Graphic Organizer Resources from TeachersFirst

Whether you call them concept maps, mind maps, KWLs, or graphic organizers, these visual diagrams show relationships between concepts and provide a powerful tool for learning and connecting new ideas. Creating graphic organizers also helps today's visual learners build reading comprehension. This collection of reviewed resources includes tools for creating graphic organizers and many suggestions for ways to use them in teaching almost any subject or grade. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for examples of ways to use graphic organizers as part of a lesson or unit.

 

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Diaries of Colonial America

Grades
4 to 6
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What if you could travel back in time to the earliest days of American history? Through the Colonial America webquest, small groups of students will research life as a Native ...more
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What if you could travel back in time to the earliest days of American history? Through the Colonial America webquest, small groups of students will research life as a Native American, Poor Farmer, Rich Plantation Owner, Religious Leader, or a Slave. Each group will have a student take on the role of one of these characters from the colonial time period. They will research the character traits using the web quest and organize the information with the included graphic organizers. Individually students will compose a journal entry expressing their research on your character. The group will combine all the journal entries to make a creative diary. As a group, you will combine your knowledge and form a presentation presenting how your characters coexisted in the colonies. For your group presentation creative costumes are to be made per each character.

tag(s): colonial america (108)

In the Classroom

After completing the webquest, challenge the students to create a play or a readers' theater script for the presentation. Use the script writing tips found on Aaron Shepard's Reader's Theater Page, reviewed here. Then have a "Play Day" and invite family members, other classes, and administration to come to the classroom and watch the plays. Video record the plays and post them to the class web page for those who could not make it to class. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

Be sure to list this site (and activity) on your class website. Ask parents to assist with character research at home by providing the web quest link on the class web page. Don't forget that parents may be able help with props for the plays.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Graphic Organizers - Graphic.Org

Grades
1 to 12
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Graphic organizers defined--that describes this site. Click on the links at the left to hone in on a particular graphic organizer, Venn diagram, or concept map. As well as defining...more
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Graphic organizers defined--that describes this site. Click on the links at the left to hone in on a particular graphic organizer, Venn diagram, or concept map. As well as defining the organizer or map and explaining their usage, some links show 'real' examples. This site does not typically offer worksheets per se, but shows examples of organizers that students can easily draw in their notebooks for quick learning. There is quite a bit of advertisement at this site, some difficult to discern from the actual site content. It typically is a reference site for educators only, so student access to these ads will generally not be a problem.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), maps (292), professional development (229), venn diagrams (19)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn more about graphic organizers. Why not have your students create an online Venn diagram about a current science topic or literature unit? Use a tool such as bubbl.us(explained here).

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Pete's Powerpoint Station - mrdonn and phillip martin

Grades
K to 12
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Need a PowerPoint? Check this site first to find one on a topic you need from the vast array available. The free PowerPoints and interactive activities are easily downloaded. To ...more
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Need a PowerPoint? Check this site first to find one on a topic you need from the vast array available. The free PowerPoints and interactive activities are easily downloaded. To find the FREE PowerPoint presentations, click on the FREE Presentations in PowerPoint Format link found directly under the red train. There are literally hundreds of topics (over 1,200 at the time of this review). Topics are listed in alphabetical order. There are so many topics: Plagiarism, Integers, Interjections, IQ Tests, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Graphic Organizers, Graphs, Gold Rush, the Bible, Economics, Amelia Earhart (and many other heroes), Descriptive Writing, Coral Reefs, Civil Rights Movement, Autism, Ancient Civilizations, Presidents, Louisiana Purchase, Money, Music Instruments, How to Write an Outline, Rosa Parks, Resumes, Terrorism, Vietnam War, and many MANY others. Primary teachers will appreciate simple activities on Dolch words and other sight vocabulary! Pages are arranged in topics such as "Plants and Animals," "World History," "Biology, Chemistry, and Physics," and "Problem Solving." There are many professional topics on exceptionalities, as well. Each page includes a vast array of subtopics. Other links on the page include "Greta's Game Station" and "Hannah's Help" which offers information on researching. Some of the links at "Greta's Game Station" require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): adhd (29), back to school (62), electricity (90), inventors and inventions (85), literature (256), parts of speech (67), polar (17), speech (87), states (157)

