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I posted a new CLN Theme Page yesterday - this one on Haiku. Here are five links on the page that demonstrate the range of resources available.
THE SHIKI INTERNET HAIKU SALON is an example of a comprehensive, wide ranging web site on haiku. It includes an introduction to the art form (including a lesson plan), information about Masaoka Shiki (the creator of the haiku) and other significant figures, an essay on the importance of 'season' words, descriptions of various schools of haiku, a link to a contest, access to dedicated listservs, and a biweekly newsletter including lots of sample poems. It is located at http://cc.matsuyama-u.ac.jp/~shiki/
For information/lessons on how to write haiku, a good place to start is DHUGAL J. LINDSAY'S HAIKU UNIVERSE at http://www2.ori.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~dhugal/haikuhome.html. It contains information on how to create haiku both through articles in this web site as well as through links to other sites.
Teachers will find a number of lesson plans they can use. EXPLORING HAIKU at http://www.2learn.ca/currlinks/2teach/ETNpages/exploringhaiku.html is one that is intended for junior and senior high school students. It consists of three independent parts in which students create a definition, write haiku, and write hypertext haiku. These activities involve web exploration.
If you want to go beyond traditional haiku, there's precedent for having your students create their own genre. Have them look at SciFaiku.com at http://www.scifaiku.com/index.html and see what people have done with Science Fiction haiku. Learn more about this genre, read poems, or share yours with others at this site.
Finally, once your students have gained some skill in haiku writing, you may want to help them get their work published on the web. See the CLN Theme Page on PUBLISH YOUR CREATIVE WORK ON-LINE ( /themes/publish.html) for starting points.
The Haiku Theme Page is hosted by CLN and is suitable for English/Language Arts students in grades K-12. It is located at
The Reading Village is not just a collection of external links. There are good resources on the site itself too. In the K-3, 4-12 or Special Needs sections you'll find a place to read/share teaching ideas for that target audience. There's also a discussion forum as well as an 'auditorium' where special speakers make presentations and there is opportunity for discussion, questions, and feedback.
The Reading Village is hosted by Pepperdine University and is suitable for K-12 Reading teachers.
A resource for students is Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It. It includes examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrases as well as strategies they could employ to avoid plagiarism.
The balance of the links are intended for teachers.
An Antidote to Plagiarism has a lesson and activity that will show grade 5-10 students how to write a research paper without copying.
Documenting Electronic and Traditional Sources: A Lesson in Research is a four week teaching unit in which middle/junior high students learn how to conduct internet searches and to cite their findings properly.
Writing: Plagiarism Advice for Lessons offers teachers 18 suggestions they could adopt to teach students not to plagiarize.
Cut-and-Paste Plagiarism: Preventing, Detecting and Tracking Online Plagiarism is an online article for educators that defines plagiarism, offers prevention suggestions, gives detective tips, and describes ways to track it down. Included within the article is a list of some of the sources of plagiarized papers so that you can become familiar with them. The author suggests that one way of detecting a plagiarized paper is to identify unusual keywords or unique phrases in the paper and then conduct a web search for those words through a large search engine.
The online article Educators Fighting a Web of Deceit describes the increase in using the web to acquire plagiarized papers. It includes a link to a college librarian offering a free list of such sites to other educators so that they can become familiar with the quality of papers offered. There are also tips on how to create papers that can't be easily completed through plagiarism.
Another source of help is The Instructor's Guide to Internet Plagiarism which can help instructors determine if a paper has been acquired from one of the essay paper mills. Be sure to see the section "Dead Giveaways" for clues on detecting such papers.
Spelling/Vocabulary Plans is hosted by The Teacher's Desk and is suitable for Grade 5/6 teachers. It is located at:
If you're looking for more web sites on this topic, our new CLN SPELLING THEME PAGE has curricular resources for students as well as instructional materials for teachers all focused on spelling. Resources available from the Theme Page include lesson plans, pedagogical articles, word lists, puzzles, teacher suggestions, practical aids for students, student handouts, activities, exercises, and more...
