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Language Arts: Authors
- Deborah Hopkinson: Children's Author
The Web site by this Walla Walla, Washington, author of historical picture books and novels includes biographical, contact, and public appearance information as well as brief summaries of her books, lesson plans for many of the books, and links to topics related to her books--quilting, the Underground Railroad, Kansas, lighthouses, bluebirds, astronomy, cooking, and historical fiction.
- Claire Rudolf Murphy: Author/Instructor
The site for this children's author who specializes in Alaskan and Northwest history contains excerpts from her books, a biography, FAQ, information on presentations and school visits, and an excellent set of tips for young and not-so-young-writers which includes activities and writing prompts.
- Kids Love Books...by Peg Kehret
Peg Kehret is the author of more than 40 books and plays for children, including the autobiographies Five Pages a Day: A Writer's Journey and Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio. This site presents information about the books and plays, a short biography, recent photographs, FAQ, What's New section, and a mailing address.
- Patricia Polacco.com
This is the author's official website. Great ideas for her books including coloring pages, quizzes, puzzles and bookmarks
Site about the author, his books, and activities relating to those books.
- Jan Brett Homepage
The author's web presence--great for activities...downloads....
- America Writes for Kids
At America Writes for Kids!, you can search for information about authors and their books alphabetically or by state. Just go to the AUTHORS page and click on the map or an alphabet letter to get started. The site is a project of Drury University’s School of Education and Child Development.
Chat live with a featured author or read the archived chats with previous authors. Click Chat Now and participate in an Online Literature Circle discussion.
- Knowing Poe
The activities on Knowing Poe introduce students to the literature, life and times of one of America’s foremost writers, Edgar Allan Poe. On the site, your students can explore Poe’s worlds—both fictional and real—from a number of perspectives. They can examine the complex choices writers such as Poe make as they create their works. They can also investigate the “hard facts” about life and death in Baltimore, where Poe lived, and the United States during Poe’s lifetime. And they can learn about the continuing impact of Poe’s legacy. The classroom resources have been created especially for students in middle school and high school. In addition to these interactive experiences, there are lesson plans created by teachers, primary source documents, links for further research and materials for fun family activities related to Edgar Allan Poe. Throughout the site, students can watch for the Random Raven, which will give them some inside information and little known facts about Poe the person and Poe the writer.
- Edgar Allen Poe Museum
If you’ve ever written a love poem, seen a horror movie or enjoyed a murder mystery novel, then you have experienced a part of popular culture inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. In fact, he is still influencing popular culture 160 years after his death. Locked-door murders, romantic poetry and trips to the moon are just part of who Poe was and what he wrote. Activities on the Edgar Allen Poe Museum’s Web site introduce students to Poe’s life and works. Students can watch one of Poe’s stories brought to life or solve the mystery of his death. After they investigate the links on the site to learn more, students can submit their own theory about Poe’s untimely demise. Plus: The Web site also offers a complete Educators Packet, which includes a biographical timeline of Poe’s life and several fun and informative lessons plans for the classroom. To receive the packet, middle school and high school teachers may use the link on the site to fill out the request form and provide their school address.
Explore the Life and Legacy of William Shakespeare
The Kennedy Center invites students to explore the life and legacy of William Shakespeare. Using the synchronized map and timeline, students will learn how Shakespeare’s legacy continues to impact our world today. They will witness how artists and innovators take inspiration from the heights of his brilliance, and through constant reimaginings, they will see how Shakespeare’s gift has become a light for millions of people across the world.
- PBS Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain
Appreciators of Mark Twain and learners of all ages will enjoy the resources and educational materials included in this section of the PBS Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain Web site. Students will explore Mark Twain’s life story through a collection of his writings and recollection of artifacts found in the Interactive Mark Twain Scrapbook. Teachers will find five classroom activities for middle school and high school students that teach the importance of observation to writing, how slavery impacted Twain’s writing and how Twain used humor and satire. Students will also learn how a scrapbook can be used to collect creative ideas and is a reflection of its creator’s time, place and values.
