Online Resources

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English Education

6 Traits Writing

Writing Fix
This is an AMAZING 6 traits writing website. It includes ideas for lessons about the 6 traits and the writing process, writing prompts, and worksheets to help with prewriting and drafting. It also has a feature where students can generate their own writing prompts. This is a great resource for anyone who is interested in using the 6 traits model (with which I am somewhat obsessed.)

American Lit

Official Website of Mark Twain
This site offers biographical information on Mark Twain as well as quotes about the author and by the author. Also included is a "fast facts" page and a list of all of Twain's writings. A page with links to related and tributed sites is available and could be useful for students needing several electronic sources on the same subject.

The American Novel: The Voice of Dreams

PBS The American Novel
The PBSteachers website is a wonderful tool to use in the classroom. There are numerous lesson plans offered which provide a creative approach to instruction. This particular link will take you to The American Novel: The Voice of Dreams page, which offers eight days' worth of instructional activities based upon eight different American authors’ take on the American Dream. These authors range from John Steinbeck to Edith Wharton to F. Scott Fitzgerald. There are movie clips with full texts companions, which provide character studies as well as printable handouts for teachers to download, print and copy for students. The lesson plans also include the national standards each day's lesson meet. So many aspects of this website are handy for teachers, such as how teachers can prepare for each day's activities to make the lesson run smoothly. The description is extensive and provides systematic instruction. This website is fantastic!

Early American Women Writers
This website is useful for a quick look at the women who wrote in early America. It can be used if students need to find female writers in the same ear in order to compare and contrast them. Not only does the listing of the authors have links to individual pages, but these pages contain pictures of the writers, but also the biography, residence, writings, and papers of the author as well. I thought that this was an interesting site and seemed to find it useful for not only teachers, but students as well.

Richard Wright
This website provides some information about Richard Wright. Wright, an African American author, wrote powerful and sometimes controversial novels, short stories, and non-fiction. Much of his writings deal with racial themes and social realism. The site also includes a chronology, Wright's work, and work on Wright.

Zora Neale Hurston
This site is a Teacher resource file for Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston, another African American author and folklorist, explored the historical experiences of Black America and the contemporary experiences of Black life in the urban North during the Harlem Renaissance. The available resources include: biography, bibliography, lesson plans, criticism, and ERIC resources.

Teaching F. Scott Fitzgerald  
This site offers many ideas for teaching The Great Gatsby to high school students. There are lesson plans for teachers, and many different ways to become familiar with the background to the novel. This would also offer way to link English to History because there are many historical aspects in the web activities that can be used by the English class and would give the teacher ideas as well. A lot of background information is given to the Roaring Twenties and there are idea of how to link the novel to modern day activities that the students could relate to and motivate them to want to read the novel.

The web of American Transcendentalism

A fantastic site that has tons and tons of information on transcendentalist writers and their texts. The site also provides a lot of background information on transcendentalism itself. The site is maintained and updated by graduate students at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Sociolinguistics: Do You Speak American?
After debating for a while about where to post this website, I selected American literature because I think that it would be fascinating to integrate a study of sociolinguistics with the study of a piece of American literature written in non-standard dialect. This website from PBS offers pages of explanations of sociolinguistics, American dialects, and online interactive activities dealing with the subject matter. Each article on the website cites experts in the fields of sociolinguistics, but it is written and designed in a way that students will find accessible and engaging. There is also a variety of lesson plans for the high school level in the "For Educators" section.

The To Kill a Mockingbird Student Survival Guide
This site is just what it says, a "survival guide" for reading Harper Lee's novel. The site has a "note to teachers" in which it states that the site is "meant to serve as an annotative source for To Kill a Mockingbird. Over 400 words, allusions, and idioms have been defined or explained. In addition, links have been added in many cases to provide further clarification."

The Of Mice and Men Student Survival Guide
This site is very similar to the To Kill a Mockingbird site above. It also contains vocabulary, allusions and idioms found within John Steinbeck's text, Of Mice and Men. This is much like a companion site for the book and would be good for reading alongside the text, or to further understanding.

The Edgar Allen Poe Society
This site, maintained by the Edgar Allen Poe Society of Baltimore, offers a very detailed exploration of Poe's poetry, prose and criticisms, as well as biographical information and articles written about him. Although the navigation seems a little awkward, this site would be useful as a tool for student research or as a place to find printable examples of Poe's works.

Naturalism in American Literature
This site is run by Washington State University and is a great tool for both introductory material and extended learning about American Naturalism. It contains many resources including timelines, lists of authors in American Naturalism, and sites for further exploration.

