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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (168), digital storytelling (150), images (269), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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Real Trees 4 Kids - The National Christmas Tree Association

Grades
K to 12
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Trees, trees, and more trees - that is what you find at this site. There are lesson ideas and activities for all grade levels (K-12). The activities are broken down ...more
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Trees, trees, and more trees - that is what you find at this site. There are lesson ideas and activities for all grade levels (K-12). The activities are broken down into grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each level includes several "Teacher's Guides." In grades K-2, the site's goal is for students to learn about trees and their parts using writing, science, and math! The Grades 3-5 section focuses on the life cycle of conifer trees. This level also discusses how real trees are recycled, the types of trees grown on farms, and new vocabulary words. In grades 6-8 students learn about the life cycles and scientific names of the trees and take a look (first-hand) into the life of a real tree grower. Grades 9-12 challenges students to dig deeper into the soil and check out how REAL TREE growers keep their crops healthy, how supply and demand works, and more details about conifers. There are many other highlights at this site: ready to go units, photos, and more. The TF editorial staff checked many of the links; there were two not working at the time of this review. However, the other 30-40 links did work. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): conservation (128), earth (228), earth day (111), plants (146), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site to "spruce" up Earth Day or your study of plants and trees! The Teacher's Guides are basically ready-to-go units of study. Some of the activities are more interactive than others. If you are looking for a more "technology" friendly activity, consider having students create a wiki guide to the various trees in their hometowns (or around their school). Or have them create a video "Tree Tour." Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Punny Costumes - Bonnie Neubauer

Grades
4 to 7
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Who needs Halloween when you can have costumes based on word play? Think beyond October 31. At Punny Costumes, you will find a list of simple (no sewing required) Halloween ...more
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Who needs Halloween when you can have costumes based on word play? Think beyond October 31. At Punny Costumes, you will find a list of simple (no sewing required) Halloween costumes that are all based on word plays. The website claims that these idiom costumes will, "elicit moans and groans from bad puns." Some of the costume ideas include "All Thumbs," "Black Holes," and "Hip Chick".

tag(s): costumes (6), halloween (39), idioms (44)

In the Classroom

You may want to list this link on your website for parents and students to use at home (to create some "unique" costumes). Challenge your students to create some additional "Word Play Costume" ideas. Plan a Punny Costume day as a culmination of your idioms unit! Be sure to share pictures (unidentifiable) on your class wiki or have students vote for their favorite costume picture using an embedded polling tool such as Poll Junkie (reviewed here).

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Myths, Folktales, & Fairy Tales - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities,...more
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities, reproducible pages, and more. The lesson plans and activities are divided by grade level (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12). The site says that the lessons (for all levels) will take approximately one day/class period. Don't miss the colorful interactive: Myths Brainstorm Machine (designed for grades 3-8). This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are endless! Take advantage of the grade-appropriate activities, interactives, lesson plans, and printables. Have students work with a partner to try out the Brainstorm Machine. Use this site to create a writing station. After studying the genre, wy not have students create illustrated virtual books of their own using a free tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mr. Lincoln's Attic - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Grades
3 to 9
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's...more
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's In A Name," and "Oral History Interviews." Although this site was created as a "Teacher's Guide" for classes visiting the museum, the lessons can be used independently without a trip to Illinois! Each topic includes standards, discussion questions, printable pages, pictures, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): letter writing (21), lincoln (86), presidents (130), writing (363)

In the Classroom

This "Teacher's Guide" is ready to go and easily adaptable to various grade levels. Project the discussion questions on your interactive whiteboard or projector, have students write responses to the questions or have a class debate. Print out the activities, and use this site as a mini unit. Have students interview a family member for the "Oral History Interview," and have students learn the meaning behind their own names with the lesson, "What's In a Name."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bookmaking with Kids - Cathy Miranker and Susie Peyton

Grades
K to 12
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the ...more
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the extensive blog material to learn about author presentations and how schools incorporated those visits into making books. The creators say this site is part scrapbook and notebook, so click on the categories frequently to see the new content.

Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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TeachersFirst: Lesson Ideas for Lincoln - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ...more
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ideas feature both technology-enhanced lessons and non-tech experiences. Choose from the lesson titles (sorted by level) to find lesson ideas best suited to your students and the subjects you teach.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (41), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

No matter what subject you teach, you can find something to fit in your plans for Presidents Day or the Lincoln Bicentennial. Use these ideas and adapt at will. You can even email an idea to your teacher colleague to save a friend time!