- Shakespeare in Bits
Shakespeare In Bits, from MindConnex, brings the bard’s most popular plays to life through animation and audio soundtrack, presented side by side with complete, unabridged play text in a single, integrated package. In-line translations are accompanied by full study notes for every section (analyses, plot summaries, cast biographies and relationships) to help students understand and appreciate Shakespeare’s works. Presently three titles are available for downloading to an iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC: Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Hamlet coming soon. Each of the Shakespeare In Bits plays has a Lite or trial version, which contains a few scenes from the play of your choice and delivers all the rich functionality you can expect from the full play. Shakespeare In Bits Lite can be freely downloaded, with no purchase necessary.
Writers Speak to Kids
NBC Learn, the education arm of NBC News, has launched an original video series called “Writers Speak to Kids.” Through interviews with popular and award-winning children’s book authors, the series reaches out to young readers and writers to inspire and teach. With questions narrated by NBC News correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, the authors featured share their writing process and experiences, helping students to learn more about the craft and techniques of creative writing. The free 17-part video series kicked off on September 17 with six author interviews. Throughout the fall, the “Writers Speak to Kids” series will feature a wide variety of authors, including those who have written New York Times bestselling titles and Newbery award-winning books.
Shakespeare for Kids
These pages are from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Content includes: fun facts, words, a ‘who am I?” section and more.
On this extraordinary website created by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, you can search all of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets for words, phrases, characters, topics, and themes (for example, love).
Mark Twain and His Times
Produced by the University of Virginia Library, with support from the Department of English, Mark Twain and His Times is an interpretive archive that focuses on how “Mark Twain” and his works were created and defined, marketed and performed, reviewed and appreciated. The site lets readers, scholars, students and teachers see what Mark Twain and His Times said about each other in a way that can speak to us today. The site is organized into nine main sections. Three display various aspects of the career of Mark Twain in his time. “Samuel Clemens as Mark Twain” focuses on the issues of his identity and popular image. “Marketing Twain” focuses on the particular ways in which his texts were published, promoted and sold. “Mark Twain On Stage” focuses on his career as a live performer and the issue of performance in his work. The other sections are each organized around specific major texts, from Innocents Abroad to Pudd'nhead Wilson. Each section has its own homepage where visitors can access various resources and exhibits—some archival, some interpretive.
Language Arts: Grammar Skills/Spelling Skills
Language Arts: Literature/Reading
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling
Find handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and exercises for learning Grammar (adjectives and adverbs; nouns; prepositions; and pronouns). The Spelling section includes sound-alike words; noun plurals; and suffixes. The Punctuation review covers apostrophes and quotation marks; commas; and hyphens.
- Daily Grammar.com
Daily Grammar is a free service of World Place, Inc. Daily Grammar sends you e-mail messages with a grammar lesson fives days of the week and a quiz on the sixth day. You can look at the previous lessons in the archive section.
Fun English Games
Includes word scrambles, caption-writing, reviews of movie trailers, and tongue-twister games on parts of speech and vocabulary.
Spelling Word Games
You can choose between fruit basket, which looks like a slot machine and scrolls through the words until it stops on one. The other game is typewriter which, letter by scrambled letter, posts the word and the students need to guess the word before the typewriter is finished typing it.
Free poems, short stories, news articles, historical documents, and excerpts of classic literature organized by theme for grades 4-9. Includes thought-provoking questions for each text.
- Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
This is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas of ways to use them in the classroom and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.
- The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairytale
Since its publication in September 1900, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has become America's greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale. This online exhibit has three sections: To Please a Child featuring images and material relating to Baum, To See the Wizard with material relating to stage and screen productions, and To Own the Wizard with collectible items inspired by the books and movie. From the Library of Congress.
- A Glossary of Literary Terms
This site has definitions of a number of literary terms. Some entries have titles of examples of works illustrating the terms.
- Masterpiece (PBS)
Includes video segments, essays, and teacher tips from Masterpiece adaptations for PBS in order to help students access, understand, and analyze complex literary texts.
