Good Sites for Kids

Reading, Literacy, & Language Arts Sites

This page is one small part of Good Sites for Kids!

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We're proud that our Literacy Section is listed as a Literacy Resource of the First Nation Student Success Program of the Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute, located at the M'Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada! Seriously proud.

 


Childrens Literature

Now including Young Adult Literature!

 

A World of Myths - Mythology from Around the World "Welcome to aworldofmyths.com - a collection of articles devoted to the Gods of the ancient world and the adventures of its greatest heroes." Bios of Greek, Roman, and Norse gods and myths associated with these cultures. Includes quite a bit of art and some videos. Interesting fonts, too. A good resource. From Viktor Andonov, who also gave us World of Tales which is in our Literacy > Children's Literature section.

 

Baldwin Project  is a large collection of public domain literature for children.  This includes everything from about 1880 to 1922.  There is some pretty good stuff in here, all online. One example is the original Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Kipling, with the original illustrations, part of the Jungle Book (which is also in here).  Thousands of stories and hundreds of books are included.  A real treasury! Warning: Be aware that the world 100 years ago was quite different. Some people would now label some of these works as racist, violent, too Christian, etc. You are the adult. Read them first. It's still a wonderful collection of "kid lit" and we are happy to include it here.

 

DownloadsChildren's Books Forever! "Free children's books that have become ...favorites around the world. You can use them on Smartboard, PowerPoint, or overhead projectors." Prometheans, too, we might add. All are in pdf format so can download and save them.

 

Spinning gold starChildren's Books Online: The Rosetta Project   Said to be the largest collection of illustrated antique books online!  Oodles of stories indexed by reading level.

 

Conversation Pieces: Building Bright Ideas "My site targets students in grades 2-8, and it includes almost 200 book recommendations, and some of those include online book quizzes (over 90), discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and writing activities. I offer writing contests for students, and am adding a new section with Daily Writing Prompts. The site also includes independent study project ideas, online vocabulary quizzes, and a math problem of the week. Students can earn virtual badges in the Hall of Fame for Book Quizzes, Math Problems, and Vocabulary Quizzes when they earn high scores in those areas. Teachers and homeschooling parents can incorporate many of these activities into existing literacy and math programs, or use them to facilitate book clubs or enrichment activities." Wow! Yes, all that and more is in here! What a treasure for teachers!

 

CyberGuides From the site: " CyberGuides are supplementary, standards-based, web-delivered units of instruction centered on core works of literature. Each CyberGuide contains a student and teacher edition, standards, a task and a process by which it may be completed, teacher-selected web sites and a rubric, based on California Language Arts Content Standards."

 

Ramona Quimby DEAR

D.E.A.R. Day is Thursday, April 12! Ramona Quimby and Beverley Cleary encourage you to Drop Everything and Read! Curriki's April update included D.E.A.R. and many other useful things.

 

 

 

Folk Legends of Japan Here are 19 illustrated folk tales. "Read the stories from 'once upon a time in Japan' that every Japanese kid grows up listening to. FOLK LEGENDS OF JAPAN takes you on a journey to a fairy-tale world of boy heroes, terrible ogres, animal antics, and more."

 

Free Children Stories "The goal of our site is to provide original stories, to promote free reading for children." This site features original, illustrated short stories, with new stories regularly added. New front page now breaks down stories by grade level. If you haven't seen this site lately, they now have 46 stories (July 2009.)

 

New SiteGiggle Poetry Poetry for kids from author and poet Bruce Lansky. Five sections:
  • Poetry Class - Learn everything you need to know to become a "Giggle Poet!" The easy-to-follow instructions on this page will have you up and writing funny poems in no time at all. Dozens of easy poems to learn on.
  • Poetry Fun - Here are some of our most entertaining poetry activities. Do them alone or with a friend!
  • Poetry Theatre - You and your friends can perform poetry plays with these (34) popular and funny poems.
  • Word Games - 14 interactive online games (may be slow to load). Fun and colorful, with music.
  • Read & Rate - rate hundreds of silly poems using the Giggle Meter!
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    Grimm's Fairy Tales from CMU. "This (etext) book contains 209 tales collected by the brothers Grimm. Note that these tales are presented more or less as the Grimms collected and edited them (and as Hunt saw fit to translate them). Readers of these versions may find more violence and crudity (and occasional anti-Semitism) than in the retellings that are more familiar to most modern readers." Project Gutenberg also has Grimm fairy tales, some different than these.

     

    Island of the Blue Dolphins "A thematic exploration of the historical fiction novel--Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell." A really thorough interactive online thematic unit, with activities about the island, the Native people, their village, sea life. Includes a good teacher's unit with a nice page of lesson ideas. Well done, good art. Created by elementary teachers in California. Part of the HUGE SCORE History/Social Science sites. "Over 5000 websites aligned to California's History/Social Science Curriculum."

     

    J.R.R. Tolkien Reads a Lengthy Excerpt from The Hobbit Hear the master read from his work, in his West Midlands accent. This is the part where Bilbo meets Gollum under the mountain. Get copies of The Hobbit and have the students read along!

     

    J.R.R. Tolkien Reads From The Two Towers Frodo, Gollum, and Sam eating supper in the wilderness. Another wonderful reading aloud by the master.

     

    Johnnie's Story Page  has plenty of links to web stories for grades K - 8, including a Spanish section.

     

    spinning gold starJosie's Poems It's fair to call this site "the biggest poetry website on the internet". "...knowing how very important rhyming and rhythmic poetry is for helping children develop phonological awareness, a key literacy tool, I’ve just written almost 900 poems for children of all ages." These are GOOD poems to read or to read aloud. The sort of poems that develop language skills, because they emphasize rhyming, rhythm, the way words sound in the head, mouth, and ear, and demonstrate the use of parts of speech! The haiku, cinquains, adverb poems, similes page is a shining example of how to teach poetry structure and grammar all at once! Read Apostrophe - Mr Blob and see what we're so happy about. There are ebooks, audios, and videos, too, and the chance to buy books (the rest of the site is FREE). This site is also used by ESL students in Europe. The English speaking world badly needs this sort of place on the web - so much of what is in here is no longer covered well (or at all) in many educational environments. We should have posted this site a long time ago. A big THANK YOU to Josie Whitehead, the teacher who created the site and most of the poems!

     

    Wow! Kids on the Net  "10 Years Online!" A fine literacy site for kids and their teachers from all parts of the English speaking world. Site includes: Writing With a Difference, with online stories written by elementary and middle school classes, story starters, and ways to contribute; also a teacher section and more. Authors and Reading has links to children's lit authors for kids to check out as well as teacher links. Good, practical advice for beginning authors here. Tell Us About It lets kids give input. Teachers shows teachers the various parts of the site. All these sections have Activities, too. There are some wonderful things in this site, go investigate!

     

    KidZone Poetry has lots of poems for kids, including printables, and even a section of how-to haiku. Check it out if you need help with poems or just like to read them. Thanks to Martin Dejnicki for the email about this site.

     

    Launch Pad: "Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! is a new literary & arts magazine devoted to publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews and artwork by children ages 6-12." This looks pretty good. A place where young artists and writers can show off their work!

     

    LearnEnglish Kids "LearnEnglish Kids is for children who are learning English. Find games, songs, stories and lots of activities - and learn English too." Games, printables, online songs, stories to read, more. There's also a good section for Teachers of English as a Second Language with lesson suggestions using this site.

     

    Myths, Stories, and Art from Windows to the Universe. "Objects in the sky and other natural phenomena have inspired people throughout the ages. Browse our collection of myths, folk tales, and stories of many types about the Earth and sky. Check out artwork, poetry, books, and movies that portray the natural world. Or take a guided tour that tells the tale of a particular scientific topic." Has three levels: elementary, intermediate, and advanced.

     

    Nassau Library Kids Section Tons of information. Site has very many links, just click on a section and look.

     

    NewzMash "Providing young minds with today's headline news." Kid safe news in an attractive format. "Our site contains global news that is interesting, informative, and is "completely" free of any news that we, as parents or adults, would not be comfortable exposing to our kids...We created this site as a safe haven for our children, and children of other parents who have the same safety concerns as we do. This site allows pre-teens and young adults view current news and information, without parents worrying about their safety on the internet." There has long been a need for a site like this.

     

    The Old Man and the Grandson - Intermediate Level Reading Comprehension from About.com. Suitable for ESL or for enlarging the vocabulary of native English speakers. One of several Grimm's tales used for reading comprehension in this section, scroll to the bottom to see more.

     

    Quizzes.cc - Online Quizzes, Tests, Trivia, Worksheets, and Free Games "... provides math quizzes for teachers and students. You can create a quiz and select the range of numbers you'd like to use. Students can grade the quiz online and generate new problems for more practice." Quizzes for all four elementary operations, plus times table quizzes and a nice metric conversion chart. There are also children's literature, science, and geography quizzes. Secondary students can practice metric conversions, some middle school science, and world geography. Thanks to John @ Quizzes.cc for the email!

     

    Reading Rockets "is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. We bring the best research-based strategies to anyone helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. The project includes PBS television programs (also available online and on DVD); online services (ReadingRockets.org and ColorinColorado.org); professional development opportunities; and a robust social community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr." (edited by us) Big sections on: teaching reading (lots of tips & ideas), helping strugglers (ditto), A-Z list of topics ("a rich library of classroom strategies" 44 topics!), children's books and authors (including booklists and how to choose books), fun things to order, and more.

     

    SlimeKids logoSlimeKids is primarily for Children's and Young Adult Literature. We like it intensely. They have book listings - very many of them, about all the "kid lit" and YA books you ever heard about, and more. This section has Book Trailers, which include a video about the book with a written description beneath.

    There's a page of child-safe search engines. There's a long list of the children's and YA authors, from Adler to Yolen, with brief lists of their works and links to their web homes. The Reference section has lists of well-known online dictionaries, encyclopedias, even atlases (impressive). There's a page of sites that do book reviews, an excellent resource. Finally, there is a section of educational games for kids, from all over the web. SlimeKids is a remarkable site! Thank you to Mr. Andy Fine of SlimeKids. Without his email we may not have found this excellent site.

     

    Teenreads reviews latest literature for adolescents. Author sketches and a blog, too.

     

    UT Literature Center: Great Books for Kids to Read during Holiday Season from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. Reviews of 23 children's and young adult (YA) books for holiday season reading. Selections are reviewed and sorted into age-appropriate groups. Educators looking for good "kid lit" should examine this listing.

     

    Web English Teacher Project based learning K-12. Language arts only. Very many, perhaps hundreds, of lesson plans and related ideas for the entire language arts spectrum.

     

    Wizard of Alderley Edge Excellent video poem from students of Bradford University, wonderful rhyming poem, good animation and music, the narrator is great! Covers some good ancient English mythic themes (sacred mounds and wells, white horses, armies asleep underground). Good stuff! Thanks to Josie Whitehead, who listed this video on her stupendous site - Josie's Poems.

     

    World of Tales "Stories for children, folktales, fairy tales and fables from around the world. Whether a student, a parent or a teacher, here you can take a magical journey, filled with adventure, or just remember what it feels like to be a kid again. There is a little something for everyone among these pages, starting with the classic fairy tales by The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault, going on to the morally edifying fables of Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine, and ending with the wisdom, gathered by the people: the folktales from different parts of the world." These are broken down by continent (!) and there are a lot of them! Enjoy!

     

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    ESL

     

     

    You're doing well.

    This is your chair.

    They're over there, at their house.

    Where were you? We're here now.

    Then I knew she was smarter than she let on.

    Those two girls are going to the school, too.

    It's too hot to stay here for two more hours.

    (Remember: "it's" means "it is", "its" means "belongs to it")

    The possessive pronouns are hers, his, its, mine, ours, theirs, and yours. None of them has an apostrophe.

    Apostrophe = ' and Comma = , Remember this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Congugate the verb "to cut"

    Congugate the verb "to cut"

     

    5 Minute English is a very technical site, oriented toward ESL teachers - their content is way above average ESL learners. Very valuable for the lesson examples (which teachers could model). Their Grammar section is full of technical terms. Their pronunciation section minutely goes over phonemes.

     

    New SiteActivities for ESL Students Thousands of quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles to help you learn English as a Second Language. A very large repository of ESL help. Teachers and native language speakers are invited to submit their own material. Tons of online quizzes on English grammar and vocabulary, plus crossword puzzles. All are ranks as Easy, Medium, or Difficult. (These could be used with children as well.) Multilingual quizzes for a whole list of languages, Arabic to Zulu! Here's a quiz on Assorted Count and Noncount Nouns from Grammar - Easy. Both ESL teachers and English teachers should find many useful things here.

     

    American Phrases and Sayings Research the origins and meanings of dozens of idioms like "bury the hatchet" and search or browse for more. Interesting. Could be a help for ESL students, too.

