TeachersFirst Edge - Digital Storytelling

 

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Maptia - A World of Stories - Dorothy Sanders, Dean Fischer, and Johnny Miller

Grades
6 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes,...more
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Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes, and storytellers. Stories focus on portraying an individual perspective of the location and why it matters on a personal level. Find a collection of inspiring stories by people and organizations who are making a difference in many corners of the world. When browsing through offerings, information includes a short synopsis along with the location featured and an estimate of time to read the story. Create an account to add your stories. Bookmark and save favorites for viewing at any time. Maptia works well for viewing in all browsers, but it is optimized for Chrome and Safari when creating stories.

tag(s): creative writing (162), digital storytelling (148), narrative (19), photography (145)

In the Classroom

Share Maptia on your interactive whiteboard or projector to discover personal stories from anywhere in the world. Share with students as examples of personal narrative writing. Challenge students to create an account and add their own personal stories. To find even more stories like those under Causes see The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heros, reviewed here, and follow their ten steps for writing about people who make a difference. Create a class account and bookmark favorites. Share with students through a link on your class web page. Display photographs for use as a creative writing prompt.

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Mapwing - Redbug Technologies

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Turn digital photos into virtual tours with interactive maps, images, and comments using Mapwing. Create the tours for free. Basic tours offer up to 20 points of entry per floor ...more
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Turn digital photos into virtual tours with interactive maps, images, and comments using Mapwing. Create the tours for free. Basic tours offer up to 20 points of entry per floor plan/map. Each area becomes interactive and includes a comment option. Add hotspots to images to view close-up areas or link to websites. Share your tour using the tour's unique URL or use the embed code to embed into your website or blog. To understand the concept, explore tours already uploaded to Mapwing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (273), maps (296), slides (53), virtual field trips (57)

In the Classroom

Take a look at the already created tours available. You may find something very useful for your classroom. Share HOW to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Mapwing to create virtual tours of your classroom, school, or community. Create a tour of a future field trip location. Or if a field trip is not in the budget, take your students anywhere virtually using this tool. Create a virtual tour to share information about class pets. Challenge students to create a virtual tour to accompany research reports about states or geographic areas. Use at the beginning of the year for a new twist on "how I spent my summer" or beginning of the year introductions. Share this tool at Back to School night as you share your classroom (rules, schedules, and more) with families.

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Trading Card Creator - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 9
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts....more
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Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts. Follow the prompts to complete the information and choose whether to save as a draft or final. You can share via email or print.

tag(s): back to school (61), biographies (86), book reports (33), characterization (18)

In the Classroom

Use the main character in a story your class recently read and demonstrate this tool using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Social studies classes can portray a famous person or event in history. Science classes can develop trading cards for plants, planets, cells, or just about anything else you study. In a geography class, use cards to describe a place. Students can use trading cards to help them remember facts and vocabulary from any class. Teacher-librarians can encourage students to make trading cards about books or authors. Use cards at the beginning of the year for students to create a trading card about themselves. After sharing with classmates, post them on a bulletin board for back-to-school night.
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Sal, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Story Wars - StoryWars.net

Grades
3 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Story Wars offers an online collaborative writing tool and experience. Choose from stories that have already been started and write the next chapter, or begin your own story and allow...more
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Story Wars offers an online collaborative writing tool and experience. Choose from stories that have already been started and write the next chapter, or begin your own story and allow others to write new chapters. Owners of each story approve additional chapters before inclusion in their story. Our editors suggest previewing the story before sharing with your class, since site (or adult) moderation is not mentioned. At the time of this review, our editors saw nothing inappropriate.

tag(s): creative writing (162), digital storytelling (148)

In the Classroom

Use StoryWars to extend and modify student learning. Create your own class story starter then have students add on additional chapters. Enhance student understanding by asking each student to create a story and have other students add to their classmate's writing. Create a link to completed stories on classroom computers as a reading center for younger students. If your class has a pen pal or works with a "little buddies" class throughout the year, use Story Wars as an enjoyable writing project together. In science or social studies class, modify student learning by having students write nonfiction pieces for others to complete with historically or scientifically accurate information. Make recounting history or explaining science interactive and social! In world language class, promote written language and vocabulary development by creating cooperative stories. For English vocabulary development, have students use the words of the week in a new chapter of a continuing story.

