Archive for the ‘language arts’ category

Free Tips for Young Writers!

May 4th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, May 4, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Blue Zoo Writers

(www.bluezoowriters.com/category/young-writers-tips/)

Age Range: 10 and up (Grades 4 and up approximately, with parental supervision)

 

This website is a free online learning center to help writers of all ages learn to write better without taking up a lot of your time.

As explained at the site: 


As W. Somerset Maugham said: “There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” This is not a place for rules. On the other hand, it’s not a place for endless advice… My promise here: no fluff. Just help.


When you click on the link above it will take you to the “Young Writers – Tips” page. While the entire site offers helpful information for writers of all ages, this particular page is a good jumping off point – with lots of short writing tips especially useful for young writers. You’ll see a menu of articles that include guidelines and suggestions for writing: 

  • Poetry
  • Brainstorming Ideas for Stories
  • The Difference Between an Idea and a Story
  • Good First Lines to Start a Great Story

The articles include advice and examples from well-known writers such as Barbara Kingsolver, Sid Fleischman, Jan Yolen, Dr. Seuss, and more. You’ll find links to resources within the articles as well.

When you’re through exploring the “Young Writers Tips,” click on “Core Advice for Your Writing Craft and Career” on the menu. There, you’ll find more articles on becoming a better writer, including the “Blue Zoo Curriculum – An Outline.” It’s a set of core articles on 10 skills “a professional writer would do well to master” and are grouped into three categories: 

  • Being a Writer – Get advice on becoming a better writer along with some motivational techniques.
  • The Craft of Writing – Find out how to spin an appealing story and  how to create a sense of place.
  • Career Development – Discover how to build your writer’s brand.

How To Be A Writing Mentor to Your Child

April 27th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, April 27, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Wonder Farm

(patriciazaballos.com/become-a-writing-mentor-to-your-child/)

Age Range: Varies (written with homeschool parents in mind).

 

One of the most challenging subjects or skill sets to help children learn is writing. Enter Patricia Zaballos, a veteran homeschool mom, writer, and educator who values “child-led, passion-driven, project-based learning, gently encouraged by enthusiastic adults.” For the past 12 years, she has facilitated writer’s workshops for homeschooled children, and teaches homeschool parents how to make writing more “fun, authentic, and meaningful for their kids.”

Patricia writes a terrific blog called “Wonder Farm” that currently features a free series on how to “Become a Writing Mentor To Your Child.” It is filled with thought-provoking commentary and practical albeit unconventional suggestions and ideas that will ease your anxiety and inspire your desire to help your kids learn to write. There are 8 installations so far that include:  

  • Part 8: Encouraging without Discouraging
  • Part 7: The Power of Positive Feedback
  • Part 6: Finding Meaningful Writing or Kids
  • Part 5: Grammar By Ear
  • Part 4: That Niggling Thing Called Spelling
  • Part 3: Three Points from a Mentor
  • Part 2: They Know Stuff
  • Part 1: Teacher or Mentor?

When you get to the website you’ll see the current blog post, “Grammar By Ear.” Read it. It may change your perspective and open a world of writing freedom and fun to you and your family. You’ll especially enjoy the free tips at the end of the article for helping kids learn grammar and punctuation.

Take the time to explore the archived blog posts, and use the menu to learn more about Patricia and her family, their homeschool journey, her book, and more.

Stories From A Long, Long Time Ago

April 20th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, April 20, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Long, Long Time Ago Stories

(www.longlongtimeago.com/)

Age Range: 6-11 (Grades 1-5, with a separate page for ages 3-5, see details below)

 

Children’s book author, Rohini Chowdhury, retells a collection of timeless tales for kids that you can read online or print out to read offline. There are no bells and whistles at this website just interesting stories that children will enjoy reading or hearing.

When you get to the site you’ll see a menu that includes: 

  • Fables
  • Folktales
  • Fairytales
  • Myths
  • Festival Stories
  • Tales from History
  • Classics
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Stories Behind Great Discoveries
  • Tales Behind Nursery Rhymes
  • Short Stories

Click on any item and a new page opens with a brief historical introduction and a short menu of stories in that tradition. Most are retold by Chowdhury, unless otherwise indicated. The stories are presented in plain text, and a few of the stories are accompanied by colorful illustrations.

