English Resources

On this page you will find links and resources for web based resources related to the English curriculum. (Updated: 04-15-11)

I am a big fan of Twitter, and they have a chat dedicated to teaching English.  You can learn more at the #engchat wiki and see what it is all about.  I recommend it for all English teachers.  

General English Resources
1.)    TES English provides and publishes printable and editable teaching resources, worksheets, lesson plans and schemes of work for teachers of English at secondary level.  This is a British based website, so it will be good to use for British Literature.
2.)    WordNet is a large lexical database of English that provides nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs that are grouped into sets of cognitive synonyms, each expressing a distinct concept.  Think of it as a dictionary and thesaurus in one.
3.)    My Vocabulary provides Lesson Plans, Thematic Puzzles, Word Lists, and Test prep.  You can also find literature and book activities as well.
4.)    10 Technology Alternatives to the Standard Book Report is a great list created by a fellow teacher and writing specialist in Colorado.  Provide them as an option for your students. 
5.)    Skype an Author Network is a website that provides information about authors who would be willing to Skype into the classroom and talk about the book with your class.
6.)    Reading Games and Activities is a site that provides various Literacy activities for students to participate in.  It does take some navigation to find what you are looking for, but there seems to be a wealth of information available.  These activities work great with an interactive whiteboard or Airliner.
7.)    Figment is a website where students can join a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you're into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here.
8.)    VocabSushi is the premier Website for anyone looking to learn vocabulary and have fun doing it. It is ideal for students studying for standardized tests, and is also perfect for anyone looking to expand his or her vocabulary to communicate more precisely.
9.)    Lexipedia is a site dedicated to giving words meaning.  You type in a word and it provides an interesting graphic showing you the various aspects of a word.
10.) Conjugation is a site dedicated to learning all there is to know about Conjugated Verbs and providing information about how to conjugate a verb. 
11.) Word Games provides various activities and games for students to play that relate to vocabulary.  Help them find a game with vocabulary that is needed for your classes.  You can find Word Search and Crossword Puzzles for your students as well as some other vocabulary enrichment games.
12.) Wordia is a site that intends to bring words to life by having people share a video defining the word and also showing an example of the definition in the video.  You could take this very concept and use it in your classroom.
13.) Author Website Listing is a site that has links to an Authors website.  So if you are reading a book and want to know more about the author, you can visit his or her website.
14.) Lit2Go is a website that makes it easy to download various pieces of literature into an MP3 file that can then be played on an audio device such as an iPod.  You can browse by author, title, reading level, and subject matter. 
15.) Stories in Flight takes text that students write and then finds images from Flickr to turn what they write into a story with pictures.  Do be careful because some images on Flickr can be inappropriate and it might not show up on computers at school due to it being blocked, but I wanted to share it anyway.
16.) From the Educator’s Reference Desk, are lesson plans for Language Arts and English.  Worth investigating to see if there are any that you could use in your classroom.
17.) 60 Second Recap is a great resource.  The concept is it takes important parts of books and discusses them in videos for 60 seconds.  You will find several videos for the books that our students are reading: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Beowulf, Fahrenheit 451, Hamlet, etc.
18.) Common Errors in the English Language is a great way to share with students what grammar is correct and incorrect.  For example: accept and except.
19.) Confusing Words is a collection of 3210 words that are troublesome to readers and writers. Words are grouped according to the way they are most often confused or misused.
20.) Grammar Bytes is a site that provides definitions of Grammar, exercises, handouts, presentations, and quick tips for learning about grammar.
21.) The Poetry Archive exists to help make poetry accessible, relevant and enjoyable to a wide audience.You will find resources for teachers and students as well as valuable resources for teaching poetry.
22.) Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year.  
23.) PoemHunter is a website that provides a directory and search engine for poetry.  A valuable resource to find and share poetry. 
24.) Write Rhymes is a website that as you type provides available words that rhyme with the words that you type.  Another valuable tool for writing poetry.
25.) Phrays is a site that provides a word-a-day and allows visitors to write a sentence using that word.  Visitors to the site can then vote on the best sentence that was created. 
26.) Weboword is a website that allows you to look at vocabulary visually.  The provide images for tons of vocabulary words.  Use the site to provide examples and then have students create their own.
27.) Memidex is a free online dictionary and thesaurus with a simple interface, complete inflections, auto-suggest, adult-filtering, frequent updates, a browsable index, support for mobile devices, and millions of external reference links for definitions, audio, and etymology. It's fast too.
28.) Wordis is a website where visitors can share their thoughts on any word. "Share your insight, your story, your vision…We give you words; everything else is after you."
29.) Synonym Finder is a website designed to helps writers from using the same words over and over. You will also find antonyms and definitions as well, and examples of use in a sentence.
30.) Capitonyms are words that sometimes should be capitalized, while other times they should not be.  This resource will help students in K-12 become for familiar with those words.
31.) "The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project shortly after the Library of Congress appointed him to the post in 1997."