     

    Athabasca University ESL Course Thirteen online units with 99 lessons. Covers parts of speech, sentence structure, questions, voice, more. All free to you from Athabasca U and Curriki!

     

    ColorinColorado "A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners" This site is in English and Spanish. Este sitio también está disponible en español. "Teachers who work with English as a Second Language learners will find ESL/ESOL/ELL/EFL reading/writing skill-building children's books, stories, activities, ideas, strategies to help PreK-3, 4-8, and 9-12 students learn to read." From Reading Rockets so you know it's good!

     

    Conversation Pieces: Building Bright Ideas "My site targets students in grades 2-8, and it includes almost 200 book recommendations, and some of those include online book quizzes (over 90), discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and writing activities. I offer writing contests for students, and am adding a new section with Daily Writing Prompts. The site also includes independent study project ideas, online vocabulary quizzes, and a math problem of the week. Students can earn virtual badges in the Hall of Fame for Book Quizzes, Math Problems, and Vocabulary Quizzes when they earn high scores in those areas. Teachers and homeschooling parents can incorporate many of these activities into existing literacy and math programs, or use them to facilitate book clubs or enrichment activities." Wow! Yes, all that and more is in here! What a treasure for teachers!

     

    Cookie from Gudlidotcom "Provides Free online learning games, Educational lessons plans, Kids learning games, Free games for kids, Worksheets Etc. Gudli is the best free online games website including many categories like learning games, kids games, math games, puzzle games, science games etc. which are free to use for 'Early childhood Education' and 'pre-school Education' for kids.... Gudli is a unique online experience for kids where they enjoy learning. With our interactive educational games children develop skills in maths, logic, memory, words, creativity and more. Gudli is free, full of fun, easy to use and the ideal learning space for preschoolers to second grade kids." Well, the proof of the pudding and all that: all the activities are colorful, musical, and informative. There are plenty of games and videos, this is a great learning site and will make a fine addition to Good Sites for Kids. Thank you, Neeta Saini, for the email!

     

    ELL Kids (ELL/ESL/EFL/EL/Bilingual) from the Appleton Area School District of Appleton, Wisconsin. Covers the vocabulary that ESL students and beginning readers need with 260 (wow!) activity-filled sites (not including sub-sites). Mrs. Katherine Carney must have drawn on her ESL background to produce this colorful list of eye-watering awesomeness!

     

    ESL Lessons & Help from WyzAnt Tutoring. This is a valuable tool for ESL learners. "We are very excited about our growing English Help section and specifically our ESL Lessons & Help page, which provides an excellent resource for those pursuing English fluency. The pages, which are completely free to all visitors, feature unique pictograms, charts, quizzes and articles full of detailed explanations, and relatable references." They are proud of their "detailed, image-rich explanations that go beyond static content with check-able quizzes, a Question and Answer forum and interaction with tutors." This is fairly technical material, but our opinion is teen and adult ESL learners can handle it. The site's presentation is really a help. WyzAnt Tutoring also offers a huge amount of good material to help learn Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

     

    ESL/TOEFL pages from the British Council and the BBC. Excellent source for plans and ideas for teaching English as a foreign/second/new language. Good source for grammar basics, too.

     

    englishforeveryone.org "is your resource for printable English worksheets. On the left of this page you will find an index containing hundreds of quality teaching materials...Grade school (K-12), General Educational Development (GED), English as a Second Language (ESL), should be able to benefit from this website. We offer a large variety of accurate and concise skill building resources geared towards a range of ability levels." It's all free for teachers, but they ask that you respect their copyright (details on the front page).

     

    FIX YOU’RE GRAMMAR! A humorous short cartoon video concerning grammar and usage.

     

    Yeah, right

     

    This classic example of comedic timing using slang is going in Literacy > ESL and > Grammar. ESL as an example of the vagarities of our native tongue, Grammar as a cautionary tale about grammatic rules vs common English.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Free Language Arts Curriki Curated Resources! Here are 32 (it lists 33, but #2 and #14 are duplicates) separate collections of language arts lesson plans for middle school, high school, and ESL use. Not 32 lessons but 32 groups of lessons. Some could be adapted for upper elementary. Everything from parts of speech to Shakespeare. Lesson plans, lessons ready-to-go, rubrics, worksheets, videos, and more.

     

    New SiteGrammar Monster logoGrammar Monster A monster of a site that helps cure your grammar ills! Grammar Monster will teach you all about grammar, we mean, ALL about grammar! Punctuation - 8 topics and 34 lessons & quizzes. Parts of speech - 8 topics and 27 lessons & quizzes. Confused Words - a couple of dozen pairs and how to use them correctly. A big Grammar Glossary, terms from "abbreviation" to "zeugma" explained. Close to 100 Common Mistakes explained. A Miscellaneous section that covers everything else, such as when to capitalize, parentheses, "they're/there/their", singular/plural, and similar things.

     

    Grammatically Speaking is a grammar quiz from Staples Canada. "Whether you’re a stickler for good grammar or just curious about your punctuation prowess, test your grammar know-how with the Grammatically Speaking quiz. Use the dials to select the correct answers and then challenge your friends to beat your score." This is a pretty good on the fly assessment tool. Try it out!

     

    Groundhog from Starfall!Groundhog Day from Starfall. "Groundhog, groundhog, what will you see? Groundhog, groundhog, please tell me!" Clicking on the alarm clock makes the groundhog sit up and rub its eyes. The next frame lets kids click on the words to see pronunciation; then click on the groundhog and it runs up the tunnel!

     

    I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly from Tom's TEFL out of Hong Kong. This is a video of an activity to reinforce vocabulary. It should work with ESL students of all ages and with Early Learners/lower level grade school. It could teach vocabulary, rhythm, intro to poetry, etc. Under the video there are the lyrics used. The activity could be copied and used with your students. Judy Collins - "Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" Muppet Show 1977 has the lyrics set to music and is funny for kids and adults!

     

    spinning gold starJosie's Poems It's fair to call this site "the biggest poetry website on the internet". "...knowing how very important rhyming and rhythmic poetry is for helping children develop phonological awareness, a key literacy tool, I’ve just written almost 900 poems for children of all ages." These are GOOD poems to read or to read aloud. The sort of poems that develop language skills, because they emphasize rhyming, rhythm, the way words sound in the head, mouth, and ear, and demonstrate the use of parts of speech! The haiku, cinquains, adverb poems, similes page is a shining example of how to teach poetry structure and grammar all at once! Read Apostrophe - Mr Blob and see what we're so happy about. There are ebooks, audios, and videos, too, and the chance to buy books (the rest of the site is FREE). This site is also used by ESL students in Europe. The English speaking world badly needs this sort of place on the web - so much of what is in here is no longer covered well (or at all) in many educational environments. We should have posted this site a long time ago. A big THANK YOU to Josie Whitehead, the teacher who created the site and most of the poems!

     

    LearnEnglish Kids "LearnEnglish Kids is for children who are learning English. Find games, songs, stories and lots of activities - and learn English too." Games, printables, online songs, stories to read, more. There's also a good section for Teachers of English as a Second Language with lesson suggestions using this site.

     

    Learn English Online - Free Beginner's Course 56 lessons (more coming) in 14 Units cover pretty much everything. Designed for ESL, but a grammar teacher of native speakers could pull out specific lessons. One example: Lessons 36 - 38 cover "how much" vs "how many" (uncountable vs countable nouns), and do it very well! Exhaustive without being exhausting. Plentiful examples, self-tests, and plenty of links.

     

    The Old Man and the Grandson - Intermediate Level Reading Comprehension from About.com. Suitable for ESL or for enlarging the vocabulary of native English speakers. One of several Grimm's tales used for reading comprehension in this section, scroll to the bottom to see more.

     

    New SiteParagraph Shrinking from Reading Rockets "Paragraph shrinking is an activity developed as part of the Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS). The paragraph shrinking strategy allows each student to take turns reading, pausing, and summarizing the main points of each paragraph. Students provide each other with feedback as a way to monitor comprehension." Everything is explained on the web page, with a video and printables.

     

    spinning gold starSight Words from Quiz-Tree. It says the words! Realizing that some of our younger kids were memorizing their little easy reader books, we went looking for something online to reinforce their sight word knowledge. Shortly after clicking on this site's pre-primer word list, a teacher commented: "We need this site!" Each Sight Word is said aloud when it's clicked. We suggest having students try to say the word, then click on it. Part of a larger academic site, and free membership brings lots more goodies.

     

    Signing Savvy THE place to go for ASL! "Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada." Watching a video of the signing is way better than looking at a picture with confusing curving arrows. This site will help you learn ASL! Includes search for words and phrases; or browse by letter. Look up fingerspelling, numbers, colors, animals, geography, baby signs, more! Free but limited access for guests. Full membership gives unlimited access to all site resources for $50 a year. Normally Good Sites would not run pay sites, but if you need to learn to sign this is worth it. Thanks Corey and Teri.

     

    Starship English KS-1 level English games from the BBC. Covers homonyms, synonyms, sentence structure, syllables, irregular verbs, spelling, and more! Our fave so far is Story Plant, a scaffolding game, where kids string together sentences to make a story, with a cartoon helper who gives tips and explains concepts such as the "W"s of Who, When, Where, Why, and What.

     

    Vocabulary Workshop Online from Sadlier-Oxford Educational Publishing. Six levels of vocabulary with 300 words per level. Click on a word and and hear it pronounced in QuickTime. Two additional levels feature Hangman, Word Search, Crosswords, and Multiple Choice. Section for Families and another one for Teachers. All this from one start page that uses popups - so don't have popups blocked.

     

    Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster Online. Every day a new word: its definition, useage in a sentence, origins. The Archive covers the words for the previous two months. You'll want to bookmark this one.

     

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    Games Games!

     

    4Kids Games  Various good math and language arts games.   We found these games to be loud, fast, and good.

     

    Alphabet Action Nice alphabet drill for pre-K and Kindergarten. From Learning Planet.

     

    Arcademic Skill Builders has math and word games ready to play online. You may recognize some games from the '80s and '90s here. Seem to remember playing them on TI99's and Apple 2e's, and they are still good for today! Worth your time to look these over.

     

    BBC - Literacy Place Another good language arts site, with links to activities for different ages.

     

    Between the Lions The site from the PBS Kids TV show. Full of language arts games and reading. Some very good phonics exercises here! We had fun teaching 1st graders with this site right after they watched the show on PBS.

     

    Cookie from Gudlidotcom "Provides Free online learning games, Educational lessons plans, Kids learning games, Free games for kids, Worksheets Etc. Gudli is the best free online games website including many categories like learning games, kids games, math games, puzzle games, science games etc. which are free to use for 'Early childhood Education' and 'pre-school Education' for kids.... Gudli is a unique online experience for kids where they enjoy learning. With our interactive educational games children develop skills in maths, logic, memory, words, creativity and more. Gudli is free, full of fun, easy to use and the ideal learning space for preschoolers to second grade kids." Well, the proof of the pudding and all that: all the activities are colorful, musical, and informative. There are plenty of games and videos, this is a great learning site and will make a fine addition to Good Sites for Kids. Thank you, Neeta Saini, for the email!

     

    Houghton-Mifflin's Education Place: Spelling and Vocabulary. Here are nine literacy games, each one with dozens of activites sorted by grade! Even if you don't use this publisher's textbooks, you must see all of these. Some kids even look for these games online after school!

     

    Union Jack Early Learning "This page features early learning websites for young toddlers and pre-schoolers. Fun ways to introduce your toddler to their abc, 123, shapes and colours with great games, downloads and flash cards." Also sites for older children. There are some wonderful things on here, many of which were new to us! Part of allkids, a fine learning & shopping site from the UK.

     

    Free Rice  "For each word you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger." "WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance... " Improves vocabulary! You may want to have one student stand by with a dictionary while another plays.

     

    Download GCompris Our first app from France! Available in over 40 languages (see their main page for a list). "GCompris is an educational software suite comprising of numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10...Currently GCompris offers in excess of 80 activities and more are being developed. GCompris is free software, that means that you can adapt it to your own needs, improve it and, most importantly, share it with children everywhere." Computer discovery, color, sounds, memory, experiential, amusement, reading, mathematics, puzzles,telling time, money, and strategy games like macala. Some of these will really make a child think! Another SourceForge find.

     

    GameGoo from Earobics. Loud, flashy games that teach literacy concepts: antonyms, synonyms, poetry concepts, spelling, letter-sound corespondence, word order, fact v. fantasy, letter recognition, alphabetic order, and following directions. Very good stuff. Thanks to Mercedes P. for finding this one.

     

    Games for Kids in the Stacks from Scholastic lets kids play arcade games related to some of their favorite books! Partial list of books/series with games in this site: 39 Clues, Bone, Deltora, Dinosaur Cove, Goosebumps, Holes, and Captain Underpants.

