Vocabulary Development Resources from TeachersFirst

This collection of reviewed tools and resources from TeachersFirst promotes vocabulary development and skills for students to improve and master daily vocabulary, subject matter terms, speech/language vocabulary, and ESL/ELL language. Some are tools for study and practice of terms in any class--including world languages, while others focus specifically on written and spoken English. Be sure to check "In the classroom" for ways each resource might help in your teaching area. Share your favorites on a free TeachersFirst public page for students and parents to use for vocabulary practice outside of class.

 

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Memorial Day - May 30th - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Memorial Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Memorial Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Memorial Day vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): holidays (122), memorial day (12), vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group responsible to find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles!

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April Fools' Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
2 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for April Fools Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using April Fools...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for April Fools Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using April Fools vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): holidays (122), vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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St. Patrick's Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
2 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for St. Patrick's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using St. Patrick's...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for St. Patrick's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using St. Patrick's Day vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): ireland (11), st patricks day (11)

In the Classroom

Use this site to reinforce and support vocabulary as you study the holiday. Share the word puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own word activities from the same vocabulary list, such as matching or ranking challenges for their peers to try on the interactive whiteboard.

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Women's History Month - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
5 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area about Women in History. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Women...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area about Women in History. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Women in History vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): vocabulary (235), women (104)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Challenge students (or groups) to create their own word puzzles from one of the TeachersFirst Women History Month resources you are using. Have them share as a class challenge and a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki. Students can create a crossword, word search, matching game and more using a tool such as Educaplay, reviewed here.

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Earth Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Earth Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Earth Day vocabulary...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Earth Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Earth Day vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): earth (173), earth day (62), vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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Call of the Wild - Vocabulary - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
6 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Jack London's book. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Call of...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Jack London's book. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Call of the Wild vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ITESLJ

Grades
1 to 12
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this...more
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this site is "plain vanilla" and not high-tech, it has been around for a long time and offers a comprehensive list of sites to use with ESL and ELL students. English/language arts teachers will also find the vocabulary development options helpful for any student, especially those who may need extra learning support.

Be sure to check out "What's New" for recent additions. Go to "Main Page" and try the search box; it's a good place to try to find the links you remember from awhile back but have lost track of.

tag(s): holidays (122), idioms (33), sight words (22), vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website. Use this site for vocabulary ideas with your ESL and ELL students AND in your world language classes or mainstream language arts classes. The variety at this site offers something for every classroom learning English or another language.

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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 (10), area (50)

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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LingQ - LingQ

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3 to 12
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LingQ assists you with developing language fluency in any of 9 target languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, and Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese....more
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LingQ assists you with developing language fluency in any of 9 target languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, and Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese. It tracks hours spent on listening and reading assignments, vocabulary development, etc. An example lesson consists of listening to a text while reading through it, clicking on unknown words, seeing the definition in one's native language, saving the words in a list or as flashcards. You can also download the audio files to an MP3 player. You should have at least a beginning understanding of the language before attempting to use this site. It's desirable to be a flexible learner since the learning/teaching style is based on immersion, not translation. Students may have up to 5 active "assignments" going to stay within the free level. Any completed work can be archived to make room for more assignments. There is a charge to have your work evaluated, graded, and critiqued. There is an option to save new vocabulary words in a list and print flashcards for these words. The tool requires a fast Internet connection to download large podcast (audio) files. The podcast files can be downloaded and played on your local computer or an mp3 player.

tag(s): podcasts (65), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

Establishing membership requires an email account. Check your school policies about accessing/sharing student email on school computers. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. You will want to join and explore the site before assigning students to use it so you know how to navigate.

Assign specific "lessons" for your ESL or world language students, but be aware that the free version does not permit you to monitor progress on student accounts.Therefore you will want to use this as a practice site more than a formal assessment tool. Demonstrate the navigation on your projector or interactive whiteboard before assigning students to work independently. If you have mp3 players available, you can load a listening assignment for students to "take out." Be sure to include this site on your teacher web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Refer your ESL students to this page if they are impatient to become fluent quickly.

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On-Line ESL News - VOA

Grades
5 to 12
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This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of ...more
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This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of these news articles offer streaming audio for listening as students follow the text.The general interest articles range in topic from science and technology to global culture to studying in America. There are minor advertisements at this website. The news is available using RealAudio. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (69), news (233), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

Ask intermediate to upper level ESL and ELL students to research, write, and record a podcast of similar news. Poll students to find out which words in the broadcast are difficult for them, and assign a few words to each student to look up and explain. Ask ESL and ELL students to share similar stories from their home cultures. Learning support teachers will want to share these easy-to-understand news stories for their students' weekly current events "articles."