Writing Resources
1.)    Paper Rater is a site that allows students and teachers to copy and paste a document to the web.  It will check spelling, grammar, word usage, and other aspects of the paper.  It will then provide statistics for the paper as well.  Another option is After the Deadline.
2.)    Future Me is a site that can allow students to write a letter to their future self, or to the teacher.  This might be a great opening semester activity to do with students about expectations for the class.  The letter will be emailed to them on the date that they choose.
3.)    Writing Fun is a site that provides text organizers that can be downloaded and printed and used in class with your students.  The text organizers are broken down by the various parts of the writing process.
4.)    Folding Story is a Group Story Telling Game.  A student can start a story and then other students add parts to finish the story.  Think of it like the game “telephone” but with writing the story instead of trying to repeat it.
5.)    Magnetic Poetry is a site that provides words and phrases for creating poetry using virtual magnets.  There are 9 subjects that students can choose and that will determine the types of words that are available.  This is an interesting way to get students to write a poem. 
6.)    PicLits is a site that students can type over an image.  If doing a poem, it needs to be limited to 12 lines to fit on the image.  Students can also free write about the image as well.  An account will need to be created for it to work.
7.)    StoryJoin.com is a free website, that let’s your creative side out, by story telling. We’ve made it fun and easy to use. A unique concept, that allows you to create a story and have other members contribute to it. Once the story is complete, read it and be surprise. When you start your free account, pick any of the eight categories, from Mystery to Romance. You can begin your story, by writing one paragraph, to as many as you want and any uncompleted paragraph, will be completed by other members of StoryJoin.com. Make your story open to allow anyone to contribute, or make it private and you decide who will contribute. Click on How it Works , to view step by step instructions on how it works.
8.)    Wordcounter ranks the most frequently used words in any given body of text. Use this to see what words you overuse (is everything a "solution" for you?) or maybe just to find some keywords from a document.
9.)    The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.  There are some resources that you can use for teaching poetry on this site.
10.) Plagiarism Checker is a site that does just what its title suggests.  It searches Google to find similar text on the web to find if a student has copied and pasted any work.  If you don’t like this option, you can also look into Doc Cop.
11.) The NWP Digital Is website is a collection of ideas, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world.  Read, discuss, and share ideas about teaching writing today.
12.) Write for Ten is a writing project with one simple rule: write for 10 minutes about anything. Describe where you are. Ramble about your day. Imagine a scenario between two strangers. What you write doesn't have to be perfect nor complete. Just write it.
13.) Provide these links to students so that they can get assistance with writing bibliographies and work cited pages.  OttoBib and EasyBib make it easy for students to track and document soruces in various formats.  Another option is KnightCite.
14.)  VocabGrabber analyzes any text you're interested in, generating lists of the most useful vocabulary words and showing you how those words are used in context. Just copy text from a document and paste it into the box, and then click on the "Grab Vocabulary!" button. VocabGrabber will automatically create a list of vocabulary from your text, which you can then sort, filter, and save.
15.) The English Room 30 Days of Poetry is a website that provides 30 days of student activities for teaching poetry.  Add these to the great lessons that you are already doing. 
16.) The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.
17.) The Rhyming Dictionary is a great resource for students to use when writing poetry.  It provides synonyms, definitions, homophones, and same consonants. 
18.) Acrostic Poems are a type of Poetry and here is a website interactive to help students prepare to write their own poem.  Diamante Poems are another type of Poetry that students might want to try and here is another website interactive to help them in their preparation.
19.) Letter Generator is a website interactive that teaches students the different parts of creating a general letter. 
20.) Wordfaire is a "live" writing/blogging/publishing platform.  The site advertises that as you write, it is published to the web.  There is no waiting for the post to appear.  The program is currently in beta, but if you are someone always looking for a new tool to try with your students, this might be worth looking into.
21.) Random Logline Generator will create a random sentence or topic that you can utilize in the classroom for students to write freely and creatively.  It will provide students with a good starting thought point.
22.) QuietWrite removes the editors so that you can focus on writing.  Create an account and it saves your writing, and it saves it automatically as you type.  This would be a great way to create a blog as well.  You can export to a WordPress blog and even edit the writings on an iPad.
23.) Creative Writing Prompts provides just what you think; prompts to help write stories, poems, blogs, etc.  There are over 300 possible prompts...almost enough for every day of the year.
24.) The National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation's educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners.
25.) Daily Writing Tips is a blog that provides visitors a daily tip for help with writing.  You can search through the various categories as well as take some tests.  This could easily be used for a daily assignment in English classrooms to practice various writing.
26.) 750 Words is a website where the idea is to have students write 750 words, or the equivalent of 3 pages.  It is a simple concept and to learn more just check out the website.
27.) Exquisite Corpse is a Poetry game where you can submit a sentence to a poem and then you provide how many lines in the poem there is and provide the 2nd persons name and email address for them to submit the second line.  If you want to work in pairs or groups you can easily just supply each other emails and create a poem with each other.  Collaborative Poetry.  You can also view previous submissions by other people.
28.) Current.im is your free and private online journal.  The difference is that each entry is limited to only 140 characters. 
29.) Idioms 4 You is a website dedicated to providing several examples of English idioms. Not only can you read them, but you can also hear them. The author of the website has recorded the samples of idioms for visitors.
30.) Here is an interesting concept.  It is called Newspaper Blackout.  Students take a newspaper and black out all the words to create a story, poem, quote, or whatever. 
31.) The Basics of APA Style is a web-based slide presentation that also includes voice over.  It does a good job of explaining APA formatting.

