Resources to Support Teaching of English and Language Arts


Figment Geared to young adults, Figment is a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you're into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here. Sign up is free.

Book Wink Updated occasionally, this site uses QuickTime to view vodcast (video podcast) booktalks! Very motivating to use with a whole class, the site also includes an archive of past booktalks, and students can visit the site anytime to get suggestions for great books to read!

Read.gov Hosted by the Library of Congress, this site has been created to reach readers of all ages! Check the site often for exciting, engaging reading opportunites for your students!

The Book Seer Enter the title and author of a book you've just read, and The Book Seer will search amazon.com and Library Thing to list twenty titles and authors you would probably enjoy reading next! No sign-up required.

Vocab Ahead This site includes a variety of short videos illustrating the meanings of words. There is a study room, a flashcard feature, and with an e-mail address, you can subscribe to the Word of the Day.

Vocabulary SpellingCity is an educational website with 25 different learning activities including spelling tests, vocabulary Flashcards, HangMouse (like Hangman), Unscramble, and crossword puzzles.When teachers sign up for a free membership, they get their own homepages, where they can enter and save customized word lists that their students can access. These word lists may be used in a variety of games and activities.
Knoword Expand your vocabulary and improve your keyboarding skills in this fast-paced, addictive game. Set the level of difficulty in the Game Mode area, and you're off. Read the definition and the first letter of the word, type in the rest of the word (spelling counts, too), and see how many of these you can solve in the time provided! Be sure to sign up for a free account so you can track your scores and earn badges.

VisuwordsLook up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate. Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections. This tool is really powerful if you use it in conjunction with Wordle.

Wordia Bring words to life through video! Teachers need to sign up for a free account. Includes word games.

GotBrainy This is a community of learners dedicated to mastery of the vocabulary found on the SAT. Students can choose a word and then create either a Brainy Pix (like a motivational poster) or a Brainy Flix (movie).

Plinky Offers a different writing prompt everyday. There is also a search feature and you can see past topics. Middle and high school students can create accounts and then share their responses through Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, an account is not needed to view the prompts. Teachers could show the prompts via the Promethean or Smartboard and have students respond in writing.

BoomWriter Designed for students in grades 3-6, this free online tool lets the teacher create a story starter. Students then write to complete second chapter. Once their chapters have been written, students vote anonymously for the one that will be added to the class book. The process then continues until the book has been written. Students, teachers, and parents then have the opportunity to read the book online, or to purchase a bound and printed copy!

Writing Prompts Here's a collection of visual writing prompts, aligned to the Common Core. The site offers several samples to get you started, but you can access a list of 180 more from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Google Lit Trips This site is an experiment in teaching great literature in a very different way. Using Google Earth, this mashup helps students discover where in the world the greatest road trip stories of all time took place... and so much more!

Lexile Framework for Reading Sign up for a free account, and you'll have access to an array of tools that will help you assess students' comprehension levels and match reading materials to their needs. There are resources for parents here, as well. This site is invaluable for teachers of students in Grades K-12.

Sites that Fuel a Love of Reading Check out this list of websites for students in grades 2-12 to get great ideas to keep your students reading year-round.

Mixbook for Educators This free program allows students to create personal e-books. The program has easy to use templates for the beginner, but also allows freedom to create for the more advanced user. The books can be viewed online for free, but there is a fee to print them. (Just a note: no sounds can be added to the products.)

Juvenile Series and Sequels The 'Juvenile Series and Sequels' database currently contains over 26,700 books in series titles that are classified into three audiences:
  • Young Adult [YA] – for 6th through 12th grade readers
  • Juvenile [J] – for 2nd through 6th grade readers
  • Juvenile Easy [JE] – for birth through 2nd grade readers

60 Second Recap Quick, one-minute videos that summarize key elements of classic literature! You'll love this free site, and so will your students.

Common Sense Media Lots of great book reviews. What's neat is that you can click on the age group you want to see books for and it will give you reasons why each of those books has been recommended for that age group. It also gives you the "good stuff" about that book and items to "watch out for". You can even narrow your search by genre or award winners. Scroll down until you see the link for Book Reviews on the left-hand side. (There are also lots of great reviews for games, movies, TV, etc on here if you're interested.)

