Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 4, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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iCivics Steps Up Its Game Big Time With Free Virtual Classrooms & Primary Source Interactive

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I haven’t always been the biggest fan of iCivics, the popular learning games site begun by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

I’ve thought that many (but not all) of their games have been overly-complicated, and they really put their foot in it with a horribly-done one on immigration (see Sandra Day O’Connor’s Site To Change Immigration Game Because Of Your Comments).

But they seem to have really stepped-up their “game” recently.

Now, teachers can easily create free virtual classrooms and monitor student progress on the site.

The part I’m really excited about is a tool called DB Quest (you can go to the link, but it won’t let you access it until you register, which is free and easy). It’s an interactive to access and learn about primary source documents, and I like it a lot. They only have one lesson there now – on the Nashville Civil Rights Sit-Ins – but have just received funding from the Library of Congress to expand it (I just received that info via a LOC email, but there’s no way to link to it).

I hope they develop many more lessons using that DBQuest tool, and I suspect many teachers will agree with me.

I’m adding this info to:

The Best Resources For Using Primary Sources

The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress

August 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Fascinating Interactive Comparing How Democratic & Republican Delegates Described Their States

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Vox has published a fascinating interactive comparing how delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions described their states during the roll call vote for Presidential candidates.

You’ll definitely want to check out Republicans and Democrats think their states are great for totally different reasons.

It would be an excellent piece to use when studying Perception in Theory of Knowledge classes. I’m not exactly sure how it could be used in my English Language Learners classes, but it did give me the idea of having students do a fun exercise using it as a model and having them describe what’s great about their home countries.

Other ideas?

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections.

August 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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All Of This Year’s Presidential Campaign Ads & How To Use Them In Class

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This fall will be a perfect time to have students watch Presidential campaign ads and analyze them.

First off, here are two excellent collections of video ads that are regularly updated:

2016 Campaign Ad Archive is from The New Republic.

The Ad Campaign is from The New York Times.

I’ll be using them in my Theory of Knowledge class and have students analyze them through the Ways of Knowing and through the fallacies we will have learned.

For Social Studies and English teachers, you can’t go wrong by exploring the resources of Frank Baker, who has been creating lessons on this topic for years:

Campaign Ads: Helping Students Find the Truth is an article he wrote for Middleweb, which links to a useful worksheet.

You can find all of Franks election resources here.

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites To Learn About The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections.

August 2, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Even More Resources On The Rio Olympics

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Here are even more additions to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Resources On The 2016 Rio Olympics:

100 Olympians to watch at Rio 2016 is from The Guardian.

Getting Ready for Rio is a photo gallery from The Atlantic.

Ready or Not, Let the Games Begin is an interactive from Esri. Thanks to Google Maps Mania for the tip.

Inside Rio’s favelas, the city’s impoverished, neglected neighborhoods is from Vox.

Google has created a cool “Beyond The Map” interactive exploring Rio. Thanks to Jake Duncan for the tip.

August 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Just Revised & Updated “Best Places To Learn About President Barack Obama’s Life”

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As President Obama’s Presidency nears its end, plenty of news outlets will and have begun producing features reviewing his life and career.

I’ve just updated and revised The Best Places To Learn About President Barack Obama’s Life, and will continue to do so…

July 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: Border Walls “represent a catastophic failure of political imagination”

For five millennia, politicians have proposed walls like Trump’s. They don’t work. is a column in today’s Washington Post that provides an intriguing historical perspective to border walls.

Here’s an excerpt:

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I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Walls That Separate Us.

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