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Lingro - lingro.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A ...more
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A clicked word immediately displays its definition from the Lingro dictionary pages. The website looks visually the same within the Lingro window, but all words become clickable. You can also use Lingro to translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Polish with more languages to be added. When students use the translation/definition tool, the site keeps a short-term record of their words and web pages, allowing them to study their own wordlists and to play games with these words. The wordlist and history feature only works short-term and at the SAME computer, unless you register, for free, to be able to take your personal history to any computer. With the translation capability, you can read websites in other languages. If you spell a word incorrectly, Lingro has a "best match" feature which finds likely definitions for your word of choice. There is also a tool to create electronic flash card type games from your saved wordlists.

Important technical note: Lingro cannot "see" words included in Flash interactives such as the "What's New" rotating content on the TeachersFirst home page. If you RIGHT click on an area of text and see "About Adobe Flash Player...," this means that the text is displayed in Flash and not "legible" to Lingro. Often pages offer a non-Flash version as an alternative.

tag(s): french (71), german (45), germany (25), italian (26), spanish (97), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

When your ESL/ELL, learning support, or weaker readers do Internet research on sites above their independent reading level, have them open Lingro first and then enter the URL (web address) they wish to read. Use Lingro for vocabulary development in any subject. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page so that ESL/ELL, world language students, or weaker readers can use the definition and translation feature and benefit from instantly-created word lists. If your school permits individual student accounts on web tools, this is a good one. If not, create a single teacher account to compile class word lists.

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ESL Gold Picture Dictionary - ESL Gold

Grades
1 to 6
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ESL Gold's "Words and Phrases" page is a listing of vocabulary, grouped in categories ideal for learning a new language. The categories are divided by levels from Low Beginning to ...more
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ESL Gold's "Words and Phrases" page is a listing of vocabulary, grouped in categories ideal for learning a new language. The categories are divided by levels from Low Beginning to Advanced. Many of the categories provide a picture dictionary of all items. Some of the more advanced levels do not include pictures. All levels have audio pronunciation. The higher levels contain vocabulary in context, word phrases, and other vocabulary development activities without definitions. This site requires Windows Media Player or Quicktime to play the audio. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share vocabulary by category, using pictures, audio, and written words with your ESL/ELL students, primary students, special ed students, or speech/language students. Include this link in a newsletter that goes home with ESL/ELL students. Mark it as a Favorite on your classroom computer. Demonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work alone (or with a partner) at their current speaking level. This website could also be used in a regular education class with emerging readers. The five difficulty levels allow teachers the flexibility to differentiate the instruction. Note: small type fonts and some advertising may make this site difficult for some younger students to use. Preview and decide what your class can handle.

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Language Menu Activities - Learnwell Oy

Grades
6 to 12
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Choose from Vocabulary or Picture Vocabulary for many topics. There are currently 36 languages to choose from. (From matching games to picture recognition to translation practice,...more
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Choose from Vocabulary or Picture Vocabulary for many topics. There are currently 36 languages to choose from. (From matching games to picture recognition to translation practice, the site offers fairly sophisticated word practice. A flag-country matching game is of general interest to all students, not just language learners. There are many advantages in using this site for ESL or ELL students. The main advantage is the capability to choose a different language for questions and answers, thus assuring specific understanding of specific words with the definitions in their first language.

tag(s): capitals (15), flags (16), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

Mark this site in Favorites on your classroom computers for ESL and ELL students.. Provide information about this site to foreign language teachers in your school. This is a wonderful site to list in your class newsletter (if applicable) or on your class website.

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Learn English Vocabulary - LEO

Grades
3 to 8
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This site, originally developed for German students learning English, offers an impressive number of vocabulary lists, grouped by subject category. When students see the lists, they...more
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This site, originally developed for German students learning English, offers an impressive number of vocabulary lists, grouped by subject category. When students see the lists, they can click on the sound icon to hear the word pronounced. The site also offers phrasal verbs, idioms, grammar, and song lists. Some of the comments and spellings are British, so may be confusing to U.S. students. However, the pronunciation of individual words and phrases is clear and helpful, even to those learning American English. This website requires Real Player. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): pronunciation (34), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page and newsletter - so the students can easily access this site as an online dictionary and pronunciation reference.

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100 Free Short Stories for ESL - Rong-Chang Li & Bill Bailey

Grades
6 to 12
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This website provides a large collection of short stories selected for beginning and advanced beginning ESL students. The subject matter of many stories is not appropriate for younger...more
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This website provides a large collection of short stories selected for beginning and advanced beginning ESL students. The subject matter of many stories is not appropriate for younger students. Some include topics you would find in newspaper articles, and some deal with dating. Preview! Some stories on the website allow you to read the story yourself or click on the speaker icon to hear the story read aloud. The site could also be used to provide extra reading and reading/listening for struggling readers. There are also an online dictionary, great follow-up activities to check comprehension, and crossword puzzles. The questions and other review activities provide immediate feedback. There are numerous advertisements. Be sure to show your student how to use the site and not click the ads.

tag(s): puzzles (142), reading comprehension (130), vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

Share these activities with individual students as an assignment or independent practice on your classroom computer and as a link from your web site. The reading and activities are easy to work on independently because of the listening feature and the available dictionary. Don't forget to provide headphones. Provide this link for the families of ESL/ELL students to read (or listen) to the stories together.