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Rootbook - Rootbook

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) ...more
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Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) to the stories. Once registered (requires an email, player name & password), you can create your own stories to save. You can also save the bookmarks you add to other stories. Registering allows you to submit reviews of the interactive stories available on the site. Rootbook says they will soon have filters to monitor inappropriate language. Until then, read stories and branches prior to sharing with young people. Leave a comment if you find anything offensive, and they will remove it.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (162), digital storytelling (148), interactive stories (31), narrative (19), writing (364)

In the Classroom

To use Rootbook and save work, students will need an email account. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail sub-accounts, explained here. This will provide anonymous interaction within your class, and you (as the Gmail account holder) will be able to go into each Rootbook account to check progress. Begin by choosing a story and reading it as a class. Give the students scratch paper to create storyboards and have them continue the story. Then collect the papers and have them write their continuation again on someone else's paper. Next, ask students to end the story and switch again, and write their ending on this new paper. Doing this will help younger students understand the "branching" story line. If students are sitting in groups of four, they can just rotate the papers around for this activity. When students want to create their story on Rootbook, be sure to have them upload an image for the cover first and plan the story using a graphic organizer! As subject matter for stories in any curriculum area, tell a science story, such as the life of a butterfly or a history story such as what happened (and could have happened) at the Boston Tea Party.

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Calameo - Jean-Olivier de Berard and Mathieu Quisefit

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft...more
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, and OpenOffice. Use the link editor to add YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, and SoundCloud content to your magazine. Share completed publications through a unique URL or embed directly into your website or blog. Calameo is available in many languages. Be sure to check Calameo's help links to find full features and suggestions for use. Use caution when allowing students to explore this site on their own, as some content may not be appropriate for the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (162), digital storytelling (148)

In the Classroom

Use this site to engage students in Writing for Digital Publication, an important part of the Common Core. In social studies or government class have individual students or small groups design magazines for the candidate of their choice. Remember those travel brochures your world language students used to make with glue sticks and scissors? Try this online tool instead. World language students can also create an interactive magazine telling a story in their new language. In science class students can design a booklet to explain cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Instead of a book report, try a digital magazine. Do an author study via a digital magazine. Create a poetry magazine. Have your ESL/ELL students create a bilingual magazine in English AND their native language. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. Create an ongoing Calameo magazine of class activities.

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Dropr - dropr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or...more
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or using your Facebook, Google, or Twitter login. Follow prompts to connect your Dropr account to several social networking options. Follow instructions to personalize your page using files from your computer or connected social networking sites. When finished, easily share your portfolio with the link, embed code, or share buttons.

tag(s): careers (149), portfolios (22)

In the Classroom

Have teens and older students upload work throughout the year to create their own "me-portfolios." Create portfolios (with permission) to share younger students' work with parents and students during conferences. Use this tool to show finished projects or to show changes in a project from start to finish. Make a work prototype site and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. Create a link to this tool on your class website for students to share projects and information. (Get parent permission before posting students' work!) Have students take ownership of their own portfolios to show progress and products across several years. Have older students build portfolios to share as part of career and college preparation. Art teachers will want to share this as a portfolio option for their students.

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Classroom Authors - Classroom Authors

Grades
1 to 12
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Classroom Authors uses four easy steps to publish an e-book or a printed book: writing, editing, proofing, and publishing. Teachers create an account and a project. Have students join...more
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Classroom Authors uses four easy steps to publish an e-book or a printed book: writing, editing, proofing, and publishing. Teachers create an account and a project. Have students join the project with a code. Every student with the project code will have a chapter to create. Student accounts require email, but they can use a parent email address or an "+" extension of the teacher's email address, for instance, myemail+studentname@myschool.org. All students invited to the project can be working on their section, on multiple computers, at one time. Adding content is as easy as using a word processing program and uploading images to the gallery. Drag and drop the images into the chapter. Students can view the entire book, but only edit their own chapter. Teachers have complete control over editing, style and leaving comments. There are default templates so the books created are professional looking. Customize to give the book your own look. Classroom Authors is not only a vehicle for publishing; this tool will fulfill the Common Core Standard requirements for using technology for collaborating and writing across the curriculum. The best part of this site: it is EASY to use! Classroom Authors uses ePub to format e-books and offers one free printed book for each published project that has 10 or more students collaborating. Beyond that, there is a cost for printed books. E-books are FREE.

