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Digital Content for Common Core Standard RL.5.4

 Posted by on April 27, 2015  Common Core, Content Recommendations, Reading Resources  Comments Off on Digital Content for Common Core Standard RL.5.4
Apr 272015

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from our library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.



Similes Practice

Students complete common similes and determine what makes a good simile.



Similes Quiz

Students are challenged to complete common similes.



Batter Up!

Students identify whether a sentence is a simile, metaphor, alliteration or onomatopoeia in this fast paced baseball game.




Metaphors Tutorial

Students learn the difference between a metaphor and a simile and are challenged to completed some common metaphors.


5aDo You Know Your Metaphors?

Students are challenged to match common metaphors.


Comic Creators

 Posted by on January 15, 2014  Content Recommendations, Reading Resources  Comments Off on Comic Creators
Jan 152014

cartoon makerDo you have students intimidated by the thought of writing a whole story.  Creating a comic can be a great way to encourage the reluctant writers in your classroom.  Comics can also be used by students to apply their knowledge of reading concepts to a project they can share with others.

1.  Turn them loose!  Encourage students to write a comic about anything their hearts desire!

2. Challenge your students to summarize a story they have read in a comic. Use the three panel form as a “beginning, middle, end” summary format.

3. Use a comic to retell a story in the proper sequence using three or four panels. Or, have students create their own “how-to” sequence of a process or procedure.

4. Use four panels in a non-linear way by assigning a story element to describe in each square: Characters, Setting, Problem, and Solution.

5. Use two (or three) panels to have your students create a predicting activity. Ask your students to illustrate an unresolved situation in the first square and a resolution to that situation in the second square. For example, have one character thinking that they would like to go to the movies and the other character thinking that they would also like to go to the movies. The resolution could be that they go together. (Or if you want students to realize that even if what you predict is logical, it may not happen, you could show them not going to the movies together.) When sharing comics, a student could cover up the second square and encourage others to predict before revealing his/her resolution.

5. Use two panels to illustrate a cause and an effect. Use three or four panels to show a chain of cause and effect events.

Here are some of the best online comic creators:









The applications for online comics are endless! How would you use these sites in your classroom?

Writing Inspiration

 Posted by on July 24, 2013  Content Recommendations, Reading Resources  Comments Off on Writing Inspiration
Jul 242013

build your wild selfDo you have a student with writers block?  Or do you have a student who thinks writing is a chore?  Here are a few digital content resources that can help to inspire even the most reluctant authors:

Build Your Wild Self


First design your human self. Then add your favorite animal parts to go wild! Write a story about your newly created self.

Story Starter


Spin the wheel for a randomized story starter sentence.  Keep spinning until a sentence sparks your imagination!

Share images from Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.  Here is a fantastic digital interpretation of several of the images: http://vimeo.com/33140656

How do you encourage creative writing in your classroom?