Tag Archives: language arts

Bookmaking Ideas to Celebrate Learning

Are you looking for bookmaking ideas? TechnoBookmaking has activities for making flip, folding, and accordion style books. Once students have finished making their stories, showcase their work. There are many ways to share students’ books with others.

Create a Real Audience for Students’ Books

  • Book Nook: Place your books on a classroom shelf. Classmates can read the books.
  • Reading Circle: Form a small group. Take turns reading your stories.
  • Book Buddies: Visit the kindergarten classroom to read books to the children.
  • Book Exchange: Pair up with a fellow student. Take turns reading each other’s books.
  • Book Launch: Promote a book. Make a poster to encourage readers to read your story. Create copies of your book and sign them for fans. Give away your book to friends and family members.
  • bookmaking ideas to celebrate learning

    Encourage Reluctant Readers to Share their Books

  • Book Booster Club: Form a club. Read a book. Each reader shares one thing they really like about the book. Comments can be about the storyline, illustrations, computer skills, or creativity.
  • Book Talk: Share your favorite book with the class or a small group. Talk about the story or design. For example: Where did you get the idea? What problems did you need to overcome? Why is it your favorite? What did you learn? What would you do differently next time?
  • Library Display: Arrange books on a table top. Create an eye-catching sign such as Beautiful Bookmaking, Grade 2 Bookmakers, or Discover Our Budding Authors.
  • Bookmaking Workshop: Pair up with a student from another class. Show them one of your books. Teach the student how to make their own book.
  • Young Author’s Conference: Be a local author and bookmaking expert. Team up to organize a school-wide conference. Invite students from other classes to learn how to make books. Read your stories to attendees and lead them through a bookmaking activity.

Discover Bookmaking Ideas and Activities

Integrate technology into language arts. Use the step by step instructions and templates in TechnoBookmaking. This project contains bookmaking ideas suitable for Grades 1-6.

10 Tips for Using E-Cards in the Classroom

Have your students sent and received online greeting cards? Here are some tips to make finding, sending, and receiving e-Cards in the classroom a fun, easy, and worthwhile activity.
ecard

  1. Try Different Web Browsers: Some e-Cards need the Flash program to show the message. If your web browser will not play Flash animation, try another web browser.
  2. Do Not Click on Advertisements: Free e-Card services have advertisements. They will redirect you from the website. Ignore them.
  3. Pick a Suitable Card: There are many different e-Cards. Some may not be for kids. Look for keywords such as Children or Kids to find those for your age group.
  4. Find Cards that are Free: Some e-Cards require a subscription or payment. Look for keywords such as free.
  5. Be Creative: Often when sending an e-Card you can add a note, pick a design, or select the music. Add a personal touch!
  6. Do Not Join a Mailing List: Some e-Card services ask you to add your e-mail to a mailing list. This will cause you to get lots of junk mail. Do not check the box for this option.
  7. Ignore Free Trial Options: You may visit an e-Card website that asks you to fill out a form for a free trial. Often you can ignore this option and still send an e-Card.
  8. Have Patience: When you send an e-Card it may take time to reach the person. Do not worry! They will get it soon.
  9. Check Your Junk Folder: Did someone send you an e-Card? Check your Junk, Trash, or Clutter folder. Move the message to your Inbox to view the e-Card.
  10. Send a Link to an e-Card Video: If you are having trouble finding a free e-Card service, send a link to a video greeting instead. Search the Internet for a suitable video. Write an e-mail and include the video URL in the message.

e-cards in the classroom

See more about e-Cards in the classroom:

To view a list of free e-Card sites, click here.

To read 10 reasons why sending e-Cards in the classroom is an appropriate and worthwhile technology activity, click here.

To teach online digital literacy, internet safety, search strategies, and research skills in a fun way, click here.

Teach Students New Writing Skills with Blogging

Blogging is a unique form of writing that presents students with new challenges. Taking advantage of students’ keen interest in technology and combining it with language arts curriculum objectives allows teachers to use one project to create productive as well as highly motivating lessons.

Students as Consumers of Information

Traditional classroom writing assignments have students play the role of consumers of information: they research, study, or summarize facts that they have read, watched, or heard from another source. Social studies, science, history, and geography writing tasks generally have students retell and demonstrate what they have learned. The focus is on the information and as a result, language arts skills may often be overlooked. If the focus is on the writing instead, progress can occur in leaps and bounds.