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A Mini-Lesson on Semicolons - ReadWriteThink

Grades
6 to 8
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Combining Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech with a variety of multimedia tools, this incredibly creative lesson plan explores the use of semi-colons to effectively communicate...more
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Combining Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech with a variety of multimedia tools, this incredibly creative lesson plan explores the use of semi-colons to effectively communicate a message. Links to Web resources, NCTE/IRA standards, and PDF handouts are provided. This is a great opportunity to introduce a grammar concept using relevant examples, while providing an interdisciplinary link. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to go, includes interactive elements, and is even linked to national standards. English and history teachers could team up on this lesson and discuss the grammar and history behind King's famous speech.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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From Greece to Main Street - Kennedy Center

Grades
5 to 8
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Introduce characteristics of Greek architecture with this lesson plan that draws comparisons between The Lincoln Memorial and the Parthenon, then challenges students to identify elements...more
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Introduce characteristics of Greek architecture with this lesson plan that draws comparisons between The Lincoln Memorial and the Parthenon, then challenges students to identify elements of Greek architecture within their own communities. Nice opportunity for a low-cost, high impact field trip! Downloadable worksheets, standards, detailed activity instructions, and an assessment rubric are provided. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): architecture (83), greece (26), greek (41), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Use this ready-to-go lesson plan with your students. Share the visual interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work with a partner to research other famous monuments and present multi-media presentations to the class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Colonial Williamsburg Interactive - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use ...more
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use this interactive site sponsored by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Students will enjoy playing the many games from colonial life, or they may enjoy making an acrostic of their name. Slide shows of coinage, Gilbert's paintings, and the Queen's visit in 1957 add depth to students' education on Williamsburg. A comparison study between Queen Elizabeth's visits to Colonial Williamsburg in 1957 and 2007 opens the door to looking at differences in our world over a span of 50 years. Click on the Jigsaw Puzzle logo to enter the multitude of games and activities available. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (107), colonization (16), handwriting (17), williamsburg (12), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Students may be paired or work individually to explore the activities found at this site. Make sure your computers are fairly fast or the games may be too slow to use.

To spice up a writing lesson or add interest to a writing center, have students send colonial postcards, via email (or blog), to classmates. Content of messages may require extra supervision. A safer way to send messages to fellow classmates would be to use the Colonial Card Creator where the students must print out the card, then handwrite their message in the cards. A printer needs to be accessible for the card creator. Older students can explore the interactive draft of the Constitution on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Be sure to include this one on your teacher web page for students to continue to access from home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive-Learning.com.au - K.O'Regan

Grades
6 to 12
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers...more
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers of any of those subjects to pick and choose what best fits their plans. Some examples of topics include archaeology, ancient Rome, South American Empires, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, letter writing, gorgeous grammar, common spelling errors, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, poetry, the theatre, film, composers, and at least twenty other topics. The site declares itself "student self-directed (self-explanatory)." The links are functional, the graphics are attractive, and, while some of the activities are simple and straightforward, many of them take students into analysis and synthesis without them even realizing they are thinking on higher levels and producing work with more depth. Many of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (35), civil rights (117), grammar (216), listening (90), medieval (27), poetry (225), renaissance (34), spelling (169)

In the Classroom

The world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Goes to War - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
7 to 12
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students...more
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students become part of the decision-making process as they consider the critical issues that faced the nation as Lincoln came into office, debate the risks and benefits of withdrawing Union troops from Fort Sumter, and investigate the Confederate reaction to Lincoln's ultimate decision. Students take on the roles of Secessionists, Non-Secessionists, Unionists, Abolitionists, or Compromise Proponents. This lesson is aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (41), lincoln (86), slavery (72), states (162)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to go and offers step by step instructions! Divide your class into five groups (based on the roles listed above). Allow them time to research and prepare for the debate. Consider having students tape the debate using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). Why not have each group (or student) write a blog defending their position (role).

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Held accountable - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (180), black history (59), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Teachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!

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Speechwriting - Karen Finney & Lou Giansante

Grades
5 to 8
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This is a great site to introduce kids to speechwriting. While it is really geared to the middle school level, there are some great ideas for walking all levels of ...more
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This is a great site to introduce kids to speechwriting. While it is really geared to the middle school level, there are some great ideas for walking all levels of students through the process step-by-step . If you have never taught speechwriting, this helps the kids see that writing a speech is not like writing an essay.

Be aware: a Scholastic Word Wizard box appears on the screen, click the minus sign to shrink the box. Then drag the box to the top of the screen. It will still be there, but it shouldn't interfere with your reading of the text. This site requires Real Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): speech (92), writing (363)

In the Classroom

If you have students who need word support (spelling or vocabulary), the Word Wizard Box might be helpful. This is also a site that students could work on in a writing lab as they develop their own speeches with teacher supervision. Because the pages are sequential and refer back to each other, they can work at their own pace. Have students tape their speeches and share the videos on YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).

