Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Geography with Google’s My Maps

May 23rd, 2019

 

It’s Thursday, May 23, 2019, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Google’s My Maps

(www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/?hl=en)

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

 

If you’ve ever visited Google Maps (or MapQuest or Yahoo Maps), you know that you can pan and zoom a world map from your computer. But did you know you can customize that map for your homeschooling?

My Maps requires a free Google account. The beauty of My Maps is: 

  • It’s free.
  • It’s easy.
  • Google stores it for you and provides a web address (a URL) so that you can share your map with friends or family.

When you get to the site, click the “Create New Map” button. (If you don’t have a Google account, it will prompt you to sign up.)

Here’s how it works: Once the map comes up, use the features on the map’s menu to customize it by adding colored pins and labels to it, draw lines on it, or even insert pictures. (Here’s a link to My Maps Help with more details on how to use the features.)

My Maps was very helpful last summer with information about specific California wildfires. The fire map also included info about air quality, evacuation orders, shelters, fire containment statistics, road closures, and more.

Once we started thinking about My Maps for homeschooling, the possibilities seemed endless: 

  • Label a map with events from your history studies.
  • Use the map as a quiz by putting questions onto it.
  • Share the map with other families in a reading group. When children complete a book, let them add a pin to the map indicating where the author was from or where the story took place.
  • Help young children trace routes to the grocery store or to Grandma’s house.
  • Use it as a diary for a family vacation.

And more!

Free Art and Design Lessons

May 18th, 2019

 

It’s Saturday, May 18, 2019, and time for Art at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Artyfactory

(artyfactory.com/)

Age Range: 11 and up (Grades 6 and up; children with parental supervision)

 

This ad-supported website includes step-by-step, how-to art lessons. It also offers art appreciation tutorials on topics like “Still Life” or “Animals in Art” or broader “Art Movements.”

When you get to the site, choose from: 

  • Art Lessons
  • Art Appreciation
  • Design Lessons

Little ones can’t interact with Artyfactory on their own. The content and writing are at an advanced level. (In fact, it is suspect most of the content doubles as MacTaggart’s college course material.) But there’s tremendous potential here for a creative homeschooler as follows: 

  • Use it directly as reading or coursework for a high school student.
  • Adapt the lessons for younger pupils. The “Pencil Shading” exercises, for example, found under “Pencil Portraits” in the Art Lessons section, would be a fun challenge. The “How to Draw Animals” lessons might work with a talented middle school student, too, but these are no Ed Emberley thumbprints: they require a good eye and a controlled hand.
  • Fill in holes in your own knowledge. After spending some time on this site you’ll be able to introduce your children to Expressionism paintings and more next time you visit a museum.

There’s a wealth of information here: color theory (both technical stuff like the color wheel and the emotional impact of colors in painting), a thorough overview of African masks and Egyptian hieroglyphs, shading techniques in pen and ink, etc.

NOTE: As always, PARENTS SHOULD PREVIEW the site to determine suitability of content for your own children.

Free Game & Curriculum Teach the War of 1812

May 2nd, 2019

 

It’s Thursday, May 2, 2019, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Fort McHenry – Hold the Fort game

(www.nps.gov/fomc/holdthefort/)

Age Range: 9-14 (Grades 4-8, with parental supervision)

 

This website, sponsored by The National Park Service and Fort McHenry National Historic Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, provides a free interactive, multi-media game and free curriculum to teach students about the War of 1812.

When you get to the website, you’ll see a menu that includes: information about the game, a preview video of the game, game screenshots, and the history of the War of 1812. If you click on “About the History” you’ll find a link to “Teacher Resources” provided by the Friends of Fort McHenry with free downloadable lessons for grades 4-8.

We highly suggest reading “About the Game” to understand the nuances of play. This game takes about 45-75 minutes to play, depending on how quickly you maneuver your player, and how well you prepare and command your troops at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. You’ll engage in a variety of activities that will determine the outcome of the battle including: 

  • Lead and inspire 1,000 men under your command!
  • Manage fort resources to survive the long day and night!
  • Explore a 3D virtual world of the fort!
  • Play the Fife & Drum and command a Gun Battery!
  • And of course, fly the flag!

The goal of the game is to protect Fort McHenry from invasion by British troops, inspiring a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Stories From A Long, Long Time Ago

April 24th, 2019

 

It’s Wednesday, April 24, 2019, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Once Upon a Time

(http://www.longlongtimeago.com/once-upon-a-time/)

Age Range: 6-11 (Grades 1-5, with parental supervision. Also there is 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
  • Fairy Tales
  • Myths
  • The Epics Retold
  • A Glimpse of History
  • The Spirit of Festivals
  • Great Discoveries
  • Ryhmes & Riddles in the Nursery

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 younger children (about ages 3-5) called “Pomegranate Pips” (from the top menu). These stories are all accompanied by illustrations. 

And don’t miss “Beyond Stories” where there are more stories including puzzles and games.

Virtual Tour of a Science Museum in Japan

April 5th, 2019

 

It’s Friday, April 5, 2019, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Little Day Out-National Museum of Nature and Science

(tinyurl.com/y4p9g6nu)

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

 

The National Museum of Nature and Science is one of Japan’s biggest science museums, with over 10,000 exhibits that explore everything from outer space and dinosaurs to the unique ecosystems of Japan and the world’s latest advances in technology.

Little Day Out, a Singapore-based online magazine, toured the museum and gave us a nice overview. Scroll through the text and pictures starting with the Japan Gallery (history of Japan) and moving to the Global Gallery (earth’s history).

When you are done reading all about the museum, head on over to the museum site here where you can watch an introductory video – with a cartoon dinosaur as your tour guide. The first 6 minutes gives you a tour; the rest explains the rules of behavior while visiting the museum. Arigato gozaimasu!

Language Arts Quizzes

March 20th, 2019

 

It’s Wednesday, March 20, 2019, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Quiz Tree

(www.quiz-tree.com/)

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

 

This ad-supported website offers animated, interactive educational quizzes on a variety of subjects including Spelling, Reading, and lots more.

Students of all ages can use the quizzes to test their knowledge, prepare for an exam, or learn something new. For example, children in grades K-3 (who are just learning to read) can try the Dolch sight words. Spelling Bee hopefuls can try mastering the lists of misspelled words. Older students can prepare for the SAT and GRE.

When you get to the site, scroll down to see the menu. It may seem sparse, but each line in that menu opens to a new page with numerous quizzes. You can even access the quizzes by grade level. Some of the other Language Arts topics are: 

  • Commonly Confused Words
  • American Idioms
  • Advanced Vocabulary
  • ESL Grammar

These quizzes (games) are fun, eye-pleasing, and include sound effects (so turn on your speakers). Some are drag-and-drop, and some are multiple-choice. Sometimes hints are available but may cost you points. Some quizzes are timed. If you get an answer wrong, one of a set of disappointed tones will sound and you will get another chance. A different set of sounds applaud your successes. At the end of the quiz, your score will be displayed and you will be given a chance to try the quiz again.

Bookmark this page to return often!

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