Students as Producers of Information
TechnoKids

Blogs, by their very nature, place the writer in the role of a producer of information. Bloggers write from an area of expertise or interest. They do not have to search for material or facts. The writing comes from within.

When we introduced blogging to Grade 7 and 8 students, we asked them to choose a subject about which they were familiar or a subject in which they had a personal interest. We were amazed at the topics they came up with! The range of topics seemed infinite: food, sports, family, hobbies, television shows, video games, fashion, books, shopping, and more. Once students started writing about an area of interest, they were hooked! Even reluctant writers and students new to the English language had lots to say.

Structured Blogging

Just like any other curriculum assignment, students were given required elements to their writing. To cover a range of styles, we chose three distinct writing activities:

  • The first blog had to introduce an area of interest and offer a personal insight or connection.
  • The second post was an advice article.
  • The final blog was an opinion piece, allowing students to express a viewpoint.

To fit the blogging format, students read and commented on each other’s work throughout the project. They learned how to make meaningful, respectful comments. This had an added incentive for students – knowing that their peers were going to read and make comments on their work seemed to spur them on to greater efforts.

First Person Narrative

Another unique feature of blogs is the first person style of writing. In primary grades students routinely write journals, but after that writing from the “I” point of view seems to be rarely practiced. Writing blog posts is the perfect format for practicing a new narration style.

blogging resources

Finding Inspiration for Writing

Some students struggled with this new format. They felt the need to ‘go online’ and look up facts and figures, as they were used to doing. But with some encouragement, samples, and explanation they quickly got the idea that they really were experts. They were soon convinced that they did have a great deal of knowledge and lots of ideas to share. Then the writing took off!

It was a rare and wonderful treat to have students exclaim, after finishing a writing assignment to say, “So, when are we starting the next one?” Blogging is my new best friend in the classroom.


Students become bloggers.

Animated Acrostic using Kid Pix 3D

Do you like Kid Pix 3D? Here is a fun language arts activity you can do with your students!

Compose an acrostic poem with moving letters. An acrostic poem has the first letter of each line spell out the topic name down the left side of the page. Each line of poetry begins with one of the letters and relates to the topic.

Sample Acrostic Poems

BETH
Beautiful
Excellent
Terrific
Happy

PIZZA
Pepperoni, cheese, and ham.
I like to eat lots of slices.
Zip each into my mouth.
Zero pieces left.
A great dinner.

Animated Acrostic Poem

Pick a Topic for an Acrostic Poem or Think of your Own

  • Me: Write your name down the left side of the page. For each letter, write a word that describes your personality.
  • I Like: Write something that you like down the left side of the page. For each letter, write a word to describe it, reason it is your favorite, or other words related with the item.
  • Story Character: Write the name of a character from a story. For each letter, describe their appearance, character traits, behavior, or other important details.

TIP: It is a good idea to pick a topic name that is one word and is less than seven letters.

How to Make an Acrostic Poem

  1. Open Kid Pix 3D.
  2. Add Animated Letters to Spell Topic Name:
    1. Click Animations Library.
    2. Click 2D Animations. Choose the Alphabet category.
    3. alphabet2

    4. Find the first letter of the topic name. Drag it onto the drawing area.
    5. Place it at the TOP left side of the page.
    6. Continue to add letters until the word is spelled out.
    7. Add letters along the left side of the page to spell the word.

      Add letters along the left side of the page to spell the word.

  3. Write each Line of Poetry:
    1. Click Text Tools.
    2. Click beside the first letter.
    3. Type a word or phrase about the topic.
    4. Add each line of poetry.
    5. Use your skills to make the text look great!
    6. For each letter type a word, phrase, or sentence about the topic.

      For each letter, type a word or phrase about the topic.

  4. Click Play Picture to see the poem animate.
  5. play picture

  6. Save and Print the Animated Acrostic: You may want to set the frame for each letter, so the word can be read when printed.
  7. frame

  8. Export as a QuickTime Movie (Optional):
    1. Position the mouse pointer at the VERY TOP of the screen. When you see a black triangle, click the mouse.
    2. From the File menu, click Export.
    3. Save the poem as a QuickTime Movie:
      1. Pick a location to save the file.
      2. Type poem as the file name.
      3. Click the Save as type arrow and select Quicktime Movie.
    4. The movie is created. It opens in a video player when it is finished. TIP: You may need to Quit Kid Pix 3D to watch the video.