Reading in the Content Areas

TeachersFirst offers this collection of web resources well suited to teach reading in the content areas, especially in science and social studies classes, but in almost ANY subject area. See "In the classroom" ideas and strategies for teaching reading across the curriculum and find texts to use on the computer, in print, or in interactive whiteboard/projector. Sometimes using web-based texts can be more engaging, and often these are more up-to-date. Practice with these resources is certain to help student mastery of informational texts.

 

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ESL Bits - Skip Reske

Grades
3 to 8
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This site is an excellent way to help ESL and ELL students improve reading and comprehension skills using short passages of different kinds of reading. The site includes signs, ...more
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This site is an excellent way to help ESL and ELL students improve reading and comprehension skills using short passages of different kinds of reading. The site includes signs, multiple choice, true-false for details, questions on getting the "gist" of a reading, matching questions, and gap (fill-in) questions. This site is excellent for reading comprehension in the regular classroom too! Students select a "set" which contains a short sampling of each kind of question. Once they answer, they get immediate feedback.

tag(s): reading comprehension (121), test prep (71)

In the Classroom

Since the subtitle for this page is "Reading Comprehension and Test Preparation," recommend this site to ESL and ELL students preparing for standardized tests. Save it in your favorites on class computers and provide the link on your class website for students to access both in the classroom and out. The activities would also work well on interactive whiteboard.

Share the "Signs" link with your students. Challenge students to create their own signs, similar to those used at this site. Have cooperative learning groups create interactive posters featuring their signs using a tool such as (PicLits - explained here). Share the "PicLits" on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Mother's Day in the Classroom - The Graphics Cupboard

Grades
K to 5
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This all-inclusive website provides language arts activities, math fun, and numerous crafts. Specific activities include similes, poems, reading comprehension, mazes, math worksheets,...more
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This all-inclusive website provides language arts activities, math fun, and numerous crafts. Specific activities include similes, poems, reading comprehension, mazes, math worksheets, and more. There is also a simple list of literature to use in your classroom to acknowledge this special day. The printable pages require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): mothers day (9), preK (230)

In the Classroom

This site is a good one to search for quick and easy ideas to celebrate Mother's Day. Save this site in your class favorites and use this site as a learning center for partners to explore together.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cinco de Mayo - abcteach

Grades
2 to 6
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Celebrate with this collection of activities that includes an informational essay with reading comprehension questions, a coloring page, and printable worksheets for poetry and creative...more
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Celebrate with this collection of activities that includes an informational essay with reading comprehension questions, a coloring page, and printable worksheets for poetry and creative writing tasks inspired by the Mexican holiday. Many of the printables require Adobe Acrobat.

tag(s): cinco de mayo (11), mexico (26)

In the Classroom

Share this informative site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups explore this site together. Why not challenge students to create a news broadcast highlighting the holiday. Tape the broadcasts and share them on a site such as Teachers.TV (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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St. Patrick's Day Theme Unit - edhelper.com

Grades
K to 8
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Visit this site to find "ready-to-go" critical thinking activities, math activities, reading comprehension activities, language arts fun, puzzles and more! The math and language arts...more
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Visit this site to find "ready-to-go" critical thinking activities, math activities, reading comprehension activities, language arts fun, puzzles and more! The math and language arts activities include grade levels. There is Irish Sudoku, the story of "Leprechauns at the Amusement Park" and many more highly diverse and educational activities. Some activities are for "members only", but most of the activities are open to everyone.

tag(s): st patricks day (12)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and challenge your students with this St. Patrick's Day fun!

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Reading For All - TeachersFirst

Grades
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 (55)

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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Better At English - betteratenglish.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ENL/ESL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented...more
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ENL/ESL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented features teaching techniques, information on new available technologies that assist students with schoolwork and language learning, and grammar and other communication techniques. Although this site was created for ENL/ESL students, it would also be useful for any students learning grammar. All podcasts include the text of spoken or video materials. The focus of these lessons is on acquiring more vocabulary and improving oral and reading comprehension. Some of the videos come from YouTube.