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Celebrate the 100th Day of School - Scholastic

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers 100th day of school activities in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and "Just for Fun." There are activities that focus on spelling, writing, reading, history,...more
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This site offers 100th day of school activities in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and "Just for Fun." There are activities that focus on spelling, writing, reading, history, counting, sorting, probability, density, and many other specific topics. The main page of this site features the Language Arts activities. To find the other ideas, you must click on the subject area on the left side of the top of the site (see the box More Information.

tag(s): counting (119), density (21), estimation (46), literature (275), mass (23), measurement (157), money (192), probability (130), sorting (10), spelling (169), volume (44), writing (363)

In the Classroom

There are many 100th day sites out there, but this one includes middle school grades too. Check out the activities in the areas that you teach. Most require minimal preparations. Use the writing prompts as the starting point for your 100th Day celebration. Share all of the prompt options on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then allow students to choose which prompt to write about. Why not share the lesson ideas with your class a few days before the 100th day and allow students to vote for their favorite lesson idea. Or allow cooperative learning groups to try the activities on their own.

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TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ITESLJ

Grades
1 to 12
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this...more
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this site is "plain vanilla" and not high-tech, it has been around for a long time and offers a comprehensive list of sites to use with ESL and ELL students. English/language arts teachers will also find the vocabulary development options helpful for any student, especially those who may need extra learning support.

Be sure to check out "What's New" for recent additions. Go to "Main Page" and try the search box; it's a good place to try to find the links you remember from awhile back but have lost track of.

tag(s): holidays (147), idioms (44), sight words (37), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website. Use this site for vocabulary ideas with your ESL and ELL students AND in your world language classes or mainstream language arts classes. The variety at this site offers something for every classroom learning English or another language.

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Prompts - Creativity-Portal.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available...more
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available at your fingertips, teachers will find inspirational starters in a form which will appeal to all types of students.

There is a submission option at this site. You are able to submit articles or projects, suggest websites with FREE learning content, creativity journey blogs, or inspiring success stories. Before you submit any students' work, be sure to check with your school's Acceptable Use Policy and always get parental permission.

tag(s): drawing (77), journals (21), writing (363), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Use these writing prompts with your ESL or ELL students to get them to incorporate new vocabulary into a written piece. Share the on your teacher web page for all students to use as starters for blog writing or journaling. Have students share their own ideas of writing prompts, drawings, and photos that they feel may help others start writing. Submit students' work and ideas, after the proper precautions have been taken.

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Persuasive Writing, Speaking, & Activities - Kathleen Prody and Jean O'Connor

Grades
7 to 12
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Created in 2001, this website has links that are no longer active. However, enough links are active (including the key explanations), that this site is worth a look. The key ...more
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Created in 2001, this website has links that are no longer active. However, enough links are active (including the key explanations), that this site is worth a look. The key information regarding what constitutes argumentative debate vs. simple reporting is valuable and includes the classic breakdown of logos, ethos, and pathos for higher level students to consider. The R.A.F.T. examples given are good for teachers to use as well as some sample prompts from the 2001 ACT. Sample links plus one to Paradigm online writing lab make this a worthwhile site.

tag(s): persuasive writing (54), speech (92), writing (363)

In the Classroom

This site would best be used by a teacher working with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector to review key elements of persuasive writing. The inactive links might prove frustrating for students, but you can check them ahead of time. Once students know which links are active, you can use them to assign students various aspects of rhetorical debate and create argumentative theses based on each appeal. Share some of these resources on your teacher web page as you engage students in a real world task such as writing to persuade local politicians on a hot issue.

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5 Sources for Free and Legal Images - The Blog Herald

Grades
K to 12
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging...more
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging students or using them on your whole-class blog or wiki. The sources include abstract photos and current events new stories, as well as general photos. Each has its own search/browse features. The services include: Voxant Newsroom, PicApp, GumGum, Zemanta, and PhotoDropper.

tag(s): blogs (89), images (269)

In the Classroom

Since each site has its own directions, our review team will not explain the how-to's of each here. Some require access to install a plug-in on your blog, such as wordpress. Many school blogging sites do not provide this access. Others permit embedding an image simple by copy/pasting code into your blog or wiki. Two are actually extensions you add to Firefox or Internet Explorer and may require tech department authorization or installation on school computers.

If you do allow students to join a site, be sure to adhere to school policies. As always, we recommend previewing the content available on each site before recommending it to your students. These images sites are NOT education-only, so some image content may not be classroom-appropriate. Have a policy and consequences in place before turning your students loose.

Art teachers or writing teachers can use the abstract images from the GumGum option as writing prompts or to launch discussion on design principles. If your students have individual blogs, allow them to personalize the "look" using these legal images. Be sure to model thinking aloud about why you are using a legal image source. Use news images or videos from Vixant Newsroom as prompts for current events discussions on your blog or wiki, or assign students to select a news story and write an in-depth analysis of it to accompany the image/video. English or social studies teachers teaching persuasive writing can assign students to use their multimedia skills as they present arguments both verbally and visually on a class "issues" wiki. Younger students can help select images to include on a whole-class wiki or blog then add their own writing about them. A teacher can embed a sequence of photos and ask student to tell the story that explains it. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page for your tech-savvy teens to use as they generate projects with LEGAL images. Of course you will require them to document their sources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (58), money (192), russian (25), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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