Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 19, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

New & Absolutely Delightful Playing For Change Music Video: “Everyday People”

I’ve often shared videos from Playing For Change.

They just released a new one that is absolutely delightful.

Here’s how they describe it:

We are proud and honored to reshare this video, produced by Playing For Change in partnership with Turnaround Arts.

Turnaround Arts infuses struggling schools with arts as a strategy for reform. The program was founded by President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and is now run by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Turnaround Arts currently works in 73 schools, 38 districts, and 17 states and the District of Columbia.

“Everyday People” features Turnaround Arts students alongside their Turnaround Artists including Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Paula Abdul, Misty Copeland, Elizabeth Banks, Keb’ Mo, Forest Whitaker,and many more performing this timely song by Sly and the Family Stone.

This video was created to inspire the idea that all children deserve access to the arts in school and that the arts have the power to create change.

Learn more about Turnaround Arts at

October 9, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Playing For Change Releases New Around-The-World Video – “My Own Two Hands”

For years, the organization Playing For Change has been releasing collaborative music videos showing musicians from around the world singing songs.

And, for years, I’ve been sharing them here on this blog.

In addition to the great music, their message, and the important work they support, their songs are usually very accessible to English Language Learners – they are usually sung slow enough from them, and the meaning of the lyrics offer great opportunities for class discussion.

Here’s their brand-new video of “My Own Two Hands.” You can find the lyrics here.

June 28, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Great Strategy For Interacting With Art!

This morning, my wife and I took our granddaughter to visit the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

While there, I spotted a neat way to interact with art. Now, I’m not an art museum aficionado, but I’ve been to quite a few over the years, and I had never seen this particular strategy.

Next to a painting was a counter fill with small pieces of paper (a different question was on each paper) and pencils. Viewers could respond to one of the questions (one of the sheets invited viewers to create and answer their own) and place their completed sheet on a board with others.

I thought it would be a neat strategy to use with student art shows at schools (recognizing there might be a few less-than-helpful responses in the bunch). I’m thinking of using it with the art project I do with my IB Theory of Knowledge students and have them create questions about their piece of art (see Play-Doh & IB Theory Of Knowledge: Student Hand-Out & Videos).

Is this a common strategy in museums and I’m just living under a rock?

Here’s what it looked like – the painting, the counter, and the completed sheets:

April 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Google’s Brand New “AutoDraw” Is Likely To Become A Favorite Place For Those Of Us Who Are Artistically-Challenged

Google just unveiled AutoDraw, a free site that uses artificial intelligence that provides a series of guesses about what you are drawing. You can choose the right “guess” to pretty-up your artistic creation, write up some description, and then download it or share the link. The image above is an example.

This is perfect for English Language Learners – instead of spending tons of time getting their drawing “just right,” they can, instead, have fun drawing quickly and spend more time on the language part of the exercise.

And it’s great for ESL teachers, too – no more working hard trying to draw images of scenes for vocabulary items to support language acquisition. Now just draw a few lines, project it onto the screen, and you’ll be able to show a masterpiece.

I’m adding this info to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

You can read more about AutoDraw at Technology Review article, Google’s AI Turns Your Crappy Doodles Into Proper Pictures.

Thanks to Greg Toppo for the tip.

December 15, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video: Playing For Change Releases Its Newest “Song Around The World” – Take Me Home, Country Roads

I’ve shared many of Playing For Change’s videos, especially their “Song Around The World” series where singers from…around the world collaborate in singing a song.

Today, they released their thirty-sixth in the series (you can see them all here):

December 13, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Radio Garden” Is A Curated Interactive Map Of Thousands Of Radio Stations Around The World


Radio Garden is an online interactive map of radio stations that you can listen to from around the world.

It came online today.

It’s pretty nifty, and you can read more about it at The Atlantic’s article, The Map That Lets You Listen to the Radio Everywhere.

It would be a good companion to Radiooooo, one of the coolest music sites around. You can click a country on a world map and then click a decade from the past 120 years, and it will then play music from that area and from that time period.

Both of them are now at The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.

December 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Music In Exile” Unveiled Its Website Today – Support Refugee Musicians


I first heard about Music In Exile last month through an NPR story, A Story Of Crisis And Resilience, Told Through Music. As the story said:

Music in Exile is a recording project that collects songs and stories from people displaced by humanitarian crisis.

Today, they unveiled their website with music an stories from refugee musicians, and it’s impressive.

I’m adding the info to The Best Sites For Learning About World Refugee Day.

You might also be interested in my many previous posts about another justice-oriented music organization, Playing For Change.

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