NOTE: Because myths, fairy tales, legends, fantasy and the like can touch on many themes and topics, parents (as always) should preview the material on this site to determine suitability of content for their own children.

Chowdhury also offers a collection of stories for young children (about ages 3-5) called “Pomegranate Pips.” These stories are all accompanied by illustrations.

In addition to the stories available on the site, you’ll find some free, printable, activity pages – a crossword and word search for older children, and a maze for young children.

The Literature, Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe

April 13th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, April 13, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Knowing Poe

(knowingpoe.thinkport.org/)

Age Range: 9-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)

 

This website explores the literature, life, and times of the state of Maryland’s native son and writer, Edgar Allan Poe. It is sponsored by Thinkport, a resource for Maryland educators and families in association with public television and Johns Hopkins University.

Turn on your speakers to engage in a variety of multi-media activities that will help you learn about one of America’s foremost writers, who is best known for works such as “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

This site offers some ingenious methods for learning about Poe through both historical and fictional means, as well as from a number of different perspectives. Learn about the era he lived in, what his house, family, and hometown were like, and see how it informed the complex choices Poe made as he wrote poems and stories. You can even become a forensic investigator and review the “hard facts” about Poe’s untimely death.

Use the lesson plans and interactive experiences, including primary source documents, links to other website resources, and even some fun family-centered activities to understand the continuing impact of Poe’s legacy. [Note: Some of the links to other web-based resources are inoperative. However, we found that a quick Google search for those items led to results for similar content on a variety of other sites.]

When you get to the site you can click on images to begin to explore the content, or use the menu on the left to focus on: 

  • Poe The Person – Includes a timeline that highlights historic events that occurred during his lifetime. This section also offers, “It’ll be the Death of Me,” that allows you to explore the possible causes of Poe’s mysterious death.
  • Poe The Writer – Provides an exploration into Poe’s writings and the unusual tools, techniques, and revision processes he used.
  • The Poe Library – Access some of Poe’s works, primary source documents about Poe, and link to other resources about Poe.

In addition to all of the above, this site is filled with trivia and little known facts about Poe. The dark, mysterious images and style of the website maintains the spooky legacy of Poe’s most famous works. (Parents, as always, should preview this site to determine if the content is suitable for their own children.)

Wacky Ways to Learn Parts of Speech!

April 6th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, April 6, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Wacky Web Tales

(www.eduplace.com/tales/)

Age Range: 7-12 (Grades 3-8 – and fun for all! – with parental supervision)

 

Houghton Mifflin (the education textbook publisher) sponsors this website that helps kids learn parts of speech – nouns, adverbs, adjectives, verbs, etc. Using interactive stories called “Wacky Web Tales” they offer an online version of the classic car game, Mad Libs.

When you get to the site you’ll see a menu of Wacky Web Tales titles. Click on any one and a new page opens that reveals the story title and a form. The form requires you to type in parts of speech (such as a singular noun, adjective, or present tense verb). The words you enter will be used to create a Wacky Web Tale — simply click on the “See Your Wacky Web Tale” button at the bottom of the form.

If you are unsure what an adverb (or any other part of speech called for on the form) is – just click on the “Parts of Speech Help” button for some quick definitions.

Because you don’t know how the parts of speech you filled in on the form will be used in the story – the resulting Wacky Web Tale can be pretty funny!

This is a painless way to learn, reinforce, or remediate parts of speech.

Grammar Games!

March 30th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, March 30, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

SlimeKids – Grammar

(www.slimekids.com/games/grammar-games/)

Age Range: 5-18 (Grades K-12, with parental supervision)

 

This website was developed by Andy Fine, the creator of SlimeKids. He explains on the site that SlimeKids is an acronym for School library media Kids because it combines all of those elements. He goes on to explain that SlimeKids was created to provide students with a playful, easy-to-use interface through which they could learn about and access valuable online resources.

On the site you’ll find an extensive collection of book trailers organized by year and by grade level as well as numerous language arts-related games. When you get to the site, look through the various selections of games that teach: 

  • Word usage
  • Literacy
  • Spelling
  • Typing
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar

Please note: There are many advertisements and links to other pages on this website. We only reviewed the Grammar Games page so as always, parental supervision is necessary.

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