In the Classroom

Use these PowerPoints to provide background information for projects or further inquiry in class. For example, use a PowerPoint on cells to give background information. Create questions for students to answer while viewing the PowerPoint or add your own "lecture" notes while showing to a class. Remember that PowerPoint does not HAVE to be shown on a screen. Students can watch them as tutorials at a center or computer cluster. Learning support teachers will appreciate having an alternate way to present basic concepts to visual learners. Assign students a particular cell part to research more information about the part. Explore professional topics on your own or together with colleagues during inservice time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Reading For All - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading,...more
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading, independent reading, and special topics reading lists. The page also includes a link for you to purchase books from Amazon and have TeachersFirst receive a portion of the proceeds. TeachersFirst is a free service of a non-profit since 1998. Why not shop through this link to help TeachersFirst continue its service to teachers worldwide?

tag(s): amazon (9), area (70)

In the Classroom

No matter what you teach, these resources will help you target reading and study skills for better comprehension and more.

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bubbl.us - Kirill Edelman and Levon Amelyan

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind...more
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This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind map as an image, sharing (emailing) your work with a friend, printing your organizer, creating colorful mind map organizers, embedding your work into a website or blog, and working with friends. You are able to "play" at this site without registering; however registration is necessary for saving, embedding, emailing, and other features. NOTE: the free version only allows you to SAVE three maps, so you will want to save your completed maps as images, then deleted them from your membership to make room for more freebies. Here is an example of a bubbl.us map embedded in a page. Click and drag on the background to read more, or try the zoom controls to see more or less.

tag(s): brainstorming (21), graphic organizers (42), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Click "Start Here" to type the subject of your concept map. Hitting your Enter key creates a new level (branch) within the map. Tab creates an additional branch on the same level as the current topic. Experiment with the small icons on each "element" to change colors, drag, make new connections, etc. Save and set sharing (read-only or open access) in the area at the right. You can "send" a read-only link via email or copy the embed code from the Menu at lower right), but you cannot find the URL directly from your map. "Send" it to yourself via email to copy the actual URL.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. To minimize the number of maps on a free account, have students screenshot or print their results to turn them in. See more ideas in the linked example above!

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 6
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This online tool allows students to generate clear and easy to use "2 circle" Venn Diagrams. The opening page asks you to name the project and then label the two ...more
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This online tool allows students to generate clear and easy to use "2 circle" Venn Diagrams. The opening page asks you to name the project and then label the two circles in the Venn Diagram. When you click NEXT a professional looking Venn Diagram will be created based on your project and labels. The interactive Venn Diagram allows you to generate concepts (type words) and place them in circle 1 or circle 2 by clicking and dragging the word. You are able to place the word in either circle, or the overlapping area. When inputting a concept word a text box is provided to type in a detailed description. There is also a demonstration video that shows how to type concept words and descriptions and how to drag and place the concepts onto the Venn Diagram. The program allows you to edit and print (but not SAVE!) the finished Venn Diagrams.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), summarizing (17), venn diagrams (19)

In the Classroom

Use this handy tool to guide your students through the process of organizing information in Venn diagram form. View the demonstration video together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete a Venn Diagram as a class activity. Then have students work on individual computers to create their own Venn Diagrams to correlate with a language arts, social studies, or interdisciplinary lesson. Have students print out their Venn Diagrams and share them with the class. Once they have mastered this skill and underlying concepts, allow them to create even more colorful Venn diagrams using colorful Autoshapes circles, clip art, and text boxes on PowerPoint slides or using Inspiration software. Show them how to use color as a way to communicate meaning by color-coding, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Up and Down Words - Merriam Webster

Grades
3 to 10
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second ...more
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second word.That, in turn, becomes the first part of the next answer. The goal is to get to the 7th word combo whose second half started the game. Clickable hints assist students with the first letter missing word. You are able to click on the clues (to get more letters) as often as needed to solve the puzzle. There are new puzzles every weekday and archived puzzles from previous dates. There are two difficulty levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (202), idioms (41), puzzles (202), spelling (161)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for vocabulary enhancement and understanding of idioms. Speech and language teachers may want to use it to teach word combinations, as well. Students can easily play this game in pairs. Since teachers can also print the blank activity, you can use it for a desk activity or homework assignment. After students get used to this idea, have them make their own word ladders on the interactive whiteboard, as a sequence of animated PowerPoint slides, or collaboratively as a graphic organizer using an online tool such as Gliffy or Mindomo.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Timeless Ideas for Teaching - Concord Monitor Publishing