This site does have several appropriate advertisements. There are also a few questionable links on the site (for example, "Uncensored English"), so be sure to supervise WELL.

tag(s): idioms (34), listening (70), slang (15), vocabulary (234)

In the Classroom

You will need headphones or speakers if you choose to assign students to listen to the podcasts individually. This site is excellent for enrichment or special topics. Include it on your teacher web page (with a disclaimer regarding content) for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site with intermediate and advanced level ELL and ESL students to help them improve their knowledge of English slang and idioms. If you are into video, consider creating your own student vodcasts about idioms and sharing them via TeacherTube ( reviewed here) and on your class wiki.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Reading A to Z - learninga-z.com

Grades
K to 6
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This site has downloadable, leveled reading books for sale, but there are plenty of free stories with illustrations. Along with the stories are worksheets to test reading comprehension,...more
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This site has downloadable, leveled reading books for sale, but there are plenty of free stories with illustrations. Along with the stories are worksheets to test reading comprehension, focus on grammar from the stories, and review what took place in the story. The stories are organized by reading level, from A to Z. New free offerings appear frequently. Schools can apply for a free trial to check out the full offerings. Some stories are available in Spanish. The site offers other genres for free download including poetry, comics, pocket books, alphabet books, and wordless books. Phonics books complete the offerings.

Caution: although you are able to use many of these items for free, most downloads ask that you input your email address. You can bypass this by clicking submit without inputting your email address. This website requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. .

tag(s): poetry (179), worksheets (65)

In the Classroom

The books can be projected on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight new vocabulary, signal words, etc. with their fingers then read independently. Tell your students' parents about this site to encourage them to read or download and print more stories for their children. Include the link in your class newsletter or on your website. Beginning readers, ELL, and ESL students will enjoy the wordless books whose stories they can tell themselves or tell in their own languages. Students may want to make up their own wordless picture books after seeing some of these examples.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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UsingEnglish.com - UsingEnglish.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Check this site for things you need to help for ESL/ELL students. You will find lesson plans, reference links, grammar practice, reading comprehension work, tests, word lists for specific...more
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Check this site for things you need to help for ESL/ELL students. You will find lesson plans, reference links, grammar practice, reading comprehension work, tests, word lists for specific tests, vocabulary offerings, professional articles, and more. The site is easy to searchand well organized, present exercises and tests in a consistent and easy to read format. The "question bank" offers difficult grammar points in a poll format, with results constantly renewed; some answers are obviously wrong, but grammar, too, has its debatable points! With free membership registration, teachers get access to even more activities, exercises, quizzes, games, a newsletter, and more. NOTE: There is a Forum (bulletin board) feature on this site. If your school does not permit students to use such tools, be sure to spell out the consequences as you tell students to avoid that area.

tag(s): grammar (138), idioms (34), verbs (29)

In the Classroom

Regular classroom teachers will want to use this site with ESL and ELL students fwhen they need a quick review on a specific grammar point. Use the professional articles for your own edification as well as links to other topics of interest.

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Skip's Radio Scripts for Language Learners - Skip Reske

Grades
6 to 12
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These adapted radio scripts assist ESL/ELL students with learning how to use articles and grammar correctly, increase vocabulary, and improve reading comprehension. A highly motivating...more
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These adapted radio scripts assist ESL/ELL students with learning how to use articles and grammar correctly, increase vocabulary, and improve reading comprehension. A highly motivating site, students can see photos of old movies and even enjoy clips from the movies as they work with the scripts.

tag(s): grammar (138), movies (54), radio (22)

In the Classroom

This website is particularly useful if your ESL/ELL students want to perform a portion of a play. If your students are having difficulty with article usage, try a different approach to teaching the skill in the context of drama. If you have access to DVDs of the films used, you may want to play a few clips for the students.

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ABC Learning - Jack Armstrong

Grades
K to 2
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Kindergarten students learn their ABCs, numbers, how to tell time, reading comprehension, and handwriting at this engaging, interactive website. Kindergarten teachers will appreciate...more
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Kindergarten students learn their ABCs, numbers, how to tell time, reading comprehension, and handwriting at this engaging, interactive website. Kindergarten teachers will appreciate this safe site to help with essential learning. Print the alphabet handwriting sheets for practice.

tag(s): alphabet (48), handwriting (16), numbers (136), reading comprehension (121), time (100), writing (282)

In the Classroom

The handwriting interactives would work well when traced by little fingers on an interactive whiteboard for "tactile" practice and a little "whiteboard magic" thrown in. A word of caution to teachers:This site is free, which means the countless games and activities must be paid through advertisement. Caution your students not to click on anything except the game components.