tag(s): creative writing (162), descriptive writing (42), ebooks (33), process writing (43), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Research proves publishing improves writing skills. Use Classroom Authors for class newsletters, an anthology of student written stories, and creating "choose your own adventure" type stories. Use this tool for research or opinion pieces in world language classes, science, math, or social studies. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at Classroom Authors they will be able to publish them.

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Power Poetry - Power Poetry

Grades
8 to 12
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together...more
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together to process their emotions using poetry. Find challenges to write about social issues or to write a poem in only 140 characters. There are tips for writing FanFiction poetry. Find many supportive community members to encourage you to develop your voice. Poets are free to write about any subject; however, there are site guidelines to prevent hate speech and other inappropriate content. Join with a username and email address. On your profile, there is the option of sharing your first name and last initial, profile picture, and a short biography. You can message each other within the site, but this feature can be disabled from account settings.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Encourage your most avid writers to submit their poetry to this site. Use your whiteboard or projector to show them the "Take Action Guides." There you will find many issues of concern to youth today. Most students will enjoy uniting multimedia, poetry, and activism in one place. Challenge your students to write a poem in 160 characters or 140 characters (the length of a text message or Tweet respectively). Counselors may want to encourage disenfranchised students to join the site and write about their deepest feelings. This is a supportive community that encourages students to develop their own voice.

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Animated Cube Creator - Russell Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even ...more
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even iPads and other tablets. Click through the tutorial by clicking the numbers under the cube and learn the details! When you are ready to create your own, click the New button to begin. Edit using standard web tools and click on a different cube face number to continue editing. Save your creation with a password to retrieve later. Be sure to save the url somewhere you can find it! Some of the introductory videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (115), images (273), photography (145)

In the Classroom

Create a cube with various aspects of information about curriculum content to be shared with students. Even the non-readers could navigate a teacher-created cube if videos (or graphics) are included instead of words. Use a Brainy Box cube to give directions and examples to a specific project assigned to students. Create a cube about a particular person or event from history. Decide on the parameters for each of the sides of the cube before assigning. Create a cube to include specific information from characters in novels. Create a Brainy box to include related images or words. Students can brainstorm how these images or words are related. Assign a Brainy Box with student's favorite artwork and reasons chosen from their work through the year. Use a Brainy Box as a visual aid for student presentations. Challenge students to create their own Brainy Box on nearly any subject. Some additional ideas shared from Brainy Box: Produce a "Who" cube with an image and five key aspects of a character; Summarize a key topic with two facts, two images, and two videos; and Summarize a key event looking at different times in history. The possibilities here are endless! See more ideas in this review of a similar tool (3D Photo Cube) that creates a cube of still images.

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MapStory - MapStory Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and...more
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and collaborate. You can help to improve understanding of worldwide issues over the course of history. MapStory is much like Wikipedia. It is a global database to tell stories over time using maps. View fascinating maps such as trends in US poverty, the spreading of diseases such as the Swine Flu, and the increasing use of the US Postal Service. View many topics from endangered species to economic development -- anything you can place on a map! By clicking on the "play" button, you can see the change over time through an unfolding story. Hover over the tabs along the top of the toolbar to select a category of stories. Be sure to also notice as maps scroll across the top of the screen. Click on maps of interest and view tools for saving in favorites or embedding in a site. Search the site for StoryLayers. The StoryLayers are data that have been uploaded to the site to apply in maps. Be sure to check out the YouTube videos which explain how to use this fascinating site. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): interactive stories (31), maps (296), stories and storytelling (34)

In the Classroom

Find great MapStory maps to introduce a concept or explain a portion of the concept that may be difficult to introduce in class. Use one to show initially, eliciting thoughts and questions from students. Because it is an open database, maps could contain errors. Have students be on the lookout for any possible errors. Students can fact check, research, and rewrite information as needed. Consider creating an assignment that shows a change in information over time. This project would be applicable to any subject area. Consider creating a class account to maintain the MapStories created by your students. Imagine new information being added every year with new updates to the map! World language (or world cultures) classes could collaborate to create a map story about a specific culture.

