Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 3, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

The Best Sites For Learning About Cesar Chavez

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Cesar Chavez Day is recognized as a holiday by eight states in the U.S., and falls on March 31st — his birthday (or a Monday/Friday that is closest to a weekend). Of course, it’s certainly appropriate to teach about his life at any time during the year, too. I thought I’d take this opportunity, though, to publish a “The Best…” list that might be helpful to teachers.

Here are my picks as The Best Sites For Learning About Cesar Chavez (that are accessible to English Language Learners). They aren’t in any order of preference:

El Civics has a good Cesar Chavez Lesson.

The Library of Congress has some nice accessible features on Chavez.

The United Farm Workers Union itself has a great resource page on Chavez, including videos and E-Cards.

The Cesar Chavez Foundation has a lot of multimedia and Cesar Chavez Toolkits available.

The California Department of Education has a Model Curriculum and Resources For Teachers
on Chavez that you may find useful.

Viva la Causa is a DVD and lesson plan packet available for free from Teaching Tolerance.

Enchanted Learning has a cloze (fill-in-the-gap) biography that can be printed-out.

Glencoe has a short video and additional materials.

Here’s an online lesson for English Language Learners on Chavez from Famous People Lessons.

The National Museum of American History has a great activity related to Chavez and the banning of the terrible short-handled hoe. Students can create their own online virtual museum exhibit.

Brainpop has a Cesar Chavez movie but, unless it’s in the free category for this month, you’ll need to either pay for a subscription or sign-up for a free trial. Generally, it appears they make it available for free during March.

Harcourt has a short, accessible biography.

Cesar Chavez’s Crop of Change is a video from ABC News.

Rose Named After Farmworkers’ Hero is a fascinating story by CBS News.

A very nice new addition to this list is a proclamation issued by President Obama in 2010. Here’s an excerpt:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2010, as Cesar Chavez Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.

The Poway Unified School District has an excellent listing, with links, of additional Chavez resources.

President Obama issued a new proclamation for 2011 declaring Cesar Chavez Day.

California Governor Jerry Brown did the same.

A Not-Quite National Holiday: Eight States Celebrate Cesar Chavez Day is from TIME Magazine.

Si Se Puede: Cesar Chavez’s Work Is More Relevant Than Ever is from GOOD Magazine and includes some useful links.

PBS has a nice timeline of his life.

“Remember Cesar Chavez” is a photo gallery from The Los Angeles Times.

The Poway School District also has a nice list of Chavez resources.

6 Curriculum Sources for Celebrating César Chávez Day is from the Granite Bay District and has some good ELL resources about Chavez.

You might also want to see The Best Resources For Hispanic Heritage Month.

Watch Know Learn has several Chavez videos.

Photos: The legacy of labor leader Cesar Estrada Chavez

The WRITE Institute has a great free unit on Cesar Chavez.

“Obama Creates Monument To Cesar Chavez: ‘He Cared’” is a CNN multimedia report on the creation of a monument to honor Cesar Chavez:

Here’s an Associated Press video report on the event:

Cesar Chavez National Historic Park is in the works is an article in today’s Los Angeles Times:

Here’s an excerpt:

The National Park Service on Thursday announced plans to establish the Cesar Chavez National Historic Park, to recognize the achievements of the activist and the farm labor movement he led.

This is a good, short video on Cesar Chavez. It won’t be controversial in states like our which already have an official Cesar Chavez holiday. However, at its end, it does push for President Obama to declare March 31 as the Cesar Chavez National Day of Service, so teachers should use their judgement on whether to use it in class:

New Cesar Chavez Film To Have Screening At White House Tonight

The San Francisco Chronicle has published two good articles related to the new film about Chavez’s life:

‘Cesar Chavez’ movie: An extraordinary ordinary man

‘Chavez’ revives labor leader’s legacy for next generation

Jinnie Spiegler at the Anti-Defamation League has created an accessible lesson on Chavez.

What the New Cesar Chavez Film Gets Wrong About the Labor Activist is from Smithsonian Magazine.

The New Yorker has another critical take

Suggestions are always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free

February 13, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

The Best Educational Web Resources Worth Paying For…

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the resources that I write about, and an equal number that I use, are offered free-of-charge.  I sometimes wonder about the “revenue models” of all these free tools, but, to be frank,  I figure that’s their problem.

However, there are a few sites that I think are worth paying for, and thought I’d bring those together on one “The Best…” list.

I’m also interested in hearing what other resources readers think should be added to this list.

Here are my picks for The Best Web Resources Worth Paying For…:

I’ve never made any secret about my positive feelings about Edublogs. It’s a great free blogging platform for educators for many reasons, including the fact that lots of school content filters make it accessible at school sites, it’s very easy to use, the customer service is exceptional, and the Edublogs community offers good connections. You can become an Edublogs Supporter for $39.95 a year, and, as a result, receive a ton of benefits, including getting ads turned-off in 30 student blogs and more “plug-ins.” You can go to the link to learn more.  If you want to personally blog, or if you want to use blogging in the classroom, it’s definitely worth the cost.

Brainpop has made several of my Social Studies-related “The Best…” lists and, if you are teaching U.S. or World History (especially to English Language Learners), I would say it’s definitely worth purchasing a subscription. They have a wide selection, and their addition of closed captioning last year really puts it “over the top.” You can see all the free movies they offer here. To gain access to their entire collection, the cost is $600 yearly for a classroom of thirty or so students to use it at the same time, or $200 for being able to have three students at a time (one of those three, of course, can be displayed by a computer projector).

Raz-Kids provides a large number of “talking books” at multiple levels that speak-the-text at the same time the words are highlighted. There’s a wide range of fiction and expository text, and is suitable for Beginning and Intermediate readers. It costs $60 annually for one classroom of students.  It’s on my The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress list.  If you’re teaching Beginning or Early Intermediate English Language Learners, this is definitely a site worth considering paying for.

Reading A-Z is a sister site of Raz-Kids, and offers a ton of leveled, and, for the most part, engaging short books that can be printed-out and duplicated. These books have been great assets when I’ve taught Beginning and Early Intermediate ELL’s — it’s an easy and inexpensive way to get class-sets of multiple texts. It costs $85 per year to access the site for your own classroom.

I highlighted English Raven in The Best Resource Sites For ESL/EFL Teachers list last year.  Of all the sites on the web that offer classroom materials to help teach English Language Learners, English Raven has been one of the best in providing me with a lot of useful resources and ideas.  Many of its resources are free and, if you want access to all of them, it only what you can afford to pay.

US Citizenship is an online self-access course created by Charles LaRue at the Metro North Adult Education Program in Minnesota. It’s very accessible and engaging — my students have really liked it. It costs $30 per year, but for that small amount your whole class can use the site.  This site tied for the number one ranking on my The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship list.

I Know That has tons of engaging learning exercises and game. It costs $200 to sign-up for a classroom. Not only can you then monitor student progress, but they also can avoid all the annoying ads on the site.  This site works very well for our students and their families to use as part of our home literacy project because of that monitoring ability. However, since the site’s resources can also be used for free, I’d only recommend paying for it if you require the ability to monitor student progress.

edHelper deserves to be on this list, too.  A subscription to all K-8 materials cost $20 per year, and it’s $40 per year if you want to access the high school materials, too.  edHelper has a wealth of printable materials accessible to English Language Learners on just about every subject imaginable.  To be truthful, I feel like I have to spend some time improving the quality of most of the materials I use from the site, but, I tell ya’, it sure beats creating it from scratch.

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

February 3, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Sites For ELL’s To Learn About The Dangers Of Smoking

'don't smoke sign' photo (c) 2008, Karyn Christner - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We’re using cigarettes and smoking as another “model” topic in helping our Intermediate English Language Learners learn to write a persuasive essay.

I thought readers of this blog be interested in the sites our students are using for their research. You can find many other health related links on my website under Health. You might also be interested in:

The Best Life Expectancy Calculators

The Best health sites for English language learners

Here are my picks for The Best Sites For ELL’s To Learn About The Dangers Of Smoking:

Smoking Kills and Smoking May Be Banned In Cars are two articles with audio support and follow-up activities from the excellent California Distance Learning Project. They are specifically designed for English Language Learners.

ELLO has a listening “game” related to a person who stopped smoking. This activity, too, is for ELL’s.

How To Stop Smoking is a “talking news story” for ELL’s from Many Things.

Stop Smoking is quiz that’s also from Many Things.

Brainpop has a good movie on Smoking, but you need to have a paid subscription in order to view it (though you can also get a free trial).

Smoking: The Facts is an interactive tutorial from Medline Plus.

You Make Me Sick is a game from the BBC on smoking. They also have an interactive quiz.

Bonko’s Body Quiz is a smoking interactive from PBS Kids.

Here’s another listening exercise — this time on smoking statistics.

Quitting Smoking is a closed-captioned video from the National Institute Of Heath.

Breaking News English has a lesson on smoking that includes audio support for the text.

1-Language has a report on smoking that provides audio support for the text.

Here are some online videos from The Truth that are designed to encourage young people not to smoke.

Aspire is another site designed to encourage teenagers not to smoke. Its videos are closed-captioned.

An interactive on How Tobacco Damages Your Body from Northwest Community Hospital (accessible to Intermediate ELL’s).

An animation from The Centers For Disease Control on The Health Consequences of Smoking on the Human Body (accessible to high Intermediate ELL’s).