PicLit Use this web 2.0 tool to help students conquer the intimidation of the blank page. They can use pictures, or even a bank of random words, to help them formulate ideas for writing.
Virtual Grammar Lab Signing up for a free VGL teacher account will allow you to:
  • Create classes that your students can join when they sign up for a free VGL student account.
  • Manage your classes: set start/end dates, mark as current/not current, change the course name, number, etc.
  • Add your students to your classes yourself (after they've signed up a for their free VGL student account).
  • Track your students' progress: see the complete history of activities they've viewed, how often and when they've logged in, and other study statistics.
  • Create study assignments: select specific activities or general search criteria (e.g., "fill-in-the-blank activities about adverbs") that are appropriate for your students. Save these as a study assignment with customized instructions and due dates. When your students log into the VGL, they'll get a link that takes them directly to the activities you've assigned.
  • Track your students' completion of study assignments: See how many activities students have viewed for each study assignment.
  • Add new grammar activities or grammar websites to the VGL database, to help the VGL grow!

Teachers at Random Provides teachers' guides to popular books, links to author sites, and tips for reluctant readers, to name just a few helpful features!

Book Adventure This site is for kids, parents, and teachers. By creating a secure online account, students can create a personalized reading list of fiction or nonfiction books by grade level, genre, topic, and level of difficulty. There are quizzes students can take to earn points for prizes. This is a great reading incentive site.

Read Write Think Created by the International Reading Association (IRA), this site has an extensive list of high-quality lesson plans for grades K-12, web resources for teachers, and wonderful online resources for students (examples include a book jacket creator, an essay map, and Doodle Splash writing/drawing tool).

Reading Rockets Here is a deep resource for the reading teacher! It includes strategies to help kids who struggle, techniques for teaching reading, lists of books, authors, articles, podcasts, videos, webcasts, blogs about reading, etc.

Word Games You may need to override the filter to get to this site, but it is absolutely the best word games site around. Includes typing games.

Merriam Webster WWWebster's Dictionary There's more here than meets the eye...Look up a definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, or usage point in the on-line version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition. A thesaurus can be queried for similar words, hypertext cross references are available, misspellings return suggested spellings, and there are hypertext links to illustrations. Includes links to the Word of the Day and transcripts of the Word for the Wise radio program.

Dr. Goodword's Word Wizard Club Make sure students know when to use their, they're, and there as well as the difference between principal and principle. This site is packed with ways to play with words while learning their correct spellings and definitions. Download 15 crossword challenges, or let students complete them online. The spelling section provides help with words that are often mispronounced and misspelled. There are even a spelling bee, and a Word Wizard Club, along with strategies to help students recall the proper spelling and meaning.

Scholastic Scholastic in the Classroom provides information on book clubs, links to author and illustrator sites, and a virtual mountain of literature resources to support your teaching and your students' learning.

Giggle Poetry Read funny poems, see how fast you and your friends can read a tongue twister, enter poetry contests, or challenge yourself with fill-in-the-blank poems. Includes tips on how you can become a "giggle poet" too!

The Poetry Tool Find poems and poets; discovery poetry!

Mystery Net's Kids' Mysteries Mysteries to solve, scary stories, magic tricks, and contests. Contains a new mystery every week. Enter a writing contest and you could win a prize.

Wacky Web Tales Geared for grades 4 and above, this site first asks you for nouns, verbs, and other words which it then enters into a story. A wacky tale is the result! (Sort of like Mad Libs!)

Book Hive Searchable site that includes recommended reviews for a variety of reading levels from birth through grade 12!

Booktalks Quick and Simple Over 300 booktalks you can use to get kids excited about reading!

Biography Maker These online lessons explain what a biography should be and walk writers through questioning, learning, synthesis, and story-telling. The site includes embedded links to relevant Internet resources and tips for effective writing.

Book Mooch Sign up to swap your books. You list the books you would like to trade, mail them off to other members who request them (you pay the shipping), and then use the points you earn from sharing to request books you want from other members!

Shadow Poetry This site began as an email listserv about poetry writing. It's a wonderful destination for all those who teach and love poetry. One of the best resources is Poetry Types, which provides examples of more than 50 different kids of poetry such as the limerick, acrostic, ode, cinquain, villanelle, diamante, and sestina. There's information about writing a haiku, biographies of famous poets, advice for online publishing, poetry contests, and many other helpful resources.