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FanFiction - FanFiction/FictionPress

Grades
6 to 12
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Disappointed that your favorite book or TV series has ended? Satisfy your craving on FanFiction. Discover FanFiction stories written by up-and-coming writers based on your favorite...more
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Disappointed that your favorite book or TV series has ended? Satisfy your craving on FanFiction. Discover FanFiction stories written by up-and-coming writers based on your favorite comic, cartoon, movie, book, television show, or other genre. Read and vote for your favorites or even write your own. Whether you are a fan of fiction or like to dabble with writing, take a look at FanFiction. Fanfiction authors write new stories about characters from their favorite books (movies, TV series, etc.). Read to your heart's content and leave a comment without even signing in. To create and submit your own writing you need to sign up with an email. Click on the genre of your choice to get started! This site can be accessed in a variety of languages. Click the small "mobile forum" icon at the top to use on mobile iOs or Android devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (162), novels (25), short stories (24), writing (364)

In the Classroom

It is amazing how students will polish their writing for an authentic audience! Demonstrate how to use FanFiction with your projector or interactive whiteboard. Show students the different genres and have them read a selection or two from an amateur writer to see how it works. Have student pairs or trios work together on a piece for a favorite book. There is also a miscellaneous category you could use to have students add a different ending or write from a different point of view based on any short story you use in class. They can also submit in the poetry category. Use 121 Writing reviewed here to proof student writing and make suggestions (verbally if your choose to) before they submit to FanFiction. For students to develop and polish their writing skills, use a program such as Slick Write reviewed here. Create a FanFiction account with a class email and have students work on their piece using a nickname or acronym. Since FanFiction can be accessed in several languages, this program would work well in an ESL/ELL classroom.

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Tour Builder (Beta) - Google

Grades
5 to 12
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Put any story on the map using Tour Builder (by Google). A Gallery shares examples. You would be wise to preview the Gallery before sharing since these are created by ...more
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Put any story on the map using Tour Builder (by Google). A Gallery shares examples. You would be wise to preview the Gallery before sharing since these are created by the general public. To create a tour, choose locations, add text, images, and videos to create a story to share with the world. Add up to 25 items to each pinned location. Options include three different types of storylines. You can decide how others view your story/tour and how your story will progress. Linear tales move the story along a line. The hub option tells the story from a central location. You can disable lines completely so stories are not tied to a specific sequence or timeline. Finished stories default to private view. You may share privately with friends and family or make public for anyone to view. The Google Earth plugin and a Google account are required to use Tour Builder. Some of the introduction/explanation videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): digital storytelling (148), maps (296), timelines (60)

In the Classroom

Create a simple tour to share (or find one in the gallery). Share the tour on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create tours of events from history, famous battles, scientific discoveries, biographies, and much more. The possibilities are endless. Create a timeline of famous people or a hub of locations related to a topic such as toxic waste sites or habitats for a certain animal. Tour settings for Shakespeare plays or an author's life. Tour Van Gogh's painting sites or map landforms such as glaciers. Have students who have Google accounts build a Tour of important events in their lives (or use a teacher-controlled account). In world language classes, create cultural tours in your new language. Scroll through the gallery for ideas on how others have used Tour Builder. You may just find some neat tours to share in the gallery.

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Medium - Ev Williams

Grades
10 to 12
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Medium is a site for sharing personal writing and stories. The focus is on the actual writing, rather than the extras like images, widgets, and other website clutter. You can ...more
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Medium is a site for sharing personal writing and stories. The focus is on the actual writing, rather than the extras like images, widgets, and other website clutter. You can use images to illustrate your point; however, the focus remains on the words. Upload your writing, and then link with other similar ideas to become more collaborative. One unique feature is the "get help before you publish" button. This allows others to engage and offer suggestions before publishing your work. If using the site for reading, options include following writers and finding articles with similar content through the use of tags. At the time of this review, a Twitter account is required to sign up for a Medium account. This tool is intended as a community for sharing among serious authors, not as a "school tool," so adult supervision is recommended. Not all topics are appropriate for the classroom. So be sure to PREVIEW.

