on the current month and display a particular journal entry starter on your whiteboard or choose to project a few to provide your students with options. They can be used to "get the ball rolling" at the beginning of class, as daily or weekly warm-up activities to practice general writing or skills that you are focusing on, preparing for state assessments, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're finished with your work" activity. They can be easily printed to use as "emergency" or substitute lesson plans.

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Madlibber - Sean Huber

Grades
2 to 12
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Madlibs have come a long way since 1953 when they were invented. This site has an online Madlib creator you can use in many different ways. It's easy to access, ...more
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Madlibs have come a long way since 1953 when they were invented. This site has an online Madlib creator you can use in many different ways. It's easy to access, and there is no registration needed. Just click on "create a new madlib" and you'll be presented with a template. There is a sample story so you get the idea of how to create one. You will also get to put in tags so you can find your Madlibber again. The site also lists current madlibs that others have created. Beware of some of the content of the already created madlibs, if you intend to allow students to use this site independently.

In the Classroom

Create a Madlib using Madlibber and share it with your class using your interactive white board and projector to reinforce curriculum topics such as types of plants or famous inventors. Either show the students how to make one about the curriculum topic, or have students operate the board/computer while others suggest words to fill in the blanks in one you have prepared. Madlibs can be used in so may ways: teaching parts of speech, reviewing for a quiz, introducing a new subject, or even as a "Cloze" reading story. Use this site as a station on one of the computers in your class. Put the direct web address (URL) for your Madlibber on your class web page, since some of the public Madlibbers may not be appropriate for your students. Give extra credit to those who work outside school to create classroom-appropriate madlibbers for others to use as review (and share the direct links on your class web page).

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Testmoz - testmoz.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or ...more
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or to take the created tests. Simply click "Create a test," enter the test name, and create a password. Note: Be sure to remember the password somewhere because it is not possible to recover it. Read the directions on the Test Control Panel to adjust settings, add questions, and publish the test. Bookmark the URL of the finished test you make so you can find it later. After publishing, copy and paste the URL of the test into a wiki, blog, or site, for student access. View reports when students are done with the test.

tag(s): quiz (86)

In the Classroom

Skills required: Be sure to remember the password for your tests, as well as the unique URL. It would be wise to copy/paste them into a document you keep somewhere for reference. Users are unable to access the tests without the URL. Be sure to not share this ahead of time. Items in Testmoz are not made public.

Use where automatically graded tests are required, such as for formative assessments to check student understanding. Use as a "ticket out the door" to see what students know at the end of class. Be sure that this is the medium you want to use for testing. Be flexible with students who find it difficult to take online testing. Entering all the material ahead of time can be time consuming, so this may not be the best format for long tests. Use this quiz application to create study quizzes for review for students to complete as homework (or during class time). Have students rotate to create daily check quizzes for their peers (earning a grade for test-creation). Learning support students and others who need a little extra review might like to make quizzes to challenge each other or themselves. Have students who are preparing to give oral presentations in any subject prepare a short Testmoz for their peers to take at the end.

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Guzzle - Lemonchick

Grades
8 to 12
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This news aggregator allows you to select whatever news topics you would like to see displayed. You can choose either to see just the headlines or the headline and its ...more
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This news aggregator allows you to select whatever news topics you would like to see displayed. You can choose either to see just the headlines or the headline and its news source before you read. After customizing the pages, you can click to see a page showing just the items you would like to read. When you mouse over the headline, you can see the first sentence or so of the selected news item before clicking to get it in entirety. Clicking on the headline sends you directly to the original source newspaper. Once linked to the original newspaper, you have the option to search other articles at that source as well.

tag(s): news (262), newspapers (96)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment, research, or a current events class. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to set up a class selected news offering for each day.

