Inspiring Ideas and Resources for Language Arts Teachers

With the increasingly easy access to video games, television, and computers, it is more difficult than ever to keep the attention of children in the classroom. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking, just a few of the components of Language Arts, are essential areas to master in order for students to continue to grow and succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.

This resource will aid teachers in locating exciting, substantive, and memorable exercises for students from Kindergarten to Middle School. You will also find additional resources that explain the theory and principles of Language Arts, as well as extensive resources that will link you to other teachers, lesson plans, and innovative ideas to make language arts come alive in the classroom.

Reading and Writing Resources for Young Children (K-3)

  • Academy Curricular Exchange : provides over 30 links to lessons plans and activities for a variety of language arts areas for kids K-5th grade. Here you will find projects such as how to write creatively, how to write a good paragraph, how to reinforce alphabet sounds and letters, and how to organize the events of a story.
  • By Gosh : provides links to several illustrated full text classic children stories. Young children will benefit from the easy to navigate pages, accompanying drawings, and easy to understand language and content of familiar stories such as “Three Little Pigs,” and “Peter Rabbit.”
  • Education Place’s Wacky Web Tales is based off of the fun and educational “mad libs” exercise. Here children can hone their typing skills, spelling, imagination, and grammatical knowledge by filling in the prompts and watching their story unfold . Also suitable for older children.
  • PBS provides an interactive series of exercises to improve young children’s reading comprehension. These activities incorporate familiar PBS characters and shows such as “Arthur” while helping improve reading skills.
  • ReadWriteThink provides an excellent lesson plan to introduce your young classroom to the sounds and structure of poetry. By participating in this “found poetry” activity, your students will learn the basic structure of poetry while sharpening their reading and comprehension skills.
  • Scholastic features several activities for younger children to help build literacy. This site also provides a helpful teacher ‘ s guide, explaining the aims of each exercise. “Naming with Nina” build s object-word association skills, “Rhyming with Reggie” build s sound and word pattern skills, and “Letter Recognition with Leo” allows kids to enhance their alphabet competency.
  • Search Lit offers several e- texts suited for children in kindergarten to first grade. They offer links to short stories, poems and fiction. Each story also comes equipped with a lesson plan for teachers.
  • Writing Den includes several helpful audio and visual activities to enhance reading comprehension through listening and pictures. Here you can browse a number of topics, which can each be broken down into words, sentences, or paragraphs with accompanying audio clips. This resource is also suited to older children depending on the level of desired difficulty.

Listening and Speaking Resources for Young Children (K-3)

  • A Rhyme a Week hosts several classic nursery rhymes that will help the reading comprehension of young children by enforcing familiar word patterns and sounds. This site also provides a rationale for the effectiveness and use of nursery rhymes as well as a list of the most commonly occurring rhymes.
  • Columbia Education Centerprovides a lesson plan designed to help primarily kindergarten and first grade children with retaining and pronouncing alphabet letters. This lesson incorporates writing the letter, identifying it, and sounding the letter out by playing a fun, interactive, musical game.
  • Good Character features several resources to enhance your students ‘ public speaking and listening skills. This site offers tips on how to be a good listener, discussion questions, student activities, writing assignments, and tips for parents on how to improve their children’s reading and listening skills.
  • Instructor Web provides several options for interactive listening exercises. Students will listen to dictations, various readings, and themed lessons to build listening skills and language comprehension.
  • Reading Rockets hosts an archive of interviews by the authors of children’s books . Watching these videos will give students a behind-the-scenes peak at their most treasured children’s books, while reinforcing listening comprehension skills, and can serve as a base for interview-type projects.
  • Stockton Public Library provides an excellent resource to help select picture books for young children. This library has compiled a list of their 100 favorite picture books, many of which have won awards and are proven effective in enhancing the reading comprehension skills of young children.
  • Utah Education Center provides a lesson plan for an integrated listening and speaking exercise that centers around the book A Quilt of Many Colors by Valerie Flournoy to encourage classroom community and public speaking skills. After reading this story, children will be encourage to bring in important family articles and explain to their class why they are significant.

Reading and Writing Exercises for Grades 4-6

  • Aesop’s Fables : provides total access to the full text of all Aesop’s Fables online. These entertaining, substantive tales are the perfect blend of fun and philosophy to engage your students while helping them with their analytical and comprehension skills. Can also be used on different levels for younger and older students.
  • Columbia Education Center provides a lesson plan to enhance your students’ creative writing skills. Here you will find a lesson plan entitled “Potato Possibilities,” which guides kids in visualizing then recording sensory characteristics such as taste and smell, which are instrumental for descriptive and creative writing.
  • Creative Drama and Theater Education Resource Site provides several activities that will enhance students’ listening and speaking comprehension. Students will be encouraged to follow directions, act in pairs, alone, or with the class, and present and act in a variety of fun and engaging situations.
  • Kidzone offers a variety of language arts games suited specifically for young children Kindergarten through 3rd grade. This site features alphabet recognition, word lists, creative writing exercises, as well as printable tracing and handwriting resources.
  • LD Online gives you an extensive look at several approaches and methods to teaching students vocabulary. While this site is specifically tailored to kids with ADHD and other learning disabilities, its recommendations will apply to any student who is having trouble retaining new words and expanding his or her vocabulary in writing or speaking.
  • PBS offers an interactive array of activities to help boost reading comprehension skills. Here you will find exercises involving different subjects such as life science, grammar, and vocabulary, complimented by clips and multimedia presentations that will help keep your class focused and engaged on the material.
  • ReadWriteThink provides a fun and challenging activity for your upper grade classroom. This lesson plan details how to start a classroom newspaper, and how your kids will benefit from the research, writing, and editing processes that go along with this extended activity.
  • Search Lit: offers several e-texts suited for 5-6th graders. They offer links to over 1,000 short stories, bibliographies, speeches, popular novels, hundreds of poems and works of fiction. Each story also comes equipped with a lesson plan for teachers.
  • The Resource Room improves upon your students ‘ basic vocabulary by encouraging a multi-sensory approach to learning. Their ” Reading and Comprehension ” section offers an array of exercises covering topics such as phrase comprehension, categorizing concepts, listening and vocabulary comprehension.