TIME Magazine has just published an infographic titled Leading Cause of Death. It’s a pretty amazing piece of work chocked full with data about smoking cigarettes.

In fact, it may be a bit too “chock full.” It’s pretty “busy,” which might make it less accessible to ELL’s.

A lesson plan & Internet Scavenger Hunt from PBS on smoking that would be good for ELL’s as long as it was modified a bit.

The Wall Street Journal just published a feature on smoking. I’m adding these elements to this list:

Who Still Smokes? is an interactive graphic.

Rise Of The Part-Time Smoker is an online video.

The Facts About Smoking is an accessible, simple infographic.

FDA’s New Cigarette Warnings is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

27 cigarette warning labels nixed by the FDA is a slideshow from CBS News.

Cigarette labels: U.S. smokers to see new warnings is an interactive from the Associated Press.

Shocking ads: Tips from smokers is from CBS News.

Nursing Your Lungs
Created by: www.OnlineNursingPrograms.com

Quit by the time you

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Tobacco´s Life Cycle of Destruction

by ElkanoData.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Cost of Smoking

by bayouki.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

See How Tobacco Changes People is a pretty amazing interactive.

Additional suggestions are always welcome.

I’d like to thank Ressources Pour Le College for several of these links.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

January 30, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

More On Black History Month

I’ve posted several times in the past about how much I like Brainpop for my English Language Learner students, and that it’s one of the very, very few web applications out there that I think is worth paying for.

Brainpop has a Black History Month collection that’s pretty impressive. Again, you have to subscribe in order to view them, but you can sign-up for a free trial offer. Plus, two of the movies in this particular collection are free for viewing without signing-up.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History.

January 29, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn About The Super Bowl

'Super Bowl MetroCards' photo (c) 2014, Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

(NOTE: Instead of creating a new post for each Super Bowl, I’m just updating and revising original post every year)

Friday is one of the days my Intermediate English class spends a period in the computer lab, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for them to spend a few minutes learning about the Super Bowl (which is being played on Sunday).

Here are my picks for The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn About The Super Bowl:

The great site ELLO (which is on The Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners list) has a number of Super Bowl-related online activities on their page called Super Bowl Sunday.

The New York Times has a neat feature that talks about the ads played during the game. You can see some of the most famous ones at the site.

Super Bowl Entertainment is a slideshow from TIME Magazine about the history of half-time shows during the Super Bowl.

Brainpop has an excellent introduction to American Football. However, you have to have a subscription or sign-up for a free trial in order to view it.

CNBC has a slideshow on the economic effects of the Super Bowl.

MSNBC has a slideshow on Fans Enjoying The Super Bowl.

MSNBC also has a slideshow on the Super Bowl Rings that players in the game receive.

Also from The Wall Street Journal, a Super Bowl Ad Poll. Watch the ads from game and vote for which ones you think were the best.

MSNBC the Ten Worst Super Bowl Ads.

Here’s a slideshow of fans enjoying various Super Bowls over the years.

Here’s a website full of lesson plans — Using Super Bowl Ads In The Classroom.

5 Ways to Teach the Super Bowl are some excellent lesson ideas from The New York Times.

Super Bowl Stadiums is a slideshow from TIME Magazine about…all the stadiums that have hosted Super Bowls.

The Making Of The Super Bowl Footballs is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

Here’s an infographic comparing the costs of the Super Bowl with what it will take to help Haiti.

Sean Banville has a listening exercise for ELL’s on the game.

TIME has videos of what they think are the Top Ten Moments In Super Bowl History.

Here’s another interactive showing 25 of the most memorable commercials from the game.

TIME Magazine picks The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials 2010.

TIME also picks Top 10 Superbowl Ads of the Decade.

The Wall Street Journal also has a collection of Super Bowl Ads 2010.

The NFL has a very complete multimedia history of the Super Bowl.

CBS News has a simple, though not quite up-to-date, interactive on previous Super Bowls.

The Associated Press has a good interactive on the game and its history.

Super Bowl Legends is a slideshow from TIME magazine.

Super Bowl’s Most Memorable Ads is a Wall Street Journal video.

Here’s a video about Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl.

Both the Wall Street Journal and MSNBC have collections of ads from 2011′s Super Bowl. Viewers can vote on which ones they like best.

The 13 Best Super Bowl Plays of All-Time

Top Ten Super Bowl Plays

Top 10 most viral Super Bowl commercials of all time is from CBS News.

NBC has a collection of 2012 Super Bowl commercials.

Behind the Scenes at Puppy Bowl VIII is a New York Times slideshow.

The Wall Street Journal has its annual interactive review of Super Bowl 2012 ads, where you can watch and rate them.

The Washington Post has a similar collection of ads.

Best Super Bowl Commercials is from The L.A. Times.

The Associated Press has published a nice interactive on the Super Bowl, and it includes a video teaching the basics of football to people who know nothing about it.

Seven Super Bowl Lesson Plans and Resources for the Classroom is from Edutopia.

Here’s a good infographic on the history of football, though I wish it hadn’t been produced by a gambling company:

Watch Super Bowl XLVII TV commercials: 2013 winners, losers (VIDEO) is from The Washington Times.

Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials is from CBS.

Are You Feeling Year’s Super Bowl Commercials? [VIDEO] is from The Urban Daily.

A History Of Super Bowl Halftime Shows is a slideshow from TIME.

The Wall Street Journal always has a well-done collection and online viewer-rating system for Super Bowl commercials, and it’s already in operation at their Super Bowl Ads 2013 page.

Super Bowl Ads: Readers React is from The New York Times.

The Least Happy Jamaican: On Volkswagen’s Super Bowl Commercial

If the links on my “The Best..” list aren’t enough for you, Cybrary Man’s Football Page will certainly satisfy your appetite.

Teach the Super Bowl: Ideas for Subjects Across the Curriculum is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Super Bowl Ad History is an interactive from The Wall Street Journal.

Super Bowl Sunday: Everyone’s a football fan is from The Associated Press.

Commercials are a super business is also from The Associated Press.

Here Are All the Super Bowl Ads You Can See Before Sunday’s Big Game is from The Atlantic.

How would US media cover the Super Bowl in another country? is from Slate.

Watch The 2014 Super Bowl Commercials And Vote For Your Fave is from Forbes.

The 13 Most Controversial Super Bowl Ads Ever is from TIME.

The 19 Best Super Bowl Ads of All Time is from TIME.

Super Bowl Commercials 2014 is from The Wall Street Journal.

Was Ist das Super Bowl? What Other Countries Say About the Big Game is from The Atlantic.

A beginner�s guide to the Super Bowl
Explore more infographics like one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

If you found post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to blog for free.

January 16, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Basic Sites For K-12 Beginning English Language Learners

I’ve created a ton of “The Best…” lists so far — nearly 170 over the past thirteen months, in fact. Based on a number of requests I’ve received from teachers, I’ve decided to review all of them and come-up with a new series of lists including “The Best Sites For K-12 Beginning English Language Learners”; “The Best Sites For K-12 Intermediate English Language Learners”; “The Best Sites For Older Beginning & Early Intermediate English Language Learners”; and “The Best Sites For Older Intermediate English Language Learners.”

I thought that lists like these might make it a little easier for teachers, particularly newer ones — newer to teaching or newer to using technology in their teaching. Then, at their leisure, they can explore all the other more specialized lists, including the ones on Web 2.0 applications.

Of course, links to all the sites on these lists can also be found on my website, along with thousands of others.

I’m starting off with one focusing on K-12 English Language Learners. In compiling this list, I tried to really focus on highlighting sites that would be easy-to-use and engaging to both a younger Beginning English Language Learner and to someone who was new to computers.  They all have audio support for text and, with only one exception, they also have visual support.  Only a couple require registration (though the top-ranked site lets you do so if you  want to keep track of what exercises you’ve done (and registration takes seconds).  Of course, they all are free-of-charge.

Here are my ranked picks for The Best Sites For K-12 Beginning English Language Learners:

Number fourteen is from Houghton-Mifflin and is called WordBuilder. It has a zillion vocabulary exercises and helps students learn both spelling and pronunciation simply in context.

Number thirteen is BBC Bitesize Literacy.  It has a number of great activities and games related to basic literacy.

Number twelve is Spoken Skills.  It provides good, clear, listening practice, and also provides users the ability to easily record what they hear and play it back for comparison.

The original number eleven site has gone out of business.

Number ten is WordBuilder from I Know That.  I think it’s the best site out there for phonics practice. And, yes, it has the same name as another “WordBuilder” site on this list. Like with all I Know That activities, when you click on it, an annoying pop-up asking you to register shows-up. Just click on “Maybe Later” and you’ll automatically proceed to the exercise.  I’m also including the Social Studies page at I Know That. It has tons of different kinds of map games that are informative and fun.

Number nine is Kiz Club, a Korean site that has a ton of talking stories on a wide variety of topics.

Number eight is Literactive.  It has hundreds of talking stories and other interactive activities.  It’s free, though you have to register (it only takes a minute to do so).  My students really enjoy this site.

Number seven is a text-to-speech tool, which my students have found very helpful in learning pronunciation.  There are a bunch out there, though I personally prefer AT&T Labs.

Number six is an easy translation site.  There are many on the Web. These translating tools all work in a similar way – they let you copy and paste words or sentences, and then pick the language you want it translated into.   The translation then appears on the screen.   Some also let you translate entire webpages. Jeffrey Hill at the English Blog rates Google’s tool as the best among the ones he has tried- by far. I trust his judgment, which is why I’m choosing Google Language Tools.