- YALSA Booklists
Best books for young adults gathered by the American Library Association.
- Google Lit Trips : Journey to Places in Literature
Google Lit Trips is a collection of virtual literary trips embedded in the Google Earth geographic information program. When readers download a Lit Trip from the lesson database, they can follow the plot and characters of a given book through those areas of the globe that serve as the book’s setting. For example, younger students who are reading Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings can take a virtual trip through Boston; students in grades 6–8 who are reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s Fever 1793 can virtually explore Philadelphia; and students in grades 9–12 who are reading Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner can virtually travel the difficult terrain of Afghanistan. During their journey, students view photographs, read excerpts from the book, answer questions, make connections between the book and the real world and explore links to supplemental information about particular locations and landmarks.
- School-Home Links Reading Kits
The School–Home Links Reading Kits offer 400 activities for strengthening children's reading and writing skills (one kit for each grade level, kindergarten–grade 3). These kits, part of the U.S. Department of Education’s “Compact for Reading,” not only help improve children’s reading skills, but also provide guidance on creating and maintaining school–family partnerships. Kits are also available in Spanish.
- World of Words: International Collection of Children's and Adolescent Literature
The University of Arizona has put online a database of its collection of non-US children's books - the world's largest collection. The database, which contains information on more than 30,000 books.
- Online Books Page
The Online Books Page is a Web site that facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet. The major parts of the site include an index of thousands of online books; pointers to significant directories and archives of online texts; special exhibits of particularly interesting classes of online books; and information on how readers can help support the growth of online books. The Online Books Page was founded, and is edited, by John Mark Ockerbloom, a digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. The online books listed have been authored, placed online and hosted by a wide variety of individuals and groups throughout the world.
- Myths and Legends
The Myths and Legends section of the site includes animated stories accompanied by audio. Each myth or legend is accompanied by audio along with the story text, an explanation of the origin of the work and a glossary of words used in the story.
- 60-Second Recaps
60-Second Recaps is a new Web site created by 24-year-old Jenny Sawyer. Barely out of college, Sawyer has undertaken an audacious task: writing and shooting, with the help of a small band of filmmakers, more than 1,000 free, one-minute videos to help students understand and enjoy commonly assigned classic works of literature. The first of 100 or so videos cover 10 works that teenagers have struggled to appreciate since English teachers first walked the earth. Titles include The Scarlet Letter, Of Mice and Men, Great Expectations, Hamlet and To Kill a Mockingbird. Each book gets an “album” of at least 10 videos laying out plot, main ideas, themes, symbols—not quite Cliffs Notes but “something that’s going to help them understand what they’re getting into.”
Presented by National Geographic for Kids, DogEared is a blog about books—good books, funny books, adventure books; books about animals, friendship, pirates, faraway places . . . every kind of book that kids enjoy. Why is the site called “DogEared”? You know when you read a book and you turn the top edge of a page over to mark your place? That’s called a “dog-ear”! Students mark (“dog-ear”) the Web page so they can return to it often in order to read real kids’ reviews and recommendations. They also share their own opinions and create their own reading wish list—as if it were their own online book club.
- International Children’s Digital Library
http://en.childrenslibrary.org/ (for English language )
http://es.childrenslibrary.org/ (for Spanish language)
The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) provides a wealth of children’s books in multiple languages and features a kid-friendly search tool. Many stories are available in bilingual formats. ICDL was initially created by an interdisciplinary research team at the University of Maryland in cooperation with the Internet Archive. Members of the team include computer scientists, librarians, educational technologists, classroom teachers, graphic designers and graduate students from the University of Maryland’s (UMD) College of Information Studies (CLIS) and the UMD Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL), a leader in children’s interface design. Other contributors to the research are the members of the College Park Kidsteam, a group of six children, aged 7–11, who work regularly with the adults in the Lab.
- The Global Literature Resource Guide
Find great global literature for all ages in this resource guide compiled by the librarian at Primary Source. The Global Literature Resource Guide includes “Award-Winning Resources,” “Books for K–5,” “Books for 6–8,” “Grades 9–12 & Adult” as well as “Graphic Novels.”