     

    Grammar Gorillas from Funbrain is a good parts of speech game. It's sad when kids make it to high school and still do not know their parts of speech, especially with classic drills like this one around.

     

    Harcourt Language Arts preview site Very good site by the Harcourt publishing people. Lots of chances for online grammar exercises here! All sections are great, but our favorite has always been Grammar Practice Park.

     

    Keyboarding Zoo "is a fun and educational activity to help early elementary age students learn the keyboard. Children are encouraged to use their index or pointer fingers to match letters on the screen to their keyboards." With music and talking monkeys! For grades K - 2.

     

     

    KidsSpell from KidsKnowIt. "Our fun, and high-paced spelling games help you practice your spelling words. You can pick from over 400 spelling lists, or create your own custom spelling list. All games will then use the spelling list you have loaded." About time we had a good spelling site around here.

     

    Letter Blocks from ABCya! Similar to Bookworm but no fires, just less time to finish each round. Good for spelling and vocabulary.

     

    Literacy Net This is a great interactive site for learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colors! Animated, with sound. Also in German, French, and Spanish!

     

    Madlib Stories from A Girls World. Nine different madlibs let you create your own stories where you are the star!

     

    Downloads Owl & Mouse Educational Software Great phonics software that reminds us of the old MECC Apple games of the 1980s. Free software for you to download and install, or play online. Their plug: "Help your child learn with games, software and educational activities from Owl & Mouse Educational Software. Early reading software—phonics software, alphabet games, and Dolch sight words in a fairy tale story. All of it FREE!'

     

    Phonics from Sadlier-Oxford Educational Publishing. Huge! site. Great online practice games for preshool through grade 6. Covers phonics, sight words, rhyming, vowel and consonant blends, digraphs, beginning and ending consonants, dipthongs, suffixes, contractions, prefixes, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, dictionary use, root words, complete sentences, syllables. All this from one start page that uses popups for each activity - so don't have popups blocked.

     

    TricolourPoisson Rouge A delightful hands-on exploration site from France, just one site of many brought to you by Kids Activities from allkids, a fine learning site from the UK. Just all sorts of fun things to click on here.

     

    Rats from Learning Planet Different difficulty levels for pre-K to 6th grade. Covers shapes, letters, vowels & consonant, and parts of speech. Use the arrow keys to move the basket, try to keep under the bird.

     

    Rebusquest "This is a funny and educational series about a 12 year old boy named Carson who is a fan of rebus puzzles. Until one day, he solved a magic rebus that transported him to a magic land where rebuses are a part of life. There, Carson meets his guide, a sassy teenage elfin girl named Reba. Together, Carson and Reba travel through many strange lands and meet crazy characters who gives them objects that will form rebuses which will lead our heroes to the next lands in hopes of one day, Carson will be able to return home." Interesting site. We suggest kids keep track of the items the characters borrow. This site also has two other cartoon series, "X.O. Seal who is a cyborg superhero seal who fights crime and teaches us about shapes like circles and squares. And Skelroy and Bonus, two skeletons who crazy motorcycle stunts and then give us safety tips on not doing the stuff they just did." Thanks, Cullen Pittman, for the email about your site!

     

    Roxie's ABC Fish screen shotScreenshot of Roxie beating you at Go Fish.

    DownloadsRoxie's ABC Fish is a computer version of the venerable children's card game. Practice upper and lower case letters, numbers, and a surprise music composition program at the end! Thanks to its publisher, Latticework Software (thanks guys), Roxie is now freeware!

     

    Sesame Street Still helping little ones, since the 1960s. Their site has oodles of activities about letters, numbers, coloring, music, eating healthy, and much more. Let kids click and explore! Some activities require Java or Flash.

     

    Spelling Match from Houghton-Mifflin. Elementary school spelling game makes kids match words with their missing letters. Indexed by grade level.

     

    starfall.com logoStarFall Fantastic phonics-intensive site for pre-k through second grade. Stories, movies, and games! Progressive levels let kids read or be read to. Every time we go to this site with K-2 kids, we find something new and great! This site WILL keep those busy little brains going for a whole computer lab session! Thanks, Tia.

     

    Starship English KS-1 level English games from the BBC. Covers homonyms, synonyms, sentence structure, syllables, irregular verbs, spelling, and more! Our fave so far is Story Plant, a scaffolding game, where kids string together sentences to make a story, with a cartoon helper who gives tips and explains concepts such as the "W"s of Who, When, Where, Why, and What.

     

    Turtle Diary is very similar to Cookie in site layout, content and mission - it has games, read-alouds, ESL activities, mathematics, science, art, puzzles, printables, arts and crafts. Designed for pre-K through 2nd grade, ages 5 - 7. Great site!

     

    Wacky Web Tales from Eduplace (Houghton Mifflin Education Place.) About 100 online mad libs! This is great for kids to improve their literacy and have fun at the same time.

     

    Web Word Find from Houghton-Mifflin has 21 online word searches. The first three are on the front page, click More Word Finds in the lower left corner to see the rest.

     

    Word Builder from Houghton-Mifflin has spelling and phonics activities for grades 1 - 6. From 27 - 30 activities per grade level are listed, matched to textbook levels. Really good information here, of increasing difficulty to match progress through the school year.

     

    Word Girl from PBS Kids. Vocabulary builder for upper elementary.  Funny! We especially liked the Adventures of Word Girl and the activities in Huggie's House of Fun!

     

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    Grammar

     

    You're doing well.

    This is your chair.

    They're over there, at their house.

    Where were you? We're here now.

    Then I went home.

    Those two girls are going to the school, too.

    It's too hot to stay here for two more hours.

    (Remember: "it's" means "it is", "its" means "belongs to it")

    The possessive pronouns are hers, his, its, mine, ours, theirs, and yours. None of them has an apostrophe.

    Apostrophe = ' but Comma = , Remember this.

     

     

     

     

    New SiteActivities for ESL Students Thousands of quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles to help you learn English as a Second Language. A very large repository of ESL help. Teachers and native language speakers are invited to submit their own material. Tons of online quizzes on English grammar and vocabulary, plus crossword puzzles. All are ranks as Easy, Medium, or Difficult. (These could be used with children as well.) Multilingual quizzes for a whole list of languages, Arabic to Zulu! Here's a quiz on Assorted Count and Noncount Nouns from Grammar - Easy. Both ESL teachers and English teachers should find many useful things here.

     

    Congugate the verb "to cut"

    Congugate the verb "to cut"

     

    Apostrophes - How To Use An Apostrophe This 4:28 video from videojug covers all the rules of when and when not to use an apostrophe! It can be watched over and over if necessary. This could be run on a projector for whole class instruction.

     

    Apostrophes 101 This one-page summary from Language Portal of Canada covers the apostrophe rules quite well, with simple examples, and does not go all esoteric on you. Excellent job.

     

    Ask Doctor Grammar At last! Your grammar questions answered online! From questions of common useage to the exotic, it's probably in here.

     

    Athabasca University ESL Course Thirteen online units with 99 lessons. Covers parts of speech, sentence structure, questions, voice, more. All free to you from Athabasca U and Curriki!

     

     

    Commas! Are you using them correctly? Avoid problems with punctuation by reading up on grammar and style, or asking a teacher. Improper use of commas may cause confusion, as these examples(?) show:


    For a well-explained list of comma rules, go to this page from Grammar Book.com.

    Disclaimer: OK, seriously, if anyone thinks Rachel Ray literally cooks people and dogs... You need help.
    PS, We love all her shows and subscribe to her magazine, so there.
    We also rather like the comma in the baby seal graphic. If only that were the reality :(

    For a well-explained list of comma rules, go to this page from Grammar Book.com.

     

    Common Errors in English Usage "The aim of this site is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business, and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak." You should read over the intro page at least once before going on to the list of errors. The errors list page is alphabetized and very comprehensive. A very useful tool and an aid to better American English. We should all thank Professor Paul Brians of WSU Pullman.

     

    Common Grammar and Spelling Mistakes "Effective written communication relies on correct grammar and spelling. Avoiding common misspellings and grammatical errors ensures that your writing is clear, precise, and comprehensible. Readers often do not notice good grammar because the text is easily understood and enjoyable to read, but they do notice confusing grammatical errors that force them to re-read text and fumble for the author’s meaning. Punctuation equally affects the readability of a text: a misplaced comma or apostrophe can change the meaning of a sentence, often in confusing ways. Correct grammar and spelling makes a positive impression on readers, which is particularly important in business and academic communications." Thanks go to Kristen McNeill, English teacher, for emailing us about this site.

     

    Conversation Pieces: Building Bright Ideas "My site targets students in grades 2-8, and it includes almost 200 book recommendations, and some of those include online book quizzes (over 90), discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and writing activities. I offer writing contests for students, and am adding a new section with Daily Writing Prompts. The site also includes independent study project ideas, online vocabulary quizzes, and a math problem of the week. Students can earn virtual badges in the Hall of Fame for Book Quizzes, Math Problems, and Vocabulary Quizzes when they earn high scores in those areas. Teachers and homeschooling parents can incorporate many of these activities into existing literacy and math programs, or use them to facilitate book clubs or enrichment activities." Wow! Yes, all that and more is in here! What a treasure for teachers!

     

    Cookie from Gudlidotcom "Provides Free online learning games, Educational lessons plans, Kids learning games, Free games for kids, Worksheets Etc. Gudli is the best free online games website including many categories like learning games, kids games, math games, puzzle games, science games etc. which are free to use for 'Early childhood Education' and 'pre-school Education' for kids.... Gudli is a unique online experience for kids where they enjoy learning. With our interactive educational games children develop skills in maths, logic, memory, words, creativity and more. Gudli is free, full of fun, easy to use and the ideal learning space for preschoolers to second grade kids." Well, the proof of the pudding and all that: all the activities are colorful, musical, and informative. There are plenty of games and videos, this is a great learning site and will make a fine addition to Good Sites for Kids. Thank you, Neeta Saini, for the email!

     

    Yeah, rightThis classic example of comedic timing using slang is going in Literacy > ESL and > Grammar. ESL as an example of the vagarities of our native tongue, Grammar as a cautionary tale about grammatic rules vs common English.

     

    Diagramming Sentences Once upon a time, all grade school students were taught this. Like Latin, it's coming back into style in the educational community. Benefits include a better understanding of sentence structure, better parsing, better writing, and better public speaking. This page contains a decent Power Point about diagramming.

     

    ESL/TOEFL pages from the British Council and the BBC. Excellent source for plans and ideas for teaching English as a foreign/second/new language. Good source for grammar basics, too.

     

     

    EFL/ESL Games for Kids Online Free Interactive from TurtleDairy. "Our interactive EFL/ESL games and online activities teach kids letter recognition and writing in an easy, comprehensive manner. Preschoolers are introduced to phonics and rhyming words which help in early reading and writing skills. For more mature learners, we offer a wide range of vocabulary and grammar exercises." 13 pre-K, 27 K, 20 1st grade, and 18 2nd grade games.

     

    English for early years These are lessons in letter sounds/phonemes and sentence structure (how to make a sentence show sequence of events.) Downloadable zip files that make folders containing the lesson, which will then start your browser. Interactive Flash lessons that use your browser. From Education Services Australia and Curriki!

     

    englishforeveryone.org "is your resource for printable English worksheets. On the left of this page you will find an index containing hundreds of quality teaching materials...Grade school (K-12), General Educational Development (GED), English as a Second Language (ESL), should be able to benefit from this website. We offer a large variety of accurate and concise skill building resources geared towards a range of ability levels." It's all free for teachers, but they ask that you respect their copyright (details on the front page).

     

    FIX YOU’RE GRAMMAR! A humorous short cartoon video concerning grammar and usage.

     

    Free Language Arts Curriki Curated Resources! Here are 32 (it lists 33, but #2 and #14 are duplicates) separate collections of language arts lesson plans for middle school, high school, and ESL use. Not 32 lessons but 32 groups of lessons. Some could be adapted for upper elementary. Everything from parts of speech to Shakespeare. Lesson plans, lessons ready-to-go, rubrics, worksheets, videos, and more.

     

    Free Worksheets for Kids from K-5 Learning. This is a commercial site with a good reputation. They offer quit a bit of free material. "Our website has free resources for preschool through grade 5 kids... We have:
  • math worksheets for grades 1-6, extensive and very organized
  • worksheets for preschool and kindergarten (letters, numbers, shapes and colors, phonics, etc.)
  • grammar worksheets
  • reading comprehension worksheets
  • cursive writing worksheets
  • over 25 multimedia reading and math lessons
  • Visitors can also download our ebook: How to Help Your Kids Succeed in School.

    Mastering these worksheets would give students a solid foundation to build on. Thanks to Joy at K-4 Learning for her email.