Activities for Middle School Students

  • Biblomania provides access to over 2,000 classic texts. Students can use this site to explore literature, research a variety of subjects, and study literary texts.
  • Daily Grammar provides a variety of exercises and resources for older students to understand and utilize proper grammar. This site simplifies and explains complex grammar rules through fun games and interactive exercises, and is suitable for a range of grades and learning levels.
  • Discovery Channel provides several lesson plans to classic texts and themes used in Middle School. This site has links to the Revolutionary War, where students will enhance reading comprehension and analysis through reading Thomas Paine, and hosts resources on Lord of the Flies  in addition to other popular texts and themes.
  • Marin Community College offers 7 tips to improve reading comprehension that can be used as a reference sheet for students throughout their academic career. Their approach outlines paragraph structure, reasoning, predicting what will happen next, and summarizing and reviewing concepts.
  • Quia provides an excellent study tool for older students to cement their understanding of grammar and parts of speech. This interactive flash card exercise quizzes students on the meaning of adverbs, nouns, adjectives and other grammar concepts .
  • PBS offers interactive activities that will engage older kids while helping them understand more advanced forms of literature and poetry. PBS offers exercises involving works such as “Anne Frank’s Diary,” Seamus Heaney’s poem “Blackberry Picking,” and poems by W.S. Merwin.
  • ReadWriteThink offers an interactive activity to enhance your middle schoolers’ grammatical comprehension. This exercise incorporates friendly competition to motivate students to learn the basic structure of words and sentences.

Resources and Games for Student Use

  • Abiator’s English Exercises is a great website for students as they can explore several different word games to enhance their grammar, spelling, and comprehension. This site offers games for all levels of students, and features fun activities such as mad libs, crosswords, and matching. 
  • Everyday Spelling is an excellent resource for all ages and grade levels. Here students can enter the “workout room” and test their spelling knowledge with “words in the news” or “fill in the blank” or they can read up on interesting facts about language itself.
  • Fun School features several interactive language games for use by kids. This site will allow children to learn how to navigate the internet while having fun playing games such as “word play” or filling out online crossword puzzles.
  • Grammar Gorillas is an excellent way to engage students with language. Here students will choose between a beginner and advanced level and play their way to better understanding nouns, adjectives, verbs, and other parts of speech.
  • Primary Games features over 30 fun and interactive word games suited for all ages. Kids can learn how to spell and analyze with a crossword or word block game, improve their typing with “typing tide pool,” use deductive language skills with code breaking, and much much more. This site also features games for a variety of other subjects like math and science.
  • Room 108 helps kids learn while having fun. This site features several user – friendly language games that will teach students how to write letters, type, spell, learn and retain vocabulary, learn the alphabet, detect story themes and other useful skills.
  • Search Lit offers extensive resources to help students build reading and writing comprehension. Their resource page offers different subjects to explore, historical time lines, literary calendars, reference tools among others.

Additional Online and Interactive Resources

  • Ed Helper is a unique and helpful resources for language arts teachers. This site links you to language arts test prep and review sheet s for grades 1-8, features links to listening and reading comprehension exercises, in addition to lessons on handwriting, spelling, proofreading, and editing for all elementary grade levels.
  • Federal Resources for Educational Excellence provides links to Reading, Literature and Writers, and other Language arts areas. The literature resources are geared towards older grades as they focus on poetry, and more advanced literature, whereas the reading resources focus on tips for helping younger children read well.
  • Grammar Book provides links to several areas of free online grammar worksheets and definitions. This easy to navigate site provides information and examples on everything from punctuation to capitalization.
  • NCTE and IRA have jointly published standards for the English Language Arts. This resource establishes the guiding principles to which you should adhere for all age groups when teaching Language Arts.
  • Reading Rockets is an excellent resource for parents and teachers. Here you will learn the “ABCs” on how to teach reading, which includes speech, sounds, phonics, fluency and vocabulary.
  • Soft Schools is an excellent site, filled with printable handout s and worksheets for a variety of language arts areas and levels. This resource features games for spelling, reading, and listening comprehension, as well as handouts, quizzes, and worksheets.
  • Teacher Vision provides several helpful resources and lesson plans for K-12 language arts. Here you will find an easy-to-navigate site with links by grade level and subject, including a variety of exercise and activity types.
  • Scholastic features an excellent resource on myths and fairy tales, suitable for all grade levels. Here you can explore myths from around the world, read classic fairy tales, and learn how to write your own myth as a class or individually.
  • Storynory provides hundreds of podcasts of popular stories, fairy tales, educational texts, and classic novels, suitable for a variety of ages. Each podcast is accompanied by a transcript of the story so that students can follow along or read up on later for quizzes and questions.
  • Vocabulary University is an excellent resource for teachers. This site offers exercises and activities ranging from thematic word puzzles to test preparation for the SAT vocabulary sections. This resource offers activities for all grades and levels of learning, and makes learning vocabulary an interactive and exciting experience.

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