Number five is The Language Guide, clearly the best dictionary on the web for Beginning ELL’s. It’s easy to navigate, and has excellent images, audio, and text.

Number four is Mingoville. It’s an exceptional site from Denmark designed to teach Beginning English Language Learners. There are many interactive exercises and games, it’s very colorful, and there are both listening and speaking activities, including a voice recording feature. You can experiment with it as a guest for a few minutes, but then you have to register. It’s completely free, and registration takes about twenty seconds.

Number three is is Starfall, the established site that is rivaled by no other in providing accessible literacy activities to Beginning English Language Learners.

Number two is Henny Jellema’s Online TPR Exercises. You’ve got to see this site to believe it. I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into creating the exercises. However, as he cautions, it’s critical to combine using his online activities with real-life Total Physical Response lessons.

And now, for my choice as the number one pick for K-12 Beginning English Language Learners is…U.S.A Learns. It’s an incredible website to help users learn English.  Even though it’s primarily designed for older learners, it seems very accessible to all but the very youngest ELL’s.  It’s free to use. Students can register if they want to save their work and evaluate their progress.  It’s a joint effort of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), Internet and Media Services Department and the Project IDEAL Support Center at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.  I know they’ve been working on this for quite awhile, and it shows.

Here are some new sites for this list:

Strivney is a free new site for beginning readers (it has a special section for English Language Learners) with 1,000 interactive exercises and games. You need to register for most beyond the sample exercises, but it’s super easy to do so. The site also has printables you can use to reinforce the online activities.

ESOL Courses has a good, basic introduction to English.

Brainpop ESL has some decent activities. I wouldn’t included it on this list if you had to pay for it but, for now at least, it’s free.

English Central, of course, is an incredible place to practice reading, speaking, and listening.

I know others might feel differently about the sites I’ve placed on this list, and their ranking.  Feel free to offer feedback and make other suggestions.  I’m all ears!

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

January 15, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
11 Comments

The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History

'Black History: NRC Celebrates National African American History Month' photo (c) 2013, Nuclear Regulatory Commission - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

February is Black History Month in the United States. I thought a “The Best…” list focusing on African-American history would be timely and helpful — especially with Martin Luther King Day and the Inauguration of Barack Obama both coming-up.

All the sites on this list and many more can be found on my website under African-Americans.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Websites For Learning About Martin Luther King

The Best Resources To Remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s Death (& Life)

The Best Sites For Learning About The Martin Luther King Memorial

The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History

The Best Sites To Learn About The Greensboro Sit-Ins (It’s The Fiftieth Anniversary)

The Best Places To Learn About President Obama’s Life

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Freedom Riders”

The Best Resources About The March On Washington

As usual, I’ve only included sites that I feel are accessible to English Language Learners.

Here are my picks for The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History (not in any order of preference):

* The History Channel’s Black History site has many videos, quizzes, images, and information.

* The Encyclopedia Britannica’s Guide To Black History has a ton of resources.

* Scholastic’s Black History In America is also very accessible.

* The Biography Channel Black History site has a number of online videos and other features, and a nice Photo Gallery.

* An excellent interactive timeline from the BBC is called “Free At Last.”

* Black Voices has large number of very engaging and visual resources.

* PBS has quite a few online video clips from the renowned documentary “Eyes On The Prize.”

* Channel One has many excellent resources on Black History.

* Kulture Kidz has simple and accessible materials on Black History.

* TIME Magazine has a slideshow called From Emmett Till To Barack Obama.

* MSNBC has several high-quality interactives on its Black History Month page.

* Enchanted Learning has quite a few very simple resources on African-American History Month accessible to Early Intermediate ELL’s.

* Black History In America is a resource from Scholastic.

* The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a series of articles written in simple English about accomplished African-Americans in history.

* The Guardian, a UK newspaper, has a well-done interactive timeline on Black History that offers an international flavor.

* The San Francisco Chronicle just published this Interactive Timeline Of African-American History. It covers the last two hundred years.

* InfoPlease has a simple African-American History timeline, too.

* The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has another one with a nifty interface.

* I’ve posted several times in the past about how much I like Brainpop for my English Language Learner students, and that it’s one of the very, very few web applications out there that I think is worth paying for. Brainpop has a Black History Month collection that’s pretty impressive. Again, you have to subscribe in order to view them, but you can sign-up for a free trial offer. Plus, two of the movies in this particular collection are free for viewing without signing-up.

* EL Civics, which is on many of my “The Best…” lists, also has a series of resources on Black History Month.

* Journalist Cynthia Tucker has written an article saying Black History Month should be eliminated.  It isn’t accessible to English Language Learners, but a teacher could frame the question, and its background, in a comprehensible and engaging way.

* Teachnology has a number of accessible worksheets related to African American history that can be printed-out.

* The Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Black History is a good guide from Teaching Tolerance.

* The New York Times has an extensive collection of lesson plans titled Celebrate Black History Month.

* The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has a feature on African American History Month where they “provide an economic snapshot of African Americans in the United States today.”
It’s quite accessible, and even provides audio support for the text.

*Here are some resources from Newsweek Magazine that I’m adding to this list:

A slideshow titled Memorable people and moments in black history.

A slideshow titled Memorable Quotes From Iconic African-Americans.

An article titled The End of Black History Month? Why I’m not ready to ditch it—yet.

The NAACP and Verizon have unveiled a pretty impressive multimedia and interactive timeline of the past 100 years of African American History.

A Brief History of The Selma To Montgomery March
is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

The Slavery Museum is a pretty impressive multimedia site that appears to be designed by students.

“Finishing The Dream” is a new collection of 100 videos from NBC News related to the Civil Rights Movement.

Here’s the announcement:

NBC Learn and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have partnered to draw awareness to the Civil Rights movement and jump start new dialogue among students and teachers by releasing more than 100 stories from the NBC News archives and making the content available to schools, colleges, and universities nationwide. “Finishing the Dream” chronicles the struggles and celebrates the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement over the span of 60 years.

The collection includes the most significant moments of the movement including the Montgomery bus boycott, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, the Freedom Riders, and original documentaries featuring ordinary people, like Rosa Parks who risked their lives to fight for equality.

The History Makers Digital Archive is a collection of video interviews with 400 African Americans, including Barack Obama and other well-known figures. That’s nice, but how their presented is what makes this site extraordinarily impressive. Here’s how they describe it:

As a registered user of the new web-based archive, you will be able to:

* Search the spoken text of over 900 hours of video divided into
18,254 story segments.
* Filter searches by geography, time period, and the gender,
occupation and birth year of the interviewee.
* View your search results as 3-5 minute video story segments,
each aligned with a running transcript below a Flash video player
(compatible with most browsers).
* Save video story segments of interest and return to them through
web site bookmarking.
* Search dozens of historical topics, biographical themes and
interview qualities, newly coded to interview segments through thousands
of hours of human indexing.

It’s pretty neat.

Black History Milestones is a very good interactive timeline from The History Channel.

PBS showed a film on the Freedom Riders, civil rights activists who challenged segregation in the South. The website for the film has an interactive timeline and several video excerpts.

Slideshow: The 25 Most Influential Black American Leaders of All Time

Teaching Resources for Black History Month on Scholastic

Does Black History Need More Than a Month? is from Miller-McCune.

Teaching The Civil Rights Movement is from The New York Times Learning Network.

The Politics of Children’s Literature: What’s Wrong with the Rosa Parks Myth is from The Zinn Education Project.

Timeline: Civil War To Civil Rights is from National Geographic.

America’s ‘Slave Narratives’ should shock us is from CNN.

Black History Is American History is a cool interactive site.

The Biography Channel has announced a number of related resources that I’m adding to The Best Websites To Teach & Learn About African-American History:

One is American Freedom Stories, a series of videos on the Civil Rights Movement. Here’s a sample:

They also have a number of Black History videos. Here’s a sample:

Plus, they have a number of Black History Study Guides.

Shouldn’t Every Day Be ‘Black History Month’? is from The Root.

BBC Made From History Civil Rights

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

January 4, 2009
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

The Best Resources About Presidents’ Day

'Abraham Lincoln' photo (c) 2008, George Eastman House - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

President’s Day, which celebrates the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, will be coming-up next month. And, especially since it’s the two-hundredth anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, I thought a “The Best…” list would be helpful.

You can find additional resources at The Best Sites To Learn About U.S. Presidents.

You can also find these links and more on my U.S. History page.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources About President’s Day (that are accessible to English Language Learners):

GEORGE WASHINGTON:

Happy Birthday, Mr. President is a simple “talking book” that also describes how President’s Day began.

Brainpop movie about Washington is good, but you need a paid subscription to view it.  Or, you can sign-up for a free trial.

Though description of Washington’s ownership of slaves is not accessible to English Language Learners,  teacher’s could certainly modify it.

Father of Our Country is pretty “schmaltzy,” but it is an accessible “talking book.”

EL Civics has a very good presentation on George Washington.

The History Channel has many online resources on Washington.

Though the language in story is a bit “old-fashioned” it’s of course important for students to know the popular myth of George Washington and the cherry tree.

Enchanted Learning has a number of accessible materials about Washington.

Here’s an online cloze (fill-in-the-gap) about both Washington and Lincoln.

A student has written a simple and short biography.

Take a short quiz on President’s Day.

Here’s another simple biography.

