TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 24, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

Less
More

Book Creator - Red Jumper Limited

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create beautiful, multimedia digital books with Book Creator. Follow the site's prompts to add video, text, images, and audio to your book. When finished, publish and share your book...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Create beautiful, multimedia digital books with Book Creator. Follow the site's prompts to add video, text, images, and audio to your book. When finished, publish and share your book using the site's web-based reader for access on any device. Be sure to follow the short tutorial after signing up to learn about the many features for creating, storing, and sharing your books. The free plan offers one activity library with storage of up to 40 books. At the time of this review, Book Creator only works with Google Chrome or the iPad app.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), ebooks (43), preK (294)

In the Classroom

Create books together as a class as you move through a unit or topic, adding images and ideas your students suggest. Use in a flipped classroom to deliver course information. Assign several student groups a different topic and have each group create their own multimedia versions as they learn more about the topic. Students can combine their books later as a class book. Make a digital bookshelf of all the versions for all to use. Challenge 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 e-books for your young readers, perhaps adding audio - your own voice reading the text.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

ToonyTool - ToonyTool

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
ToonyTool is a simple canvas to create a single frame cartoon easily. With ToonyTool you can add a dash of humor and create a single comic to get the message ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

ToonyTool is a simple canvas to create a single frame cartoon easily. With ToonyTool you can add a dash of humor and create a single comic to get the message across. Choose from one of their background pictures, or upload one of your own. Create a title or type in part of your message in the Meme text bar. Choose a character or two, add a prop, and select speech bubbles to type message. Everything is easy to move around by just dragging and dropping. At the bottom of the page find tools to share and edit your comic. Share via Google, Facebook, Twitter, print, download, or email. There is no registration required.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65), creative writing (167), summarizing (16)

In the Classroom

There is a multitude of ways to use comics/cartoons in the classroom. For instance, create one-page discussion starters to help students keep up with current political issues. Use comics to show sequencing of events, for example, explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or current event! When studying about characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use comic strips for literature responses. Another idea - why not use the comics for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and feelings. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternative to traditional written assessments; summarize through a comic. Challenge students who move through other assignments more quickly to create a cartoon for review of a topic studied in class. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Pixton Lesson Plans - Goodinson Design Inc

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Pixton Lesson Plans is the companion to Pixton, a comic strip creation site. Find lesson plans by subject, or use the search bar to perform a keyword search with a ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Pixton Lesson Plans is the companion to Pixton, a comic strip creation site. Find lesson plans by subject, or use the search bar to perform a keyword search with a particular topic. Each lesson plan includes a teacher guide, examples, and correlation to standards when applicable. Import activities directly into your Pixton dashboard to begin use. Note: The Pixton comic creator is not free after 15 days. Information in the lesson plans isn't confined to use with Pixton, use ideas in the lesson plan collection to create your own lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65)

In the Classroom

After using several of the lessons, challenge students to create an online or printed comic about what they learned from any lesson (not a Pixton lesson) using the Pixton Lessons as a model. Alternatively, students could lead a class review or they could teach the class about something or someone they are researching using Pixton's comic strip format. If you are used to having students create comics with pencil and paper, you might want to try an online comic creator. First have students create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Students in grades 1-3 can create a simple comic using one or two characters with Comic Creator, reviewed here. For students in grades 4-12 have them create a comic strip using Write Comics, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

WriteReader - Children As Creators - WriteReader

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
     
The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures,...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures, and voice recordings. Adults/Teachers have their own space on the page to write comments and make corrections. The interface is so simple even a young child can use it successfully after some adult guidance. Register with email or your Google account and find a downloadable Teachers Guide, a Parent Letter, and a Lesson Plan online to get kids started with WriteReader. Click "Add a class..." and enter students manually, or students can join the class with a class code. Languages available are US English, UK English, Dansk (Danish) and Svenska (Swedish). There is also an introductory video that will help everyone get started. This video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), reading strategies (50), writing (369)

In the Classroom

WriteReader is so simple very young students can use it successfully after a demonstration using a whiteboard or projector. While creating their books students will be able to add images, multiple pages and delete pages, include voice-over, use color on the pages, view one page at a time or the entire book, and toggle between letters' names/sounds or no audio. Use this tool to design simple projects using student drawings to tell the story. At the beginning of the year have students draw and annotate stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Students of any age love to draw, so why not have them draw their impression of what the message to the reader was after hearing a story and then explain it in writing? ESL/ELL students especially will benefit from hearing the letter sounds as they are beginning to write in their new language.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Talkify - ABCya

