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BookBoon - BookBoon

Grades
8 to 12
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BookBoon features over 1000 free ebooks in seven different languages, aimed at the high school and college level. Find an interesting book and type in your email. The books focus ...more
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BookBoon features over 1000 free ebooks in seven different languages, aimed at the high school and college level. Find an interesting book and type in your email. The books focus on business/economics, engineering/natural sciences, and IT with many being authored by professors. Search for a book or subscribe to the newsletter. Note: The books you download may have advertisements.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ebooks (35)

In the Classroom

Find ebooks available for further study on specialized subjects for your research project, or just to further your knowledge. Use with gifted or advanced students to provide further challenge or self study projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Twine - Chris Klimas

Grades
6 to 12
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click...more
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click on "use it online" just under the download button. Twine helps you stay organized with little Post-It type squares with arrows to connect each section to one or more other sections. See how to do this by watching this short YouTube video, here. Drag and drop the squares on the page, and they will stay connected. There are a few templates to choose from, and you can upload images. For those who are adept at programming, click on Wiki and see the other quality, development resources Twine offers. Work is saved in your browser, not on a server. That means there is no sign-in or sign-up, but it also means losing your work unless you remember to click on the Archive button. Click on the Twine Wiki for FAQs, Vimeo Tutorial Videos, and other helpful information. On YouTube watch several video tutorials. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (75), computers (100), creative writing (116), game based learning (158), interactive stories (18), writing (283)

In the Classroom

View the Getting Started tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Also, be sure to have the tutorials as a link on class computers and your class webpage. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar with the site. Have students create a story diagram before beginning a story on Twine; then use the site to complete the project. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Twine to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Using this tool in a computer programming class would be ideal. Going to either Wiki, FAQ, or Forum will show you other development resources such as custom macros, stylesheets, code references, and so forth. Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. Again, a graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must!

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YouTube EDU - YouTube

Grades
K to 12
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YouTube EDU features some of the most popular educational videos across YouTube. Explore both elementary and secondary topics. This channel integrates content across 100 colleges and...more
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YouTube EDU features some of the most popular educational videos across YouTube. Explore both elementary and secondary topics. This channel integrates content across 100 colleges and universities and offers access to campus tours, research, and lectures. Scroll through to find videos sorted into many categories such as science, mathematics, arts, languages, and much more. Subscribe to receive updates about new videos added. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): video (242)

In the Classroom

Bookmark YouTube EDU as an excellent resource of videos for classroom use. Share videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Embed videos onto your class web page for student viewing at home. Challenge gifted students by sharing university level videos.

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Planet Publish - Planet Publish

Grades
4 to 12
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Find free downloadable ebooks of many classics. Some titles available are: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer,...more
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Find free downloadable ebooks of many classics. Some titles available are: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, The Iliad, The Red Badge of Courage, Oliver Twist, Heart of Darkness, A Christmas Carol, and many others. Find an introduction (or Gallery) to the books by scrolling down the page. View the menu on the right to see all titles. Download the PDF to get the full book.

tag(s): literacy (84), literature (220), reading lists (72)

In the Classroom

When studying the classics, and using close reading techniques, pull up your PDF copy of the ebook to project on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use short passages to determine your literature circles. Read part of a story, and have students write the ending of the scene. Download to computers at centers for center time. Add to your classroom website to have ample reading material available for your students. Challenge your gifted students to read as many classics as possible. Locate classics to compliment your study of time, era, or author.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learn English with Jokes and Riddles - Jacob Richman

Grades
K to 12
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Everyone loves a good joke or riddle, and you do not need any bells and whistles to get one across. At this site find ten categories and over 300 jokes ...more
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Everyone loves a good joke or riddle, and you do not need any bells and whistles to get one across. At this site find ten categories and over 300 jokes and riddles all free to use. Enjoy the jokes sequentially, choose a category, or take your chances with a random pick. All jokes and riddles are suitable for all age groups.

tag(s): ELL/ESL (16), humor (15), riddles (14)

In the Classroom

Jokes and riddles make excellent language exercises, and kids love them. Once the students have guessed the answer, use the sentences for grammar practice by identifying parts of speech, subject and predicate, and even diagramming. Younger students and ENL/ESL students can learn new vocabulary words, too. The twist and/or play on words will surely attract your gifted students. Once you have gone through several of these, encourage students to create their own and share with the class.