I have to admit that I’m not all that familiar with how Mayor Bloomberg has dealt with public schools in New York City.  However, there’s a great post in the NYC Public School Parents blog titled Lessons For Michael Bloomberg On President’s Day that provides an excellent summary of George Washington’s leadership style. The post’s writer, David Bloomfield, then contrasts that with how Mayor Bloomberg acts in school matters. The Mayor doesn’t come across favorably.  But whether or not you know much about what’s going on in New York City, or even if you support Bloomberg, the summary of Washington’s leadership style is grist for an engaging lesson and student discussion.  And, because of that, I’m adding the post to list.

“Discover The Real George Washington” is a brand-new and very engaging interactive timeline from Mount Vernon. I’m not so convinced it shows all aspects of the “real” Washington (some non-flattering but true information may be omitted), but I’m still adding it to list.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

The History Channel’s site on Lincoln is not-to-be-missed.

Beacon Learning Center has a simple “talking story” about Lincoln.

Digital Vaults, the exceptional site from the National Archives, has what they call a Pathway game on Lincoln that is worth checking-out.

Scholastic has a good “Listen and Read” Lincoln biography.

Abraham Lincoln For ESL Students is from EL Civics.

Here’s an accessible Abraham Lincoln timeline.

The Constitution Center has an online game, with audio, about the decisions Lincoln made as president. It’s called Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads.

Here’s a simple biography.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is the focus of these ESL exercises.

The Mask of Lincoln is a new Smithsonian exhibition.

Enchanted Learning has Lincoln resources.

Brainpop,Jr. has its own Lincoln movie (again, you have to subscribe or get a free trial).

The Smithsonian has a neat presentation of the Gettysburg address which includes a “zooming” capability, along with providing audio support for the text.

Portraits of Abraham Lincoln is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

I’m adding a New York Times slideshow on Ford’s Theater (where Lincoln was shot) to list.

Birthday Party For An American Icon is a slideshow from The Washington Post covering how Lincoln’s 200th birthday was celebrated.

Georgetown College has some very impressive Teachers Resources For The Lincoln Bicentennial. They include excellent lesson plans for each grade (and I’m not impressed by many lesson plans I find on the Internet).

The National Parks Service has put together a really exceptional interactive on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Abraham Lincoln: The Great Campaigner is from Newsweek.

Why We Love Politics is by David Brooks.

The Lincoln Learning Hub is an official “education” site for the popular movie and has been created by Disney. It has several useful features, including:

What Would Lincoln Do?
— looks at various challenges facing the U.S. after his death (including whether or not to use the first nuclear bomb) and considers…what would he have done?

Team of Rivals — read about each of his cabinet members and guess which one he would place in which position.

Who’s Who Of Congress — Learn about individual Congressmen and guess which ones would support the 13th Amendment.

Rethinkin’ Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation is by Bill Bigelow.

If you’re ever in a position where you need to teach about Lincoln’s assassination, the new Lincoln Killing interactive from National Geographic is going to be one of your “go to” resources.

Presidents’ Day: A Life Lesson for Students
is from Edutopia.

presidents

Why Presidents Day is Slightly Strange is from The Washington Post.

Presidents’ Day Activities is from The National Education Association.

Presidents’ Day is from The History Channel

Missing From Presidents’ Day: The People They Enslaved is from GOOD.

Feel free to offer additional suggestions.

If you found post useful, you might want to check out my other “The Best…” lists.

In addition, you can also subscribe to blog for free.

December 29, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Most Popular Posts Of 2008

I thought people might be interested in seeing a listing of the most popular posts of the year — the ones that have been “clicked-on” the most during 2008:

THE TOP “THE BEST…” LISTS:

1. The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2007

2. The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2008

3. The Best Online Learning Games — 2007

4. The Best Websites To Help Beginning Readers

5. The Best Online Learning Games — 2008

6. The Best Internet Sites For English Language Learners — 2007

7. The Best Ways For Students (And Anyone Else!) To Create Online Content Easily, Quickly, and Painlessly

8. The Best Websites For Beginning Older Readers

9. The Best Music Websites For Learning English

10. The Best Websites For K-12 Writing Instruction/Reinforcement

11. The Best Internet Sites For English Language Learners — 2008

12. The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English

13. The Best Web 2.0 Applications for ESL/EFL Learners — 2007

THE TOP POSTS THAT WERE NOT “THE BEST…” LISTS:

1. Poptropica

2. Free Rider 2

3. Tutpup Math and Spelling Games

4. When A “Good” Class Goes “Bad” (And Back To “Good” Again!) (this is “sort of” a “The Best…” list, but not really)

5. The List of “Top 50 Education Blogs”

6. Make a Face

7. Free Brainpop Election Movies

8. Maintaining A “Good” Class

9. Spelling City

10. ESL/EFL Sister Classes Project

11. Excellent Online Language Program

12. Academic Language

13. Listen & Read

TOP TRAFFIC SOURCES TO THIS BLOG:

1. Edublogs

2. Classroom 2.0

3. The Edublogger

4. EFL Classroom 2.0

5. Ressources Pour Le College

6. Learning The Language

7. TechCrunch

8. The Edublog Awards

9. Langwitches

10. Creating Lifelong Learners

11. Live Mocha

12. Teacher Training Videos

13. eLearning Post

You can see the most popular posts for each month at Most Popular Blog Posts.

December 27, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Posts From Other Blogs That Made Me “Think” In 2008

Many posts from other blogs have made me “think” during 2008, so it was a challenge to come up with some kind of criteria to narrow down this “The Best…” list.

I finally decided that I would include the posts in other people’s blogs that prompted me to write my own posts.

So those are the posts I’ve included here. Each one is also followed by a link to the piece it prompted me to write — either here or at our “In Practice” group blog.

Here are my choices (not in any order of preference) of The Best Posts From Other Blogs That Made Me “Think” In 2008:

* Bill Ferriter wrote about a teacher in Washington state who refused to give his students a state-required standardized test. My subsequent post was called Refusing To Give A Standardized Test and talked about the role of civil disobedience in our country (pretty creative headline, eh?)

* Bill Ferriter got me thinking again with his piece on teachers who were reluctant to use technology. My once again unimaginably titled “Teachers Who Won’t Embrace Technology” followed and discussed effective strategies to make change.

* Gary Stager wrote a post criticizing the use of Brainpop movies in the classroom (as I write this his blog appears to be down and that post inaccessible, but I assume that should change shortly). That prompted me to write “Is Brainpop Bad For Students?” where I spoke positively about my experience with the site.

* Darren Draper wrote Controlling Mobile Phone Use In Schools. I wrote “Cellphones In Class” explaining why I supported our school’s ban on the devices. Darren’s same post got me thinking about iPods, so I also wrote “iPods In Schools”, which explained why we ban them, also, at our school.

* Doug Johnson wrote a useful post titled Seven Stupid Mistakes Teachers Make With Technology.  I commented it in my post called “Teachers And Technology Mistakes.”

* Joyce Valenza wrote When YouTube is blocked (seven ways around) which, as far as I can tell, is the definitive description out there about how to access appropriate YouTube content at school.   After I read her list, I wrote The Best Ways To Access Educational YouTube Videos At School highlighting two tools (one that’s on her list and one that is not) that I found to be the easiest for a non-tech-savvy person like me to use.

* Mathew Needleman’s Royalty Free Music And Images post offers about as complete a listing of resources that there is out there.  I then identified the ones that, in my mind, were the easiest and most accessible sites that could be used by an English Language Learner or anyone who is not particularly tech-savvy.  So I pulled a few from Mathew’s list, and also included several additional ones, and wrote The Best Places To Get Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects.

* Both based on my community organizing and classroom experience, I’m a big believer in the importance of storytelling — helping people develop their own and listening to them.  I haven’t yet written a post in response to Silvia Tolisano’s extraordinary post on storytelling, but it’s on my “to do” list.

You might also want to explore — if you haven’t already done so — the Edublog Award nominees for Most Influential Blog Post this year.

In the comments section, please feel free to share posts that got you thinking this year, too…

December 7, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
11 Comments

The Best Sites For Grammar Practice

''Go look like you're teaching'' photo (c) 2010, Quinn Dombrowski - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I haven’t been a real big fan of putting a lot of time into direct grammar instruction. I generally believe, and I know some research has shown, that students can develop grammar skills through reading, and prioritize helping my students find high-interest reading materials. In addition, I use concept attainment (I’ll write more about this instructional strategy in a future post) to help students learn grammar concepts inductively.  And I just hate “drill-and-kill” grammar worksheets.

A number of our ELL students who have gone on to community college have been telling us they wish we had put more time into direct grammar instruction.  Now, I can’t say for sure exactly what our other teachers have been doing related to grammar in their classes.  And I’m not necessarily convinced that some of the community college classes aren’t making a mistake by placing so much of an emphasis on grammar.

However, I am reflecting on if I should make any changes in how I help my students develop grammar skills.

One very small change I am making is having students spend a little more time on grammar practice when we go to the computer lab — but spending it strategically on common challenges I have identified through their writing.

In the process of reflection, I’ve identified which grammar sites that I think are most engaging and useful to students, and thought I would share them in another “The Best…” list.

You can also find these links, and links to others that didn’t make this list, on my website under Beginner Grammar and Intermediate Grammar.