Reading Resources
1.)    103 Things to Do Before, During, and After Reading is a great list of ideas for classroom use.  Lots of ideas here fir engaging students in reading.
2.)    The Reading Lady has resources for Comprehension, Author Studies, Poetry, the Six Traits of Writing, Assessment, and Reader’s Theater.  You can also click on the Documents link to get to printable resources as well.
3.)    CyberGuides are supplementary, standards-based, web-delivered units of instruction centered on core works of literature. Each CyberGuide contains a student and teacher edition, standards, a task and a process by which it may be completed, and teacher-selected web sites.  Some links might be broken due to lack of funding.
4.)    Spreeder is a website that can help students increase the speed at which they read.  It is meant for use on the Internet, so if there is a document you want kids to read, you can use this site to see how quickly they can read.  It will also help them with the words per minute they can read.  Another option is ZAP Reader.
5.)    RepeatAfterUs is an award-winning online library with the best collection of copyright-free English texts and scripted recordings. Our free audio clips provide an excellent resource for students and literature lovers of all ages.
6.)    The Online Books Page has over 1 Million books available online for free.  It might be worth investigating to see if a book your students are reading or that you would like for them to read is available.  You might also check Books Should Be Free which has audio editions available.  Another option is Bartleby.  You might also want to look at Read Print.  If that is not enough you might try ManyBooks.net.  Still not having luck, one more resource you should investigate is Project Gutenberg. 
7.)    BookLamp.org matches readers to books through an analysis of writing styles.  Do you like Stephen King’s “It,” but thought it was too long? BookLamp allows you to find books with a similar level of tone, tense, perspective, action, description, and dialog - while at the same time allowing you to specify details like... half the length. It’s impervious to outside influences - like advertising - that impact socially driven recommendation systems, and isn’t reliant on a large user base to work. Take a look at the above video to see how we do it in detail.
8.)    50 Places to Find Free Books Online is another list of sites where students and teachers can find books online. 
9.)    18 Strategies for Struggling Readers provides resources, lessons, and activities for assisting students in understanding what they read.
11.) Free Reading Worksheets provides worksheets in various forms (RTF, PDF, HTM, and PPT) as well as interactive reading lessons in various forms as well (YouTube, Flash, HTM, and PPT).  Created for 7th and 8th graders, they are still adaptable for grades 6-12. 

British Literature
1.)    Luminarium is an Anthology of English Literature.  It provides resources for Medieval, Renaissance, 17th Century, and the Restoration time periods.
2.)    Romeo and Juliet - An Interactive Folio is a great way to study this classic.  I don’t know how to explain it, but if you teach this, use this site!
3.)    Shakespeare Animated is a YouTube Channel that has animated versions of several of Shakespeare’s greatest plays and stories.  Scroll down past the gray area to see the list of videos.
4.)    Shakespearean Insults is an interesting site.  It provides you the ability to insult someone using Shakespearean language.  Kind of funny.
5.)    Cummings Study Guides provides various study guides for Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, and various other types of literature.  There is a vast index worth checking out.

American Literature
1.)    Poe in the Pit is an interactive comic that provides videos and other resources related to the poem “The Pit and the Pendulum.”  The site takes advantage of social media and mobile technology to explain the works of Poe.
2.)    From the New York Times comes "Teaching 'The Great Gatsby' with the New York Times"
3.)    Google Lit Trips is a great way to incorporate Google Earth into the English curriculum.  Have students travel the globe as characters in famous pieces of literature did....for example, The Grapes of Wrath.
4.)    Knowing Poe is an interactive website designed to share about Poe the Person, Poe the Write, and Poe's Library.