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SIKids - Sports Illustrated for Kids &CNN

Grades
3 to 8
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All about sports: top sports news stories, sports polls, displays of readers' artwork, AND MORE, this site is sure to appeal to those reluctant readers and any sports lover. Users ...more
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All about sports: top sports news stories, sports polls, displays of readers' artwork, AND MORE, this site is sure to appeal to those reluctant readers and any sports lover. Users can get up-to-date statistics from the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NBA. Readers can enjoy sports jokes.This site requires Flash. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): drawing (57), news (236), sports (81)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your teacher web page or classroom desktop for fast student access to sport statistics and a way to submit creative works. Use sports statistics for math practice and to teach graphing or data organization skills. Use the sports stories as non-fiction examples for reading comprehension. Share a Top Story on your interactive whiteboard as you ask students to highlight parts of speech, cause-effect words, main idea, and more. Suddenly your students will actually READ!

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Citebite Bookmarklet - Abstract Factory

Grades
K to 12
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Imagine being able to give students (or parents) an exact link to a specific quote within a web page. Why would you want to? Perhaps you want to send students ...more
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Imagine being able to give students (or parents) an exact link to a specific quote within a web page. Why would you want to? Perhaps you want to send students to a certain paragraph for an activity: for reading comprehension, for reading a specific portion of text, or even for highlighting a literary device within a text or poem. Students will no longer waste time, announcing, "I can't find it!" or return to school saying they couldn't do the homework! Use for FireFox, Safari, and Internet Explorer browsers.

tag(s): internet safety (114), literacy (83), quotations (20), safety (72)

In the Classroom

Tool can be used in less than 30 seconds. Open TWO windows in Internet Explorer or any web browser. One should be open to citebite; the other to the web page you wish to reference. On that web page, locate and "highlight" the exact passage of text you want to "send" people to see. Copy/paste the passage into the quotation box at Citebite (copy, then change windows). Return to the target web page and copy/paste its actual URL into Citebite. Click "Make Citebite." Copy/paste the new url, indicated after "Your citebite link is:" Note: if the original quote is within a FLASH presentation, it will not copy/paste or generate a Citebite. See this example of a Citebite link to a tip about TeachersFirst Edge tools.

Have your middle and high school students do a web page "credibility critique" on their potential sources by using Citebite before they start a research project. They can highlight passages as proof of credibility -- or lack thereof -- and give you the Citebite links. They will love this easy way to reference a specific portion of a page. You will love the ease of finding it. If you give them a Word document table as a web site evaluation rubric, they can paste the Citebites there, with their comments in the neighboring cell!

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Public Domain Books On-Line - Jeff Kelley

Grades
3 to 12
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This privately done digitized library focuses on books published before 1923, primarily those with magnificent illustrations. Books digitized are in the public domain and are also available...more
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This privately done digitized library focuses on books published before 1923, primarily those with magnificent illustrations. Books digitized are in the public domain and are also available to the large digitization projects going on now with the Google Books project. This site's charm is its ease of use. Users can search by author's last name or by using a list of subject categories. Because the project is fairly small, it's fun to browse through the offerings before deciding on a specific choice. The quality of the digitization is very good and appears to offer complete works. Some books have been reformatted, presumably to allow viewing consistency.

tag(s): air (106)

In the Classroom

Because these books are in the public domain (i.e. older), their language is not "contemporary." The texts would make excellent pieces for reading comprehension passages or culture study of past times, and you need not be worried about copying/pasting text from these into other software and/or making copies. You could even use them as passages on an interactive whiteboard to practice "main idea" or parts of speech.

The illustrations are simple and beautiful. Print out some great artwork for your classroom bulletin boards, copyright-free!

The myths/legends collection would be great for upper elementary or later mythology units. Students can also use the passages and illustrations to create multimedia "tales" of their own. Give them the opening passage and let them write the rest.

