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Scholastic Listen & Read

  What it is: The Scholastic website is full of truly amazing resources.  Today I ran across one that I hadn’t used before called Scholastic Listen & Read, I heard about it on Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day.  Scholastics Listen and Read is for students in first and second grade.   The site does exactly what it’s name implies, it lets students listen to non-fiction stories and read along.  There are 11 non-fiction stories for first grade social studies including The Path of the President, What Does the President Do, and a Celebration of Earth Day.  There are 15 non-fiction stories focused on animals and food for first grade students.  Second grade students have access to 10 non-fiction stories focused on social studies including Constitution Day and Welcome to a Pilgrim Village.  There are also 11 short non-fiction stories for second grade students focused on animals and food.  Social Studies is a hard subject to teach first and second grade students from a text book because the vocabulary and reading can be especially challenging.  Scholastic Listen and Read solves this problem wonderfully with short, easy to read non-fiction stories that are read aloud to your students.  As an added bonus, each story includes the Scholastic Word Wizard.  This tool floats right on top of the web page.  At any point, students can click on a word in the story and the Scholastic Word Wizard will give them an easy to read definition of the word.  Students can also type a word into the Word Wizard to look it up.     How to integrate Scholastic Listen & Read into the classroom:  Scholastic Listen & Read is ideal for any classroom or computer setting.  The non-fiction stories could be read together as a class with a projector and speaker setup, individually in a computer lab setting, or in small groups as a center in the one or two computer classroom.  The stories are easy to understand and the ability to look up words right from the story makes it a great place for students to learn key social studies and animals and food concepts.     Tips:  Scholastic Listen & Read is a great place for ESL and ELL kids to go for English practice and vocabulary!   Leave a comment and share how you are using Scholastic Listen & Read in your classroom.  

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Planet Quest: Alien Safari

Posted by admin | Posted in Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 10-05-2011

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What it is: Planet Quest Alien Safari is an interactive exploration adventure that encourages students to click on “life zones” around the world to find bizarre and extreme organisms that live on Earth.  Students will also learn about what the extreme organisms reveal about finding life in space.  As students explore they will learn about organisms that can live without sunlight, those with the highest radiation dose, those that are the most acidic, those that live the furthest underground, those with the strangest habitat and those that are the hottest.  Students click on a life zone on the 3D Earth to begin a video introduction to the organism.

How to integrate Planet Quest: Alien Safari into the classroom: Planet Quest Alien Safari is going to be a popular one with your boys.  My students got a kick out of “discovering” new organisms.  Use Alien Safari when discussing different life forms, classifying organisms or studying space.  My students wanted to do more than just explore the organisms, they wanted to write stories about them.  Students wrote creative stories imagining what kind of super hero the organism would be, or making them into super villains (As I said, the boys have fun with this one!).

Ask students to make predictions about the organisms based on where they are found, what does their geographic location tell us about the organism?

Tips: The music on this site gets a little OLD (at least for me, the kids may disagree) I had the kids use headphones when they were accessing this site independently.  If you are using it with the whole class and an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, you can turn the music off in the bottom right corner.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Planet Quest: Alien Safari in your classroom!

Comments (1)

This is a great find and will be a useful one in the classroom for me. Thanks for sharing.

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