Language Arts

ReadWriteThink is an excellent website to look at when planning language arts activities. It has resources for teachers, interactive tools, great links, and more.

Tech-Enhanced Alternatives to Book Reports

From The Apple
1. Let students create a cartoon version of the book they have just finished.
2. Let students create a short video clip about the book.
3. Create a virtual poster advertising the book. Glogster is a great online tool for this.
4. Encourage students to create their own virtual bookshelves with Shelfari
5. Book Adventure is an online reading motivation program.
6. Bookcasting is a recorded audio podcast about a book.
7. Allow students to create a timeline of events in the story they just read in an online timeline.
8. Wikis are an excellent place for students to share book reviews.
9. Excite and motivate students to read with Book Wink.
10. Voice Thread is an amazing site that allows students to create web 2.0 slide shows that become interactive and collaborative. See here for more information on VoiceThread

Vocabulary Enhancers

Visuwords - Online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.

Pre-Reading


During-Reading

  • Listen to stories being read aloud, following the words. The Living Books series, Bailey's Bookhouse, and sites listed here are some great resources.
  • Create your own talking stories using Clicker. This software has a great library of images, or insert your own. Photostory or VoiceThread can also be used to create audio stories.
  • Read and record a story, saving as a podcast for use by the class or younger class. Sites such as Storyline Online has famous people reading well-known stories.
  • To build reading fluency and comprehension:
    1. Teacher records self reading, using Audacity or Garage Band.
    2. Record student who struggles with fluency using the same tool and reading passage.
    3. Open the recording so you can see the audio wave representation.
    4. Show student the difference between the flat lines in monotonous reading and the peaks and valleys that come with expressive reading.

Post-Reading
  • Post (or read) book reviews by other kids on the Spaghetti Book Club. VoiceThread can be used to create book reviews and discuss about a book.
  • Summarize major events of a story through a timeline. Here are some free online timeline creators.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the structure of a story through graphic organizers such as Kidspiration, Inspiration, or Webspiration. These tools have options to transfer the diagram (or outline) to Microsoft Word and use to start writing.
  • Do a character study using a graphic organizer template
  • Create a comic strip focusing on a character or the main elements of a story. Try these: Chogger, MakeBeliefsComix
  • Create your own story using the included tools on sites such as Storymaker, Storybird
  • Study word usage or vocabulary by pasting into Wordle

Writing

  • Do you overuse certain words (i.e. said)? Paste your text into Wordle and see which words are most common (largest).
  • Blogsare an excellent tool to promote writing - journaling, reflection, posting poetry, etc. Students or others can comment, providing useful feedback.
    • Instead of assigning a section of a book to read and then discuss the next day, a class blog can be used the night before, with the students contributing to the discussions. through comments. This can be shared the next day. Participation in the blog commenting could be the requirement for a grade.
  • Use Google Docs to collaboratively work on the same document. Wikis are great for work
  • Create your own myth or legend using the Myths & Legends Story Maker.
  • Use the text splitter tool in the SmartBoard Notebook to take a sentence or passage, break it apart into words, and rearrange it (edit for fluency, etc).
  • Project a student's work on the SmartBoard and work as a class to use the pens to make editing marks.
  • Create an interactive, "choose-your-own adventure" type of story using multimedia software with hyperlinking functionality, such as Hyperstudio.
  • Inspired by beautiful professional illustrations, create your own virtual book using Storybird . Can create a chain story, create a new page when new concepts/vocab are introduced.
  • Use **PicLits** as a creative stimulus tool to compose a poem (word "magnets" supplied, or write your own). utilizing the site's collection of images. Completed poem can be saved, printed, or embedded into a blog, wiki, etc.
  • Create an authentic audiencefor your students' writing. Types of writing students enjoy doing:
    • Blogging
    • Commenting on blogs and responding to comments
    • Emailing
    • Wikis
    • Social networking, including Facebook
    • "How to" videos written by students
    • Persuasive writing on a topic of particular passion, interest, or relevance to students
  • Use tools such as Fakebook to create biography about a person
  • Use BoomWriter to create collaborative chapter stories with your class, with members voting anonymously on the best submission for that chapter.