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Snappy Words-Free Visual Online Dictionary - Snappy Words.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus. It provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws...more
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus. It provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws connections to associated words. Simply type a word in the search box and click "GO." Instantly you will see a word map. An extra built in feature is the words in the visual interactive display are color coded according to parts of speech. Look up as many words as you need anytime; there is no limit on the number of searches and no registration is required. As with most online tools, teacher monitoring is strongly advised.

tag(s): maps (298), parts of speech (67), speech (89), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students on all grade levels will love usingSnappy Words for all subjects. Demonstrate it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, bookmark it in your favorites, and make it directly available to students from your class webpage. Elementary students will enjoy defining their spelling words or content area vocabulary. They can categorize their words by parts of speech or create a list of synonyms. Students can then create their own word "maps" for new vocabulary words using drawing tools or online graphic organizers like bubbl.us, reviewed here. Middle school, high school and adult learners can use it as a valuable tool for vocabulary specific to a literary work or subject area, preparing for a standardized test, or while reading assigned material or a book, poem, or article of choice. Whether you are writing content for an article, a blog, a letter, or any assignment, minimize this website and play with words to avoid repetition, choose precise meanings and kick your vocabulary up a notch! Share this one on your class web page, for sure.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vocabulary Development Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of tools and resources from TeachersFirst promotes vocabulary development and skills for students using daily vocabulary, subject matter terms, speech/language vocabulary...more
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This collection of tools and resources from TeachersFirst promotes vocabulary development and skills for students using daily vocabulary, subject matter terms, speech/language vocabulary (special ed), and ESL/ELL language.

tag(s): vocabulary (321)

In the Classroom

Browse this collection when you have students who seem to need extra vocabulary reinforcement or choose one or two tools to use repeatedly each time you introduce new terms. Share specific links or the entire collection for students to find "what works" to help them master vocabulary before the test. Mark this collection in your favorites to have differentiation strategies at your fingertips.

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Online-Calculator - Online-calculator.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific ...more
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific or BMI calculator. There is also a stopwatch tool available. If you speak a language other than English, simply click to change to the language of your choice - it's that easy.

Be aware: this site does include advertisements.

tag(s): latin (22)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool, beyond the obvious ones for math class. Bookmark this site on your own computer for projection on an interactive whiteboard and make the link available on your class web page for students to access from individual computers. You can shrink the calculator window in the corner of your interactive whiteboard to use as needed. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. The stopwatch tool can be useful for any in-class, timed assignment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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daily-writing-prompt.com - Coach Hart

Grades
5 to 12
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Here the writing teacher will find writing prompts galore and even more! Scrolling down the "Home" page you will find links to all sorts of helpful information and resources. Check...more
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Here the writing teacher will find writing prompts galore and even more! Scrolling down the "Home" page you will find links to all sorts of helpful information and resources. Check it out! "The Daily Ten" (as in 10 minutes a day) are prompts posted weekly, plus, you can see past "Daily Ten" prompts or preview prompts a week in advance. The "Mega Prompt" area gives a more complete scenario for students to write about, and encourages student publishing. Be sure to investigate "Writing Around the World" for topics of the week and publishing student work.

tag(s): essays (22), writing (365)

In the Classroom

You could set up a writing center or post the prompts on your website for students to use in many ways. For instance, have a link on your website so parents or guardians can read the prompt, and, as part of the writing process, ask them to review with their student what was written. The writing could be initialed by the parent/guardian when this has been done. For older students you may want a writing center that results in the submission of their writing to the "Writing Around the World" category. Why not create a class writing wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Or you could simply project (on your interactive whiteboard or projector) prompts from the "Daily Ten" to use as bell work while you are taking attendance, etc.