- Children’s Literature: Digitized Print Materials
From The Library of Congress’s Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room, Children’s Literature: Digitized Print Materials provides 50 digitized texts of rare books: The Arabian Nights, A Child’s Garden of Verses, A Christmas Carol, Humpty Dumpty, The Grasshopper Stories, Mother Goose Finger Plays, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Secret Garden, Stories from Hans Andersen, The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and others.
- Novels on Location
Novels on Location uses Google Maps to help you find fiction works according to their geographical settings. When you visit Novels on Location, you can find novels by clicking on the placemarks that you see or by using the location search bar in the upper right corner of the site. If you want to contribute to Novels on Location, simply enter a location and then enter the title and author of your favorite book set in that location. Your students can contribute to Novels on Location, or you can create your own classroom version of Novels on Location by creating a shared Google Map to which your students make their contributions.
Launched in March 2007 in celebration of Women’s National History Month, readergirlz (rgz) is a literacy and social media project founded by young adult (YA) authors Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Janet Lee Carey (Dragons of Noor), Justina Chen (North of Beautiful) and Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight). rgz Operation Teen Book Drop has donated more than 30,000 new YA books to underserved teens.
- Open Library : Free Ebooks
Part of the Internet Archive, the Open Library is a collection of more than 1 million free ebooks catalogued by a community of volunteer online librarians. The ebooks can be read online, downloaded to a computer, read on a Kindle or another ereader device and embedded into other sites. Some of the ebooks, such as Treasure Island, can also be listened to through the Open Library.
Merriam-Webster: Vocabulary Building
The Merriam-Webster site has a Word of the Day, word games, new words and slang, and top ten lists of confused words, 1990s words, and words inspired by film makers.
Leveled Reading Books
Gives background of leveled reading as well as passages that can be used to determine a student's reading level.
United States of YA
This is a map of the U.S. with young adult book covers representing every state (based on the setting of the book).
Geared to helping upper elementary and middle-school students break down reading passages and focus on vocabulary, context, and main idea.
Fact or Opinion
The EduHound website has several lessons on this vital skill.
The interactive website has extensive material on more than 100 classic and popular works of literature. Teachers can arrange for students to create a profile of any book they are reading in class and students can add facts, maps, and illustrations.
You can search for a book’s Lexile measures on this site.
Juvenile Series and Sequels Database
Can search by series title, subject, book title, book author. For audiences from 'birth to 12th grade'.
Language Arts: Poetry Month (April)
Language Arts: Speech and Theater Arts
- Poetry Terms
This glossary lists poetry terms and definitions to use when talking about poetry.
- Giggle Poetry
Learn how to write nursery rhymes, limericks, and list poems. Write a poem, enter a poetry contest, and read the winning entries. Read interviews with your favorite poets and ask them questions!
- Jeff's Poems for Kids
There are yucky and funny poems and a poem of the week. Read Daddy's Making Dinner; Franky the Onion and Garlic the Kid; or The Toy Box Ate My Brother.
- Poetic License
Performance poetry, or “spoken word,” is a force among American teens—with roots as diverse as the West African griot tradition, to Native American storytelling, to Beat bebop. In the Youth Voices section of the Poetic License website, young people can discover the rhythms of language and express it through their writing, from fiction to Haikus to spoken word poetry. The discussion area is a place for young writers to meet, share, discuss and support each other. Students can also find out if there is a youth poetry organization near them or a teen spoken word event coming up. And they can sign up for the Poetic Licence enewsletter and stay up to date about all the latest teen poetry happenings. The Teacher’s Lounge is an outlet for youth poetry resources and creative dialogue among educators. This section offers some tools to help integrate spoken word poetry into the classroom or an after-school workshop.
- United States Poets Laureate: A Guide to Online Resources
"The Library's Digital Reference Section is in the process of creating Web guides to online resources for each U.S. Poet Laureate (1986-present) and Consultant in Poetry (1937-1985) to the Library of Congress."