     

    Grammar and Usage for the Non-Expert Classy site covers issues like "Where do the punctuation marks go when used with quotation marks ?", "It Is Usually Not Wrong to End a Sentence with a Preposition", etc. Worth visiting and bookmarking.

     

    Grammar Bytes! logoGrammar Bytes!: Grammar Instruction with Attitude. Great YouTube videos, and interactive exercises for high school and college grammar classes (maybe advanced 8th grade?) from a college instructor. The latest video is 14 minutes of learning about plagiarism ("Whip lashes! Maniacal laughter! Celestial visitations!") This impressive site includes TermsExercisesHandoutsPresentationsVideos Rules. OK, so grammar isn't your idea of fun. Much like keyboarding, you need it to get ahead in this world, and, like keyboarding, It Can Be Learned. Thanks, Ms. Robin Simmons, for serving up one of the best upper-level grammar sites ever! BTW this site IS copyrighted, so read the Terms of Use.

     

    Grammar Girl Why, oh why, didn't we discover this site sooner? Grammar tips at her site or via free podcast. High school and up, very concise and accurate. She does it for a living. As one teacher's blog says: "I have added her to my itunes and get a weekly updated podcast for free. You should do the same." Listen to the audio or read the weekly tips, you'll be hooked. Thanks to Laura Mazzola and Mignon Fogarty

     

    Grammar Gorillas from Funbrain is a good parts of speech game. It's sad when kids make it to high school and still do not know their parts of speech, especially with classic drills like this one around.

     

    New Site

    Grammar Monster logoGrammar Monster A monster of a site that helps cure your grammar ills! Grammar Monster will teach you all about grammar, we mean, ALL about grammar! Punctuation - 8 topics and 34 lessons & quizzes. Parts of speech - 8 topics and 27 lessons & quizzes. Confused Words - a couple of dozen pairs and how to use them correctly. A big Grammar Glossary, terms from "abbreviation" to "zeugma" explained. Close to 100 Common Mistakes explained. A Miscellaneous section that covers everything else, such as when to capitalize, parentheses, "they're/there/their", singular/plural, and similar things.

     

    Chart of grammatical errors

     

    Grammatically Speaking is a grammar quiz from Staples Canada. "Whether you’re a stickler for good grammar or just curious about your punctuation prowess, test your grammar know-how with the Grammatically Speaking quiz. Use the dials to select the correct answers and then challenge your friends to beat your score." This is a pretty good on the fly assessment tool. Try it out!

     

    Guide to Grammar and Writing from Capital Community College, Hartford, Connecticut This site is for teachers and senior high and college students. Learn ALL about grammar here. (This is an) Excellent resource.

     

    Harcourt Language Arts preview site Very good site by the Harcourt publishing people. Lots of chances for online grammar exercises here! All sections are great, but our fave is still Grammar Practice Park.

     

    spinning gold starJosie's Poems It's fair to call this site "the biggest poetry website on the internet". "...knowing how very important rhyming and rhythmic poetry is for helping children develop phonological awareness, a key literacy tool, I’ve just written almost 900 poems for children of all ages." These are GOOD poems to read or to read aloud. The sort of poems that develop language skills, because they emphasize rhyming, rhythm, the way words sound in the head, mouth, and ear, and demonstrate the use of parts of speech! The haiku, cinquains, adverb poems, similes page is a shining example of how to teach poetry structure and grammar all at once! Read Apostrophe - Mr Blob and see what we're so happy about. There are ebooks, audios, and videos, too, and the chance to buy books (the rest of the site is FREE). This site is also used by ESL students in Europe. The English speaking world badly needs this sort of place on the web - so much of what is in here is no longer covered well (or at all) in many educational environments. A big THANK YOU to Josie Whitehead, the teacher who created the site and most of the poems!

     

    Learn English Online - Free Beginner's Course 56 lessons (more coming) in 14 Units cover pretty much everything. Designed for ESL, but a grammar teacher of native speakers could pull out specific lessons. One example: Lessons 36 - 38 cover "how much" vs "how many" (uncountable vs countable nouns), and do it very well! Exhaustive without being exhausting. Plentiful examples, self-tests, and plenty of links.

     

    Letter Sounds Online All of Owl & Mouse's downloadable Letter Sounds games are now online and interactive! " Letter Sounds helps children make the first, vital connection between the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they represent. Children drag pictures to the letters that make the first sounds of the word that describes the picture. Voice is used to be sure that children know the right word and to reinforce the connection between the first letter and the first sound in the word. Fun, educational hands-on learning." Play the original (initial consonants & some blends) game, also long and short vowels, initial consonant blends, and "s" blends!

     

    Plural Girls another classic from Funbrain! "Twin sisters Pearl and Flora lost their friends in the bubble machine. Help them get their friends out by choosing the correct plural form of the given word."

     

    READING FUN for Intermediate Students (Grades 4-6) from the Appleton Area School District of Appleton, Wisconsin. Covers base/root word, prefixes, and suffixes. Mrs. Katherine Carney has organized 108 (wow!) sites with learning activities in these areas! Take advantage of this online learning treasure trove!

     

    Rooting Out Words from FunBrain. "Help Remainder the Dog gather enough mushrooms to sell at the market by uncovering the roots of words." Eleven tutorials and quizzes to help understand and find root words. Friendly but students still must do the work, and learn thereby.

     

    Schoolhouse Rock Nouns (A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing) One of the best Schoolhouse Rock videos. Completely explains nouns. Getting a little dated (1970s) but the facts are still true. Catchy tune.

     

     

    SpellingCity Suddenly this is very popular in our local elementary schools. This very impressive site lets anyone type in spelling words and be tested on them. Type in anywhere from five to 15 words. The test says the words and/or uses each word in a sentence. There's a nice certificate to print out, too. The batch entry option lets you enter long lists of words copied from a word processor. Kids can use this site for free, adults are urged to sign up. We like it.

     

    Spelling it Right - Learn How to Spell Confidently. "Free printable worksheets, help and advice from an experienced English teacher and examiner. This site is for: parents who are concerned about their children's spelling and are keen to help them improve; adults who find spelling difficult and want to learn to spell correctly; teachers who need some online printable spelling worksheets to supplement their own materials; and includes: advice about how to deal with problems and become a better speller; a collection of free printable worksheets, each comprising a complete lesson designed to test and teach spelling skills; games, puzzles and quizzes to help encourage an interest in spelling." OK, so Americans will have to drop a "u" once in a while; this is an excellent site that does what it says. Great syllable and consonant blend practice (!) and some good advice on teaching spelling. We want to thank Roger Smith for his site!

     

    Starship English KS-1 level English games from the BBC. Covers homonyms, synonyms, sentence structure, syllables, irregular verbs, spelling, and more! Our fave so far is Story Plant, a scaffolding game, where kids string together sentences to make a story, with a cartoon helper who gives tips and explains concepts such as the "W"s of Who, When, Where, Why, and What.

     

    This graphic teaches the useage of tenses in English. All your tenses in one place, using the verb, "to cut".

     


    There, their, and they're driving you nuts? Here are three sites to help your students use these homonyms like a boss!

    How about: "They're over there in their house!" for a mnemonic help?

     

    They're/their/there from Better English Lessons (which has many other activities besides this one). This is an online drill of 20 questions. No guidance included, but it would make a good checkup.

     

    Using They're, Their, and There from the Wisconsin Technical College System. This is a Flash presentation (similar to a ppt) that covers the rules and gives examples of proper usage. It ends in a 20 question test that's forgiving and has a printable certificate at the end. This would work well with a projector.

     

    Its/It's and There/Their/They're is a 10 question online quiz with rules of usage included. Part of a larger site that all seems to be offline(?)

     

    Brainpop has a movie about the above, but you must be a member to view it.

    Kilroy Was Here

     

    grammar peevesFrom the Grammarly page on Facebook. Peeve #2 is aimed at people who think you need an apostrophe to make a noun plural. Example: cat's means "something that belongs to a/the cat." The noun that follows "cat's" belongs to the cat.* It does NOT mean "more than one cat." That's what "cats" means.

    *Where the apostrophe is being used in a contraction, "cat's" would mean "cat is". As in "The cat's back."

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Cracking the Whip by Winslow Homer Miscellaneous

     

    New Site40 iPad Apps for Reading Disabilities Parents of children with reading disabilities, and educators who work with learning disabled students, are always looking for new tools to help the kids meet their potential and work through their disability. This is a list of 40 iPad apps designed to meet the needs of learning disabled kids and beginning readers alike. The apps are sorted into Helps, Fundamentals, Reading, Writing, and Spelling. This article is posted at Educator Technology and Mobile Learning, where there are a lot more articles like this one.

     

    New SiteA Year of Reading the World- The list This is the list of 196 books, one from every country in the world, that Londoner Ann Morgan read in 365 days. An article from the BBC, "Reading the world in 196 books" tells the story of her quest to even find a book from every country. An article from The Atlantic discusses her favorites among the 196 books. Amy Poehler's Smart Girls on FB endorsed this. We endorse it because we feel learning about the people in the other 195 countries is essential to a young person's education.

     

    DownloadAmerican Sign Language Learning Aid Link goes to the program page. Download the program here. This is the Windows version, there are others. "A set of programs designed to help the beginner ASL student learn ASL. It is composed of two parts: ASLLA-Dictionary and ASLLA-Fingerspeller. ASLLA-Dict allows the student to look up English->ASL sign. ASLLA-Fspell allows the beginner to practice seeing fingerspelling." Thanks to Andy Uehara, who wrote these programs and is deaf, if that matters to you. Cool. A short manual and other info may be found inside the unzipped program folder. Found it on Sourceforge

     

    Australian Slang   Part of a larger kids site, learn why English speakers are divided by our common language.

     

    BBC - Literacy Place Another good language arts site, with links to activities for different ages.

     

    Books and Stories from Kids' World. Ten literature and writing links, and six links to read-alouds.

     

    Brain Teasers  Here are 22 early learning games also suitable for Special Education use.  Memory Attention games "are designed to exercise the processes involved in attending to and remembering information."  Sound Discrimination games "work at training the basic fundamentals necessary for language, listening, and reading." Sounds like a novel and overdue approach.  (and the games are kinda fun)

     


    CODE "Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code." So say Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, President Bill Clinton, Senator Marco Rubio (R) - Florida, Senator John Thune (R) - South Dakota, Stephen Hawking, Sheryl Sandberg, Vice President Al Gore, Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Dr. Oz, Arianna Huffington, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Eric Schmidt - Google, Randi Weingarten - AFT, Wendy Kopp - Teach For America, Steve Ballmer - Microsoft, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Enrique Iglesias, Snoop Dogg, Reid Hoffman - LinkedIn, Dick Costolo & Jack Dorsey - Twitter, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, Max Levchin - Paypal, Dara Khosrowshahi - Expedia, Gabe Newell - Valve, Yishan Wong - Reddit, Salman Khan, and many others. Read what they have to say.

    Code.org is a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education. Our goals include:

    (1) Spreading the word that there is a worldwide shortage of computer programmers, and that it's much easier to learn to program than you think.

    (2) Building an authoritative database of all programming schools, whether they are online courses, brick+mortar schools or summer camps.

    (3) Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn how to code. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

    The Learn section has intros to simple programs like Scratch and Karel the Dog*. The Teach section has tutorials, curriculum you can integrate into classes, options to bring classes to your school, and more programs like Scratch and Alice to try out. * A subset of Karel the Robot? Dating ourselves?

    Bottom line: Business, industry, you name it, they're all screaming for people who can write code. Read the Quotes, like these: “Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today.“ "These are some of the highest-paying jobs, but there are not enough graduates to fill these opportunities.“ "... It's important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.“ “support tha american dream n make coding available to EVERYONE!!“ “Computer programming is the single best professional opportunity in the world. We need more Americans in the field. Let’s go!“


    Dance Mat Typing "Learn keyboard familiarity and finger positioning as you work your way through 12 different typing lessons. Animated characters and dances are triggered by your very own ten fingers." Four levels starting with new beginner. Another great BBC site.

     

    Free Language Arts Curriki Curated Resources! Here are 32 (it lists 33, but #2 and #14 are duplicates) separate collections of language arts lesson plans for middle school, high school, and ESL use. Not 32 lessons but 32 groups of lessons. Some could be adapted for upper elementary. Everything from parts of speech to Shakespeare. Lesson plans, lessons ready-to-go, rubrics, worksheets, videos, and more.

     

    Free Rice  Expands vocabulary! "For each word you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger." "WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance... " Improves vocabulary! You may want to have one student stand by with a dictionary while another plays. Or maybe not. BTW The rumor (spelled "rumour" outside the U.S.) that this site is a scam is false, says Snopes.