The Spelling Theme Page is hosted by the Community Learning Network and is suitable for elementary and middle school students and teachers. It is located at
This site would be of great use to the Journalism teacher who is trying to keep up to date with the trade. As well, it contains a message board and many other links.
"For Journalism Teachers Only" is hosted by Geocities and is suitable for Journalism students in grades 8-12.
The Picture Language site is hosted by Universial Picture Language and is suitable for students in grades K-12.
The Better Book Reports site is hosted by Education World and is suitable for Language Arts teachers in grades2-7 .
The Wacky World of Words is hosted by Alison Batchelar and is suitable for students in grades K-12 .
The Learning With Mysteries is hosted by Mystery Net and is suitable for English students in grades 4-12.
The Great Libraries on the Web is hosted by The Internet Public Library and is suitable for students in grades K-12.
The Read In site is hosted by "The Read In" itself and is suitable for English/Language Arts students in grades K-12
The Why Poetry What site is by Michael Lantz, of Black Mountain Middle School and is suitable for English students in grades 3-10.
Macbeth Plugged was a Thinkquest Competition entry and is suitable for English students in grades 10-12.
The Legends site is hosted by Dueling Modems and is suitable for English students in grades 4-12.
The Cyberguides site is hosted by Score Language Arts Project and is suitable for English/Language Arts students in grades K-12.
Readers theatre is an enjoyable way to teach reading comprehension, composing and creating, improving communications, and critical analysis. It also is an opportunity for the students to perform in front of an audience. This site is packed with ideas for you to bring another facet of learning into your language arts and drama classes. The kids will be so involved they won't realize they are actually "reading out loud".
Readers Theatre is suitable for both Language Arts and Fine Arts at the grades 3-9 level.
http://www.museum.guelph.on.ca/mccrae.htm McCrae House
Project Gutenberg Etext of 'In Flanders Fields'
http://www.macabees.ab.ca/granfiel.html "In Flanders Fields: The Story
of the Poem by John McCrae"
Student and Teacher PEACE page
Several websites (above) have information about the poem and its background, including the Guelph Museum "McCrae House" page, which honours his birthplace and the website for Linda Granfield, author of the award winning book for children: "In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae".
A site with a different look at the relationship between peace and the arts is the "Student and Teacher PEACE page" (also above). This site is my own. I designed it to accompany the launch of my first children's book, "Echoes from the Square" which tells the story of a boy in the midst of a war who learns to hope again when he meets a cellist playing on the street. I have gathered links related to children and war, such as sites with examples of drawings by children in war zones, sites that can provide a research background to a classroom discussion on violent toys and sites that can be used to help children appreciate the power of music as an expression of peace.
The Linguistic Fun page is a collection of websites for anybody interested in taking a lighthearted look at the English language. With topics such as "Broken Rules", "The Importance of Correct Punctuation", "Words of the Year", "Shakepeareisms" a "ColorText" brain teaser that reminds me of my Psych 100 days, and more, there's a range of amusing linguistic learning experiences for students from intermediate level to adults.
If you're especially interested in cliches, here are two additional sites:
The Book of Cliches (browse by general category):
The Cliche Finder (search by keyword):
Remember, "avoid cliches like the plague..."
Long-time subscribers to Network Nuggets probably know that I'm always pleased to find a good children's literature website.
'Fairrosa' is the pseudonym of the New York librarian, Roxanne Hsu Feldman. She has created a wonderful site with links to author information, discussions of kids books, articles, reviews and much more.
The 'Science Fiction and Fantasy for Children database' is an annotated bibliography for intended for use by educators. The listings provide detailed plots, age appropriateness information and author nationalities for a wide range of science fiction and fantasy books.
This bibliography is being compiled by Linda Day, a librarian at the University of Guelph Library. It is keyword searchable.
Note that there's a very good help section, which provides hints about how to use the database effectively. For instance, my first search, on "time travel" didn't use the advanced feature and I found only two listings. After reading "help" I tried the more focused search, and retrieved 29 book titles that would be an excellent starting point to guide any child with an interest in the topic.