Here are my choices — not in order of preference — for The Best Sites For Grammar Practice (and that I think are accessible to English Language Learners). I’ve divided them into two sections — sites that are best for Beginning and Early Intermediate English Language Learners and ones more appropriate for Intermediate and Advanced:

BEGINNERS & EARLY INTERMEDIATE

Grammar Gold has a number of different exercises and provides audio support for its text.

Grammar Practice Park is a similar Harcourt site.

BBC Schools Bitesize 1 and Bitesize 2 also has many exercises and games.

Road To Grammar Jr. has many interactive grammar quizzes.

I think the use of Oxford University Press’ series of Phrase Builder exercises can help develop grammar, as well as listening, skills.  Here are links to several of them:

Phrase Builder
Phrase Bank
Intermediate Phrase Bank
Upper Intermediate Phrase Bank

Ventures Arcade from Cambridge has some excellent reinforcing exercises for grammar.  Their more advanced editions won’t be out until January, so for right now only exercises for Beginners and Early Intermediate are available.

Touchstone from Cambridge also has similar activities.

INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED

Grammarman offers online comics, with audio support for the text, that teach grammar topics.

Road To Grammar (different from the “Jr.” version) has a number of interactive quizzes.

Touchstone from Cambridge also has good activities if you go to books “3″ and “4.”

Classzone’s Grammar Arcade has many engaging games that reinforce grammar concepts.  The link is a little strange — sometimes when you click on it you first get directed to Classzone’s main page.  If that happens, just click on “California” and then click on “Go.”

Brainpop has a large collection of movies related to grammar.  They’re closed-captioned, and also have quizzes.  However, you do have to pay for a subscription.  You can get a free trial, though.  This is only one of two sites that I have reviewed on this blog that charges and that I recommend.

The British Council has a ton of grammar games.

I’m adding the Virtual Grammar Lab to this list.  It has over 2400 grammar activities, and teachers can create a free account so that they can track student progress.

Center For Education and Training’s Flashed ESL site.

Interactive ESL Grammar Games comes from ESL Games

Animated Grammar tutorials from Great Source.

Movie Segments To Assess Grammar Goals is a blog by Claudio Azevedo from Brazil. The blog shares grammar exercises connected to…movie segments. He has online video clips embedded in the blog along with the exercises. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely his blog’s host, blogspot, is going to make it through many school content filters, but it would be easy enough to get the videos through Netflix or upload them to a site like Edubogs TV so they can be seen at school.

English Grammar Lessons has tons of engaging activities. Click on the grammar lesson you want on the left side of the page and, then, when you get there, click on any of the exercises that will be on the right side.

English Grammar Secrets has many good grammar interactives.

Focus On Grammar appears to provide online support to a grammar textbook. In order to access it, you just have to type in your email address. It’s not flashy at all, but I think it’s surprisingly good.

Grammar Snacks are a series of animations about…grammar, followed by interactive exercises.

The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar is from The Atlantic.

Thanks to Richard Byrne, I recently learned about Quill.

It provides well-done interactive exercises to reinforce grammar exercises and the real advantage is that you can create virtual classrooms to track student progress.

And, it’s free.

Here’s a video about the site:

4 fun and motivating grammar activities for beginner classes is by Adam Simpson.

As always, feedback is welcome — both about sites and your thoughts about how to help students best learn grammar concepts.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

December 3, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

The Best Sites For Learning About New Year Celebrations

'Happy New Year 2010!' photo (c) 2010, Felix Montino - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Check out my New York Times post: Ideas for English Language Learners | Celebrate the Holidays

With New Year’s coming-up (at least in the calendar that many of us use), I thought a “The Best…” list would be in order (You might also be interested in The Best Ways To Help Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Succeed).

This list, though, will highlight other New Year celebrations in addition to the one traditionally celebrated in the Gregorian calendar.

These sites, and many others, can also be found on my website under Holidays.   Please feel free to offer any suggestions you have.  You  might also be interested in The Best Resources For Chinese New Year .

Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Learning About New Year Celebrations (and that are accessible to English Language Learners):

How about learning the famous New Year’s song that everyone sings but most don’t know what it means? I’m talking, of course, about Auld Lang Syne. Students can listen, read the words, and repeat them at this ManyThings website for English Language Learners.

Read a short summary of New Year traditions at this site which provides audio support for the text. It’s sponsored by a Florida school.

Here are three online grammar quizzes designed for English Language Learners that also contain a great deal of information about New Year’s traditions.

Father’s Time New Year Traditions has very accessible descriptions of New Year traditions from a ton of different countries.

New Year’s Celebrations From Around The World comes from “Topics” magazine, an online resource specifically for English Language Learners.

EL Civics has a very accessible New Year’s Lesson.

Fact Monster has good material at History Of The New Year.

Here’s an interactive map where you can also learn about New Year’s celebrations around the world.

The New York Times has a slideshow on the famous New Year’s celebration at TImes Square.

How Rosh Hashanah Works might be a little challenging for ELL’s, but it has great information that could be modified for classroom use. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.

BBC Schools has some good information on Rosh Hashanah.

The History Channel has an excellent site on the Chinese New Year.

PBS Kids has a series of Chinese New Year games students can play.

Watch a slideshow of a Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco.

Send a Chinese New Year’s eCard from Blue Mountain or a New Year’s greeting from American Greetings. You can post links to student-created cards on teacher/student webpages.

I’m also adding Chinese New Year Resources From Topmarks, which has a number of accessible materials available.

Chinese New Year is the simple title of a variety of listening exercises from ELLO.

Here are some new Chinese New Year resources for ELL’s from the British Council that I’m adding to this list:

The Great Race, a “talking story.”

Listen to, and read, a song about Chinese New Year.

Ushering In The Year Of The Ox is a slideshow from Radio Free Asia.

Apples 4 The Teacher has a nice interactive that students can use to learn what animal is influencing their life because of the year you were born.

EL Civics has developed a Chinese New Year Lesson specifically for English Language Learners.

A New York Times slideshow and a video on the Chinese New Year celebration.

The S.F. Chronicle has a special page filled with slideshows and videos about present and past Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Lunar New Year is the title of a series of photos from The Sacramento Bee.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has a great group of photos on Chinese New Year: Welcoming The Ox.

Year Of The Ox is the title of a Wall Street Journal slideshow.

TIME Magazine also has a Chinese New Year slideshow.

MSNBC has a video showing global celebrations of the Chinese New Year.

There’s an annual huge Hmong New Year celebration here in Sacramento.  You can access a large collection of images from previous years here.

CBBC Newsround has images of people celebrating the New Year all around the world.

Here are some classroom materials from Lanternfish.

Here’s an interactive graphic explaining the Persian New Year. The same newspaper, the Orange County Register, has accessible information about several other New Year celebrations and one on the Vietnamese Tet New Year.

The San Jose Mercury News has a musical slideshow on a local Persian New Year celebration.

I’m adding Brainpop’s New Year’s Movie to this list.  You usually need a paid subscription in order to view Brainpop movies, but you can also get a free trial.  However, when I just checked out their New Year’s movie, it was available for free-of-charge.

The Sydney Morning Herald has several slideshows about their local New Year’s celebration.

Ringing In The New Year is a great slideshow from MSNBC showing New Year celebrations from around the world.

The New York Times has an intriguing slideshow about different New Year’s “rituals” from throughout the world. The newspaper also has another slideshow highlighting celebrations, and another one focusing on Times Square.

Cleaning Up After The Party is a New York Times slideshow on…cleaning-up after the Times Square New Year’s Celebration.


Celebrating The New Year
is also the title for a series of photos from the Sacramento Bee.

The Wall Street Journal also has a nice slideshow showing New Year’s celebrations around the world.

The Sydney Morning Herald also has a similar slideshow.

I’ve gathered some materials about “Watch Night” that I’m adding to this list. Watch Night is particularly celebrated in African-American churches and commemorates when many African-Americans gathered to pray that President Abraham Lincoln would carry out his promise to sign the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

Here is a newspaper article that gives some background on the midnight prayer services (you probably have to modify portions to make them more accessible to English Language Learners), and a slideshow from the New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal has a slideshow on Tibetan New Year.

The Sacramento Bee also has a series of images on Tibetan New Year

Read about 10 Unusual Traditions for Ringing in the New Year around the World.

See great images at Around the World: 27 Fabulous New Year’s Eve Fireworks!

Countdown To 2010 is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

Ringing In 2010, Around the World is a slideshow from the New York Times.

Here’s a nice video showing fireworks celebrations around the world and one specifically on the fireworks in Australia.

CNN has several videos of New Year Celebrations around the world.

Welcoming 2010 is from the Big Picture.

ESL Holiday Lessons has an English Lesson Plan on Islamic New Year.

The New Year around the world is another excellent online exercise for English Language Learners created by Renée Maufroid.

ESL Holiday Lessons has a New Year’s lesson for English Language Learners.

New Year’s Around The World is a LIFE slideshow.

Ringing In The New Year is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

A New Year rolls in is a series of pictures from The Big Picture.

New Year’s Eve Activities for Pre-Entry Learners and Beginners comes from ESOL Courses.

The New Year’s Eve Project: A Documentary Photo Essay is from NPR.

Ringing In 2011, Around the Globe is a NY Times slideshow.

Colorful celebrations mark Nepalese new year is a series of photos from MSNBC.

Thais splash into the New Year are photos from The Sacramento Bee.

Annual Hmong New Year Festival is a Sacramento Bee slideshow.

Welcoming the New Year is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

Here’s a video collection of New Year celebrations around the world.

