Posts Tagged ‘Sign Language’

Grammar Gorillas & Much More!

May 9th, 2007

Recommended Websites:
Grammar Gorillas & Much More!

May 7-12 is National Pet Week! This week, ClickSchooling will bring you educational
websites featuring pets! What fun!

Age Range: Varied (As always, parents should preview sites to determine
suitability of content.)

Most people don’t have pet gorillas. However, in Woodside, California there
is a very unusual “pet” gorilla named Koko, who over the past 25 years has
learned to sign over 1,000 words and can also understand spoken English!
Here are some websites that feature Koko and her uncanny ability with
language arts:

Koko’s Kids Club.

Learn all about Koko and the Gorilla Foundation at her official website.

Koko TV.

This website offers educational TV clips of Koko in action. When you get to
the site, you may have to wait a few moments for the download so you can
watch the videos. There are even more videos available from the menu at the
right. Be sure to scroll down each page so that you don’t miss all of the
videos on this site!

Nature: A Conversation with Koko.

This PBS website about Koko includes “Koko’s scrapbook” that younger
children will enjoy, but that’s not all…

This site offers kids of all ages an opportunity to LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE WITH
KOKO by playing an interactive game.

Now, did you know that “Grammar Gorillas” is also a term used to describe
any feature of grammar which people find particularly challenging? Try your
hand at these grammar gorillas:

Funbrain: Grammar Gorillas

Learn various parts of speech and grammar with this fast-paced, fun, and
interactive game called “Grammar Gorillas.”

Enjoy! :)

Virtual Field Trip: Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc!

December 8th, 2006

Recommended Website:
The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc!

Take a virtual field trip to the world’s only known well-preserved
prehistoric cave drawings! There is much to be discovered at this remarkable
website.

For example, animals depicted on the walls of the cave astonished
scientists, who had no other record that these species existed at that
particular time in history. The cave will never be open to the public,
because a variation in temperature of even one thousandth of a degree could
cause these paintings to begin to deteriorate. Only a very select group of
scientists and artists are being allowed to enter, slowly and painstakingly
exploring, documenting, and analyzing the paintings, bones, and other
evidence within the cave, much of which they estimate to be about 32,000
years old. The virtual tour of this cave is available in French, English,
and Spanish, so that all of us to whom access is forbidden, can see and
appreciate the wonders that it contains! (The French government is planning
to keep this website updated as new discoveries are made.)

To begin your journey, click the small square at the bottom right of the
page, which says, “Visit the Cave.” Once there, you will see a map marked
with small red and green dots. Click any dot to see a picture and
description of what can be found in that part of the cave. Be sure to click
on the small yellow squares on each picture to get a closer look! If you are
unable to access the very first red dot, use the back arrow at the bottom of
the following picture to backtrack to the beginning of the tour. (The little
red prism near each dot is meant to indicate the angle at which each
photograph was taken.)

After you have completed the tour, the little house in the top left corner
of the screen will take you back to the home page, from which the curious
can explore many articles about the discovery, authentication, and
preservation of this amazing cave, the significance of its drawings,
first-hand accounts of privileged visitors (artists, poets, dignitaries,
etc.), and even the legal battles involved in its procurement. :)

And now for a hidden gem: Click on the small gold coin at the bottom left of
the screen to access several more archaeological tours of the wonders of
France, including tours of Gaul and ancient Roman Paris. The most
recently-added virtual tour even has remarkably clear narration in French
Sign Language! (To access that one, you will need to click “Francais,”
select the photo marked “Nouveau,” then select “Langue des Signes.”)

Fun, Foreign Language Games Online!