If you enjoyed "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (or any others in the Chronicles of Narnia series) by C.S. Lewis, you might be interested in knowing that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of this beloved author. Lewis was born on November 29, 1898. In many parts of the world this year, there will be special performances and exhibitions related to his work.
The above "Into the Wardrobe" website provides information about the centenary events along with a collection of web pages covering a complete range of C.S. Lewis topics for those who want to study his writing. If you've only read the Narnia series, you might be interested in knowing that he wrote other fiction and poetry as well as some very scholarly philosophical works.
You might want to honour C.S. Lewis by rereading the Chronicles of Narnia, then renting the movie "Shadowlands" to see Anthony Hopkins in a moving portrayal of a great man.
'Out of This World: Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy,' is a National Library of Canada exhibition, developed in conjunction with the Toronto Public Library's Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy. The web page is a vision of Canadian genre writing, addressing the following questions:
Who are we as individuals?
Who are we as Canadians?
Who are we as men and women?
What are we?
What does it mean to be human?
Where do we draw the line between human and machine?
There's also a French language version of the above site.
For an different perspective on Fantasy and Science Fiction, Linda Pitts' webpage is a good choice. Her site includes links to information about authors ranging from Ursula LeGuine and Madeleine L'Engle to R.L. Stine and H.G. Wells with a focus on what's interesting for kids.
Fantasy and Science Fiction for Children:
Imagine having a conversation with the writer of your favourite book. What questions would you ask? Imagine visiting the studios of artists who want to share their visions of whimsical worlds. Wouldn't it be interesting to find out what inspires them? Imagine a site with online lesson ideas and activities related to new books and old favourites. Would this be a useful resource?
There are many children's authors and illustrators who want to communicate with their readers via the Internet. They've created beautiful websites offering a wide range of information. These pages often include email address because writers and artists love to get feedback about their work (I know this from personal experience!). Links to a great collection of such sites are available via the remarkable "Children's Literature Web Guide" at the University of Calgary.
The Children's Literature Web Guide has been featured as a Network Nugget in the past. It's one of my favourite sites and is worth visiting on a regular basis because it's updated frequently. The focus is on literature for children and young adults and I recommend the site as a resource to support all grade levels.
Children's Literature Web Guide (main index): http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/
http://www.cbcbooks.org/ Children's Book Council
If you love children's literature and want to share the joy that great writing for children can bring, the web has plenty of places that are worth a visit. You can find sites with information ranging from a focus on the established classics to news on what's "hot off the press". The sites here are starting points that could take you just about anywhere -- just like a good children's story!
The Children's Book Council (above) has a beautiful and inspiring web site with information for teachers, librarians, parents and more. I particularly enjoy the "Not Just for Children Anymore" area which allows adults to transcent any reluctance they might have about enjoying children's literature for its own sake.
The Loogootee Elementary Children's Literature web site is another useful site. Here, the webmaster has compiled a list of links from Marc Brown's "Arthur" to Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare. Each listing is annotated, providing helpful information before you select the link.
Loogootee Elementary Children's Literature Page:
The Community Learning Network (CLN) has created the above link to a collection of web sites related to folklore, myths, legends, fairy tales, tall tales and other story forms, from all over the world. You'll find First Nations stories, ghost stories, sites that explain how traditional stories originated and how they change over time and sites with activities to help you become a better story-teller.
Note that the link to Zen stories includes the stories along with a variety of responses. It's fascinating to discover the range of meanings that people have found in these stories -- a great student activity would be to read a Zen story out loud and then explain why you agree or disagree with one of the posted interpretations. It's also possible to submit your own responses.
Zen stories to tell your neighbors:
The National Library of Canada has created the above, straightforward set of alphabetical links to web pages with information about Canadian authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults.
Perhaps the writer or artist behind your favourite title is here.
Since many links lead to sites that are maintained outside of the National Library, you'll find different approaches and presentations. Some sites have lots of graphics, some are text-based, but most have basic biographical information, and bibliographies. The best lead to additional information on topics that are related to the books. For instance, Eric Wilson's site at http://www.swifty.com/it/wils_bio.htm has a question and answer area and a "Try It" section with ideas that could be the source of classroom activities.