Grades
6 to 12
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper...more
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper in front of them, with an online news service such as CNN, or with online editions of newspapers that you find here. The examples used all refer to the New Hampshire newspaper, but are easily adaptable to whatever topic you want the students to deal with. This site includes such varied activities as creating a database and writing recipes. It covers every section of a newspaper. Students could create their own classroom newspaper using some of these activities or simply create journalistic articles based on whatever topic you are currently teaching. This is adaptable to almost any grade level and subject area.

tag(s): local history (15), news (261), newspapers (99)

In the Classroom

Whether you use hard-copy papers or electronic editions, many of these ideas will work even better using technology: word processing, wikis, blogs (for editorials), graphic organizer tools, digital cameras, etc. Use today's tools to study this powerful medium as it goes through transition into an electronic world. Consider asking students to compare electronic vs. hard-copy newspapers and their pros/cons, as well.

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Tiny URL - Gilby Productions

Grades
K to 12
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This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far ...more
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This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far more easily on your teacher web page, in your handouts, or on your blackboard for students to enter.

In the Classroom

If you make a map in Google Maps, an online graphic organizer, a set of online flash cards, to anything else that allows you to share my emailing or copying a URL, this tools will save you from endless errors or emails full of ten-line URLs. Be sure to show your middle and high school students how to use it, as well. This will solve the problem of URLs that get split and no longer work when the text wraps around to another line.

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Tools and Templates - Education World

Grades
K to 12
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This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice ...more
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This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice breakers, back to school, graphic organizers and parent-teacher communication.

tag(s): back to school (62), calendars (41), classroom management (146), graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Check out the icebreakers for the first day of school, and back to school sections for many ideas and ready to use templates. Remember that if you want to SAVE a file from a download, you should RIGHT-click the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your computer.

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A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods - Ralph Lengler and Martin J. Eppler

Grades
8 to 12
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Who says the chemistry department can monopolize the periodic table? This site highlights various charts, graphic organizers, tables, and other ways to express information visually....more
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Who says the chemistry department can monopolize the periodic table? This site highlights various charts, graphic organizers, tables, and other ways to express information visually. The presentation makes the sell (or better grade). Teachers, especially secondary school, will appreciate this page to show the various ways to make their students' presentations more meaningful. Those who teach advanced reading skills and how to interpret visual data will love all the examples, as well. Hold your mouse over each square of the periodic table to view each type of visual.

tag(s): design (89), periodic table (55)

In the Classroom

Viewing this with the entire class will be more effective with the interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers in any subject will find this site invaluable in teaching how to make strong visuals for oral or written presentations. What powerful evidence for multiple intelligences! Your visual/spatial students will LOVE this one, and others will learn to build that intelligence. Try these same strategies in YOUR PowerPoint presentations to communicate ideas visually, without being "powerpointless" at back to school night!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Images of Life on Earth - ARKive

Grades
6 to 12
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ARKive provides a well-organized opportunity for students to research various species of animals. The site is broken into two components: the Globally Endangered Chapter and the British...more
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ARKive provides a well-organized opportunity for students to research various species of animals. The site is broken into two components: the Globally Endangered Chapter and the British Chapter. The site offers an alphabetized listing of animals along with detailed information, beautiful photographs, and vivid videos for each animal. Be sure to point out the Glossary located at the end of each animal section. This will help students with some of the more difficult vocabulary. Also make sure to note that the British Chapter is focused on animals found in Britain. TeachersFirst review team members found that the site servers are SLOW to open and reload pages, even on a fast connection. Be patient. It is worth it.

tag(s): animals (323), biodiversity (34), classification (29), diversity (34), species (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. The site grants permission for educational download and use of the images (NOT on a web page), provided you include the copyright information with each image. Have students create sets of images to illustrate a report or make graphic organizers illustrating families of animals from your area and their classifications into kingdom, phylum, etc. Be letting students choose their own animals and examples, the task will have more meaning to them. Individuals can set up memberships (click My ARKive) to make "scrapbooks" of images and information. Membership requires a valid email address (info on your registration is sent there), so a whole-class or teacher account may be the easiest way to use it.