     

    I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly from Tom's TEFL out of Hong Kong. This is a video of an activity to reinforce vocabulary. It should work with ESL students of all ages and with Early Learners/lower level grade school. It could teach vocabulary, rhythm, intro to poetry, etc. Under the video there are the lyrics used. The activity could be copied and used with your students. Judy Collins - "Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" Muppet Show 1977 has the lyrics set to music and is funny for kids and adults!

     

    Lakota Winter Counts - An online exhibit from the Smithsonian. Who are the Lakota? What's a Winter Count? Who made them? What art media were used? Listen to Lakota elders explain the records of the years. See surviving winter counts from as far back as 1701. The gallery of winter counts is awesome. (To scroll right or left, put your mouse arrow in the upper left or upper right side of the picture.) Bonus: Native speaker pronounces Lakota words for you! Click on the tiny white words "Audio Glossary" that are underneath the main site.

     

     

    Language Guide Want to learn alphabets and vocabulary words from other languages? "LanguageGuide.org offers free sound integrated resources for learning languages." The site features pictures of various things with written and spoken names in several languages. Words are pronounced by volunteer native speakers. Current languages are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese. Sponsored by Language Guide, a registered non-profit organization, the site is free to use but they do ask for donations. Uses QuickTime.

     

    Latin Lessons This webpage is a list of online Latin lessons and (mostly) online textbooks. We urge you to try some of them out by exploring this site. We looked at several and were impressed. Latin seems to be making a comeback so here is your chance to check it out. One of the many language pages offered by A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling, one of the sites on our Homeschool page.

     

    Learn an Hour of Code from Code.org "3,662,409 have learned an HOUR of CODE Anybody can learn." This page is being promoted by everyone from "Apple to Zuckerberg". We've seen related pages in different languages, from Chile to Sri Lanka. There are fun tutorials teach anyone to code by making Holiday cards, Build your own Game, the MIT App-Inventor that teaches how to make a working app, and LightBot Any one of which will teach an hour of code, and kids won't even notice they're learning. Some are for any age, others for middle school and up (it says here). If anyone wants more (hope), there is a big section on Javascript, another on Python, even one using pencil and paper! Yes, and teacher guides as well. If you are too late to participate in Hour of Code Week, this site will be around for awhile.

    Little Explorers English Picture Dictionary  from Enchanted Learning, the Zoom sites people.  Here is an illustrated elementary-level dictionary.

     

    Nassau Library Kids Section Tons of information. Site has very many links, just click on a section and look.

     

    If you download the Open Dyslexic font, you'll be able to see the text below in all its dyslexia-friendly glory...

    DownloadsOpen Dyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. There are no restrictions on using OpenDyslexic outside of attribution. Your brain can sometimes do funny things to letters. OpenDyslexic tries to help prevent some of these things from happening.

    openWeb: A free iPhone/iPad web browser that uses OpenDyslexic to override the default fonts on the webpages you read. " openWeb - Dyslexia friendly web browser." The site also has links to other apps and helps for installation. (For Windows: download it, open the folder, click on the Font. Windows should then install it for you.) Thank you, thank you Abelardo Gonzalez, for all the work you've done! Going in anyplace someone who needs it might find it!

     

    Downloads Owl & Mouse Educational Software Great phonics software that reminds us of the old MECC Apple games of the 1980s. Free software for you to download and install, or play online. Their plug: "Help your child learn with games, software and educational activities from Owl & Mouse Educational Software. Early reading software—phonics software, alphabet games, and Dolch sight words in a fairy tale story. All of it FREE!'

     

    Project Gutenberg "Free eBooks from Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free ebooks. Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. We carry high quality ebooks: All our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers. Project Gutenberg offers 40,000 free ebooks to download." The original is still the greatest! We like to just browse by Author or Title. Now they have self-publishing to the cloud! "From Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free eBooks, now comes the free Authors Community Cloud Library, a social network Self-Publishing Portal. This Portal allows authors to share their works with readers as well as allows readers to provide comments, reviews and feedback to the authors. Every eBook has its own Details Page, Star Ratings, and Reader Comment area." Simply stunning. It's free, go get it!

     

    New SiteReading Rockets "is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. We bring the best research-based strategies to anyone helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. The project includes PBS television programs (also available online and on DVD); online services (ReadingRockets.org and ColorinColorado.org); professional development opportunities; and a robust social community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr." (edited by us) Big sections on: teaching reading (lots of tips & ideas), helping strugglers (ditto), A-Z list of topics ("a rich library of classroom strategies" 44 topics!), children's books and authors (including booklists and how to choose books), fun things to order, and more.

     

    Scaffolding Literacy A Practical Demonstration A good PowerPoint on scaffolding. This oldie from the Armidale School in NSW, Australia, and the University of Canberra gets into this concept and has some good information. It downloads easily and is worth your time.

     

    Sumer Is Icumen In Here is an example of the evolution of the language. On the left, the original song from the mid-13th century (about 1250, give or take). On the right, modern English. "The title translates approximately to "Summer Has Come In" or "Summer Has Arrived". The song is composed in the Wessex dialect of Middle English." (Wikipedia) Also, þ = th sound: "Groweth seed and bloweth meadow"

    Sumer is icumin inCuckooSummer is

     

     

    Visual Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online    Why go to Google or Wikipedia for all your info?

     

    Vocabulary Workshop Online from Sadlier-Oxford Educational Publishing. Six levels of vocabulary with 300 words per level. Click on a word and and hear it pronounced in QuickTime. Two additional levels feature Hangman, Word Search, Crosswords, and Multiple Choice. Section for Families and another one for Teachers. All this from one start page that uses popups - so don't have popups blocked.

     

    Web English Teacher Project based learning K-12. Language arts only. Very many, perhaps hundreds, of lesson plans and related ideas for the entire language arts spectrum.

     

    Webster's Online Dictionary  with Multilingual Thesaurus Translation "Earth's largest dictionary with 90 modern and 10 ancestral languages."

     

    Word Builder from Houghton-Mifflin has spelling and phonics activities for grades 1 - 6. From 27 - 30 activities per grade level are listed, matched to textbook levels. Really good information here, of increasing difficulty to match progress through the school year.

     

    Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster Online. Every day a new word: its definition, useage in a sentence, origins. The Archive covers the words for the previous two months. You'll want to bookmark this one.

     

     

     

     


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    NEW READERS SECTION

     

     

    New Site40 iPad Apps for Reading Disabilities Parents of children with reading disabilities, and educators who work with learning disabled students, are always looking for new tools to help the kids meet their potential and work through their disability. This is a list of 40 iPad apps designed to meet the needs of learning disabled kids and beginning readers alike. The apps are sorted into Helps, Fundamentals, Reading, Writing, and Spelling. This article is posted at Educator Technology and Mobile Learning, where there are a lot more articles like this one.

     

    New SiteAdvanced Read-Alouds for Preschoolers A list of 12 well-known children's books to try with preschool kids, from Beyond the Cover. The goal is "to have their mind stretched and challenged, so they can retain and understand things that are more advanced than simple words written down on a book of pictures... This isn’t so easy, trying to find a bunch of books that are advanced for preschoolers, having a great and intriguing story line to keep the attention of your children, and isn’t twaddle. It took me a while to find these books…" If you have preschoolers, and you think they are ready for something a little more advanced, try these books!

     

    Bembo's Zoo A nice little site to teach ABCs. Really good animation and sounds!

     

    BooBah from the UK. This site is for preschool folks. Lots of color and sound. Good fine motor skills training, using a mouse. Windows users will need to teach the difference between left and right clicking, though. Educational Freeware has an excellent writeup on them here, with screenshots.

     

    New Site

    Bright Ideas: Sticky Note Summaries from 3rd Grade Thoughts a tip-filled teacher's blog. A fully detailed description/lesson plan to help introduce 8 year old struggling readers to those big, scary chapter books. Excerpt: "At the end of the chapter, I will pass out one sticky note and have them put the chapter number on the top. We will then brainstorm one sentence that captures the main event/idea from that chapter and jot it down on the sticky note." Students end up with a summary sticky note at the end of each chapter. She lists various ways sticky note chapter summaries can be used. "What I loved about Sticky Note Summaries was that it started as a way to help my strugglers, but soon some of my advanced readers started using the strategy as well. As one student explained it to me, there was just too much to keep track of in the longer books, so this helped them keep it all straight."

     

    ****************** DOLCH WORDS/SIGHT WORDS SITES ******************

     

    Dolch Word Lists from Jan Brett. "11 full-sized, printable lists with Jan Brett artwork." Great Jan Brett art, 20 words per page.

     

    Dolch words page from Education Oasis. "Dolch "Basic Sight Words" are the 220 most frequently occurring words in children's books, excluding nouns. Because many of the words do not follow decoding rules, they cannot be sounded out. Thus, they are learned by sight. Dolch sight words comprise 52-75 percent of all words found in children's books." These can be printed out for your use.

     

    spinning gold starSight Words from Quiz-Tree. It says the words! Realizing that some of our younger kids were memorizing their little easy reader books, we went looking for something online to reinforce their sight word knowledge. Shortly after clicking on this site's pre-primer word list, a teacher commented: "We need this site!" Each Sight Word is said aloud when it's clicked. We suggest having students try to say the word, then click on it. Part of a larger academic site, and free membership brings lots more goodies.

     

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    South Africa flagE-Classroom This fine South African site has bunches of free elementary school .pdf worksheets to download. These fun and entertaining sheets are well illustrated and are grouped by subject. Oh, they also have printable Literacy Lesson Plans! This site is updated at least monthly.

     

    EFL/ESL Games for Kids Online Free Interactive from TurtleDairy. "Our interactive EFL/ESL games and online activities teach kids letter recognition and writing in an easy, comprehensive manner. Preschoolers are introduced to phonics and rhyming words which help in early reading and writing skills. For more mature learners, we offer a wide range of vocabulary and grammar exercises." 13 pre-K, 27 K, 20 1st grade, and 18 2nd grade games.

     

    ELL Kids (ELL/ESL/EFL/EL/Bilingual) from the Appleton Area School District of Appleton, Wisconsin. Covers the vocabulary that ESL students and beginning readers need with 260 (wow!) activity-filled sites (not including sub-sites). Mrs. Katherine Carney must have drawn on her ESL background to produce this colorful list of eye-watering awesomeness!

     

    Union Jack Early Learning "This page features early learning websites for young toddlers and pre-schoolers. Fun ways to introduce your toddler to their abc, 123, shapes and colours with great games, downloads and flash cards." Also sites for older children. There are some wonderful things on here, many of which were new to us! Part of allkids, a fine learning & shopping site from the UK.

     

    English for early years These are lessons in letter sounds/phonemes and sentence structure (how to make a sentence show sequence of events.) Downloadable zip files that make folders containing the lesson, which will then start your browser. Interactive Flash lessons that use your browser. From Education Services Australia and Curriki!

     

    Free Worksheets for Kids from K-5 Learning. This is a commercial site with a good reputation. They offer quit a bit of free material. "Our website has free resources for preschool through grade 5 kids... We have:
  • math worksheets for grades 1-6, extensive and very organized
  • worksheets for preschool and kindergarten (letters, numbers, shapes and colors, phonics, etc.)
  • grammar worksheets
  • reading comprehension worksheets
  • cursive writing worksheets
  • over 25 multimedia reading and math lessons
  • Visitors can also download our ebook: How to Help Your Kids Succeed in School.
    Mastering these worksheets would give students a solid foundation to build on. Thanks to Joy at
    K-4 Learning for her email.

     

    Groundhog from Starfall!Groundhog Day from Starfall. "Groundhog, groundhog, what will you see? Groundhog, groundhog, please tell me!" Clicking on the alarm clock makes the groundhog sit up and rub its eyes. The next frame lets kids click on the words to see pronunciation; then click on the groundhog and it runs up the tunnel!

     

    spinning gold starJosie's Poems It's fair to call this site "the biggest poetry website on the internet". "...knowing how very important rhyming and rhythmic poetry is for helping children develop phonological awareness, a key literacy tool, I’ve just written almost 900 poems for children of all ages." These are GOOD poems to read or to read aloud. The sort of poems that develop language skills, because they emphasize rhyming, rhythm, the way words sound in the head, mouth, and ear, and demonstrate the use of parts of speech! The haiku, cinquains, adverb poems, similes page is a shining example of how to teach poetry structure and grammar all at once! Read Apostrophe - Mr Blob and see what we're so happy about. There are ebooks, audios, and videos, too, and the chance to buy books (the rest of the site is FREE). This site is also used by ESL students in Europe. The English speaking world badly needs this sort of place on the web - so much of what is in here is no longer covered well (or at all) in many educational environments. We should have posted this site a long time ago. A big THANK YOU to Josie Whitehead, the teacher who created the site and most of the poems!