Realism In American Literature
Another great site is from Washington State University. This is another great tool for teaching American Realism to students. It provides a great wealth of basic knowledge and contains timelines, lists of authors, and sites for further research. I am a big fan of this site as I am a realism and naturalism buff.

Poetry 180
This site, put together by then-Poet Laureate of the US Billy Collins, is a collection of 180 contemporary poems that are appropriate for children. The site also provides resources for teachers on "how-to" present poetry in the classroom as well as bringing together a plethora of accessible poetic voices.

The Glossary of Poetic Terms
This site offers easy access to all poetic terms. The glossary offers phonetic pronunciation for all words, cross references, examples of use, and tons of quotations. If you find yourself in a quandary about a poetic term, look it up. From acatalectic to zeugma, you will find it here.

European (British) Lit

Victorian Web
This is a comprehensive collection of articles about all aspects of the Victorian period. Articles are written by independent scholars, and professors, undergraduates and graduate students from various universities. A bonus: information on how to cite material from the site. The site is collaboration between George Landow, professor of English at Brown University, and the National University of Singapore.

Charles Dickens Timeline
This site is specific to the literature and history of Charles Dickens. This site provides an interactive timeline that not only recounts Charles Dickens's life and writing but also contextual historical events as well. Offered by PBS, the site is a good resource for students researching Dickens and/or British Literature of the 19th Century.

Shakespeare Online
This site is written and maintained by Amanda Mabillard, the Guide to Shakespeare on, a part of the New York Times Company. Contained within this website are various essays, criticism and facts about England's famous playwright. Also included are complete digital versions of his plays, a complete biography, quizzes to test your knowledge, and links to various literary theory sites on the web.

Folger Shakespeare Library - Teaching Materials and Resources
This site is a wealth of resources for teaching looking for information on Shakespeare and how to build lessons around his plays. Folger Shakespeare Library is a prestigious institution dedicated to the study of Shakespeare's collection of dramatic texts.

Chaucer Metapage
This site provides a lot of informative links to Chaucer's work. Although he wrote many works of poetry, he is best remembered for his unfinished narrative, The Canterbury Tales. It also gives information on his life and times, translations, bibliography, works, and other medieval sites.

Representative Poetry Online
This website is a great resource for those poetry fans! Whether one is interested in William Blake, or Elizabeth Browning, this site offers all of the author's works, including their biographical information. This is really useful if one needs to find specific poetry from a particular era, because it provides a time line that you can use that breaks sections up by year and subject of the poetry. I really love this site, and have used it many times to look up the works of my favorite authors. I hope that you get use out of it as well!

Milton's Paradise Lost
This website on John Milton's Paradise Lost breaks the epic down book by book. Milton’s heretical religious views and complicated Latinate verses alienate some readers, but this site will surely appease student anxiety because of the study notes at the bottom of the page.

The Cask of Otranto Gothic Lit. Webqest
This webquest helps students explore Horace Walpole's Gothic novel The Cask of Otranto. Of course, this topic might appeal to some students more than others, so I would offer it inside a selection of webquests.

The Great Shakespeare Experiment
This web site provides a great way to discuss Hamlet in 10-12 grades. There are great cooperative learning ideas and it allows students to engage in higher order thinking. It also gives a great step by step process for the teacher so he or she can plan accordingly.

The Life and Work of Lord Byron
This site is an easily navigated exploration of everything that is George Gordon (Lord Byron). Offering a fairly detailed biography, a general collections of his works (both poetry and prose), and a variety of images that could be used for a presentation, this site would serve as a wonderful resource for students wanting to research this literary genius.

The Life and Work of John Keats
This site is an extremely detailed resource for researching information on this wonderful poet of the Romantic Period. This site offers several different biographical sketches of Keats' life, an extensive digital catalog of his writings, and a collection of images that could be useful for students when creating presentations.

John Donne
Here is a site that contains biographical information as well as writings from John Donne. Pretty close to everything that John Donne wrote is on the site and some of it is even read aloud. This is a great resource for students to access and read more about John Donne as well as read a wider variety of his works than what is in most textbooks.

Milton Site
This site contains biographical information as well as a nearly complete archive of John Milton's works. This site is great for students who are interested in John Donne and would like to read some of his other works that are often left out of text books.