Library of Congress Poetry Resources : Library of Congress Web Guide
"Comprehensive guide to locating poetry resources available on the Library of Congress's Web site." Includes guides on how to find a poem and locating poetry criticism.
Poetry Month Resources
Download a free collection of chapters on teaching poetry from 14 Stenhouse books spanning
K-12—a 266-page PDF to celebrate National Poetry Month.
Online Poetry Classroom
Here you will find a wealth of information, including essays about teaching poetry; a roundup of relevant websites; and curriculum units and lesson plans for teaching poetry at the primary, secondary, and university level. Lessons are aligned with Common Core Standards, each of which have been prepared by a curriculum specialist concerned with developing skills of perception and imagination.
Language Arts: Writing
- Public Agenda
Policy and basic facts and public opinion about many current events and governmental topics.
- Multnomah Homework Page
This web page has been created to meet the needs of Multnomah County middle and high school students researching current social issues from multiple perspectives.
Database which allows for searching by subject or topic that students might want to use for a debate topic. A summary of the major issues of that topic and background information is given.
- Great Communicator Files
President Ronald Reagan was known as the Great Communicator. But what goes on behind the scenes in making a great speech? In the Great Communicator Files, students can explore the primary sources from the speech files from three of President Reagan’s most famous speeches: Pointe du Hoc and Remarks at Omaha Beach, both World War II commemorative speeches, and his address to the nation after the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Free, downloadable Teacher Resources and Documents focus on the speech-making and speech-writing process. Hard copies of the speeches, along with a DVD of President Reagan giving the speeches, are available on request.
The Art of Storytelling
The Art of Storytelling is a website hosted by the Delaware Museum of Art. On the site, students can listen to and read stories based on works of art. Students can also create their own stories simply by selecting a work of art and then typing a story or recording an audio through their computer’s microphone. Students can also build stories after creating their own simple works of art, using drag-and-drop menus. Stories can then be shared on The Art of Storytelling website.
Play scripts online
D.M. Bocaz-Larson offers a variety of drama scripts free at this website.
- Forms of Address
How to address-both in writing and verbally-religious, governmental, academic, and military persons.
- Revision: Cultivation with a Critical Eye
This site offers distinct definitions of the various stages of revision: large-scale revision, small-scale revision, ing, and proofreading.
- A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices
Definitions, with examples, of sixty rhetorical devices of writing style and arrangement to promote effective written expression. The devices include the familiar--alliteration, analogy, metaphor, onomatopoeia, and simile--and the more obscure: aporia, dirimens copulatio, parataxis, symploce, and zeugma. There is a Self-Test to measure the user's understanding of the devices.
- American Writers
Great stuff. Relates to C-Span's new history series--however---you can use it alone, too(or in a group if you were so inclined).
This website lets children write, illustrate, and publish their own stories. It also has hints on the writing process as students develop their stories. When a story or book is complete, teachers can order professional-quality hard-cover, paperback, or digital copies. Teacher registration is free.
The website Figment—founded in 2010 by Jacob Lewis, a former editor of The New Yorker, and Dana Goodyear, a New Yorker staff writer—gives young writers a forum to freely publish their work. The site presently boasts more than 220,000 registered users and has stocked a library of more than 350,000 individual pieces, ranging from reflective poetry to multi-chapter novellas. As with Facebook, Figment users—most of whom are between 13 and 24 years old—create a profile and upload their work, giving it a title and selecting from a large collection of stock images to use as cover art. Other users can read the pieces online and leave comments and provide feedback. Figment will continue to add features, such as “in-text editing” enabling users to change their work online in real time. In addition, Figment will continue to bring in professional writers and published authors for online Q&A sessions, live chats and blog posts, to connect them to Figment’s aspiring teenage writers. Figment also hosts regular contests in different genres in order to feature fresh young talent.
This is interactive graphic organizer that gives students several ways to outline and structure their writing – introduction, main idea, supporting details, and conclusion.
More Student Writing With Less Teacher Grading