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What Makes a Hero? - ARTSEDGE and DoDDS

Grades
9 to 12
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This lesson plan enables students to identify characteristics that are common to heroes, recognize heroes from many diverse cultures, and discuss how heroes can be any type of person...more
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This lesson plan enables students to identify characteristics that are common to heroes, recognize heroes from many diverse cultures, and discuss how heroes can be any type of person who has accomplished an inspiring action. It offers this in nine 45-minute class lessons. The instructional objectives make it easy to pick and choose which lessons you want to do in the order in which you want to do them. It offers a great, classic base of Aristotelian hero qualities while also enabling you to bring the idea of hero forward into modern times.

tag(s): literature (256)

In the Classroom

The links on the site itself offer ways to let students investigate on the web themselves at safe sites. Integrate technology in your class by sharing the links as part of a web treasure/scavenger hunt using TrackStar, reviewed here, and asking students to collect characteristics of heroes on their own and put them in a collaborative graphic organizer like Mindomo, reviewed here. What a great start to a heroes unit---one that you can revisit and add to throughout the unit. At the end of the unit, let them use the class organizer as the basis for their own "design a hero" challenge instead of a test.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Story Writing Tips for Kids - Corey Green

Grades
3 to 8
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By breaking down the process of story writing into six accessible steps, this site provides a good outline for a lesson on writing an original story. Getting ideas, organizing, filling...more
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By breaking down the process of story writing into six accessible steps, this site provides a good outline for a lesson on writing an original story. Getting ideas, organizing, filling in, writing, and revising are all covered here in upbeat but concrete sections with plenty of tips and alternative approaches. The patterns follow the story mapping you study in reading class, so you will be reinforcing story patterns as students write. The writer is a published author of books for middle school kids. Links provide fun breaks for kids and they include jokes, animal info, and word games. A more important link leads readers to steps for writing a book report.

tag(s): writing (360)

In the Classroom

Use this site and its organized approach to teaching story writing to your upper elementary and middle school students. Include the link on your teacher web page for them to use as a reference outside of class, as well. Consider having students use a graphic organizer of a story map to plan their stories (make one for them or have them use one of the many tools you can find on TeachersFirst by searching graphic organizer on our keyword search.

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Mindomo - Expert Software Application

Grades
1 to 12
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Create collaborative mind maps (graphic organizers) using this online tool. See an example created by...more
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Create collaborative mind maps (graphic organizers) using this online tool. See an example created by our editors. The example gives some ideas for uses of this online graphic organizer tool.

tag(s): mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Have students create graphic organizers in cooperative groups as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Share and compare the organizers on an interactive whiteboard or projector in class and allow classmates to suggest changes. Skills needed: join the site, practice with the tools (don't miss the notes feature!). Save up to 7 "private" maps and an unlimited number of "shared" maps.

Make a map available online by saving and clicking "yes" for sharing, then clicking the Save by URL icon. This will copy the URL onto your computer's clipboard so you can paste it into a word doc or even your teacher web page. Imagine sharing several student made "study guides" in the days before the unit test.

Note that maps that are shared can be seen by the public, but not altered. You specify members who may collaborate and make alterations. For students to collaborate using this tool they must have individual memberships, requiring an email account. These memberships must be activated from their email. So, if students do not have email that is accessible from school, classroom use BY STUDENTS will be severely limited. Editor's note: we asked the Mindomo folks about spell check and student safety issues. They are still developing this tool, so they MIGHT address these issues at a later date.

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Visuwords - Paul R. Dunn

Grades
6 to 12
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This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls...more
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This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls it information from Princeton's WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. A WORD OF WARNING: because the source of the words is a university, where speech is completely open, there are word included in this "dictionary" that are NOT classroom appropriate. Use it only under teacher monitoring.
The color-coded word "entries" display like a mind-map or graphic organizer, showing parts of speech in different colors and showing related words and phrases, as well. Be sure to look at the color key at the bottom to understand all the information presented. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dictionaries (52), thesaurus (22), vocabulary (293)

In the Classroom

Introduce new vocabulary before reading or starting a new unit, using this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The distinctions, examples, and relationships the site features for new words will help students build better connections and understanding as they read and study the words in classroom context. English teachers will love this as a learning tool for teaching distinctions between similar words. Just remember to use it in a monitored situation (see above).