Grades
K to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Talkify lets you create a talking picture from your own images or one of their colorful creatures. Follow prompts to choose your image, select and size a mouth, and add ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Talkify lets you create a talking picture from your own images or one of their colorful creatures. Follow prompts to choose your image, select and size a mouth, and add a recording. After the image processes, download to your computer. No registration required.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65), speaking (26)

In the Classroom

Introduce and share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this free site to record a greeting for students when they land on the start page of your blog, wiki, or website. Record online assignment information, share homework assignments, a message from you, and more. Use Talkify to record two different opinions or viewpoints and create a poll for students to share reactions to the opinions. Use Talkify in Math by posing possible solutions to problems and create a class discussion or poll to determine which one is the actual answer. As students are working on projects, create a Talkify image that provides hints and tips for students. Allow students to use Talkify to provide peer assessment to others. Consider using Talkify in conjunction with other assignments such as "What I did this summer vacation..." or "Here is information about me..." Use in any language class to record narratives or translations. Students can create a variety of Talkify recordings over time, which can show their learning of a language over time. The possibilities for this tool are endless. The quick and engaging nature of this tool offers unlimited uses.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

My Storybook - myStorybook.com

Grades
1 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started using clipart from My Storybook, upload your images, or use their draw tools to create your own artwork. Click the text box and change the font, font color, and size. Add more text and pages for your book, too. Saving and sharing require an email address. Share by sending the URL to several social networking sites or via email. There is a way to create an ebook or PDF, but those options aren't free. Read storybooks created by others by clicking Library in the top right Menu.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Show students creation possibilities by viewing a few of the books from the library using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Create a class book to begin. Start with a storyboard. If you usually do this with pen and paper, try using an online tool such as Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here. Using a storyboard and My Storybook is an effective way to teach students about story elements, dialogue, character development, and more. World language classes can label images, or tell a story in the language they are learning. Work together to complete biographies of famous people. Challenge students to tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using My Storybook. Art students can create a story around their artwork. Autistic or emotional support teachers can create stories demonstrating interpersonal behavior skills. Digital storytelling is an amazing way for students to internalize any subject or concept. It also is an excellent assessment tool.

Comments

Gretchen, FL, Grades: 3 - 8

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Story Maker - ABCya

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Create simple and easy stories using ABCya's Story Maker. Without registering, draw a picture using the many drawing tools provided. Type the story, and add pages for a longer...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Create simple and easy stories using ABCya's Story Maker. Without registering, draw a picture using the many drawing tools provided. Type the story, and add pages for a longer story. Once finished, print in PDF format. This tool is so easy Pre-K students can use it. Since all pictures are hand drawn your older artists will love it, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), drawing (84), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Story Maker is so simple very young students can use it successfully after a demonstration using a whiteboard or projector. Use this tool to design simple projects using student drawings to tell the story. At the beginning of the year have students draw and annotate stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Students of any age love to draw, so why not have them draw their impression of a message to the reader from a story and then explain it in writing?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Cartoons for the Classroom - The Association for American Editorial Cartoonists

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about Thomas Nast and his cartoons of Boss Tweed during the 19th century to know that cartoons have a deep impact on political discourse. Cartoons for the Classroom offers over 250 one-page downloadable lessons featuring two or three political cartoons related to current events and several questions for discussion that relate to those cartoons. Alternatively, download the cartoons alone along with space to "draw" your own conclusions. Click on "Welcome" on the top left of the list to go to the home page and "Today's Political Cartoon."

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65), politics (97), satire (5)

In the Classroom

These one-page discussion starters could help students keep up with current political issues, provide an opening or closing activity, or serve as an enrichment activity for students who move through other assignments more quickly. Available either with or without guiding questions, and covering a wide range of relevant and timely topics, they are perfect to keep as a Plan B or for an emergency substitute teacher activity. Elsewhere on the site are links to other information about political cartooning through history; most of these links connect to outside sites so be sure and preview carefully. In Art class, create a "political" option during a line drawing unit for current events enthusiasts to draw their own political cartoons. Include these cartoons during a unit on humor and satire in an English/Language Arts class or gifted program.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Printable Comic Strip Templates - Donna Young

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Find several different comic strip templates at this simple, yet useful site. Choose from templates with various numbers of panels and squares or arch tops. Click on any ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Find several different comic strip templates at this simple, yet useful site. Choose from templates with various numbers of panels and squares or arch tops. Click on any template to view and print the PDF version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of what the class just learned. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon depicting the characters and plot. Have students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant, the planets, or a butterfly's life cycle. Use these templates for students to plan out storyboards for more involved projects, such as videos. In emotional support or autistic support classes, create comics to show how people interact. In world languages or with ELL students, create comics to reinforce correct language. Looking for even more comic resources? Check out TeachersFirst's complete collection of Comics and Cartoons.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Comics Head - Next Wave Multimedia

