Language Arts Curriculum Resources for Middle School

Mr. Anker's Tests  A wonderful site that includes practice in many areas including comprehension, vocabulary, analogies, spelling, etc.

The Academy of American Poets A superb site that includes poet biographies, a wealth of poetry, and even a listening booth where authors read their work. The site also features contests and awards.

The Atlantic Monthly Poetry Pages A new multimedia feature devoted to poets and poetry, both classic and contemporary. New readings by poets are featured in each issue of the magazine, as well as poetry and essays from The Atlantic's archive. This is a great resource to expose people to a collection of the current definition of great poetry.

The Author Corner

BBC's Learning English Area Combine language skills with current events. Polish your knowledge of
Metaphors. Listen to broadcast stories and learn the definitions of Words in the News. Interactive quizzes are also available. Great Books Online One of the most comprehensive resources for literature on the Internet. Searchable by genre, author, title, it also provides audio recordings, biographical information, and text of thousands of literary works.

Booklist An online version of the American Library Association's Booklist magazine, this site provides reviews of both adult and children's books as well as a cumulative index to all reviews published in the magazine, along with an editor's choice list of top books and videos.  Special features such as author interviews and critical essays are also available.

Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site Teachers and librarians will appreciate this rich collection of reviews, curriculum ideas, and activities. Reviews are organized by title, author, type of book, and grade level, and educators can also look for ideas based on curriculum areas or themes.  There's plenty here to help educators integrate literature into their curriculum.

Celebrate Children's Authors

Children's Book Council

Children's Literature Web Guide This Web guide provides detailed information about Internet resources related to books for children and young adults. The Resources for Teachers link provides access to lesson plans, storytelling, and more.

LSU Author Index

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet Terry Gray created this outstanding annotated guide to William Shakespeare, his works, life, and times. Features include a Shakespearean Timeline, Works (synopses of plays, study guides, canons and more), Criticism, Critical Resources, a bibliography, and even a Shakespeare Biography Quiz. Visit Narnia, the land created by C.S. Lewis in his seven book series, The Chronicles of Narnia. The site includes interactive maps, illustrations, and character sketches. Readers can take a short quiz after reading each of the first six books (offline).

The Newbury Medal for Children's Literature  The home page of the American Library's Association's prestigious award for children's literature. Lists present and past winners, with links to other awards such as the Corretta Scott King Medal and the Caldecott Medal.

Writing Links

Dartmouth College Composition Center Although the student section is designed primarily for college students, the "Attending to Grammar" and "Attending to Style" are clear and easy enough for even younger students to follow.

Listen & Write  This interactive site, created by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), lets students hear poetry, then create their own. Rap, Wonderwords (helped by The Saurus), and Similes are covered in an entertaining manner. Low and High tech versions are available.

Merriam-Webster Language Center Word of the day, daily word game, word for the wise, and cool new stuff awaits you at this easy-to-use dictionary site.

Purdue On-Line Writing Lab A well-developed site devoted to all aspects of the writing process.

Strunk and White's Elements of Style A hypertext version of the classic 1918 writer's guide.

General Reference/Language Arts Links

BBC's Learning English Area Combine language skills with current events. Polish your knowledge of Metaphors. Listen to broadcast stories and learn the definitions of Words in the News. Interactive quizzes are also available. The online offspring of the Encyclopedia Britannica, this clearly organized site makes the contents of its encyclopedia available at no cost. Each subject provides subheads to New and Features, Best of the Web, and Britannica. A collection of dictionaries in English and other languages, this site also provides links to translation sites, Roget's Thesaurus, and a number of other helpful sites.

Encarta On-Line An abbreviated version of Encarta Deluxe (available for a modest subscription fee), the concise encyclopedia offers users plenty of good information.  Of special value are the lesson plans in a number of subject areas. Called the Internet's premiere free encyclopedia, this site allows users to access more than 14,000 articles fromThe Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (3rd edition).  Entries are short, designed to provide a quick overview of the topic rather than an in-depth report. HomeworkSpot is a good place for students to start homework that requires online resources. Resources are grouped by grade level (elementary, middle school, and high school) and by theme (the Human Body or Space or Dinosaurs). The reference section contains current events, libraries, museums, and a reference desk. The extracurricular areas for middle and high school students offer links for band, chess, and debate.

Merriam-Webster Language Center Word of the day, daily word game, word for the wise, and cool new stuff awaits you at this easy-to-use dictionary site.

MLA Bibliography Formatting Web Site

Study Guides and Strategies

SOL Orientation for Grade 8 Language Arts Presentation


Integration Techniques with various types of software

Wordprocessing Software
  • Use one computer in the front of the classroom to brainstorm a story or paper together. Model how to gather facts and information. Write the sentences and paragraphs together, and then print the story or paper for students to look at when writing their own. If students are very reluctant to write, write a story as a class, then have them write in a group or in pairs. After they have had this success, then have them write their own story.
  • Use a computer in the front of the classroom to model the critiquing and editing process on student or teacher writing. Students love to see the teacher's writing.

Spreadsheet and Database Software

  • Integrate language arts and math and create a publishing business. Have students keep careful records of employees in a spreadsheet or database program, create pay scales, pay the taxes, keep track of benefits, and expenses. Get as detailed as you wish. You could publish posters and signs for the school, create newsletters, create business cards, and more!

Desktop Publishing and Graphic/Paint/Draw Software

  • Create a school or class newspaper or literary publication.

Multimedia software such as PowerPoint, or Web pages

  • Have students create stories or reports using multimedia in a program like Powerpoint. Or have them publish their writing on the World Wide Web.
  • Have students create a multimedia story on their family or themselves.
  • Have students create a card or two explaining why another student should read a book or books by a particular author (multimedia book reports).
  • Have students create a video presenting persuasive information.
  • Students present reports using presentation software such as PowerPoint to improve their presentation.
  • Have students create a branching story in PowerPoint. You create the introduction, with two choices. Two students create those next two cards with two choices on each one. Four other students create the next four cards with two choices on each one, etc. Then you will have a class story that everyone can read at the computer by choosing their middle and ending to the story.
  • Use video and TV commercials to analyze persuasion and the difference between fact and opinion. Have students create their own commercial with video.
  • Have students select literature that best depicts conditions of an era (Industrial Revolution, World War II, etc.) and defend choice in a multimedia presentation.
  • Have students create multimedia presentations on points of view of historical period by different people, or of a different subject area from the historical period (need to give students ample resources to do this).
  • Have students create and present a video and/or multimedia presentation on a current events or issue.
  • Video students' oral presentations as an assessment and improvement tool. Have them assess their own performance by writing a reaction paper to their speech.

Web 2.0 ideas

  • Podcasting - students can create podcasts using Audacity (free download) to review vocabulary and all major themes of their unit of study

  • - this can be used in the same ways - it's free - you upload a picture, select an area to be the mouth, and then you record what you want