Fooling With Words with Bill Moyers

Fooling with Words
This PBS site is a resource to obtain, free, the videotaped specials of Bill Moyers introducing students to poetry. Teachers can download guides and lesson plans to share the "magic of the written--and spoken--word" with students. The site also has featured poets and information on poetry contests.

Black Voices
The Black Voices website offers a wealth of resources and information on news and entertainment in the black community. Included is a section on books by black authors, highlighting newcomers and celebrating established favorites. Also available are blogs discussing pertinent issues in the community and feedback on highlighted literature.


The New York Times
The New York Times is one of the premier sources of newspaper journalism in America. Their motto is "All the News That's Fit to Print," and they tend to deliver, from their daily op-ed columns to their emphasis on world news and controversial political stories. A good site to look at to get an idea of how non-TV news works.

The Daily Beacon
This is the student newspaper for the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. It's entirely student run, distributed freely, and paid for with student activity fees and paid advertisements. Of particular note to students should be 1) the sections featured, which are general staples of journalism, 2) the size of the staff required to produce a newspaper of this size 5 days a week, and 3) the advertisements (or lack thereof).

Project for Excellence in Journalism
This website is a "nonpartisan, non-ideological and non-political" resource that attempts to empirically evaluate news and its contents. Its goal is to educate about the true content of news, believing it more valuable to simply present the facts of what is represented/reported upon and what is not instead of supplying criticism. This is a valuable site to look at if you'd like to know what the news is really reporting and what you can expect to cover if you pursue a career in journalism.

Code of Ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists
This website contains a "code of ethics" describing what the SPJ believes to be central to a journalist's responsibilities and purpose. Truthful reporting, minimizing harm, independent reporting, and accountability are the core values of the SPJ. Although there is, of course, no definitive source for what journalism should be or adhere to, it's important to consider the questions these values raise and establish similar criteria for yourself and whatever publication you participate in.

IWPA and NFPW High School Journalism Contest
This website provides information about a high school journalism contest. The students can win $100 for any of 12 categories. Unfortunately, there is a $5 entry fee. (Mary Marley)

Newsday by Global School Net
The Newsday site at Global School Net is a project site for classes to create their own school newspapers and share them with other classes across the country. The project itself enhances reading, writing and editing skills. The students also learn to manipulate graphics and gain knowledge of the print media process. It is a lengthy project, spanning a few months but is a great cooperative learning assignment.

High School Journalism
This web site is supported by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and includes both information about students interested in journalism in High School as well as examples of work by high school students involved in school newspapers and other journalistic endeavors. The site includes information about journalism contests for high school students, and it’s a great resource for students. If you are interested or have to opportunity to have a journalism class, or perhaps just have students interested in starting a newspaper, offer students this site as a valuable resource.

Relevant Theory and Criticism

Citations and References for Beginners to Literary Theory/Criticism
This site cites several textual resources for various types of criticism as well as websites with explanations and definitions of vital terms.

Flood Them with Elements of Language: A WebQuest for 9th Grade English
This WebQuest directs students to create PowerPoint illustrating the elements of language, such as image, simile, metaphor, etc. It is very basic, but it is knowledge, which students have to have in order to properly access literature. I think it would be a great project for the beginning of the year in 9th grade English.

Resources for teachers (lesson plans, websites, etc.)

Current Events Unit
This is a lesson plan that I found will increase the student involvement with the news in the world today. It is crucial that students are aware of their surroundings and also what current events are going on so that they can actively participate and form their own opinions. This teacher made the lesson plan very simple and the students are only required to find something that is going on in the world today and link it to another historical event that is comparable. It is made for middle school and high school age groups.
The TeachNology site is a great site I heard about in the Intro to Secondary Education course. TeachNology has tons of resources such as worksheets, lesson plans, and rubrics. I used to website specifically to create a virtual version of my classroom with the seating chart feature. With this feature, the teacher can see how a specific design of the seats in the classroom will look such as a horseshoe shape, u-shape, z-shape, etc. Also, the teacher can search by topic in any of the site areas for worksheets, puzzle makers, etc. The only drawback to the site is that some of the features are for paying-members only. However, there are lots of tools and features that are offered as a free service for teachers. Enjoy!

This site is huge! It not only has lesson plans for Literature and Language Arts curricula, but it also has plans for Arts & Culture, Foreign Language, and History and Social Sciences. It has links from the lesson plans to various resources and covers everything from your most canonical text to contemporary literature. It's reliable, because it's supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Furthermore, it's free teacher time from browsing through the aisles and titles in the bookstore!