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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to many of the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for...more
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edX offers access to many of the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (9), architecture (62), china (59), circuits (16), civil rights (152), computers (100), electricity (61), engineering (109), environment (220), evolution (86), folktales (34), greeks (29), magnetism (32), medicine (54), nutrition (132), poetry (180), psychology (64), religions (64), shakespeare (91), solar energy (32), speech (70), statistics (108), terrorism (42)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Dads Worksheets - Dads Worksheets.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Need practice worksheets or new teaching techniques? Go to Dads! Find printable flashcards, fact family math with timed tests, place value, decimals, fractions, patterns, negative numbers,...more
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Need practice worksheets or new teaching techniques? Go to Dads! Find printable flashcards, fact family math with timed tests, place value, decimals, fractions, patterns, negative numbers, word problems, order of operations, geometry, time, measurement, rounding, and metrics. Find several versions for multiple opportunities for practice. Included is an online timer. Join the newsletter to view the latest new additions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (126), fractions (163), measurement (131), order of operations (28), subtraction (111), worksheets (67)

In the Classroom

Need extra practice sheets for some students? Need materials for enrichment? Getting ready for a math night? Find free materials at your fingertips! Keep this page as part of your class web page for additional practice on all math topics. Start an after school math club for enrichment or reinforcement. Let kids "play school" with the many worksheets offered here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Oh nO - Martin Kool

Grades
3 to 12
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Oh nO is a unique logic puzzle game that is available on your web browser or as an app (on any device). Use the blue dots with numbers to decide ...more
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Oh nO is a unique logic puzzle game that is available on your web browser or as an app (on any device). Use the blue dots with numbers to decide where to place red or blue dots on the grid. The numbers on the blue dots indicate how many other blue dots surround each. Click once to make the circle blue and twice to make the circle red. Select different size grids and use the timer to increase difficulty. Follow the introduction on the site to learn more details about this mind challenge!

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (166), logic (164), problem solving (214), puzzles (144)

In the Classroom

Oh nO is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard, projector, or on individual computers. Introduce this game to students and then challenge them to move up in difficulty levels and speed up completion times. Use this site to challenge your gifted students. Share on your class web page or blog for students and parents to play together at home. Set up a station at your school's math fair for participants to try their hand at Oh nO.

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Know The Romans - Jordan Allan

Grades
4 to 12
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Travel back in time to enter the Roman civilization. Through videos, interactive timelines, and interactive games learn about the Romans. Categories include inventions, food, numerals,...more
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Travel back in time to enter the Roman civilization. Through videos, interactive timelines, and interactive games learn about the Romans. Categories include inventions, food, numerals, gods, entertainment, republic, slavery, empire, architecture, art, army, education, emperors, and clothing.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (68), roman numerals (7), romans (31)

In the Classroom

Enter the world of ancient Romans and become a citizen. Use as a resource when reading Roman Myths or other Roman literature. Compare and contrast other ancient civilizations such as ancient Greece. Use this website as an example for creating other research projects on time eras or places. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard or projector to your class and continue study at centers. Use as background information to create stories placed in ancient Rome. Challenge your gifted students to create their own world and all the inventions, foods, numerals, gods, entertainment, art, education, and leadership.
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0h h1 - Martin Kool

Grades
3 to 12
9 Favorites 2  Comments
Oh h1 is an addicting and challenging interactive for problem solving and logic. Choose from four different grid sizes to play. Click on squares to make them red or blue. ...more
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Oh h1 is an addicting and challenging interactive for problem solving and logic. Choose from four different grid sizes to play. Click on squares to make them red or blue. The goal is to never have more than 2 squares of the same color in a row, and to have equal numbers of colors in all rows and columns. The rules are explained as you play. Increase difficulty by increasing the number of grids and completing in the shortest elapsed time.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (166), game based learning (158), logic (164), problem solving (214), puzzles (144)