Susan Merritt's site at http://www.niagara.com/~merrwill/ has a wonderful set of links related to "Women in Canadian History."
With the helpful information we have available, there's really no excuse for spelling and grammar errors. The Community Learning Network (CLN) reference page (above) offers a comprehensive set of links to reference materials, including dictionaries, style guides, thesauri, acronym listings, quotations and much more.
I recently logged in to the Alta Vista search engine to check on a spelling error that a Nugget subscriber had pointed out to me. Using my incorrect spelling of the word 'remembrance' as a keyword, I found that over 800 web pages had made the same mistake. Then I checked the correct spelling, to find that more than 7000 sites spelled it correctly! This "search-engine spelling strategy" might make an interesting activity for students.
Alta Vista Search Engine:
http://www.carr.lib.md.us/authco/other-au.htm Authors' Corner
Information about many of your favourite books and authors is likely to be available on the web. The above "Authors' Corner" is an example of a site with links to a wide range of pages created by (or for) the people who write and illustrate books for children and teens. Many of these authors describe their personal experiences as writers and they often encourage email discussion with their readers.
A site with a focus on the work of William Bell (a Canadian author of award-winning young adult novels and children's picture books) includes a "frequently asked questions" (FAQ) section. Answers here deal with the relationship between real events and fiction -- a topic of interest to many readers and budding writers. William Bell: http://odcvi.scbe.on.ca/williambell/index.htm
Another site where students can feel a connection to some of the authors who write for them is the "Brave Girls and Strong Women" site. Here the focus is on books with strong female characters, written for audiences including Young Readers (ages 2-7), Middle Readers (ages 7-14) and Older Readers (ages 12 and up). Small publishers are highlighted, and there are also lists of books for adults that deal with issues related to girls and self esteem. Brave Girls and Strong Women: http://members.aol.com/brvgirls
If your favourite author is not to be found at any of the above sites, you might want to try one of the many search engines that can be accessed from the Community Learning Network (CLN) Search Engine page. You'll find links to many of the best engines, along with information about how to use them effectively. CLN "Search Engines" page: /searching_home.html
Well over a dozen complete Shakespeare-related web sites have been collected on a new Community Learning Network (CLN) theme page. Included in this collection are search engines, lesson plans, articles and essays, historical information, synopses and more. For those with graphical browsers, there are also many sites with pictures and/or artwork related to Shakespeare and his ideas and times.
A complete bibliography, information about the lost manuscript for a novel written when Louisa was 18, her personal letters, poems and fairy tales as well as reviews and evaluations of her work dating back to 1852 (when she was told that she had no potential as a writer) make this collection much more than simply a "Little Women" web site. This is a comprehensive page with information and links related to many aspects of Louisa May Alcott's life and work.
"One's best defence is one's life and character." From a letter written by Louisa May Alcott in 1875
The Virtual English Language Center is designed for students of English around the world. It has a different focus than other ESL sites I've seen, and some areas (such as "how to write a business letter") would be useful to for native English speakers as well as those who are just beginning. The home page is available in over a dozen languages and links include "Fluency through Fables," a "Weekly Idiom," and a service for finding e-mail pen pals.
"Throughout his life, [in the 17th century] John Amos Comenius worked for educational, scientific, and cultural cooperation, enlightenment and understanding." The above site is dedicated to him.
The web offers young people many opportunities to write for their peers. Seeing your poem, article or story *published* is a great experience for anybody, and it's especially thrilling for kids. Even better, sometimes feedback will arrive from a far corner of the world.
The above sites have varying approaches to the publication of children's writing.
Note that Stone Soup Magazine also calls for
submissions of children's artwork. Their website site provides the opportunity to look at some
amazing images that have been created by kids from many parts
of the world.
"Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write a science fiction story."
And here's the web site, based at Fremont Junior High in Oxnard, California, that will give you information about how to do it, along with links to science fiction resource and non-fiction space sites to boost your imagination up to "infinity and beyond."