     

    Keyboarding Zoo "is a fun and educational activity to help early elementary age students learn the keyboard. Children are encouraged to use their index or pointer fingers to match letters on the screen to their keyboards." With music and talking monkeys! For grades K - 2.

     

     

    Kids' Pages for Small Ages features "free printable ESL flashcards, worksheets, coloring pages, an alphabet for teachers, parents and children, educative stories like Aesop's Fables, or fairy-tales by Christian Anderson or Brothers Grimm, online games and puzzles." Very colorful and kid friendly, with a good selection of printables. Thanks, Thea, for the email about your site!

     

    KidsSpell from KidsKnowIt. "Our fun, and high-paced spelling games help you practice your spelling words. You can pick from over 400 spelling lists, or create your own custom spelling list. All games will then use the spelling list you have loaded." About time we had a good spelling site around here.

     

    Literacy Net This is a great interactive site for learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colors! Animated, with sound. Also in German, French, and Spanish!

     

    Little Explorers English Picture Dictionary  from Enchanted Learning, the Zoom sites people.  Here is an illustrated elementary-level dictionary.

     

    DownloadMinisebran - Freeware For Toddlers. This is from Marianne Wartoft, a very intelligent Swede who has also created the excellent ABC Sebran and Seterra (best geography freeware EVER for kids AND adults!) among others. "Minisebran is a free suite of early learning games for kids 2-6 years old . It includes eight different exercises, including doodle drawing exercises and very simple games to get to know the numbers and letters, and learning to use the keyboard." We've played with it, it's fun! It would be useful for K - 1 as well as some special needs, and good for training fine motor skills.

     

    Letter Sounds Online All of Owl & Mouse's downloadable Letter Sounds games are now online and interactive! " Letter Sounds helps children make the first, vital connection between the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they represent. Children drag pictures to the letters that make the first sounds of the word that describes the picture. Voice is used to be sure that children know the right word and to reinforce the connection between the first letter and the first sound in the word. Fun, educational hands-on learning." Play the original (initial consonants & some blends) game, also long and short vowels, initial consonant blends, and "s" blends!

     

    National Children's Literacy Website "Because Children Need to Read - More than any other single skill, the ability to read - and read well - allows a child to succeed in school, learn about the world, function in society, and someday have decent job options. Enhancing children's literacy is at the heart of the Soho Center's NATIONAL CHILDREN'S LITERACY INFORMATION project - a national children's literacy initiative. The Soho Center is committed to promoting children's literacy in child care settings and home settings. Whether you are a family child care provider, a teacher in a child care center or Head Start program, or a parent of a pre-school or school-age child - there's a lot you can do." This site has quite a lot of good advice, tips, and resources for any child care teacher or home schooling parent. We are very grateful to Jeanna Beker, Director, The Soho Center for emailing us about The Soho Center and its excellent literacy site!

     

    Downloads Owl & Mouse Educational Software Great phonics software that reminds us of the old MECC Apple games of the 1980s. Free software for you to download and install, or play online. Their plug: "Help your child learn with games, software and educational activities from Owl & Mouse Educational Software. Early reading software—phonics software, alphabet games, and Dolch sight words in a fairy tale story. All of it FREE!'

     

    New SiteParagraph Shrinking from Reading Rockets "Paragraph shrinking is an activity developed as part of the Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS). The paragraph shrinking strategy allows each student to take turns reading, pausing, and summarizing the main points of each paragraph. Students provide each other with feedback as a way to monitor comprehension." Everything is explained on the web page, with a video and printables.

     

    TricolourPoisson Rouge A delightful hands-on, open-ended exploration site from France, just one site of many brought to you by Kids Activities from allkids, a fine learning site from the UK. Just all sorts of fun things to click on here.

     

    New SiteReading Rockets "is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. We bring the best research-based strategies to anyone helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. The project includes PBS television programs (also available online and on DVD); online services (ReadingRockets.org and ColorinColorado.org); professional development opportunities; and a robust social community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr." (edited by us) Big sections on: teaching reading (lots of tips & ideas), helping strugglers (ditto), A-Z list of topics ("a rich library of classroom strategies" 44 topics!), children's books and authors (including booklists and how to choose books), fun things to order, and more.

     

    Short Stories from British Council. Dozens of good, interactive, voice narrated stories for kids. "Do you like listening to and reading stories? There are lots and lots of great stories here for you to watch and listen to. There are stories for your little brother and sister too!"

     

    Sesame Street Still helping little ones, since the 1960s. Their site has oodles of activities about letters, numbers, coloring, music, eating healthy, and much more. Let kids click and explore! Some activities require Java or Flash.

     

    spinning gold starSight Words from Quiz-Tree. Realizing that some of our younger kids were memorizing their little easy reader books, we went looking for something online to reinforce their sight word knowledge. Shortly after clicking on this site's pre-primer word list, a teacher commented: "We need this site!" It says the words aloud, too. So, here it is. Part of a larger academic site, and free membership brings lots more goodies.

     

    Songs from British Council. Dozens of good kid songs, old and new. In Flash or as video. Great for singing along. "Do you like listening to songs in English? Singing songs is a great way to get better at speaking English and we have lots of great songs for you to enjoy! Have fun!"

     

    starfall.com logoStarFall Fantastic phonics-intensive site for pre-k through second grade. Stories, movies, and games! Progressive levels let kids read or be read to. Every time we go to this site with K-2 kids, we find something new and great! This site WILL keep those busy little brains going for a whole computer lab session! Thanks, Tia.

     

    thumbnail of poster

    Why Your Child Can't Skip Their 20 Minutes of Reading Tonight Four downloadable graphics in .pdf form, you can buy them as posters. "A little infographic I designed for a teacher to send home with his/her primary students. Intended to be reproduced by teachers on non-professional equipment." Done up by a graphic artist/designer on Behance to showcase her talents and to help her teacher mom :) You can download a printable letter-sized .pdf version in English or Spanish, a student version (Why You Can't Skip...), and an up to 8th grade version.

     

     

     

    Word Builder from Houghton-Mifflin has spelling and phonics activities for grades 1 - 6. From 27 - 30 activities per grade level are listed, matched to textbook levels. Really good information here, of increasing difficulty to match progress through the school year.

     

     

     

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    Read Aloud Sites

     

    BBC Little Animals Activity Centre - Story Bear Here are three stories read out loud in British English. Interactive so kids don't just listen. (hint for Yanks: conker = hickory nut)

     

    Chicken Soup with RiceChicken Soup With Rice

    Classic Maurice Sendak tale sung aloud by and arranged by Carole King. With backup singers, yet! Always leaves you with a happy feeling. Thanks, Mr. Sendak. Going in Literacy > Read Alouds and in Music.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Clifford Interactive Storybooks Phonics Fun for Early Readers. Interactive read aloud Clifford stories.

     

    Dragon Tales Magic Storybook  Quetzal the Dragon reads this picture book aloud in English and speaks the Spanish names for things in the pictures! He will also read story words over to help readers learn new words. Lots of fun for primary grades. The rest of the Dragon Tales site is also great!

     

    Easy Reading from Cookie Here are some stories that can be read by students, or read aloud by the site (just click the red arrows). Nice easy short stories with a moral point. Teachers: scroll down from the books to see Cookie's 150 or so activities, plans, games, etc.

     

    J.R.R. Tolkien Reads a Lengthy Excerpt from The Hobbit Hear the master read from his work, in his West Midlands accent. This is the part where Bilbo meets Gollum under the mountain. Get copies of The Hobbit and have the students read along!

     

    J.R.R. Tolkien Reads From The Two Towers Frodo, Gollum, and Sam eating supper in the wilderness. Another wonderful reading aloud by the master.

     

    Kids Learn to Read from Turtle Diary. Features read-aloud stories of increasing difficulty, divided into stages. Emphasis is on sight words and phonics. Kids can read the stories or listen to them. Designed for primary school ages 5 through 8.

     

    Lily the Wild Cat from ABCYa! (see their logo up top) A new read aloud story for littler kids. Lily wants to be a wild cat, but the adventure is too wild for this kitten and she goes home to mama! Cute and short, with easy words. Use it on a smartboard or a projector for whole class reading.

     

    Mightybook Neat stories read out loud. Broken down by grade. This is a subscription site, with sample books for kids to read and listen to. If you love this site, consider a subscription.

     

    Pierre by Maurice SendakPierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue

    A read-aloud video sung and arranged by Carole King. Priceless. American adults may remember seeing this on TV as children. In honor of Maurice Sendak. Going in Literacy > Read Alouds and in Music.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Purple Picture Books - Free online picture books for kids. This very new site has three books online now, with more on the way soon. Easy navigation, simple illustrations, preschool to K-1 themes. Some of the words are hard for most little ones. These are the sort of books that a parent or an older sibling would read aloud to a smaller kid sitting on their lap. Thanks go to Drorit Harel for the email

     

    SillyBooks Here's a site with several animated talking stories, one that has to be read, and two pages of online jigsaw puzzles. Should be useful for anyone looking for more stories and the puzzles are simple.

     

    Short Stories from British Council. Dozens of good, interactive, voice narrated stories for kids. "Do you like listening to and reading stories? There are lots and lots of great stories here for you to watch and listen to. There are stories for your little brother and sister too!"

     

    Storyline Online "The Screen Actors Guild Foundation is proud to bring Storyline Online, an on-line streaming video program featuring SAG members reading children's books aloud! Each book includes accompanying activities and lesson ideas." Famous actors like James Earl Jones reading kid lit! If you like this site and can afford to, please donate to keep them up and running.

     

    Tumblebook Library The best overall read-aloud site, with animation, funny voices, and sound effects. Hundreds of stories, puzzles, games, and quizzes, more added constantly. These are actual books found in most school libraries. A subscription site, but it has a 30 day free trial. Well worth the money. Special rates for annual school site subscriptions. This is definitely worth a fundraiser. Great for Elmos or Prometheans!

     

     

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    Shakespeare portraitSecondary School Literature

     

    Hidden Messages in Spirituals

    This is a complete lesson plan with pdf printables and a video. You can download the (608.2 KB) Lesson Plan (PDF).

    Lesson Plan unit from the NYS Core Curriculum - Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, 6 - 12. Covers:
  • Craft and Structure (meaning of words).
  • Writing:
  • Test Types and Purposes (organize ideas, develop topic with facts)
  • Production and Distribution of Writing (develop, organize appropriate to task)
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge (short research project, using term effectively)
  • This could also be used for history!

     

    The Cask of Amontillado "A lesson plan for grades 9–10 English Language Arts and English Language Development. The short story "The Cask of Amontillado," by Edgar Allan Poe is an effective venue for teaching English I literary terms. The following lesson plan is designed to engage the reader in a deeper than superficial reading of the text. It is also designed to elicit discussion and written critical-thinking responses. This lesson assumes that the literary terms have already been introduced. However, if they have not, the teacher may use this lesson to introduce these terms in the context of the literature." From Learn NC.


    William Shakespeare section AKA The Bard

     

    Anatomy of a Scene from PBS's Shakespeare Uncovered. "It’s Shakespeare like your High School English teacher never taught you." This web page has three sections (the links lead to amazing WOW posters that are part of the lesson):

    (1) Death and Dying in Hamlet and Macbeth "Hamlet and Macbeth are about a lot of things. Power and revenge. Madness and the otherworldly. But, when you get right down to it, these are plays about death and dying and murder: so that you know evil when it crosses your path."

    (2) Shakespeare’s Game of the Hollow Crown
    "Using Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV, Part One and Henry IV, Part Two as your map, follow the history of rebellion in turn of the 15th century England and the successive stories of three kings: Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V."

     

    (3) Shakespeare’s Enchanted Forest "Look at Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. They take place in a wood and a forest respectively. Dust off your old Elizabethan English dictionary and you’ll see that “wood” meant “mad” back in Shakespeare’s day. So, it makes sense that these are settings of enchantment and escape, but also of confusion–even madness. Since when do lions roam French forests? Since when do fairy queens fall in love with ass-headed (literally) common folk? These are places where you don’t even know if you’re sleeping or awake; or that the woman you love and lost is actually the guy right next to you in drag."

    The graphics that go with this page are simply astoundingly good! They could be used on an overhead. PBS really ought to make posters of them that you could hang in your classroom!

    Additionally, there's a whole page of free Shakespeare lesson plans! This very, very good offering is going in Literacy > Secondary School Literature.

     

    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare "Welcome to the Web's first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This site has offered Shakespeare's plays and poetry to the Internet community since 1993." All his works are in here, organized by Comedy, History, Tragedy, and Poetry. Read them online, copy and convert for your ereader. From MIT.

    Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet "This site attempts two things: (1) To be an annotated guide to the scholarly Shakespeare resources available on the Internet. (2) To present unique Shakespeare material unavailable elsewhere on the Internet." There is a ton of material in here. Make yourself smart on the subject of the Bard, his life, times, and contemporaries."and much more" does not begin to cover the material contained herein. From Palomar College, San Diego County, California.

