|National Content Standards
Below is a selected list of English Language Arts and Technology
content standards that reflect the general focus of this article.
Additional standards may be applied depending on the lesson and specific
English Language Arts National Standards
International Reading Association (IRA) and National Council Teachers
of English (NCTE)
1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build
an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of
the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond
to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal
fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic
and contemporary works.
2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in
many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g.,
philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret,
evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience,
their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge
of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies,
and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence,
sentence structure, context, graphics).
6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions
(e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language,
and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g.,
libraries, databases, computer networks,
video) to gather
and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
whose first language is not English make use of their first language
to develop competency in the English
and to develop understanding of content across the curriculum.
11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative,
and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish
their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion,
and the exchange of information).
Technology Standards (ISTE)
3. Technology productivity tools
use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity,
and promote creativity.
• Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced
models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
4. Technology communications tools
use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with
peers, experts, and
• Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information
and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
Finding just the right book that will grab a student’s interest
is like looking for Waldo. Tracking down books that correlate with
specific curriculum areas and topics for study can be daunting.
What is a library media specialist to do? Use every tool in your
as well as lessons and booklists that have already been prepared
and just waiting to be uncovered by the savvy searcher. This collection
of Websites will serve as starting points in your quest to recommend
the best books to meet the needs of students and teachers.
Reading Booklists and Lessons
Integrate art into a host of curriculum areas, including language
arts. Click on Lessons under the Teach heading. Then, conduct a search
by selecting the art topic, additional subject area, and grade level.
Choosing music, language arts, and grades 5-8, returned lessons such
as Civil War music, Little Women, and Set a Poem to Music. Additional
links provide connections to teaching strategies ways to participant
in community cultural events.
Search or browse over a hundred outstanding lessons that encourage
students to actively read and write. For instance, high school
students might analyze poetic devices in Robert Hayden’s
Those Winter Sundays. Elementary students might compare the plot
and setting characteristics
in several versions of Cinderella. Numerous reviewed Websites augment
each lesson. EDSITEment is a partnership among the National Endowment
for the Humanities, Verizon Foundation, and the National Trust
for the Humanities.
Read Write Think
Get Ready, Set, and Go directly to this site for lessons that can
be selected by grade band, literacy strand or literacy engagement.
Each lesson follows the IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language
Arts and includes student-ready materials such as worksheets, interactive
tools, and reviewed Web resources. Students will love the interactive
tools and so will teachers. From creating and printing book covers
to writing fractured fairy tales, the process is quite easy. Students
to fill-in the blanks, draw pictures, and print their work. This
site is highly recommended for its stands-based emphasis and simple
short biographies of authors, need a discussion guide, or want
ideas for book talks, then head to Scholastic’s Website
for librarians. Sign up for monthly email about new releases. Learn
the step-by-step process for inviting authors to your school. Introduce
elementary students to the Flashlight Readers Club where kids can
explore books, connect with authors, and participate in activities.
Book Wizard allows teachers to
match the right books from a multitude of publishers to their students’ interests.
Special Interest Site
Vandergrift provides dozens of references to biographies about
authors and illustrators. Many thoughtful ideas about children’s literature
are presented through her scholarly work. She also delves into sensitive
issues such as coming of age, gender, and culture that are relevant
to today’s youth. A bibliography of books is listed under
Reading and Writing Activities
Elementary students, parents, and teachers who are interested
in reading about children’s books will discover a wealth
of information at this site. Listen to a variety of tales told
by Jackie Torrence,
Doc McConnell, Tony Talent, and Donna Washington. Find a book review
by title, author, or topic. Create you own story by choosing pictures
and adding captions. Download an activity book filled with crossword
puzzles, word searches, and connect the dots. Boohive is published
by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County North
Introduce younger students to a place where they can share their
book reports with other readers in a safe environment. All of the
reports are vetted before publication and no student data is collected.
The tool for writing a report employs java technology so make sure
the Web browser is compatible. Begin by answering questions about
the book such as title, author, publisher, and genre. Next, write
a review and insert an image. Finally, rate the book and submit the
report. A password is provided for each report for future edits.
Reports can be searched by author, title, keyword, genre, reporter,
and nationality. Rounding out the site are games and links to resources
such as style guides and writing tutorials.
Children’s Digital Library
When families move from one country to another, books in their native
language are often left behind. The International Children's Digital
Library (ICDL) is building a collection of books that represent outstanding
historical and contemporary books from throughout the world. Currently
there are over 2000 titles. Searching is easy. Categories are like
the shelves in a regular library. Simply click on a button like fairy
tales or red book and a list pops up on the screen. To narrow the
search further, select a language. Teachers with ESL students may
find this site useful.
Kidsreads and Teenreads
Kidsreads and Teeenreads are part of The Book Report Network, a
group of Websites founded in 1996 that share thoughtful book reviews,
compelling features, in-depth author profiles and interviews, excerpts
of the hottest new releases, literary games and contests, and more
with readers every week. Coming soon are sections for parents teachers,
and librarians as well as podcasts. These are great sites for keeping
up with the latest book news.
ReadPrint is a massive library of free online books that include
authors such as Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, and H.G. Wells. Teachers
and students can read biographical sketches of authors and search
within their works. One section of the site is completely dedicated
to Shakespeare. It's great source for research projects.
RIF Reading is Fundamental
The focus of Reading is Fundamental (RIF) is to develop children
and family literacy programs. RIF offers scores of activities for readers of every age group and every skill level. Our activities provide solid learning opportunities through interaction with peers and siblings, and promote literacy through structured learning opportunities with parents. Best of all, they’re fun!
Authors and Illustrators Who Visit Schools
Authors and Illustrators Who Visit Schools is a directory service
that lists several authors and illustrators who will make a school
visit. Useful information includes a photograph, awards, description
of the program, fees, and how to contact the individual.
Author Illustrator Source
This directory of authors and illustrators allows the visitor to
search by region or alphabetically. Each listing contains biographical
information, published books, description of the presentation(s),
audio-visual equipment, and the professional fee. A timely article,
Visit Guidelines, will help teachers and media specialists prepare
for the event.
of YesterYear Writing Prompts
primary source photographs to spark student writing. Each photograph
has a title and a question. A photo analysis guide is included.
Hikes to Fitchburg by D. B. Johnson is a book for ages 4 to 104.
It is based on Walden
written by Henry David Thoreau, a writer, naturalist, and surveyor
in the mid 1800s. In the book,
Henry and his friend travel from Concord to Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Henry hikes the 30 miles while his friend works odd jobs for the
train fare. Who arrives first? Read this delightful book, then
choose your path to Fitchburg. Be sure to keep a journal of your
When Henry decides to build a cabin, he is given lots
of advice from his friends. While others think it should be bigger,
he has his own ideas. Follow Henry through the building process and
see how his cabin is just right! Then, play the Build
a Cabin game.
Henry Builds a Cabin is another fantastic book by D.B. Johnson that
looks at the life of Henry David Thoreau in a delightfully engaging
way. It is a book for all ages.
Out and Touch an Author
your students on an online author scavenger hunt.
Morning by Howard Fast is on many core reading
lists and addresses several of the standards in reading/language
arts as well as social studies. This lesson draws upon primary sources
as a means to interpret the events of April 19, 1775.