In the Classroom

Oh h1 is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site as a computer learning center or on individual computers. Challenge students to increase difficulty levels and elapsed time. Share this engaging site with your gifted students for some mind stretching fun! Be sure to include a link on your class website or blog (parents may want to try this one too). Have students challenge their parents to see who can complete puzzles the quickest!

Comments

Great for logic practice. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Fun logic game-kids won't realize they are learning. Tammy, OR, Grades: 0 - 9

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Mental Floss - Felix Dennis

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Discover "random, interesting, amazing facts, quizzes, and trivia" at Mental Floss. This magazine-style offering features new posts daily on topics from science, history, culture, and...more
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Discover "random, interesting, amazing facts, quizzes, and trivia" at Mental Floss. This magazine-style offering features new posts daily on topics from science, history, culture, and more. For example, read about 6 Articles of Clothing That Caused Riots! Access the archives via the ALSO ON MENTAL FLOSS links near the bottom of the page for even more offerings. Any reader is guaranteed to learn something new and come away wanting to learn more. Find answers to imponderables or odd thoughts. Sections include Innovations, Words, Lists, and Quizzes with subareas for history, science, pop culture, etc. Click Videos to visit Mental Floss's YouTube channel or related videos. Articles are quick tidbits that invite you to share and learn. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (264), famous people (20), grammar (138), quizzes (83), trivia (16)

In the Classroom

Share Mental Floss on your class web page in any science, history, health, or reading class in middle school and up. Use it as a place for students to discover research topics related to your subject or as prompts for blog posts to get kids writing about something that interests them. Make a regular extra credit offering for students to write a blog post responding to something they learn here. If you have trouble getting students to read informational text, use these factoids as introductions to draw their interest before offering a longer article. Use these articles as starters for information literacy activities. Have partners research to find a corroborating (or debunking) source for the trivia offered here. English teachers will love some of the quick articles on misused or frequently misspelled words. Invite your students in any subject to find an article related to your subject and to create a poster version of that tip or tale using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here).

Comments

Awesome for so many topics. Blog post ideas! Love the layout and diversity. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Virtual Musical Instruments - Virtual Musical Instruments

Grades
K to 12
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Bring the world of music and instruments into your classroom. With Virtual Musical Instruments, you can explore the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, or bongos. Select the instrument,...more
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Bring the world of music and instruments into your classroom. With Virtual Musical Instruments, you can explore the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, or bongos. Select the instrument, and follow the directions for using the keyboard to play the different notes. Create different melodies using different notes or rhythms. Use the guitar tuner to be sure you are in tune. There is no record option on this tool. If you want to record your beat, there are many alternative options (such as using a cell phone, or an old-fashioned recorder).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): makerspace (43), music theory (36), musical instruments (38)

In the Classroom

Virtual Musical Instruments opens up the world of music into many other subjects. In music class, discover the different instruments, sounds, and rhythms the virtual instruments can produce. Allow your students to make their own compositions. Challenge them to determine a way to give the directions for their composition to another person so that they can repeat the original piece. In language arts class, discuss mood in literature. Determine the instruments used, the rhythms, and sounds needed to make that effect. During Readers' Theater, add a musical score for more excitement and engagement with further analysis of the text. Have students create a musical composition that tells a story. Now, play that musical story for the class, and turn it into a writing prompt. Use musical sounds and beats to illustrate the concepts of literature and the use of plot. Determine a melody for each character. Write to explain why each character has that musical composition. Math class brings the study of fractions with types of notes: whole note, half note, quarter note, and eighth notes. Let students create a musical sentence that represents them and write to explain why. Use whatever recording option is most practical in your classroom.