Lucky Foods for the New Year is a useful article.

Ring in 2012, Around the World is a New York Times slideshow.

World welcomes 2012 with cheers, celebrations is from CNN.

New Year’s swimmers brave freezing waters is from MSNBC.

The Atlantic has a nice photo gallery of people welcoming in 2012.

ESL Holiday Lessons has a lesson on the Islamic New Year.

10 global New Year’s eats is from CNN.

New Year’s Facts by the Numbers Infographic
is a very impressive graphic from The History Channel.

36 Bizarre Things Ceremonially Dropped on New Year’s Eve is from Mental Floss.

New Year’s Eve 2012 Celebrations Kick Off is a photo gallery from TIME.

New Year’s Eve traditions take local twists with unique ball drops is a slideshow from The PBS News Hour.

ZingChart has a pretty interesting New Year’s interactive.

Here are some videos that might or might not show up in an RSS Reader:




Google has set-up a map where people can contribute their New Year’s resolutions. It uses Google Translate so you can see what people are saying all over the world.

In addition, you can check out this Google Map with links to videos of New Year’s celebrations around the globe.

Happy New Year, world
is a photo gallery from The Boston Globe.

Strange New Year traditions around the world
is a slideshow from The Telegraph.

Thanks to Google Maps Mania for both of these tips.

How the World Celebrates New Year’s Eve is a slideshow from TIME.

For Hillbrow, Fireworks, Not Furniture is a Wall Street Journal slideshow.

Rosh Hashanah

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Good Luck Food for New Year
by angelvicky.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Tweeting "happy new year" around the world
by kristw.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

November 21, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Real Story Of Squanto

I’m going to add three new resources to The Best Sites To Teach and Learn About Thanksgiving.  The caveat is that if you are going to use the most obvious and most accessible one, I believe it’s critical that at least one of the other two is also used.

The most visible engaging and accessible to English Language Learners is a new “talking story” with animation from The Weekly Reader called The Story of Squanto.  It’s engaging and well-done.  Unfortunately, it also doesn’t make any attempt at communicating anything other than the whitewashed version of the story.

I don’t consider myself to necessarily be the most “politically correct” person around, but to leave out even a mention of his life as a slave and the destruction of his people seems pretty insulting to Native Americans and to the student audience of the story.  Jeez, I know Brainpop gets criticized, but even their Thanksgiving movie refers to the damage caused to Native Americans.

But I do think the Weekly Reader movie could be an excellent learning opportunity for students, one that I will be using next week with my students.

It could be a great lesson combining that movie with excerpts from a piece on Squanto by the President of the American Indian College Fund or even a much shorter Squanto Worksheet from EL Civics, along with questions like:  What are the differences between the stories?  Why do you think they are different?  Are there examples in your own life or culture where the “public” story is different from what really happened?

We’ll see what happens…

October 30, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Most Popular Posts In October

Here are the most popular posts for this month.   These are the ones that have been most “clicked-on,” and are different from my Websites Of The Month. Those are the posts that I personally think are the best and most helpful.

Because of the popularity of my “The Best…” lists, it should be pointed out that often the most clicked-on posts are not necessarily ones that I wrote that month. Instead, they might have been written earlier, but then one of these older ones has just been highlighted elsewhere and all of a sudden become popular.

You see previous reports on my Most Popular Posts here.

TOP SIX “THE BEST” LISTS:

1. The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2008

2. The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2007

3. The Best Online Resources About Christopher Columbus

4. The Best Sites To Learn About U.S. Presidential Elections

5. The Best Websites For Learning About Halloween

6. The Best Websites For Beginning Older Readers

THE TOP SIX POSTS THAT WERE NOT “THE BEST…” LISTS:

1. Poptropica

2. Tutpup Math and Spelling Games

3. Free Brainpop Election Movies

4. One Of The Coolest Music Tools Ever!

5. Listen and Read

6. Free Rider 2

TOP TRAFFIC SOURCES TO THIS BLOG:

1. Teachers Love Smartboards

2. Classroom 2.0

3. TechCrunch

4. Edublogs

5. Learning The Language

6. Ressources Pour Le College

7. EFL Classroom 2.0

8. Lexiophiles

9. Jog The Web

10. Learning Technology Teacher Development Blog

October 27, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
15 Comments

The Best Sites To Learn & Teach About Thanksgiving

'Thanksgiving 2010-5' photo (c) 2010, Edsel Little - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Thanksgiving is coming-up in a few weeks, so I thought another “The Best…” list was in order (you might also be interested in The Best Resources On “Gratitude”).

As with The Best Online Resources About Christopher Columbus, pretty much all the online resources accessible to English Language Learners tell the usual and uncritical story of Europeans and Native Americans.  So the first part of this post those accessible links, while the second part lists online resources that I’ve found helpful to me in developing classroom lessons that try to demonstrate a Native American perspective.

Here are my picks for The Best Sites To Learn & Teach About Thanksgiving (not in a strict order of preference, but with the ones I think that are most accessible listed near the top):

Brainpop and Brainpop Jr. have two good Thanksgiving movies that provide closed-captioning. Unfortunately, both require registration — either as a free trial or as a paid subscription. Brainpop is only one of two sites on the entire Web that I think are worth paying for but, as I mentioned, you can also get a free trial.  These are the only two sites on this list that are not free.  Of course, I think they’re the best, too.

Scholastic has a good feature on The First Thanksgiving that provides audio support to the text and is very engaging.

Pilgrim Village is a simple E-Book, also from Scholastic, that provides audio support for the text.

EL Civics has an ESL Thanksgiving Lesson that provides a good overview of the holiday in an accessible way.

What Really Happened At Thanksgiving? is an interactive from Plimoth Village where players become investigative “historians.”

This is a nice listening exercise where students have to pick the words from a drop-down menu while listening to the text (about Thanksgiving) being read. The same site has a series of shorter Thanksgiving listening exercises.

The History Channel has a ton of online videos and other resources on The History of Thanksgiving, plus excerpts from their special presentation on the Crossing of the Mayflower.

Students can send Thanksgiving E-Cards and have links to them posted on teacher or student websites/blogs. The best ones are from Blue Mountain or American Greetings because they appear to host the card indefinitely on their sites.

The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving is a very accessible “web adventure” where students have to answer questions along the way.

Here’s an online Thanksgiving crossword puzzle from the Internet TESL Journal.

Thanksgiving in the USA and The First Thanksgiving in America from “Many Things,” the excellent resource for ESL/EFL activities. They are both multiple-choice “Fill-in-the-blank” exercises connected to Voice of America broadcasts, but very useful standing alone, too.

Time Magazine also has a slideshow on Black Friday called Shop Till You Drop.

Here’s another NY Times slideshow on the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

Here is a New York Times slideshow and one from MSNBC about the Macy’s Day Parade.

Eat, Drink, and Be Wary is the name of an interactive from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Florida.  It shows images and descriptions of various holiday foods. If you click on them, you’ll then see how much exercise you have to do in order to “work off” each food’s calories.  The online activity is accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners and I suspect will be fairly engaging for my students.

Elizabeth Barnwell has created a nice series of online flashcards about Thanksgiving. The language is accessible, and a good number have images, too.

How Thanksgiving Works, particularly The Thanksgiving Image Gallery.

Another slideshow, this time one of U.S. Presidents and the turkeys they “pardoned” as part of a Thanksgiving tradition.

Here’s a related slideshow from the Telegraph newspaper in the UK called What really Happens To The Turkey The President Pardons At Thanksgiving.

Turkey Escape is the latest addition (tongue-in-cheek) to this list.  As regular readers of this blog know, I believe using online video games with walkthroughs (the instructions on how to win the game) are good language-development tools for English Language Learners. You can read more about how I use them in this article.  In “Turkey Escape” players get to develop vocabulary, reading skills — plus rescue a turkey from being served as the main course at a Thanksgiving dinner.  Here’s the Walkthrough.

Thanksgiving Room Escape is a fun online video game that provides English-language-learning opportunities. Here’s its walkthrough.

Read Write Web has 7 Fun Facts For Thanksgiving.

ESL Holiday Lessons has another excellent feature on Thanksgiving.

The First Thanksgiving
is a Webquest from Scholastic.

I’m going to add three more resources to this list.  The caveat is that if you are going to use the most obvious and most accessible one, I believe it’s critical that at least one of the other two is also used.

The most visible engaging and accessible to English Language Learners is a new “talking story” with animation from The Weekly Reader called The Story of Squanto.  It’s engaging and well-done.  Unfortunately, it also doesn’t make any attempt at communicating anything other than the whitewashed version of the story.

I don’t consider myself to necessarily be the most “politically correct” person around, but to leave out even a mention of his life as a slave and the destruction of his people seems pretty insulting to Native Americans and to the student audience of the story.  Jeez, I know Brainpop gets criticized, but even their Thanksgiving movie refers to the damage caused to Native Americans.

But I do think the Weekly Reader movie could be an excellent learning opportunity for students, one that I will be using next week with my students.

It could be a great lesson combining that movie with a lesson from Squanto Worksheet from EL Civics, along with questions like:  What are the differences between the stories?  Why do you think they are different?  Are there examples in your own life or culture where the “public” story is different from what really happened?

I’ve also found two resources helpful in developing lessons that give a little more of a critical perspective  to Thanksgiving.  One is from Education World and is called Are You Teaching The Real Story of Thanksgiving? The other is an older blog post from Education Week titled Rethinking Thanksgiving (the post itself is thought-provoking, though the link within it is no longer active).