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Vocabulary: Applying Knowledge of Context Clues - Scholastic

Grades
9 to 12
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This vocabulary lesson focuses on the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. By introducing the lesson with an entrancing poster that gives lots of info about Marquez very painlessly, students...more
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This vocabulary lesson focuses on the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. By introducing the lesson with an entrancing poster that gives lots of info about Marquez very painlessly, students are intrigued to go further. As they begin to read a selection from Living to Tell the Tale , Marquez' autobiography, difficult words appear in red. Along the sides of the pages appear more intriguing questions and important information about the writer. After reading a short selection, students are given an exercise which tests their ability to use context clues. This website requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): vocabulary (235), vocabulary development (87)

In the Classroom

This is a great way to get students interested in reading Marquez and also interested in reading biographies and autobiographies of great writers. Be sure to print out the poster and hang it where students can see it. Use your interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share this website with your students. Then, ask them to pick the quote from this short selection that means the most to them and have them explain why in a short writing exercise.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Language Guide - Language Guide

Grades
1 to 12
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska ...more
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska - Greek). Select your native language and a language you wish to study. Choose a category, such as fruits, and roll your mouse over pictures to hear the word, pronounced by a native speakers. There are also sections for grammar topics, such as verb conjugation. Site extras include sound effects to accompany some pictures (hear the bark, breathing sound, and growl of the dog)! This site avoids the problems of different alphabets by working from picture to sound, though the spellings do display as little text boxes as you roll your mouse.

tag(s): grammar (134), pronunciation (34), vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a pronunciation backup when you do not have a native speaker teaching foreign language. If you have access to a lab or individual laptops, assign students to practice pronunciation as they learn new vocabulary. Be sure to share the link from your teach web page in your world language class. As you study world cultures or geography, some students may want to learn simple language selections, as well. Gifted students --especially younger ones curious about languages -- will enjoy trying to learn independently. ESL students may also use this site to hear authentic pronunciation. Speech and language and special ed teachers working on vocabulary development will want to use this site with students, as well.

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English Exercises - Vocabulary - Viktor Gayol

Grades
K to 5
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This online tool and vocabulary site creates up to thirteen games, puzzles, and worksheets from a word list the teacher inputs on the home page. The working database contains about...more
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This online tool and vocabulary site creates up to thirteen games, puzzles, and worksheets from a word list the teacher inputs on the home page. The working database contains about 2000 English singular words, but doesn't include abstract nouns. There are some ready-made activities already done for you as examples: body parts, Christmas, family, feelings, foods, and more. Typical activities include findaword, matching, multiple choice quizzes, memory, word scrambles, and labeling. There is a charge for subscription to the services, but users who recommend someone to this site receive a one-year subscription free. One caution: set the speed to "tortoise" on the "STOP" game. Even adults can't click the mouse fast enough above that speed!page. This site requires QuickTime to hear the audio. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox. .

tag(s): puzzles (142), vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Use this for a center with vocabulary review activities in any primary classroom or with speech and language or special ed students for vocabulary development. Using it in ESL classes will also be great, even on an interactive whiteboard with a small group. Students can also use the games on their own to practice vocabulary outside of class, so be sure to include the link on your teacher web page.

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Soaring High With Kites - everythingesl.net

Grades
1 to 6
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This multi-level lesson plan for ESL students offers opportunities for vocabulary development, reading, writing, and cultural sharing by responding to stories and books about kites....more
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This multi-level lesson plan for ESL students offers opportunities for vocabulary development, reading, writing, and cultural sharing by responding to stories and books about kites. Primary grade teachers could also use it in a unit on weather or as an interdisciplinary science/language arts activity. Because of its high interest level, it motivates students to participate in understanding new words and in expressing their ideas about the books they read and the techniques and history of kite flying in their countries. Students also read and talk about kite safety rules and examine websites about kites. Writing opportunities include writing rules,original stories, cultural histories haiku, and diamante poems. Students also get to design, make, decorate and fly their own kites.

tag(s): poetry (183), vocabulary (235)

In the Classroom

Plan a kite day in the fall or spring and use all or part of these plans to learn new words, build kites, and even fly them before you write about them. This would be a terrific activity to include parents at school year's end.

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Mythology - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Mythology on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Mythology...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Mythology on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Mythology vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): greek (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site to reinforce and support vocabulary as you study Mythology. Share the word puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own word activities from the same vocabulary list, such as matching or ranking challenges for their peers to try on the interactive whiteboard.

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