tag(s): creative writing (162), independent reading (118), persuasive writing (55), writers workshop (36)

In the Classroom

Medium is similar to an ever changing and updating magazine. Talk about the etiquette of interacting as authentic writers, not "just a student." Use Medium to find and share interesting pieces of writing with students for independent reading or class discussions. Each article shows a suggested reading time, making it easy to choose a length that is appropriate for your needs. Have students create and share their writing using Medium as a resource for finding a broader reading audience. Have students locate and read articles of interest on Medium and write and post a response of their own. Common Core requires teens (grades 10-12) to write, respond, and revise based on input from a digital audience, and Medium could be an ideal tool for such interaction. If you are new to Twitter or looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Cube Creator - Read Write Think

Grades
2 to 12
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own...more
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own Cube. Follow prompts to create the cube. The planning sheets help you collect information before making the actual printable cube. Once you have entered all your information, print and follow directions to assemble the paper cube. Follow links to find lessons that use this interactive as well as suggestions for other uses. There are lessons for grades 3-4 up through grades 11-12. Note: Read Write Think has added the capability for students to save their work to continue later. In the last paragraph of the Overview, there is a link to watch the video: Saving Work With the Student Interactives.

tag(s): biographies (86), firstday (23), mysteries (23), printables (40), summarizing (17), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Use the Cube Creator for virtually any lesson or activity as a substitute for a paper and pen project. Try printing on heavier card stock so cubes are durable. Create a cube to practice math problems, describe habitats, outline important story events, and much more. Have students create a cube and share with other students to practice retelling, summarizing, adding synonyms, or review for tests. Have each of your students create an All About Me cube for parents to view at Open House or to get to know each other during the first week of school. Have others guess which cube belongs to which classmate. Create a cube review game where others must answer the question that comes up when you "roll" the cube. The possibilities are endless. Challenge your gifted student(s) to create a "Who Am I?" cube about a famous person they research. Use the Bio Cube option with one variation: DO NOT include the person's real name. Share the cube as a game for the rest of the class to guess (and then create their own similar cubes). Your gifted students may also come up with new ways to Create Your Own Cube that could become a class game! Invite them to try their creativity.
 
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Culture Street - culturestreet.org

Grades
K to 5
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Culture Street introduces young people to contemporary writers, artists, and film makers and offers the opportunity to create unique work with the site tools. Choose from the many activities...more
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Culture Street introduces young people to contemporary writers, artists, and film makers and offers the opportunity to create unique work with the site tools. Choose from the many activities such as Paint Studio, Picture Book Maker, Super Action Comic Maker, and many others. Explore each of the four channels for an in-depth look at art, film, stage, and books. Scroll through the latest information to read about different artists and organizations. You must register to ACCESS this site. This website is funded in the United Kingdom. However, users outside of the UK are welcome to use all parts of the site once registered. .

tag(s): comics and cartoons (58), creative writing (162), digital storytelling (148), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Create and share picture books using the Picture Book Maker Tool and the Super Action Comic Maker. Once students have created books, print to use at reading centers or create links on classroom computers for reading online. With younger students, have them create pages and then add their weekly spelling words scattered on the pages. This will give them practice both writing (typing) and reading their spelling words! Create short stories about a story's main character, setting, conflict, etc. instead of book reports. Images are limited, but text of any kind can be added.

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Buncee - Marie Arturi

Grades
K to 12
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Buncee is a digital canvas for adding multimedia to tell and share stories. Give your canvas a title. Choose from tools to add interest such as photos, videos, audio, ...more
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Buncee is a digital canvas for adding multimedia to tell and share stories. Give your canvas a title. Choose from tools to add interest such as photos, videos, audio, stickers, and backgrounds. The free accounts allow for unlimited slides. Adjust privacy settings for private or public viewing and allowing comments. Publish and share using social networking options such as Facebook, Twitter, or email. Unfortunately, the teacher tools are not part of the free version. Use Buncee on the web on your computer or use iOS. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. You may want to preview the "how to" video at home.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (148), multimedia (52), slides (53)

In the Classroom

Create simple, yet effective, interactive lessons for viewing on your interactive whiteboard or projecter. Include video clips, images (JPGs only), and web links. Use Buncees in your flipped classroom for student viewing at home. Have students create and share their own Buncees for classroom presentations. Create an interactive Buncee for Open House and Meet the Parent sessions. Create a short story or a flip book (using Buncee) for your students to view on individual computers or your interactive whiteboard.