The stated objectives at this site are as follows:
-To help students learn the elements of a science fiction story.
-To have students practice the creative writing process.
-To make students incorporate information across the curriculum.
-To teach students to integrate factual scientific data in their fiction.
-To teach students how to research information from the internet.
-To show students how telecommunication can be used in a collaborative lesson.
-To strengthen students word processing skills
Genres such as mysteries, thrillers and (am I the only one who's tired of it?) horror are very appealing to many students. It's possible to channel this interest into a fairly positive direction as part of English, language arts,or other curriculum areas, and the internet can help. For those who are interested in the craft of genre writing (including opportunities to submit work for possible publication) the above web sites are great starting points.
A site providing information about espionage as portrayed in fiction and movies as well as links to information about real people who were involved in espionage can be accessed as follows: http://www.dryden.co.uk/spies/spies.htm
Finally, Information to "support research and publishing on the intelligence profession and its various disciplines" (the Center for Studies in Intellgence web page) is available at: http://www.odci.gov/csi/ or http://www.odci.gov/csi/studies/95unclas/cra.html.
You can use the internet in many ways if you're interested in literature for young adults. Some websites offer book reviews, others link to author biographies or even allow you to connect directly to an author through email. If you are looking for new titles or new topic ideas, one of the above might be a good starting point.
If you already have an author or title in mind, a search engine (such as Alta Vista at http://altavista.digital.com/ ) can be very useful. You should probably read through the "help" information (probably one of the most ignored links but available at virtually all your searching sites), since typing in a simple name as a request could give you far more hits than you want to deal with. You don't want to find every site on the internet that includes either the name "Paterson" or the name "Katherine", but if you use the wrong search strategy --- that's just what could happen!
Bill Walsh (copy desk chief of The Washington Times) has created a website for those who want to learn about copy editing. His approach is practical but often humourous and senior students are likely to find that his information is an inviting entry point into a world that had previously seemed a bit dry and arbitrary.
Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site offers a collection of reviews and ideas related to children's books. The articles discuss ways to use each book in the classroom and include activities related to a variety of curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.
It's possible to browse by theme, curriculum area, author, title, grade level or type of book.
David K. Brown from the University of Calgary is to be commended for the work that has gone into this website which includes Bemelmans' "Madeline", and the Dr. Suess "Grinch" along with characters created by new and unpublished authors who are making their work available via the Web exclusively.
Some of the links are sample chapters, others are complete stories. Many have sound clips or illustrations and almost all of them encourage email contact.
PBS recently ran an episode of "Frontline" devoted to the mystery of Shakespeare. Did he write the plays or not? Now you can explore the issue via the Frontline Web page, which includes downloadable transcripts, feedback and reaction to the TV show along with links to pages of related information.
You are encouraged to send in your own comments and become part of the debate!
This web site contains preschool and primary level activity ideas and links to early childhood sites.
The "Get Free Activities", "Find Books" and "Wonder Room" links include full instructions for many games, story & writing ideas, art, music & science projects, critical thinking & problem solving skills development, make-believe and other activities that can be used in the classroom. There is also information about how to deal early childhood crises such as grief, stress, hospitalization, divorce and more.
Here's a Web page where you can find information about Canadian writing including a link entitled "Canadian Writers on the Web" which features writers such as Margaret Laurence, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Stephen Leacock, William Gibson, and others.
"At a time when many of our children are over-scheduled and over-stressed; we must ask ourselves what role(s) literature can play in their lives, even when that literature is defined to include all media," is a statement formulated by Kay Vandergrift at her interesting web site which focuses on issues in Children's and Young Adult's literature.
Purdue University's On-Line Writing Lab was a gopher site back in the old days when Network Nuggets was new (two years ago...) but now it is a terrific Web resource that might have the answer to many of the questions that come up in academic research and writing. There are literally hundreds of documents here, including eight on commas alone!
There's information about writing resumes, citations, business and professional writing, proofreading, spelling and much more.