     

    shakespeare online Like an Information Please for the Bard. Trivia, facts, Shakespearean theatre, Entertainment in Elizabethan England, Why is King Leir Important?, Clothing in Elizabethan England, etc. For school work, there are study guides, practice quizzes, and these:

  • How to Analyze a Shakespearean Sonnet (Sonnet 73 is done for you)
  • Shakespearean Sonnet Basics
  • How to Study Shakespeare: Five steps to success reading a Shakespeare play
  • Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes
  • Shakespeare's Influence on Other Artists
  • Shakespeare Study Guides and Essays
  • Top Questions About Shakespeare
  • Curriki has study guides, lesson plans, printables, and the complete plays in etext, for four of Shakespeare's' plays:

    Teaching Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

    Teaching Shakespeare: Macbeth

    Teaching Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

    Teaching Shakespeare: Othello

     

    What Shakespeare Sounded Like to Shakespeare: Reconstructing the Bard’s Original Pronunciation from Open Culture. Includes a video to demonstrate OP (Original Pronunciation) and modern pronunciation, and goes on to "demonstrate to us what certain Shakespearean passages would have sounded like to their first audiences, and in so doing draw out some subtle wordplay that gets lost on modern tongues." Shakespeare has puns and rhymes that don't work in Modern English, because the words are not pronounced the same way! The site has a good, involved discussion of all this, including "how can they tell" what Early Modern English sounded like. (Shakespeare, Henry VIII, and the Elizabethans did NOT speak "Old English", more on that another time.) Do check out Open Culture, it's full of "wonderful things" and they're free!

     

    Below is Bernard Levin's famous passage about quoting Shakespeare, which is found all over the internet and other erudite places:

    Shakespeare_slang

    If you cannot understand my argument, and declare " 'It's Greek to me' '', you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is father to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

    Bernard Levin

     

     

    In the same vein, Curriki has the same type items for the following:

    The Literature of Mark Twain including the complete e-texts of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

    Literature of Edgar Allan Poe including the complete text of The Raven, and many of Poe's short stories

    Resources for The Call of the Wild including the complete e-text.

    Resources for The Giver

    Resources for To Kill A Mockingbird

    General Resources for Approaches to Literary Analysis

    Resources for Teaching Satire and Parody

     

    ninegreatnovels in wikispaces.com "Welcome to a place to find teaching ideas and lesson plans for novels!...Our nine novels include the following:"

    Novel & Author

    1) The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

    2) Persuasion by Jane Austen

    3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    4) Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

    5) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

    6) The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

    7) Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid

    8) The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

    9) Buried Onions by Gary Soto

    There are several (maybe six or more) lesson plans for each novel. Some cover the whole work, others only cover certain chapters. Each novel has links to its Wikipedia entry and a link to this site's novel page (where the lessons are).

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    I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate A Spoken Word video from Suli Breaks, British recording artist. Over half a million people worldwide have viewed this video. Looks like maybe half of them left comments! A protest against standardized, one-size-fits-all education systems. It's a pretty gripping video. (Warning: This video will make you THINK!) Also an advocacy of finding a career that you enjoy, following your dream instead of being a wage slave. Don't want to put any more words in his mouth, out of respect. GSFK agrees with the plug: You Have To Watch This!! Choose your own POV and discuss this with other viewers.

     

    Mr. Murray's Virtual Classroom Online high school English classes for grades 9 - 12! Includes composition, literature, poetry, and journalism. You want grade 9 - 12 course descriptions, including course content, homework assignments, and expectations? He's got them! Also covers short stories and novels; 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person point of view, big poetry sections.

     

    Poetry Through the Ages From ancient Sumer to the 21st century, this site covers the subject in unique fashion using SpicyWeb, with nodes branching off into different concept areas. Covers various forms with examples for all of them. Learn about rondeaus, haiku, limericks, sonnets, and the rest - their structure, history, and poets; and how to make your own. The webs, if you use them, carry you off in whatever direction you want to go, it's all interlinked! Great art and lots of great poetry! One of many sites at WebExhibits.

     

    Prewriting about "The Hunger Games" "Prewriting strategies help generate new ideas or help us better understand the ideas we already have. This lesson will introduce students to methods of prewriting to help them brainstorm for a paper about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, yet this lesson could also work with any other text." Thanks to Joshua Ray, who posted this lesson plan on Curriki!

     

    Project Gutenberg "Free eBooks from Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free ebooks. Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. We carry high quality ebooks: All our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers. Project Gutenberg offers 40,000 free ebooks to download." The original is still the greatest! We like to just browse by Author or Title. Now they have self-publishing to the cloud! "From Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free eBooks, now comes the free Authors Community Cloud Library, a social network Self-Publishing Portal. This Portal allows authors to share their works with readers as well as allows readers to provide comments, reviews and feedback to the authors. Every eBook has its own Details Page, Star Ratings, and Reader Comment area." Simply stunning. It's free, go get it!

     

    Sumer Is Icumen In Here is an example of the evolution of the language. On the left, the original song from the mid-13th century (about 1250, give or take). On the right, modern English. "The title translates approximately to "Summer Has Come In" or "Summer Has Arrived". The song is composed in the Wessex dialect of Middle English. " (Wikipedia) Also, þ = th sound: "Groweth seed and groweth meadow"

    Sumer is icumin inCuckooSummer is

     

    The Hobbit original book cover (part) The Hobbit Literary Analysis Essay (pdf file) A complete essay test over The Hobbit and How to Create a Literary Analysis. Includes how to make a thesis statement, action words to use in place of "to be" verbs, transitional phrases, adverbs, conjunctions for compound sentences. A Topic Outline gives some scaffolding support. It's all self-contained and ready for your high school English class.

     

     

    SlimeKids logoSlimeKids is primarily for Children's and Young Adult Literature. We like it intensely. They have book listings - very many of them, about all the "kid lit" and YA books you ever heard about, and more. This section has Book Trailers, which include a video about the book with a written description beneath.

     

    There's a page of child-safe search engines. There's a long list of the children's and YA authors, from Adler to Yolen, with brief lists of their works and links to their web homes. The Reference section has lists of well-known online dictionaries, encyclopedias, even atlases (impressive). There's a page of sites that do book reviews, an excellent resource. Finally, there is a section of educational games for kids, from all over the web. SlimeKids is a remarkable site! Thank you to Mr. Andy Fine of SlimeKids. Without his email we may not have found this excellent site.

     

    UT Literature Center: Great Books for Kids to Read during Holiday Season from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. Reviews of 23 children's and young adult (YA) books for holiday season reading. Selections are reviewed and sorted into age-appropriate groups. Educators looking for good "kid lit" should examine this listing.

     

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    Demosthenes (Roman copy of Greek bust)Speech and Speaking Webster  Replying  to Hayne by Healy 1851

    Meet Demosthenes (left) and Daniel Webster (right). Both were famous debaters and orators. "Webster Replying to Hayne", by Healy (1851), is about the Webster-Hayne Debate, "the most eloquent speech ever delivered in Congress" (Wikipedia). Senator Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina is just visible standing in the podium on the left side, while Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts is standing on the right.

     

     

    American Phrases and Sayings Research the origins and meanings of dozens of idioms like "bury the hatchet" and search or browse for more. Interesting. Could be a help for ESL students, too.

     

    American Rhetoric will teach you all about making speeches! An online database of 5,000 good speeches on every topic, with examples from history, the movies; full text, audio, and video database of the 100 top American political speeches of the 20th century! Hear the Pearl Harbor speech, FDR's Fireside Chats, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X; hear or read Ghandi, Gladiator, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Robert Gould Shaw, Joshua Chamberlain, Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther at Worms, Army-McCarthy Hearings, Maya Angelou, Marc Antony, Marlin Brando, hundreds more! Plus: "200+ short audio and video clips illustrating stylistic figures of speech ranging from alliteration to synecdoche. Clips are taken from speeches, movies, sermons, and sensational media events and delivered by politicians, actors, preachers, athletes, and other notable personalities." See how it's done, learn from the pros!

     

    Common Errors in English Usage "The aim of this site is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business, and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak." You should read over the intro page at least once before going on to the list of errors. The errors list page is alphabetized and very comprehensive. A very useful tool and an aid to better American English. We should all thank Professor Paul Brians of WSU Pullman.

     

    Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples Ok, this site is a little above most elementary kids. Terms from Alliteration to Zeugma explained. It's a good source for language arts teachers, debate/forensics, or oral interp.

     

    MLK I Have A Dream"I Have a Dream" speech, text and audio, from American Rhetoric.

     

    "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, text and audio, from American Rhetoric.

     

     

     

    I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate A Spoken Word video from Suli Breaks, British recording artist. Over half a million people worldwide have viewed this video. Looks like maybe half of them left comments! A protest against standardized, one-size-fits-all education systems. It's a pretty gripping video. (Warning: This video will make you THINK!) Also an advocacy of finding a career that you enjoy, following your dream instead of being a wage slave. Don't want to put any more words in his mouth, out of respect. GSFK agrees with the plug: You Have To Watch This!! Choose your own POV and discuss this with other viewers.

     

    Martin Luther King Speeches - Excerpts from King's most famous addresses. From infoplease

     

    Public Speaking Five units/activities from Curriki. (1) Ready-to-go unit on Public Speaking for grades 9 -12. (2) Expressive Speaking - two activities for ages 8 - 10 and 11 - 13. "This activity gives examples for expressive speaking skills." (3) Speaking III - grades 11, 12 "This course provides students with the range of activities which will help them communicate effectively and confidently in basic speaking skills for academic purposes." (4) Giving a Speech - ages 11 - 13 "Practice giving a speech and discuss tips for giving a speech." (5) Giving Speeches - ages 8 - 10 and 11 - 13 "An outline for writing speeches. It includes a handout and a poster." Rubric is available.

     

    Rhetological Fallacies from Information is Beautiful. "Errors and manipulations of rhetoric and logical thinking" This site breaks down the logical fallacies into six major* and myriad minor categories, to help you learn the exact ways you could be manipulated by a speechmaker or a debater. 100% graphics and nice to look at. The graphic organization of all this data is a sight to behold. (*They are: Appeal to the Mind, Appeal to Emotions, Faulty Deduction, Garbled Cause and Effect, Manipulating Content, and On the Attack. All the ones we know, such as Straw Man and Slippery Slope, are under one or more of these main headings.) 

     

    Signing Savvy THE place to go for ASL! "Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada." Watching a video of the signing is way better than looking at a picture with confusing curving arrows. This site will help you learn ASL! Includes search for words and phrases; or browse by letter. Look up fingerspelling, numbers, colors, animals, geography, baby signs, more! Free but limited access for guests. Full membership gives unlimited access to all site resources for $50 a year. Normally Good Sites would not run pay sites, but if you need to learn to sign this is worth it. Thanks Corey and Teri.

     

    Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies from The Fallacy Files. This page shows the relationships between logical fallacy types in a taxonomy chart! Fallacies are arranged under formal and informal, the groups and subgroups are here. Great learning aid for forensics students and people who are interested in logic.

     

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    Writing

     

    8th Grade Introduction to Poetry Using Music and Film (from Curriki) It says 8th grade but the Educational Level states "Grades 6-8 / Ages 11-13". "This lesson plan introduces a poetry unit using music and film to get students thinking about the definition of poetry and how it fits into their lives. The end of the lesson introduces the concept of Found Poetry." This is a .docx file that you download. You must login first. That's OK, you really should join Curriki and take advantage of tons of free lesson plans and ideas. If we keep getting good poetry "stuff" there's going to be a Poetry section pretty soon.

     

    New Site40 iPad Apps for Reading Disabilities Parents of children with reading disabilities, and educators who work with learning disabled students, are always looking for new tools to help the kids meet their potential and work through their disability. This is a list of 40 iPad apps designed to meet the needs of learning disabled kids and beginning readers alike. The apps are sorted into Helps, Fundamentals, Reading, Writing, and Spelling. This article is posted at Educator Technology and Mobile Learning, where there are a lot more articles like this one.

     

    A Guide to Writing for College by Veritas Prep "Writers can create coherent and incoherent composition... Other people judge an individual’s intellect based on their ability to write. Writing serves as an outlet for people to express themselves as individuals... Writing enables people to organize facts from opinions without getting confused. It also allows the writer to inject personal views to influence the readership." Writing is putting your thoughts on paper. You are writing for Other People, not for yourself. You will be judged by the quality of your writing. It's not just a hoop you must jump through to get that diploma, it's a life skill! Yes, and writing carries ideas down the ages. Anyway, this site will lead you to links to sites about: The Writing Process, Prewriting, how to write a Thesis or Analysis, how to do Revision, brush up on Grammar and Mechanics, write Research Papers, and explore Online Writing Labs for even more help.