Of course, the most helpful resource is a book you can buy from Rethinking Schools (which is on The Best Teacher Resource Sites For Social Justice Issues). It’s called Rethinking Columbus.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has some exceptional resources providing a Native American perspective on Thanksgiving. I’m not sure how accessible they’d be to English Language Learners, but the lesson ideas can certainly be modified by teachers.

Rethinking Schools also published a good article, Rethinking Thanksgiving, that some lessons that include critical thinking.

Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving is a brand-new online activity by Renee Manfroid.

President Obama pardons a turkey in this video.

Laurence Haquet creates great interactive books that are exceptional learning tools, including her book on Thanksgiving,

US presidents and Thanksgiving turkeys is a Guardian slideshow.

Presidential Thanksgivings Through The Years is a slideshow from the Washington Post.

Students can learn about the shopping craziness of Black Friday through a Wall Street Journal slideshow and a series of photos from the Sacramento Bee.

The Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

Farmer Feeds Families For Thanksgiving is a CNN video.

Thanksgiving In Iraq is a video from ABC News.

Marine Thanksgiving is another ABC News video.

Myth and Truth: The “First Thanksgiving” seems like a nice lesson plan. It’s from Read Write Think.

What Really Happened? Comparing Stories of the First Thanksgiving is a great feature from The New York Times Learning Network. It has links to a lot of useful resources.

Here are some interactive online Thanksgiving quizzes that I’m adding to this list:

The CNN Challenge is probably the best one.

How Stuff Works

Thanksgiving Trivia Quiz from The Huffington Post.

Funnel Brain

The BBC has a quiz, too.

President Obama pardons a turkey in this Wall Street Journal video.

MSNBC has a similar Presidential Pardon video.

Presidents And Their Turkey is a LIFE slideshow.

What really happens to the turkey that the president pardons at Thanksgiving is a Telegraph slideshow.

Slate has a fun slideshow titled “Happy Thanksgiving!”

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. Here’s a slideshow from the LA Times showing how and why it is so crazy.

Ten Thanksgiving Myths Dispelled is a useful infographic.

Thanksgiving travel: Trains, planes, automobiles is a Washington Post slideshow.

Thanksgiving in Washington through the years is another Wash Post slideshow.

This Thanksgiving, measured success for a dedicated cook is one more Post slideshow.

A History Of Presidential Pardons is an ABC News video.

10 Larger-Than-Life Thanksgiving Staples

Reader Photos: The Thanksgiving Countdown comes from The New York Times.

CNN has several Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade videos.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade 2010 is a slideshow from The Guardian.

The Sacramento Bee has a series of images of the Parade, too.

The Telegraph has a slideshow on the Parade, also.

Thanksgiving from the home front to the war zone is a slideshow from The Los Angeles Times.

Black Friday shoppers hit the stores is another LA Times slideshow.

Parade Floats By In New York is a Wall Street Journal slideshow.

The Wall Street Journal has a slideshow on troops celebrating Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

10 Things You Didn’t (Need to) Know About Turkeys comes from TIME Magazine.

Top 10 Feasts is a slideshow from TIME.

Why I’m Not Thankful For Thanksgiving is the title of a Rethinking Schools article written by a Native American.

“Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths & Misgivings” is also from Rethinking Schools.

Thanksgiving and Immigrant Cultures

Tracing The History Of The Pilgrims is a New York Times slideshow.

Macy’s shows off new balloons for parade is a CNN video.

Thanksgiving In Space is another CNN video.

Waiting hours for free Thanksgiving turkeys is a CBS News video and article.

Thanksgiving for the troops is a CBS News slideshow.

Thanksgiving a newcomer to celebrations of Earth’s bounty is from MSNBC.

5 myths about Thanksgiving is from The Washington Post.

Free bird: Thanksgiving turkey pardons is a slideshow from The Mother Nature Network.

A Visual History of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is a TIME slideshow.

Check out the Lemur Thanksgiving at the San Francisco Zoo.

Here’s a CNN video about the Traditions of Thanksgiving (it might not show in an RSS Reader)

Researchers are working hard to build a better turkey is from MSNBC. If you scroll to the bottom of that page, you’ll see a slideshow on the “Science of Thanksgiving.”

Millions Savor Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is a video from MSNBC:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: A Look Back is a slideshow from ABC News.

Thanksgiving during tough times is a CBS News slideshow.

Classic Thanksgivings is a Newsweek slideshow.

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving is a slideshow from TIME.

In Pictures: Thanksgiving in America is from The BBC.

Top 10 Thanksgiving Movie Scenes is a great slideshow, with video clips, from TIME.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a NY Times slideshow.

At The Helm Of The Parade is a Wall Street Journal slideshow.

Technology That Kept The Pilgrims Alive is a slideshow from Discovery.

Black Friday is a TIME slideshow.

Here’s a video of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from The Telegraph:

This new viral hit “It’s Thanksgiving” by Nicole Westbrook could be a fun song to play and sing with English Language Learners. It’s pretty fast, but students could just focus on certain lines. The song highlights other holidays, too, which is a nice bonus. It’s not like there are that many pop songs about Turkey Day.

I couldn’t find a closed-captioned version, but the lyrics are here. You can read about specific music-related instructional strategies at The Best Music Websites For Learning English.

Thinking Critically About Food in a Season of Plenty is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Here are all of English Central’s Thanksgiving-related videos.

What Was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving? is from Smithsonian Magazine.

Eat Like A Pilgrim

by Lemon.ly.Browse more data visualization.

A Hispanic Thanksgiving

by HSNews.Browse more infographics.

Demystifying Thanksgiving

Browse more data visualization.

Black and white photos show Thanksgiving feasts through the years

Here are videos of President Obama pardoning turkeys.

A Visual History of Presidents Petting Turkeys is from The Atlantic.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Music, Sung by One Human … and 300 Turkeys is also from The Atlantic.

Lincoln’s historic Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863

The 8 most awkward Thanksgiving dinner scenes in movie history is from The Week.

A Thanksgiving Feast For The Ears And Eyes is from NPR.

6 Thanksgiving celebrations around the world is from The Week.

The Number On Thanksgiving
is an interactive infographic from The Wall Street Journal.

Here’s a Thanksgiving vocabulary quiz from Rene Maufroid.

Five myths about the Pilgrims is from The Washington Post.

Thanksgiving By The Numbers
is an infographic from The History Channel. I’ve embedded below, but I don’t think it will come on an RSS Reader:

Learn interesting Thanksgiving facts and travel statistics in this Thanksgiving infographic.
Provided by Nationwide Bank

Here are all the Thanksgiving resources from The New York Times Learning Network in one place.

Thanksgiving created by ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ author — not the Pilgrims is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Thanksgiving, or how to eat American politics:The democratic ideals behind turkey, pie, and the rest of our holiday feast is a great interactive at The Boston Globe. It shows how each traditional food got its start on Thanksgiving.

A Fresh Peek At Popular Thanksgiving Traditions
by BuzzBack.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Thanksgiving - Brought to You by the American Farmer
by ShaylaMae.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Here’s an impressive Thanksgiving chart that’s based on an even more impressive interactive:

This Google Doodle would be a great video to show English Language Learners and have them describe what happens in it:

The Mother Of All Thanksgivings

Abraham Lincoln, father of the Thanksgiving holiday is from USA Today.

Feel free to offer additional suggestions.

If you found this post useful, you might want to check out my other “The Best…” lists.

In addition, you can also subscribe to this blog for free.

October 19, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Additions to Columbus List

Here are a couple of additions to The Best Online Resources About Christopher Columbus.

One is a short accessible reading with comprehension questions.

The other is a new Brainpop movie on Columbus. Brainpop is available by subscription only (and it’s worth the price), but you can also get a free trial.

October 16, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Addition To “The Best…” Multilingual Sites List

I’ve just added one more site to The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Math, Social Studies, & Science.

I had forgotten to include Brainpop Espanol, which includes Spanish versions of most, if not all, of their movies. Of course, you have to pay for a subscription, but it doesn’t cost that much more to include the Spanish version in with getting access to the English movies.

By the way, though I haven’t had a chance yet to develop a student self-access version of this list for The Best Websites page on my webpages yet, I have added a direct link to the Multilingual list on my website near the bottom of Favorite Sites.

October 6, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

The Best Online Resources About Christopher Columbus

'Christopher Columbus' photo (c) 2010, Kate Hopkins - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With Columbus Day coming-up, I thought I’d quickly put together a “The Best…” list of the resources I’ve used to help my English Language Learner students learn about Christopher Columbus.

Unfortunately, most sites about Columbus that are designed for student self-access pretty much relate the typical story that most of us have learned in school — they certainly don’t encourage any critical thinking by bringing in perspectives held by many Native Americans that aren’t quite as laudatory. So, in addition to including those accessible online sites, I’ll also be sharing some online resources that I’ve used to bring in alternative perspectives to the classroom.

In addition to using the sites listed in this blog post, you might also want to visit my United States History Class blog where I have a series of Columbus activities for my students (that include some of the links listed below).

Here are my picks for The Best Online Resources About Christopher Columbus (not in order of preference):

Brainpop Jr. has a very accessible animated film on Columbus Day. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe in order to view it.

The BBC has a narrated animated biography of Columbus on its “Famous People” site. Just click on Columbus.