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Home Shrunken Home - New York Times

Grades
9 to 12
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Learn about the small world of micro-apartments in this New York Times article with a photo slideshow showing how micro-apartments are built. See the construction methods, and learn...more
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Learn about the small world of micro-apartments in this New York Times article with a photo slideshow showing how micro-apartments are built. See the construction methods, and learn about the tiny home building trend in response to the high cost of urban living. Read about the people who opt for minimal living quarters, in this case prefabricated modular units. The article is an invitation to learn more about home trends, structures, and the cultural and economic decisions we make about where we live.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (62), environment (220), homes (7), STEM (219), structures (20)

In the Classroom

Share this article in a class on environmental issues, a social studies class on economics and current events, or even a physics class learning about structures and forces. Note that this article is a great example of informational text! Have students make observations about the pros and cons of modular mini-apartments for the resident, the city, and the environment. Have student groups investigate related topics in building materials, environmentally-friendly design, and urban crowding. Hold a class debate: Mini-living: Positive trend or Foolish Fad? This article would be great for gifted students interested in contemporary issues or architecture. Have them design their own mini-apartments, complete with appliances and built in furniture, to meet the challenges of green living, high-cost housing, and urban crowding!

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Simon - Neave Games

Grades
K to 12
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Do what Simon Says at this virtual game similar to the old favorite! Follow the pattern of lights and sounds and repeat back to Simon. Start with one sound/light. Simon ...more
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Do what Simon Says at this virtual game similar to the old favorite! Follow the pattern of lights and sounds and repeat back to Simon. Start with one sound/light. Simon plays that and adds another. Repeat back, and Simon adds one more every time. Earn a point for each time you repeat back the sequence correctly. Continue for as long as you can remember. This is the online version of the handheld game, Simon.

tag(s): game based learning (158), patterns (60), preK (231), puzzles (144)

In the Classroom

Join forces with Simon to help improve memory skills. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate memory skills. Help young students learn simple patterns by trying "their hands" at this interactive. Very young students can even use the beginner games to learn colors. Share and discuss ways to improve with such techniques as sound, visual, or "chunking." Use as a reward time device. Keep a class best score and challenge students to beat it! Use this tool to grab your students' attention to come back to their seats after centers or individual/group work periods. Share this link on your class website for students to "play" both in and out of the classroom.
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The Creators Project - Voice Media

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Science becomes creative at The Creators Project. As they describe themselves, "The Creators Project is a global network dedicated to the celebration of creativity, arts and technology."...more
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Science becomes creative at The Creators Project. As they describe themselves, "The Creators Project is a global network dedicated to the celebration of creativity, arts and technology." Find fascinating works of art and functional inventions that use unusual materials, clever design, and unique applications of science and engineering. New posts appear regularly, featuring collections, exhibitions, or featured inventions. Watch videos or read text posts with images of such things as a $30,000 dog house, "fossilized" books as sculpture, or a motion-activated keyboard. Browse the latest features with links to related posts. Click tags at the end of a post to find related ideas, or search for a specific word to explore past posts. A few of the ads are annoying, but hitting refresh makes them change.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (90), engineering (109), inventors and inventions (68), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Turn STEM into STEAM in your science, math, or art class. This project is perfect for convincing students that science is neither boring nor unimaginative! Lure your artistic students into science and your pragmatic scientists into creativity. This project fits well with any Maker Movement activities you may do in your school. Share a feature or two each week in your science class and ask students what science concepts the creator had to use to achieve that design. Ask what problems he/she might have faced in creating it. Ask why it appeals to people (function? visual design?) Challenge student groups to choose a design or invention on this site and analyze the physics behind it. How/why does it work? What simple machines do they see within it? Why did they use those materials? Have them share their findings (or hypotheses) in a multimedia presentation or wiki page, sort of an "invention unwrapped." Teachers of gifted or science club sponsors can find loads of project inspiration at this site. Share it during a career unit for students to investigate creative ways to use science and design in a future career. Have them research the people behind an invention or art piece they particularly enjoy.