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Grammar and Words - British Council

Grades
4 to 12
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Although this is intended as an ESL/ELL site, the focused activities, exercises, and games apply to teaching grammar in any classroom. The straight forward approach is a rich resource...more
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Although this is intended as an ESL/ELL site, the focused activities, exercises, and games apply to teaching grammar in any classroom. The straight forward approach is a rich resource for those hard-to-grasp grammatical rules and structures. Complete with a quick reference section and explanations, Grammar and Words provides a number of options for practicing grammar and usage. This could also be very useful in an elementary class just being introduced to these concepts of grammar.

tag(s): grammar (212), speech (89)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource to supplement your grammar lessons and as another approach to those "foreign" grammar terms, like clauses and phrases that students find difficult to wrap their heads around. Some of the activities are even appropriate for the upper elementary grades. Make a shortcut to an activity on your classroom computer by RIGHT-clicking in the middle of the page and choosing the option to Create shortcut, to give yourself a quick, easy way to open an introduction or review of the grammar you expect students to be familiar with, and project it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not provide this link on your class website for students to access at home?

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English Online - New Zealand Ministry of Education

Grades
K to 12
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English Online is a premier resource for all elementary and secondary teachers of English. It includes what students need to know, what teachers need to know, and even a section ...more
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English Online is a premier resource for all elementary and secondary teachers of English. It includes what students need to know, what teachers need to know, and even a section on how our teaching impacts learning. This site was created and is based and maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Education; however its uses are internationally sound and practical. Whether you are searching for language and literature resources, teacher exchange of ideas, assessment tools and processes, strategies, or sequential units and models, you will find all of the offerings to be plentiful. The website is also available in various language dialects of New Zealand.

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site in your favorites for when you are planning objectives and learning activities, searching for materials, or looking for fresh, reliable ideas. No matter where you are on the career ladder, this site provides a storehouse of quality digital content from early childhood through senior year and beyond, which you can embed and blend into your existing program, use to support learning across the curriculum, download, print, project on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or have students use individually or collaboratively on individual computers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Jigsaw Classroom - Elliot Aronson

Grades
2 to 12
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Click on 10 Easy Steps to find out how to implement this tried and true technique for cooperative learning in a classroom studying any subject. Basically, teachers divide classrooms...more
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Click on 10 Easy Steps to find out how to implement this tried and true technique for cooperative learning in a classroom studying any subject. Basically, teachers divide classrooms into groups of 5 or 6 students and appoint one as the leader to direct and report on the group's activities. Teachers divide the day's learning into as many groups as there are in their classrooms. Students read their parts. Groups may exchange expert learners to report on what is going on in other groups. Back in the original groups, each group reports on its part and students have some type of evaluative activity, like a quiz or other summary activity.

In the Classroom

Have the students prepare a quick online presentation of their findings, results, summaries etc. Have each student or each group prepare one or two quiz questions to share with the entire class. Be sure help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Balance your group selection by ensuring each group has strong and weaker students, girls and boys, students from different ethnic groups or nationalities, etc. Use this activity also as a way to review before tests. Have students present their findings in a multimedia presentation. Why not have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Historypin - We Are What We Do

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a site created in partnership with Google as a project to help generations share and talk more through social networking. The concept is that young people ask older ...more
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This is a site created in partnership with Google as a project to help generations share and talk more through social networking. The concept is that young people ask older people to share their photos; these photos are then uploaded through Google maps to show the world as it once was. The older pictures can be compared to today's images through Google street view. In addition to uploading photos, stories can also be shared about the time period and the pictures. Historypin is still in Beta stage; however, there are plans for events throughout the world to launch the site in the near future.

tag(s): cultures (109), maps (298)

In the Classroom

Use as an enhancement to research projects of family, historic events, and world cultures by finding and uploading pictures to the map. Use Historypin as a resource to compare and contrast different time periods in the same geographic area. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector how different places have changed over time. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here) to go along with the maps. ESL students will appreciate the ability to upload pictures and/or learn about their country of original.
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Thought Audio - thoughtaudio.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the...more
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, some Mark Twain, and a few Christmas recordings for children including "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Gift of the Magi," and "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol."

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Learning support teachers may want to use selections from this site as alternatives to reading print literature selections. Play a story on your computer speakers as a listening activity in younger grades.