Comments

The myths/legends collection would be great for upper elementary or later mythology units David, VA, Grades: 4 - 8
The illustrations are simple and beautiful. David, VA, Grades: 4 - 8

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Headliners - Headliners/formerly Children's Express

Grades
3 to 12
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Formerly Children's Express, this relaunched site offers contemporary stories, mostly about life in the UK, at levels children can easily understand. The site is intended to develop...more
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Formerly Children's Express, this relaunched site offers contemporary stories, mostly about life in the UK, at levels children can easily understand. The site is intended to develop learning through journalism for ages 8-19. Stories are offered in writing, and some are also on video. Although a bit slow to load, the archive offers stories organized by subject matter. The focus is on young people, with lots of interviews and hot topics. Qualified UK youngsters can become writers for upcoming news pieces, and all users can read about how these young people became reporters. Requires Windows Media Player in order to hear the broadcasts.

tag(s): journalism (66), news (236)

In the Classroom

Use the stories to teach reading comprehension skills, especially inferencing, since American students will need to use context to figure out some of the terminology and background written by British students. Try projecting a story and asking student how to find context clues to explain what the story is about. If you have an interactive whiteboard, use the tools to mark clues. Then use these stories as models for writing activities on topics that matter to your students.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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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Create your own R.A.F.T.S. Prompts for Science - Northern Nevada Writing Project

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward a science? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by ...more
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward a science? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by clicking on an icon and receiving the luck of the draw. User chooses the subject and by random selection, the web site chooses the Role, Audience, Format, Topic and Strong Verb. May be tricky for lower grades and will require several walk-through lessons. Great for students who struggle with brainstorming writing topics.

tag(s): writing (282), writing prompts (63)

In the Classroom

This is a great way to find ideas for literature contracts, guided reading assignments, teachers who are having writer's block. Great way to tie science to language arts using a write-to-learn approach. This is a sure way to build content area reading comprehension of your science textbook.

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Thanksgiving Writing Prompts and More - ABC Teach

Grades
1 to 5
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts...more
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts all based on a Thanksgiving theme.

tag(s): reading comprehension (121), thanksgiving (25), writing (282)

In the Classroom

Use the entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or journal writing activities for Thanksgiving. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, exchange pen and paper and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Site123, reviewed here. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, replace pencil and paper and challenge your students to create a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here. After completing a couple of the writing prompts, challenge older students to choose one and create a script for their story; then, stretch their learning and put it into a Thanksgiving podcast. Use a tool like Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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WorldWise Schools - Teaching About Culture Lesson Plans - Peace Corps

Grades
2 to 12
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This site is a much-expanded remake of the Peace Corps collection of lesson plans and activities for cross-cultural understanding around the world. Teachers can search for lesson plans...more
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This site is a much-expanded remake of the Peace Corps collection of lesson plans and activities for cross-cultural understanding around the world. Teachers can search for lesson plans by topic, region of the world, grade level, or academic subject. All readings and materials are included (many as pdf - Acrobat Reader files). Many lessons include readings that would also work well for teaching reading comprehension, espceially for your less-than-proficient readers. Simply choose the area of the world, subject, and/or grade level for which you want a lesson plan, and you will see quite a list.

tag(s): cultures (97)

In the Classroom

Search for lessons on a specific region as you teach about it or use these selections as general readings for comprehension. They may also be helpful in getting to know students who enter your classroom from other cultures. The lessons would be very helpful in developing background knowledge to understand cross-cultural literature selections in a language arts class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators - Smithsonian- National Air and Space Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Inspire future aviators or encourage students to pursue their dreams with this site that traces African American aviators through the years. There are many images and short passages...more
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Inspire future aviators or encourage students to pursue their dreams with this site that traces African American aviators through the years. There are many images and short passages of text. The reading levels are not for younger students. Black Wings permits students to download and use images in their reports, as long as they are classroom projects, either printed or electronic, such as in PowerPoint or other tech tool. Images may not be published on web pages or burned to CD. Be sure to visit the What's New section for featured interviews with aviators. What a terrific and interesting primary source!

tag(s): africa (136), african american (92), black history (80)

In the Classroom

Use this one as part of reading comprehension practice and find that your students are actually interested in what they read. Have students create projects about their favorite aviator or aircraft on a poster using Genially, reviewed here, or PowerPoint Online, reviewed here.

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Learning Resources to Promote Literacy - Western/Pacific Literacy Network

Grades
5 to 8
4 Favorites 0  Comments
This literacy resource provides students with full texts of a wide variety of news stories, then challenges them with related interactive activities testing reading comprehension. Each...more
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This literacy resource provides students with full texts of a wide variety of news stories, then challenges them with related interactive activities testing reading comprehension. Each full text is accompanied by an abridged version, and a story outline - great features for differentiating instruction as needed.

tag(s): literacy (83), reading comprehension (121)

In the Classroom

Use for independent, self-paced reading practice. An excellent preparation activity for state standards testing.

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