Archive for the ‘language arts’ category

Free Typing Lessons and Games

May 25th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, May 25, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

FreeTypingGame.Net

(www.freetypinggame.net/)

Age Range: All (All grades; children with parental supervision)

 

This ad-supported website provides free touch-typing lessons as well as practice games and tests.

When you get to the site use the display menu or the menu tabs at the top of the screen to access:

  • Free Typing Lessons – Use your computer’s keyboard and follow the simple instructions on the site to learn to type. The interactive program teaches 2 keys at a time, starting with the “home row.” Beginners will find a proper hand placement guide too.
  • Free Typing Games – Choose from several different interactive, fun, arcade-like games that reinforce typing skills. For example, play “Meteor Typing Blast” and protect your spaceships from meteors and hostile UFOs – by using your typing skills to blast them out of the universe! Or for something a little less intense, try “Save the Sailboat Race.” Type the falling letters before they land on the boats and ruin the race!
  • Free Typing Tests – Get an accurate word per minute assessment of your typing ability. The tests have timer options of 1 to 5 minutes. When you’re through, submit your speed on the world wide scoreboard for all to see. Or print out a certificate with your name and typing speed.

Bookmark this one to return often.

Learn About Shakespeare – Online!

May 18th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, May 18, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Shakespeare Online

(www.shakespeare-online.com)

Age Range: 12-18 (Grades 7-12, with parental supervision)

 

This website offers all of Shakespeare’s works online along with articles and analysis of his life and works – and much more.

The site is produced by Amanda Mabillard who holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alberta in Canada and focused on Shakespeare and Renaissance political philosophy in both undergraduate and graduate school. She also happens to be the Shakespeare Guide on About.com, so some of her articles link to material posted there.

When you get to the site you’ll see the featured content in the center of the screen including a link to “Why Study Shakespeare”?

Use the menu on the left side of the screen to access all of his plays and sonnets along with analysis, plots, a biography of Shakespeare scholars, and a fun selection of Shakespeare quizzes.

Use the menu on the right side of the screen to get the answer to the question of the day, see the featured quote, the word of the week, and more.

The content here is comprehensive and a terrific resource for homeschool families. Bookmark this one so you can return often.

Free K-12 Literature Lessons & Activities

May 11th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, May 11, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

EDSITEment – Literature and Language Arts

(edsitement.neh.gov/subject/literature-language-arts)

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

 

This website sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, offers free, high-quality online lesson plans integrated with resources to promote active learning in literature and language arts (as well as other subjects such as art, foreign language, history and social studies).

When you get to the site, you’ll see a featured lesson plan. Below that is a sorting tool where you can select the grade level you want (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) and other features including subtopics such as: 

  • Biography
  • Drama
  • Essay
  • Fables, Fairy Tales, and Folklore
  • Novels
  • Poetry
  • Short Stories

Submit your parameters and a menu of lesson plans will appear below the sorting tool. Click on any lesson title and a new page opens displaying the lesson including: 

  • Guiding Questions
  • Learning Objectives
  • Preparation Instructions
  • Lesson Activities
  • Extending the Lesson

You’ll find links to free, carefully screened educational websites where you can read the literature online and find resources to extend the learning. In some cases you’ll find free, printable worksheets as well.

The content is so extensive that a description here simply doesn’t do it justice. This is a remarkable resource for the home educator – so bookmark it to return often.

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

(http://www.bluezoowriters.com/young-writers/)

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.

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