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Library of Congress Read.gov - Library of Congress

Grades
K to 12
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Here you will find the English teachers dream come true! Read.gov is from the Library of Congress and is a new website for readers of all ages. The site offers ...more
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Here you will find the English teachers dream come true! Read.gov is from the Library of Congress and is a new website for readers of all ages. The site offers pages specifically designed for kids and teens, as well as adults, educators, and parents. There is so much here: Contests, books online, book lists, and more. The webcast section is truly extensive. There are Webcasts from famous authors such as R.L. Stine, Jon Scieszka, Jan Brett, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Neil Gaiman, and many more. These webcasts also include interesting topics like "Mystery Writers Discuss Their Craft" and "The Nuts and Bolts of Historical Fiction" among others.

A special feature of the site is an exclusive story, called "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure." The Exquisite Corpse was a game in which someone would start a story, fold over their part, and the next person would add to the story and on it would go until the last person ended the story. For this Exquisite Corpse, Jon Scieszka started the story and passed it on to Katherine Patterson, who passed it on . . . and so it goes for 18 episodes. The entire story will take a year to write to the finish. There is an illustration that goes with each segment.

tag(s): authors (120), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Check out "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure" and have students listen to the stories. As a challenge ask students to look at the differences in writing style for each of the authors. Project a chart about the plot and the writing style on your interactive whiteboard or projector, and have students list the differences and similarities in writing style. Students could also keep a chart of similarities and differences for the illustrators. Another idea for an activity is to have the students read the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling and then have them read the very touching national contest winner letter to the author about his poem. Students could then write their own letters to an author of a favorite book or poem. Have students create podcasts to read their letters to the authors using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

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Jungle Photos - R.Harris

Grades
4 to 12
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Jungle photos is more than what is inferred by the title. At this site you will find not only photos, but articles about the people, animals, plants, insects, reptiles, etc. ...more
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Jungle photos is more than what is inferred by the title. At this site you will find not only photos, but articles about the people, animals, plants, insects, reptiles, etc. of the jungle. The site focuses on Africa, the Amazon, and Galapagos. Here you will find some truly beautiful photography.

tag(s): africa (168), amazon (9), jungles (5)

In the Classroom

There are so many ways a teacher could use this site. Make it a learning station, where students look at the photos and read the captions and articles about the various aspects of life in the jungle. Students could have a special notebook where they summarize, or write an opinion about, what they learned from "Jungle Photos" that day. Young children could use the information to make a picture book of their own, summarizing what they read (or had read to them).

Older students need to know background information about a topic in order to decide what they would like to know more about. Students could use this as a springboard to decide what topic they would like to investigate for more information.

Language arts and ESL/ELL teachers could have students write their own description of the pictures and then compare their captions to those on the site. Students could also write a fictional story about what is happening in one of the pictures. Why not make it more interactive and have students use Sway, reviewed here.

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conjugation.com - Best Practice

Grades
5 to 12
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See the conjugation of any English verb for free. This site conjugates over 15,000 verbs in all 3 forms: affirmative, interrogative, and negative, and in all tenses, genders, persons,...more
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See the conjugation of any English verb for free. This site conjugates over 15,000 verbs in all 3 forms: affirmative, interrogative, and negative, and in all tenses, genders, persons, voices, and moods. An added advantage at this site is you can see the definition of the verb. Other nice features are an example of the verb used in a sentence and a synonym of the verb used in a sentence. If you are a world language teacher, you may want to check back at this brand new site. They say they will next be developing pages to conjugate verbs in languages other than English.

tag(s): grammar (212), parts of speech (67), speech (89), verbs (39), writing (365)

In the Classroom

This site has a source code you can embed on your own wiki or website. In class you can use your interactive whiteboard or projector to show students conjugation.com and have them suggest verbs to be entered and conjugated. They will also learn the names of the verb forms and tenses. Have the ESL and ELL students in your class use this site to check their writing. Underline the verbs in their writing that are not conjugated correctly and let them make the corrections using conjugation.com.

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