Search Tools

The Online Literature Library
This is an excellent search tool because it gives an index of authors and their famous novels, short stories, poems, etc. Most of the texts are given in full format and it covers a wide range of literature categories.

The Poetry Foundation
Their motto is "Find a poem. Discover poetry." There is a large amount of poetry on this website from both well-known "canon" poets, and lesser-known more contemporary poets. This search tool allows the user to search for poems by poet, category, occasion, title, first line, and glossary term (or just a regular search.) The user can go quickly to the poem that they are looking for or spend hours meandering through the many poems, poet biographies, and interviews on the site.

This website is great for searching any kind of literature: World, American, British...many hits come up as far as research goes and it can also help teacher plan interesting lessons regarding any works they may be reading/discussing in the classroom.

Technical Writing

MLA (Modern Language Association)
Undoubtedly the most prominent and comprehensive association dealing with language and literature, MLA is the go-to guide for writing professional and precise research papers, with guidelines for citation, formatting, and more. Although this site is somewhat limited in its own offering of examples, it provides information on how to get such examples, as well as information on joining the association, and more about the association itself and the role it plays in the literature community.

Citation Machine
Let's face it... no matter how many papers we write, we still have to look up different citation guidelines. Citation Machine allows you to use its own forms, type in your citation information into the allotted spaces, and the site does the rest as it arranges the information in the proper format for your requested paper style, be it MLA or APA. In addition, a good resource for students, this site is great because it is ultimately unreasonable to expect people to memorize how to format every single possible citation example, from multiple author books to un-authored website, and it encourages students to figure out how to cite rather than just commit plagiarism.

Merriam-Webster Online
Merriam-Webster Online is a free, online dictionary and thesaurus. It's a basic tool for students when they write papers. For example, they can use it to create more variety in their vocabulary.

The Composition Links
This is a website that will be very useful for students that are required to write a research paper. Not only does this link include sites to dictionaries, punctuation handbooks, and grammar handbooks, but it also gives resources to important places where students can current affairs and on-line reference works. I feel like this is a resource that will be very helpful when students are expected to proof their paper, but have questions on proper formatting.


Never Again! Again?
This Webquest encourages students to engage in investigative reporting, analyzing recent genocidal conflicts and recognizing similarities and differences in both past events and present circumstances. From a journalistic standpoint, these investigations can be presented in articles and op-eds in order to warn the public and question certain policies and practices of individuals and governments. Encouraging critical public discourse is one of the greatest responsibilities of a journalist, and when this goal is subverted, it often leads to tragedies such as the events studied in this activity.

Archetypal Siddhartha
A great webquest that walks students through archetypes starting with what archetypes are. It has a little bit of a role play feel as children are to imagine themselves as Karl Jung's new intern. I think it is a great tool for students reading Siddhartha to start creating some skills that will be used in college level literature classes and help students get to some deeper meanings from the book.

The Odyssey
This webquest requires students to be in groups of four. Within each group, the students choose different roles-genealogist, anthropologist, cartographer, and mythologist. The students then research background information for The Odyssey including information about ancient Greece and Greek mythology. After that, students have to create presentations in their groups with each group member contributing the information that pertains to his or her role. This would be a great activity for an introduction to The Odyssey.

World Literature  

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Teaching through the Novel (from EdSITEment)
Achebe's novel is one of the more "non-Western" novels that high school English teachers use. This website includes an introduction to the novel as well as three detailed lesson plans.

World Literature Links
This website is a good research website that provides the readers with several different links that allows them to access different world literature such as Greek, Latin, African American, etc. I think that this is a great tool to use if students are required to find information about various culture sother than their own literature to find out how each culture contributes to reading and writing. Many of the links are very helpful and can demonstrate different world views.

A Study Guide for Reading Homer's Iliad
Robin Mitchell-Boyask from Temple University's Department of the Classics has developed a comprehensive study guide for Homer's Iliad. The site includes a table of contents to the study elements and a helpful chart outlining the organization and structure of the Iliad. The study elements present thorough questions about characters, action, thematic concerns and even include vocabulary, bolded for ease of identification.

Poetry Foundation
On this site, students have access to the biographies and poems of numerous poets from various cultures. The site includes reading guides, select articles, and other interesting tools for the reading/appreciation of poetry.

Aesop’s Fables
These timeless maxims and fables are an excellent resource when teaching English in high school, as they are often referred to allegorically, or otherwise have connections to many famous pieces of literature. A unique sect of literature in and of themselves, Aesop’s Fables website offers links to most of the tales, and is a comprehensive and thorough site.