July 15th, 2006

Recommended Website:
Apples 4 The Teacher: Foreign Languages

This is really cool! Today’s site offers FREE interactive games to practice elementary foreign languages. When you get to the site look for the menu that includes:

  • American Sign Language — Learn to fingerspell and create your own printable sign flashcards.
  • Gaelic Games (Ireland) — Learn all about Ireland by turning the pages of an electronic book. You’ll even hear a story in Gaelic.
  • Polish Games — Follow the dot-to-dot game and learn to count backwards in Polish!
  • Spanish Games — There are 4 interactive Spanish games that teach the correct pronunciation of the letters of the Spanish alphabet, how to count to 20 forwards and backwards, and how to say the names of parts of the face.

What a fun way to introduce foreign languages and/or reinforce them!

American Sign Language Video Dictionary

April 1st, 2006

Recommended Website:
American Sign Language Browser

ClickSchooling list member Betsy in Tennessee recommended today’s website. She wrote:

“I happened upon this and thought it might be a good one for ClickSchooling. It is a “dictionary” for ASL — American Sign Language. You click on the word you want to know how to sign to see a video of a person doing it, and you can read a description of what they are doing. It has been very interesting for my kids and me to find out how to sign different things.”

This really is a helpful guide to American Sign Language, based on a more in-depth and comprehensive CD-ROM that is available for sale at the website. However, the “dictionary” provided at the website for FREE serves as a fascinating introduction to sign language — and it’s a great way for those of you who know ASL to refresh your knowledge of signing various words as well.

When you get to the site you will see a brief introduction. Click on the words “Take me to the ASL Browser” and a new page opens with instructions for how to use this interactive video dictionary.

Bookmark this site; you may want to refer to it often. :)

Virtual Field Trips with Lesson Plans

March 12th, 2004

Recommended Website:
Virtual-Field-Trips.com

Oh, the teacher in you is going to love this web site! An educator who loves real field trips has developed this site so that teachers, students and homeschoolers can enhance their studies with field trips on the information highway. With virtual field trips for art, geography, history, literature, math, music, and science — she has done all of the curriculum planning and research for you and includes objectives, lesson plans, questions and answers, and additional activities to further learning too.

When you get to the site you will see a menu and a brief introduction. Click on the “Tour Guide” button for an explanation of how this site works. Then, explore the lists of field trips by subject. Click on any one and a new page opens with a description of the field trip and the learning goals. Click on “Go” to begin your Field Trip. A new page opens with the “Lesson & Navigation Plan” and a step-by-step guided tour that will provide a multi-media presentation of the subject matter. Here are just a few of the field trip titles to whet your appetite:

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Oregon Trail
  • Roller Coasters
  • Whale Watching
  • Treasure Island
  • William Shakespeare
  • American Sign Language
  • Bureau of Engraving & Printing
  • Western Composers
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • National Zoo
  • and much more!

You could build a year’s worth of curriculum (or more!) around what is available at this website. It’s a great demonstration of the classroom of the future!

P.S. If you like this ClickSchooling recommendation, please pass it along (in its entirety) to other people and lists that might enjoy it. Invite them to join Clickschooling by visiting: http://www.clickschooling.com/.

Secret Codes: Encryption for Kids!

July 12th, 2003

Recommended Website:
Cryptology for Kids

This is a very simple, but straight-forward website with information, ideas, and activities to sooth the sleuth in anyone. It helps kids learn how to use code or ciphers to send or decode secret messages.

When you get to the site you will find text that explains:

  • What code, ciphers, encryption, enciphering and cryptology are…
  • How cryptology and secret writing have been used throughout history.
  • Links to various forms of cryptology including:
    • Morse Code
    • Navajo Code Talkers in WWII
  • ENIGMA, a code machine cracked by the Allies in WWII
  • An activity for budding cryptologists.
  • Helpful links to resources for learning encryption techniques including:
    • numbers that stand for letters
    • pigpen ciphers
    • mixed up alphabet
    • and many more
  • Fun Cryptology Projects including:
    • Mirror Writing
    • Invisible Ink
    • Cryptograph Wheel
    • American Sign Language
    • Pin Marks
    • and a great puzzle page using cryptology from the National Security Agency!
  • Have fun!

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