Comments

I really got into this article. I found it to be interesting and loaded with unique points of interest. I like to read material that makes me think. Thank you for writing this great content. website : https://www.1word4pics.com/ 1 word, AL, Grades: 0 - 12

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Big Dayta - Tsai Hsing School

Grades
3 to 12
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What do you do in a day? Join a worldwide classroom sharing project for students to learn about life in other schools and cultures. This teacher-driven project, begun as a ...more
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What do you do in a day? Join a worldwide classroom sharing project for students to learn about life in other schools and cultures. This teacher-driven project, begun as a collaboration between schools in Tai Pei and California, collects "unique student-generated global dayta" about students' daily life using a simple, online Google Form. Day + data = DAYTA. The dayta is available for your classroom to use in loads of different math, social studies, and writing activities. Click to add your class using the Contact button. The project encourages you to form collaborations with another school. Click the link to the Idea Guide to find curriculum connections and lesson ideas. The project is adding new classes, so why not join in? Be sure to check out the community area where you can share your successes and questions with other teachers.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (146), data (128)

In the Classroom

Introduce Big Dayta in your world cultures, math, or writing class. If you team teach, work together with your computer, math, social studies, or English teacher to have students share dayta and then analyze and use it for your own class projects. Find specific curriculum activities for math, writing, and social studies classes on the site or ask your students what dayta they would like to compare and contrast in a "hands-on" experience with data. If they like learning about life in other places, your class may also want to join in #XW1W (Across the World Once a Week). Be sure to pass these projects along to other teachers! As a geography extension, have students create an electronic placemarker file using Google Maps or Click2Map, or an actual map poster of the places they learn about.

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ASAP Science YouTube Channel - Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown

Grades
6 to 12
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Enjoy science explained musically through clever songs. Discover weekly additions of cleverly written and illustrated songs on topics such as the Periodic Table, How Your Brain Works,...more
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Enjoy science explained musically through clever songs. Discover weekly additions of cleverly written and illustrated songs on topics such as the Periodic Table, How Your Brain Works, 8 Sick Remedies That Actually Work, and more. Each video explains the science behind a surprising fact or the scientific answer to a question like "Can you really be scared to death?" The New Periodic Table song is a must-see. Find it by browsing through the Popular section. Note that this channel is intended for the general, adult public, so some topics (such as sex) are for mature audiences! If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): periodic table (41), video (242)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your teacher favorites to find videos to use at the start of a science or health unit. Make science more appealing as a way to answer the questions we ponder every day. Do NOT turn students loose on this channel. Because of the popular "adult" videos on this channel -- not appropriate for the classroom, but perfectly appropriate for adults -- we recommend locating the specific video you want to share and placing the url or embed code for that one video on your class web page or wiki. You can also share on a projector or interactive whiteboard. To avoid any possibility of showing titles that may cause distraction, use a tool such as ViewPure, reviewed here to clear away all the YouTube clutter. Use an ASAP Science video as inspiration for students to create their own videos explaining a science concept or debunking a science myth. Make this an option for research projects to appeal to your musically talented or "poetic" science students.

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Myths: Everything You Need - Scholastic Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Discover what influences myths from ancient cultures have on contemporary cultures. Add pizazz to your unit on mythology. Learn about famous writers. Explore the detailed lessons and...more
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Discover what influences myths from ancient cultures have on contemporary cultures. Add pizazz to your unit on mythology. Learn about famous writers. Explore the detailed lessons and plans. Visit Myths From Around the World, a writing activity that teaches about myths from fifteen regions of the world. Read the myths of ancient Greece. Find directions to write your own myth with Jane Yolen's help. Lessons instruct the learning of the characteristics of a myth through reading, comparisons, and making inferences. Peruse the unit on Heroes and Legends, which includes lesson plans for examining heroes and their common characteristics. Furthermore, there is an Inuit unit that dives into the myths, legends, and stories from the Inuit culture. Learn about the Hero Twins from the Mayan culture. There is much here to explore for all ages!
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tag(s): digital storytelling (129), enrichment (9), myths and legends (23)