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create one frame cartoons or entire comic books -- easily! Start by uploading a funny picture and create a comic from that. You can create your comics anywhere from any ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Create one frame cartoons or entire comic books -- easily! Start by uploading a funny picture and create a comic from that. You can create your comics anywhere from any device and access them from the same device or any other. The drag and drop interface ensures ease of creation. Choose from a variety of options for characters, layout options, backgrounds, props, captions, and special effects. Choose options to use and drag and drop them onto the comic page. Simply undo or delete objects, move objects backward, forward, add text captions, and zoom in and out of the page. Register with the site (email required) to save, share, and print out creations. You can create a single page comic or full book length comics. You can download as a pdf or even share as an ebook! Some of the instruction videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Mobile apps are available, including "lite" (free) versions.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65), DAT device agnostic tool (177), digital storytelling (151)

In the Classroom

In classes with younger students, use a whole class account under teacher control. In a BYOD classroom, let students set up their own accounts and use the app versions. When studying characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use the dialog box (bubbles) to explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or school news! Create a political cartoon. Why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments. Let your creative (or gifted) students take the comics even further by making them into entire books!

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Witty Comics - WittyComics.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this tool to design a comic with dialogue between two characters. Use the pre-drawn backgrounds and characters. Add a title for each scene/page and add dialogue between the two...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Use this tool to design a comic with dialogue between two characters. Use the pre-drawn backgrounds and characters. Add a title for each scene/page and add dialogue between the two characters. These are quick and easy three page comics. You can create without an account. However, if you want to SAVE, you must register for a free account (email required).

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65)

In the Classroom

Create dialogues that introduce new content topics in your classroom. Students can use this "witty" tool to introduce topics from research or to practice a speech to be given in class. Use comics to create a dialogue discussing misconceptions in the content and a discussion of the actual facts to dispel the misunderstandings. For more ideas about using comics in the classroom see Comics Workshop for Teachers. To view more comic creator tools and ideas view this collection.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Stick Figure Hamlet - Dan Carroll

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or choose any act or scene desired. This site is sure to motivate and interest even the most reluctant reader!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65), hamlet (10), literature (273), shakespeare (104)

In the Classroom

Add Stick Figure Hamlet to your arsenal of tools when reading Shakespeare. Share images from the site throughout your class reading of Hamlet on your interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to interpret what is happening in the comics. Challenge students to find omissions in the retelling or to draw their own, better versions. Share the link for students to view at home. The images may be very helpful to visual learners in understanding the content of this work. Browse the TeachersFirst Shakespearean collection for other ideas to use with Hamlet. Use this site as inspiration and have students create their own comics for any piece of literature. Find many ideas at TeachersFirst's Comics Collection.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Stripgenerator - Stripgenerator

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create simple and easy cartoon strips. Add frames, characters, balloons for speech text, and other items. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a comic strip. Share ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Create simple and easy cartoon strips. Add frames, characters, balloons for speech text, and other items. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a comic strip. Share by url or embedding into your wiki, blog, or site. You can create a comic strip as a guest but must register to be able to save. If you plan to share this site with students, you must preview. There are unmoderated "latest" comics on the home page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (65), emotions (37)

In the Classroom

Because of the public content, be SURE to tell students to go directly to the creation tools (and not to explore the public strips). If you cannot monitor/trust individuals, use a whole class account and have one group at a time work where you can monitor. Instead of writing boring summaries, why not assign a rotating scribe to summarize class through a comic strip. Make a class wiki collection of the comics created throughout the year. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

SuperLame - Superlame.com

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Super-hero your images! Use this image editor to add speech and thought bubbles to photos and images. Upload your image (such as a photo from your digital camera or a ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Super-hero your images! Use this image editor to add speech and thought bubbles to photos and images. Upload your image (such as a photo from your digital camera or a copyright safe image), add a text balloon, insert a sound effect (like kaboom!), and change the background or border. Save to your computer or email to yourself or others (note that the image is deleted from the website after 24 hours.)
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (18), comics and cartoons (65), digital storytelling (151), images (274), photography (159)

In the Classroom

This would be a great way to make comic strips using images from class! Use in any subject area and for any topic to add a twist to your digital storytelling project. Have students create a comic rather than a traditional book report. The main character or a minor character could "talk" about the book. Or have students create comic strips to go along with science topics, math concepts, historical figures, and more. Have students email you the images/comics. Share the finished products on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the saved images on a class wiki or make a student generated bulletin board of comics.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close