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Language Arts Presentations - Free Club Web

Grades
K to 12
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Wow - this website provides ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations on over 100 topics. The presentations were created by teachers - for teachers to use in their classrooms. This website...more
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Wow - this website provides ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations on over 100 topics. The presentations were created by teachers - for teachers to use in their classrooms. This website organizes topics by general grade levels (K-5 and 6-12). Just to give you a taste of the uniqueness of these presentations, topics include such diverse topics as Shakespeare, "grammar goofs," active reading strategies, haunted house graphic organizer, phonics millionaire game, pronouns, and numerous others. Any language arts teacher is guaranteed to find something useful at this website. Do yourself a favor and check it out! You may need PowerPoint software to be able to view these files, depending on how the site creators save them. Note: while files are downloading, it may appear that nothing is happening and that the links are dead. Look for a tiny "downloading" icon in the lower left corner of your screen, and please be patient! This site has heavy advertising at the top of the landing page. Scroll down to find the presentations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): air (139), grammar (202), narrative (18), shakespeare (109)

In the Classroom

Try these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for remediation or review. There are games, resources and a lot of information. The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.

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Graphic Organizer Maker - Recipes4Success/Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 12
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This handy online tool lets you create customized graphic organizers "on the fly" and print them from the web site. There is a paid version of the site, but this ...more
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This handy online tool lets you create customized graphic organizers "on the fly" and print them from the web site. There is a paid version of the site, but this FREE tool lets you choose the type of organizer you want, customize the Title and Directions, and print. Organizer types include Venn diagrams, KWL, scientific method, and many more. Learning support teachers will want to use this for students to create study materials.

In the Classroom

Use these printed organizers as study support for any content area topic. Many are excellent options for reinforcing reading skills in the content areas, even for senior high students. Include this on your teacher web page so students can create their own organizers to study for tests or prepare presentations.

To make a new organizer, simply click "new," write title and directions, and print the small "print" icon. It may be easiest to take their default directions and change them for your purposes. Note that you LOSE your work when you close the page, so make sure you have printed first!

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Inspiration Quickstart Tutorial - Inspiration

Grades
K to 12
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Learn to use Inspiration, the software that makes graphic organizers (and outlines)that make sense to your visual learners, using this printable pdf tutorial. You need Acrobat Reader...more
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Learn to use Inspiration, the software that makes graphic organizers (and outlines)that make sense to your visual learners, using this printable pdf tutorial. You need Acrobat Reader to open and print it. The page provides a link to get Acrobat Reader, if you do not have it.This tutorial is supplied by the software manufacturer.

In the Classroom

This site can also be used to help students develop study skills or determine what helps them learn best.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fail? - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning ...more
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning activities and games that illustrate the issues under discussion. Featured civilizations include the Maya, Mesopotamia, the Anasazi of North America and the West African societies of Mali and Songhai. The strength of this site is its suggestion that there are commonalities that help us understand the collapse of a society. There are web links to further resources, and a summary featuring Percy Shelley's poem "Ozymandias", a nice literary connection. There are "hands on" activities scattered throughout, many including cross-curricular links to science or literature.

tag(s): gifted (79), mayans (13), mesopotamia (7), nasa (38)

In the Classroom

This site gives good concrete information, but its real power is in the greater consideration of the rise and fall of civilizations through history. This is a VERY thought-provoking collection of resources. Teachers interested in tying this discussion to current events might discuss the future of civilization in Iraq considering the criteria for maintaining a society given in this site. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on ancient civilizations' collapse. This site could be specifically tailored to teach about Mesoamerican cultures as three of the 4 ancient civilizations were located in South America. To make that simpler, we recommend creating a guide for students through a website such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a great resource for a World History classroom! Teachers of gifted could also use this site as the basis for a great social studies unit. If you own the old favorite computer game Civilization, you could put together some scenarios using that, as well.

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