     

    animated alligator Alligators and Crocodiles at Enchanted Learning Giving crocodilians their usual epic treatment - Poems, art with facts to color, report worksheets, graphic organizers, report wheels, and more. Editorial: if you don't already subscribe to Enchanted Learning, you really should.

     


    CODE "Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code." So say Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, President Bill Clinton, Senator Marco Rubio (R) - Florida, Senator John Thune (R) - South Dakota, Stephen Hawking, Sheryl Sandberg, Vice President Al Gore, Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Dr. Oz, Arianna Huffington, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Eric Schmidt - Google, Randi Weingarten - AFT, Wendy Kopp - Teach For America, Steve Ballmer - Microsoft, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Enrique Iglesias, Snoop Dogg, Reid Hoffman - LinkedIn, Dick Costolo & Jack Dorsey - Twitter, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, Max Levchin - Paypal, Dara Khosrowshahi - Expedia, Gabe Newell - Valve, Yishan Wong - Reddit, Salman Khan, and many others. Read what they have to say.

    Code.org is a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education. Our goals include:

    (1) Spreading the word that there is a worldwide shortage of computer programmers, and that it's much easier to learn to program than you think.

    (2) Building an authoritative database of all programming schools, whether they are online courses, brick+mortar schools or summer camps.

    (3) Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn how to code. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

    The Learn section has intros to simple programs like Scratch and Karel the Dog*. The Teach section has tutorials, curriculum you can integrate into classes, options to bring classes to your school, and more programs like Scratch and Alice to try out. * A subset of Karel the Robot? Dating ourselves?

    Bottom line: Business, industry, you name it, they're all screaming for people who can write code. Read the Quotes, like these: “Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today.“ "These are some of the highest-paying jobs, but there are not enough graduates to fill these opportunities.“ "... It's important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.“ “support tha american dream n make coding available to EVERYONE!!“ “Computer programming is the single best professional opportunity in the world. We need more Americans in the field. Let’s go!“


     

    Conversation Pieces: Building Bright Ideas "My site targets students in grades 2-8, and it includes almost 200 book recommendations, and some of those include online book quizzes (over 90), discussion questions, vocabulary lists, and writing activities. I offer writing contests for students, and am adding a new section with Daily Writing Prompts. The site also includes independent study project ideas, online vocabulary quizzes, and a math problem of the week. Students can earn virtual badges in the Hall of Fame for Book Quizzes, Math Problems, and Vocabulary Quizzes when they earn high scores in those areas. Teachers and homeschooling parents can incorporate many of these activities into existing literacy and math programs, or use them to facilitate book clubs or enrichment activities." Wow! Yes, all that and more is in here! What a treasure for teachers!

     

    Daily Writing Prompt "This free resource provides consistent and meaningful "time on task". Students respond easily to our delightful menu of topics. Carefully crafted prompts appeal to a wide range of age, interests, and ability levels." Featuring The Daily Ten writing prompts, prompts by genre, ESL/TOEFL Prompts, story starters, grammar guides, punctuation rules, some good links, and more!

     

    Daily Writing Prompt from Writers Write Creative Blog "Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za" Going in Literacy > Writing

     

    Daily Writing Prompts from The Teacher's Corner "Creative Writing Prompts for every day of the year." These good prompts are organized by month. Check out January to see what's so great about these prompts!

     

    The Five Elements of a Story from Writers Write. "This is an interesting way to look at the layers of a story. This chart says that your character needs something to care about, something to want, something to dread, something to suffer, and something to learn." This easy to follow chart is great, especially for those who learn best with graphics! Also look at their page about Creating Characters.

     

    Free Language Arts Curriki Curated Resources! Here are 32 (it lists 33, but #2 and #14 are duplicates) separate collections of language arts lesson plans for middle school, high school, and ESL use. Not 32 lessons but 32 groups of lessons. Some could be adapted for upper elementary. Everything from parts of speech to Shakespeare. Lesson plans, lessons ready-to-go, rubrics, worksheets, videos, and more.

     

    George WashingtonGeorge Washington Quotes from Notable Quotes. Nine pages of quotes, around 25 to a page. Also has a good biography and a trivia quiz. Great for American history among other things. The man wrote quite well and knew his grammar.

     

    New SiteGiggle Poetry Poetry for kids from author and poet Bruce Lansky. Five sections:

  • Poetry Class - Learn everything you need to know to become a "Giggle Poet!" The easy-to-follow instructions on this page will have you up and writing funny poems in no time at all. Dozens of easy poems to learn on.
  • Poetry Fun - Here are some of our most entertaining poetry activities. Do them alone or with a friend!
  • Poetry Theatre - You and your friends can perform poetry plays with these (34) popular and funny poems.
  • Word Games - 14 interactive online games (may be slow to load). Fun and colorful, with music.
  • Read & Rate - rate hundreds of silly poems using the Giggle Meter!
  •  

    New Site

    Graphic Organizers for Personal Narratives Genia Connell, 3rd grade classroom teacher, offers ideas to get reluctant writers started. Writing is new for young kids, so guidance and scaffolding can really help. "I use a few different graphic organizers that have made a world of difference to my young writers. This week I'm happy to share with you some of the tools I use to help make planning and writing narratives that are focused, sequential, and interesting a bit easier for my students." There are organizers for generating ideas, prewriting, mini anchor charts, development of characters, and other ideas/resources. They work for this teacher, they may well work for you.

     

    Hidden Messages in Spirituals Lesson Plan unit from the NYS Core Curriculum - Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, 6 - 12. Covers:

    Reading: Craft and Structure (meaning of words).

    Writing:
    Test Types and Purposes (organize ideas, develop topic with facts)
    Production and Distribution of Writing (develop, organize appropriate to task)
    Research to Build and Present Knowledge (short research project, using term effectively)

    This could also be used for history!

    This is a complete lesson plan with pdf printables and a video. You can also download Hidden Messages in Spirituals (608.2 KB) Lesson Plan (PDF).

     

    Wow! Kids on the Net  "10 Years Online!" A fine literacy site for kids and their teachers from all parts of the English speaking world. Site includes: Writing With a Difference, with online stories written by elementary and middle school classes, story starters, and ways to contribute; also a teacher section and more. Authors and Reading has links to children's lit authors for kids to check out as well as teacher links. Good, practical advice for beginning authors here. Tell Us About It lets kids give input. Teachers shows teachers the various parts of the site. All these sections have Activities, too. There are some wonderful things in this site, go investigate!

     

    spinning gold starJosie's Poems It's fair to call this site "the biggest poetry website on the internet". "...knowing how very important rhyming and rhythmic poetry is for helping children develop phonological awareness, a key literacy tool, I’ve just written almost 900 poems for children of all ages." These are GOOD poems to read or to read aloud. The sort of poems that develop language skills, because they emphasize rhyming, rhythm, the way words sound in the head, mouth, and ear, and demonstrate the use of parts of speech! The haiku, cinquains, adverb poems, similes page is a shining example of how to teach poetry structure and grammar all at once! Read Apostrophe - Mr Blob and see what we're so happy about. There are ebooks, audios, and videos, too, and the chance to buy books (the rest of the site is FREE). This site is also used by ESL students in Europe. The English speaking world badly needs this sort of place on the web - so much of what is in here is no longer covered well (or at all) in many educational environments. We should have posted this site a long time ago. A big THANK YOU to Josie Whitehead, the teacher who created the site and most of the poems!

     

    Launch Pad: "Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off! is a new literary & arts magazine devoted to publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book reviews and artwork by children ages 6-12." This looks pretty good. A place where young artists and writers can show off their work!

     

    Meet Me at the Corner, "Virtual Field Trips for Kids, is a dynamic, interactive site, which encourages individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide, featuring their special corner of the world. Through these video pod casts we hope to create a community of children, who learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video." Great idea and wonderful site!

     

    New SiteParagraph Shrinking from Reading Rockets "Paragraph shrinking is an activity developed as part of the Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS). The paragraph shrinking strategy allows each student to take turns reading, pausing, and summarizing the main points of each paragraph. Students provide each other with feedback as a way to monitor comprehension." Everything is explained on the web page, with a video and printables.

     

    New Site
    Poetry Lesson Plans The Teachers Corner has a whole bunch of these, and plenty of links to poetry lesson plans and teaching units.

     

    Poetry Through the Ages From ancient Sumer to the 21st century, this site covers the subject in unique fashion using SpicyWeb, with nodes branching off into different concept areas. Covers various forms with examples for all of them. Learn about rondeaus, haiku, limericks, sonnets, and the rest - their structure, history, and poets; and how to make your own. The webs, if you use them, carry you off in whatever direction you want to go, it's all interlinked! Great art and lots of great poetry! One of many sites at WebExhibits.

     

    PIZZAZ! People Interested in Zippy and ZAny Zcribbling! "PIZZAZ! is dedicated to providing simple creative writing and oral storytelling activities with copyable (yes, copyable!) handouts for use with students of all ages. Permission is given to use these resources for in-class, non-profit use only." Site is in sections by genre - 11 different types of poetry, eight fiction activity links, other activities and resources. Also a Teacher section with links to sites like TESOL/ESL and Deborah Healy's Tech Tips.

     

    Prewriting about "The Hunger Games" "Prewriting strategies help generate new ideas or help us better understand the ideas we already have. This lesson will introduce students to methods of prewriting to help them brainstorm for a paper about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, yet this lesson could also work with any other text." Thanks to Joshua Ray, who posted this lesson plan on Curriki!

     

    Scaffolding Literacy: A Practical Demonstration A good PowerPoint on scaffolding. This oldie from the Armidale School in NSW, Australia, and the University of Canberra gets into this concept and has some good information. It downloads easily and is worth your time.

     

    Signing Savvy THE place to go for ASL! "Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada." Watching a video of the signing is way better than looking at a picture with confusing curving arrows. This site will help you learn ASL! Includes search for words and phrases; or browse by letter. Look up fingerspelling, numbers, colors, animals, geography, baby signs, more! Free but limited access for guests. Full membership gives unlimited access to all site resources for $50 a year. Normally Good Sites would not run pay sites, but if you need to learn to sign this is worth it. Thanks Corey and Teri

     

    Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies from The Fallacy Files. This page shows the relationships between logical fallacy types in a taxonomy chart! Fallacies are arranged under formal and informal, the groups and subgroups are here. Great learning aid for forensics students and people who are interested in logic.

     

    Teaching Writing from the National Writing Project Hundreds of resources for writing teachers, grouped into over 30 different areas, from A - W (Audience through Writing Prompts)! A clearinghouse and starting point for teachers who are looking for resources.

     

    This graphic teaches the useage of tenses in English. All your tenses in one place, using the verb, "to cut".

     

    The Hobbit original book cover (part)The Hobbit Literary Analysis Essay (pdf file) A complete essay test over The Hobbit and How to Create a Literary Analysis. Includes how to make a thesis statement, action words to use in place of "to be" verbs, transitional phrases, adverbs, conjunctions for compound sentences. A Topic Outline gives some scaffolding support. It's all self-contained and ready for your high school English class.

     

     

    WriteSite An interactive language arts and journalism project for middle schools, developed by ThinkTVNetwork, Dayton, Ohio.

     

    Union JackWriting from Barnes Primary School in the UK, a ‘knowledge centre for the teaching of writing’. This page offers an outline of their writing program as taught to staff at other schools. "We use a model that offers a high level of scaffolding of the writing experience. " Four .doc files show how. Imitation and deconstruction (.doc title = Teaching writing – An overview of a teaching methodology) explains techniques such as "Hotseating", "Conscience Alley", and "Freeze framing" as preparatory activities for the Three-part Shared Writing M. It's all in the .doc. "As part of our approach we provide children with words to use in their writing. We refer to these sheets of words to use as word mats, and children have these available at the point of composition. Giving pupils words or phrases to start sentences with really helps them to get started. Different sentence starters are provided according to the style of writing that is being taught." Most common words in English – word mat , Sentence starters for Key Stage 1 , and Sentence starters for Key Stage 2 are the same .doc files that Barnes uses. Save them and use them as a starter for your program!

     

    spinning gold starreddit has a subreddit for Writing Prompts! English/Writing teachers: Having a hard time coming up with prompts? They have thousands. It would be nice if you signed up with reddit and submitted your own, too, 'cause they have contests for the best submissions! GSFK suggests you use this as a source for lessons, and that you check it out, not the kids. Some parts of reddit are PG-13 at best.

     

    Union JackWriting Resources from Fourfields Community Primary School, Cambridge, UK. There's a lot of good things on this resource page, for parents and teachers both. Writing Resources are halfway down in the left hand column. Some are .pdf, most are Word .doc files. There are teaching aids, sentence starters, parts of speech and punctuation help, and more. All are designed to teach and improve writing skills!

     

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