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Quadblogging - David Mitchell

Grades
2 to 12
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms...more
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms to read and respond to their blogs. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. The creator of this program has hard evidence of that. His students (in the UK) were scoring at 9% on the British writing achievement test before Quadblogging. After a school year of using Quadblogging, his students increased their scores to 60%. In subsequent years, these students continued to have their scores grow by two grade levels per school year. There are two short videos on the home page. One video explains the concept of Quadblogging, and the other is the creator speaking at BETT, the world's largest ed tech conference. You will also find the form to fill out to have your class join others in Quadblogging.

tag(s): blogs (77), cross cultural understanding (137), writing (364)

In the Classroom

If you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Have your students choose a question from Thought Questions reviewed here. Have students respond to the question, and then have them ask the reader to respond to their writing and answer the question from their point of view, too. The benefits go beyond just writing. You can also build cultural understanding and world language skills through blogs. Help your students become aware of environmental issues or how to live "green" for our planet. Try Greenlearning.ca, reviewed here, or choose something from the Environmental News Network, reviewed here, for students' Quadblog projects.

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Active Textbook - Evident Point

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own interactive version of any PDF document or text using Active Textbook. Don't let the term "textbook" fool you. This tool can work with fiction and non-fiction or ...more
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Create your own interactive version of any PDF document or text using Active Textbook. Don't let the term "textbook" fool you. This tool can work with fiction and non-fiction or ANY combination. Add an existing document to begin. Use the site's tools to enhance with multimedia, links, notes, bookmarks, and more. Use social networking tools to exchange ideas and questions with other readers. Customizing features allow for private viewing, tags, inclusion into courses, and enabling or disabling comments. Save up to 500 pages or 50MB using the free version of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (148), ebooks (33)

In the Classroom

Upload any PDF document to create an interactive book for class use. Create one together as a class as you move through a unit or topic, adding images and ideas your students suggest, creating a class "book." Use in a flipped classroom to deliver course information. Have students convert any document to PDF format using PDF Converter, reviewed here. Redefine student learning by assigning several student groups the same PDF and have each group create their own multimedia versions as they learn more about the topic. Make a digital bookshelf of all the versions and invite the class to vote for the best. Challenge your gifted students to enhance the "standard" class text with additional material they discover by going deeper and learning about related topics. In lower grades, create teacher-made ebooks for your young readers, perhaps adding audio of your own voice reading the text.

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Classtools Twister: Create Fake Tweets - Classtools

Grades
8 to 12
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Create a fake tweet and Twitter wall quickly and easily by entering minimal information. Enter a (fake) user name, full name of the person you are impersonating, your tweet, and ...more
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Create a fake tweet and Twitter wall quickly and easily by entering minimal information. Enter a (fake) user name, full name of the person you are impersonating, your tweet, and a date to show on the tweet. Your tweet will appear on a wall with an image of that person ready to share through links provided at the bottom of the page. Twister also includes several ideas for consideration when creating an update such as possible hashtags and most important moments to include. Share via social networks or simply COPY the url of your finished Twister page to share it. There is also an option to save as pdf for easy printing.

tag(s): creative writing (162), social networking (93)

In the Classroom

Share examples found at this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate possible uses. This site is wonderful for creating interest in many subjects. It is perfect for the social studies classroom as a quick end of class review or homework assignment to summarize each day's lesson. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artists, a Civil War soldier, and much more. Use Twister to study literature, create an update for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. For a unique twist in science class, create a Twister update for a periodic element or another science topic. Use the update to describe "the life" of that atom or element. The possibilities within the classroom are endless (as is the creativity and motivation)! In World language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the new language they are learning. Create a Twister update for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. In the media center, have students create twister pages for authors or about favorite books. Challenge students to create and share an update about themselves during the first week of school.

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