In the Classroom

After you choose your level, discover one or many of the lessons to integrate into your English Language Arts or Social Studies curriculum. Choose your objectives, and find the lessons that are appropriate. Some lessons can be shared on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Others are more appropriate alone as individual work. Materials are included so much of the prep work is already done for you. To conclude the myths unit, have students create a play featuring a unique culture and a hero they create. Students will need a detailed script containing; theme, plot, settings, and characters including a hero. Go as far as you want developing props, costumes, and accompanying sounds and music. Have students present using a live presentation, video, or digital storytelling. Choose from the TeachersFirst Digital Storytelling tools, reviewed here. This site is a great reference for an after-school enrichment program on writing, reading, book clubs, or even self esteem.
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Linguistadores - Bob Rafferty

Grades
6 to 12
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Linguistadores offers language learning through articles, music, and videos. Select your language and reading content level for genuine news based on level and interest. Double click...more
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Linguistadores offers language learning through articles, music, and videos. Select your language and reading content level for genuine news based on level and interest. Double click on any word to translate into a language of your choice. Listen to songs in your target language while viewing the lyrics on the screen. Save unknown words to your account with a click then practice with flash card style games. Free accounts offer up to 10 articles and 20 saved words per day.
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tag(s): guided reading (36), independent reading (105), reading comprehension (123), vocabulary development (86)

In the Classroom

Use Linguistadores with ESL/ELL or special education students as an interesting way to deliver appropriate leveled informational texts. Have students create individual accounts and use as a computer lab or classroom center activity to build vocabulary and reading skills. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Share this site with your teaching colleagues to help differentiate for learning support (or gifted or ESL/ELL) students. Select informational texts to use for close reading (a la Common Core) together as a class on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Wonkblog: Kurt Vonnegut graphed the world's most popular stories (blog post) - Ana Swanson/Washington Post

Grades
5 to 12
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Read about and see "graphs" of famous stories as sketched by author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007). This blog post includes an embedded YouTube video of Vonnegut explaining his "graphs"...more
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Read about and see "graphs" of famous stories as sketched by author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007). This blog post includes an embedded YouTube video of Vonnegut explaining his "graphs" of classic story "shapes" as well as examples for each. The video is old and grainy, but quite entertaining. Shapes/graphs include "Man in a Hole," "Boy Meets Girl," and even the classic creation story. You need not have read the exact examples he provides to understand -- and start wondering about the "shape" of stories you know. Even younger readers could understand these concepts if you explain them in the simplest terms. The graphs, or story shapes, are shown as infographics redrawn by Maya Eilam. You can view the full infographic of the graphs/story shapes as a single image herehere. Some videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
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tag(s): authors (97), creative writing (116), infographics (51), narrative (13), stories and storytelling (30)

In the Classroom

Explore the patterns of story and narratives in our culture and beyond using this visual approach to story mapping. In a high school language arts class, watch the video of Vonnegut explaining story shapes (about 4 minutes) and challenge student partners or groups to think of other examples of that story map, even from movies or television shows. Then turn the class loose to make their own graphic representation of a literary piece you have read recently - or of a movie that is popular right now. If you have an interactive whiteboard, have students direct a student "emcee" to do the drawing as the class gives instructions. With younger students, you may need to talk as a class to be sure students are able to grasp the abstract patterns shown in the graphs, and the video may be too adult level for them to understand without a slower discussion. Once your class (of any level) seems to grasp the idea, post story shapes on your class wiki or web page (with proper credit) so students can add their own examples of tales they have read or watched that fit the pattern. If you give them extra credit for noticing such stories in their own lives, they will internalize the idea of narrative patterns. You could also make a story shape bulletin board where students can add index cards with names of books/tales they read under each pattern. If you are promoting narrative writing, use these story patterns as a way to help students get ideas for where a storyline can go so it has a beginning, middle, and end.

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