The History Channel has a series of video excerpts from its programs on Columbus, including historical re-creations. Click on the thumbnail images on the right.

Here’s an activity designed by Renee Maufroid for ELL’s about Columbus.

Here’s another online exercise for ELL’s — it’s a simple cloze (gap-fill).

Test your knowledge about Columbus in this game.

ESL Holiday Lessons has a Columbus Day Lesson.

Take a Christopher Columbus quiz.

There is a new Brainpop movie on Columbus. Brainpop is available by subscription only (and it’s worth the price), but you can also get a free trial.

How Stuff Works has many short videos about Columbus.

Here are some resources I’ve used to raise questions about the typical portrayal of Columbus and provoke critical thinking and discussion:

The Wikipedia entry on Columbus Day shares different perspectives in the section Opposition To Columbus Day.

This is a simple lesson plan developed by an elementary school teacher called Columbus Day (Native American Perspective).

EL Civics’ Columbus Day Lesson is a good one. Not only is it accessible to English Language Learners, it at least touches upon his negative impact on Native Americans.

Is Columbus Day Sailing Off the Calendar? is an article in the Wall Street Journal reporting on the changing perceptions about Columbus Day. It’s not really accessible to English Language Learners, but excerpts could be modified.

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Columbus comes from TIME Magazine.

It’s Columbus Day…Time to Break the Silence is by Bill Bigelow at Rethinking Schools.

Should Columbus Day Become Exploration Day is from Discovery News.

How Columbus Day Fell Victim to Its Own Success is from The Atlantic.

Why Do We Celebrate Columbus Day is a CBS News video:

Here’s a great critical infographic on him from The Oatmeal.

Columbus Activities from The Zinn Education Project.

The New York Times Learning Network has a number of Columbus lessons.

Christopher Columbus: 3 things you think he did that he didn’t is from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Here’s an online Columbus game.

How Columbus Day Fell Victim to Its Own Success is from The Atlantic.

How the Media Would Have Covered Columbus’s Discovery of the New World is from New York Magazine.

How We Discovered That Christopher Columbus Didn’t Get to America First is from The Pacific Standard.

You can also find these links on my website under Early Settlers Of America.

October 3, 2008
by Larry Ferlazzo
4 Comments

The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Math, Social Studies, & Science

'Multilingual City' photo (c) 2010, Michael Gil - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Having academic content available in the native language of English Language Learners is valuable for several reasons.

One, it’s useful for teachers who use the widely-respected and thoroughly researched teaching method called “Preview, View, Review.” In this instructional strategy, the teacher first provides students with a quick introduction to the lesson in the native language; then the lesson is given in English; and, finally, a short summary is provided in the student’s first language.

Two, it’s extraordinarily helpful in providing parents of English Language Learners accessible knowledge of what their children is being taught. This gives many parents who are not able to speak English the ability to better know what is happening in the classroom. They can talk more with their children about academic content and help them with their homework more effectively.

And, three, students can access the materials — sometimes in class or at home — so they can develop a greater understanding of the subject matter and develop more self-confidence.

Because of these reasons, I thought it would be useful to prepare a “The Best…” list of resources that I think provide the best multilingual and bilingual information about content typically taught in schools.

This list is different from The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Learning English.  There, I focused on sites that were focused on using the student’s native language as a tool to help them learn English.  Here, even though use of native language materials an be used very effectively to assist students develop their English-language skills, these sites are not explicitly designed to do so.  They have only been developed to provide content knowledge to speakers of languages other than English.

In order to make it on this list, the resource must be provided free-of-charge, with no registration required, and be relatively engaging. Even though they charge for it, I do have to at least mention Brainpop. They have good Spanish versions of their videos though, unfortunately, the selection is far fewer than the number in English.

The sites that offer multilingual information are listed first in each subject category and then are followed by bilingual (English/Spanish).  Here are my choices for The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Math, Social Studies, and Science:

NOTE: Before you review this list, you should read “Great Resources For English Language Learners In Content Classes.” and Even More Great Resources For English Language Learners In Content Classes

MATH

Holt, Rinehart, and Winston has clearly been the major textbook publisher who has tried hardest to provide accessible multilingual information for all subject areas, including math.  Unfortunately, they don’t take the word “accessibility” as seriously in terms of their website and, as a result, it’s periodically off-line.  But they seem to be resolving some of those technical issues.

HRW has a Pre-Algebra Glossary that provides translation of math terms and concepts in multiple languages. They also have similar glossaries for Algebra and Geometry. Also, for less-advanced learners, they have one for Middle School.  Those direct links should work.  However, if the HRW site is having one of its erratic moments, you can also access all of them at the main Math page.

McGraw-Hill has two multilingual math glossaries — one for K-5 and other for grades 6-12.

Harcourt provides a K-6 curriculum in English and in Spanish.

I’m adding some additional resources related to math instructional videos in Spanish though, at the same time, I recognize that they might be of superior quality.

One is the Khan Academy multilingual resources. They seem to have a number of resources in multiple languages, along with a separate YouTube channel for videos in Spanish. The richest man in the world, Carlos Slim, has also recently committed to have ALL their resources translated into Spanish.

You might also be interested in The Best Posts About The Khan Academy.

Tareas Plus has a huge number of instructional videos on math available for viewing, though it doesn’t appear that they have the same kind of follow-up exercises that Khan makes available. The videos seem to be available for free, and you can search for the ones you need. However, many of their video-based “courses” appear to require payment.

Wendy Jennings, one of my colleagues, found a collection of about fifty Spanish-language instructional videos for Algebra 1 and Geometry. They’ve been created by the Northeast Arkansas Education Cooperative, and can be found on their site and on their YouTube channel.

No matter what language they’re in, any math video is going to be “Greek” to me. But, Wendy likes them, so I’m adding them to this list.

Here’s a sample:

Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, has just unveiled Acceso Latino, an online tool designed to be a “one-stop” site for Spanish-language “employment, education, health care, and civil rights” resources.

Much of the site is just composed of links to materials others have created. However, there is some original material that could be useful to educators, particularly videos on different types of jobs and some decent, though surprisingly shallow, videos on content covered in the GED.

Of course, as I’ve previously posted, Slim has also paid for all the Khan Academy videos to be redone in Spanish, and there’s a link to the Khan Spanish-language site, which is new to me.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Here again, HRW shines.  They have extraordinary multilingual summaries for each period of United States History.  Again, however, it can sometimes be a little tricky to get through.   Here are the directions that I give to ensure that students and their families can gain access to them:

1) Go to the HRW Social Studies Home Page

2) Click on Holt United States History 2007, which is the third one down from the top.

3) Then click on the chapter you want to read about.

4) At the bottom of your screen you will then see different languages. Click on the language summary you would like to read.

Glencoe has a nice multilingual glossary of U.S. History terms.

Pearson has quite a few elementary level online activities in both English and Spanish that deal with Geography and World and United States History.

HRW has good chapter summaries about Geography, though they’re only in English and Spanish.  Once again, they can be a little tricky to get to.  First go to their Geography home page, then click on the first title. Next click on a chapter and you will see the summary links at the bottom.

HRW has similar summaries in English and Spanish related to U.S. Government. Go to their Government and Civics home page, and follow a similar process to the ones I’ve already outlined to get their bilingual resources.

HRW has a great series of multilingual World History summaries in multiple languages.  However, that page seems to be even more temperamental than their other ones.  It seems to only work about half the time.   To get there, go to the World History main page. Click on the first textbook, and then follow the usual procedure.

McGraw Hill has both English and Spanish versions online of their California Vistas textbook.

Pearson has Biographies of American historical figures in Spanish.

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has just performed a great service for recent immigrants by helping to develop and distribute the new U.S. Citizenship test questions in eleven additional languages.  The U.S. government provides translations in four major languages. CLINIC has recruited community organizations from around the country to do these eleven, and are hoping to do more.

SCIENCE:

McGraw Hill has an excellent series of multilingual summaries for their K-6 Science curriculum. Just click on one of the books, then click on a chapter, and then click on the “translated concept summary.” Here’s an example of what you’ll get.

Scott Foresman has a complete K-6 Science curriculum in both English and Spanish.

Glencoe has two excellent multilingual science glossaries — one for middle school and one for high school.

(I forgot to mention that Brainpop has Spanish versions of most, if not all, of their movies. Of course, you need to have a paid subscription in order to access the majority of them, but I think they’re worth the price)

Carolyn Zierenberg, a talented teacher at our school, put together a simple multilingual (English/Spanish/Hmong) glossary of academic vocabulary. She’s given me permission to it on this blog and website.

This Glossary of Commonly Used English Academic Vocabulary took an incredible amount of work to complete.

2Lingual is a bilingual search engine. You type in your search term and then choose two languages. Search results will show-up side-by-side in both languages. It could come in very handy for English Language Learners in content classes, as well as for their teachers who might be looking for materials in a second language that they could offer to their students for extra support. I was quite pleased with the searches I did, though I wish they had separate “tabs” for videos. They provide bilingual searches for Google and for Bing, plus a voice search capability.

utubersidad has many Spanish-language videos in history and in other content areas.

Mundo from the BBC also has many resources in Spanish.

Also, searching for “history channel en español documentales” on YouTube generates many results, as does searching for “bbc en español documentales.”

Of course, a list like this is only effective as a supplement and follow-up to multiple classroom activities where these words are used in a meaningful way in context.

As usual, additional suggestions are welcome.

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