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Reading and Writing

Here you will find sites that provide:

For sources of e-text online, see the e-text page.

Background information sites PK-2 3-5 MS HS searchable
Free Online Literature with more than 2000 Classic Texts - Literature Book Notes, Author Biographies, Book Summaries and Reference Books - Study Guides to the most read books and Help for Teachers
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Book Talks Quick and Simple
These short booktalks are intended to be used primarily by school library media specialists and teachers to hook students on books. There are also links to a blog, podcasts, and audio excerpts of books K-12.
x x x x x is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online and share your maps with others. x x x x  
Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
This is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas of ways to use them in the classroom and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.
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Provides character analysis, historical background, themes, famous quotes, pictures, FAQs, modern connections, essays, bibliography, and further readings on hundreds of books. Although you must pay to have access to all the support materials, you can see useful excerpts. You can choose to buy the support materials for a single book, or have a site-wide subscription. Subscription required.
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Free Rice
A vocabulary quiz with a global conscience. Words get harder or easier depending on whether you get the answer right or wrong. For each correct answer, donates 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. Kids can have words read to them. Teachers should definitely check out the options page to make the best use of this site with kids.
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Kids Reads
A website with book reviews, author biographies, quizzes and polls to engage kids in reading. Unfortunately, no search engine, so you need to explore a bit to know if there are resources specific to the book you are teaching.
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My Webspiration
a web 2.0 tool by the makers of Inspiration that allows you to create webs collaboratively with others online. Subscription required.
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Shmoop Literary and historical topics. "Shmoop will make a handy starting point for developing background knowledge, for topic, question, and thesis development, and for test prep. Some teachers will appreciate its value for preparing lessons." Subscription required.       x x
This site provides resources for authors including videos, study guides, lesson plans, and links. Search easily by title, author name, grade level, or subject area. Subscription required.
x x x x x
Dictionaries and thesauri PK-2 3-5 MS HS searchable   x x x x
Harcourt's ESL Glossary
a picture dictionary with spoken definitions and sample sentences.
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Online Rhyming Dictionary
For poetry and songwriting. Type in a word and get a (really long) list of words that rhyme.
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Webster's New International Dictionary Subscription required.   x x x x
Teaching reading and writing PK-2 3-5 MS HS searchable
AOL Kids Reading and Writing Homework Help
Links to interactive online language arts activities. Categories are Alphabet, Grammar, Fables, Languages, Learn How to Read, Poems and Rhymes, Spelling, Stories, Tall Tales and Folk Tales, and Writing.
Carl's Language Arts Corner
This searchable website has been created by a long-time language arts teacher to provide resources and materials for classroom teachers, reading and resource specialists, speech therapists, parents and students in the area of language arts. Lots of downloadable materials focusing on the alphabet, blends, word families, sight words, homophones and much more. Find the teddy bear that says "search" to search the resources.
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Education Place Graphic Organizers
These are PDFs that you cannot fill out on line, but you can print them and get ideas from them. You can also download them in Spanish.
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Giggle Poetry
Has poems that kids can read and rate. Also has links to poetry lessons on how to write different kinds of poems. Material is copyrighted and not for copying or distribution. Poetry theater selections are also included with permission to copy for classroom use.
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Graphic Organizers on Thinkport
A collection of pre-formatted graphic organizers that can be integrate into activities and lesson plans or use by themselves. Three different formats for your convenience: HTML, Word, and PDF
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These are more than spiffy-looking printable webs. Take some time to read about the teaching philosophy that led to the downloadable resources here. Some of the resources are in .DOC format and can be used by students who keyboard instead of write. You can learn more about the research behind graphic organizers from CAST.
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Kids' Mystery Net
This website has lots of online mysteries to read and solve. They provide many examples of short mysteries written by students. If you read more about the mysterynet website, you can find links to classic mystery authors and even purchase digital copies of their books. This website supports the MCPS grade 4, quarter 4 writing mysteries lesson 1.
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Poetry 4 Kids
Has poems that kids can read and rate. Also has links to poetry lessons, games, a rhyming dictionary, discussion forum, and more. By Ken Nesbitt.
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Poetry Archive
A collection of poets reading their own work. There is a link at the top for the Children's Archive which has poems for younger students.
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Reading A-Z
Inexpensive subscription to leveled texts. You can download and print the books, lesson plans, and resource pages to go with them. Highly motivating to kids learning to read. Also offers readers theater scripts. Subscription required. MCPS does not hold a subscription. Well worth it.
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RIF Reading Planet
This section for kids has activities, online games, and encouragement for reading and writing. There is also a section of teacher resources.
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Scholastic's Flashcard Maker
Create your own flashcards to use online or print out. Great for practicing vocabulary. Links to articles with tips for using flashcards.
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Spaghetti Book Club
Free book reviews by children for children. For a membership fee, your school can join the club. Teachers receive online lessons and kids become part of the online reading community.
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Starfall is a creative website designed to teach children to read. The interactive books available here have sound – so please turn your speakers on. Teacher may request free writing journals for classroom use that reinforce the sequential phonics lessons of each interactive book. Grades Pre-K-1.
Typing Programs from Aunt Lee
A well organized set of links to free online typing programs maintained by a Multimedia Outreach Educator at the Austin Children's Museum.
x x x x  
Book tools PK-2 3-5 MS HS searchable
Amazon's Concordance and Text Stats
Teachers can learn the 100 most frequently used words and the number of words and complexity of the text. The link provides an example for one book. Search other books on Amazon and then click on Concordance or Text Stats to get the information.
x x x x x
Text Reader Software
An FAQ that tells about text reader software and offers link to free and affordable text readers for download at home.
x x x x n/a

Subscription Info

Some of the websites listed require a paid subscription. These are noted with Subscription required. MCPS holds a subscription for all sites listed on this page, except where noted. If you are an MCPS teacher, you can obtain login and password information from your school media specialist. In some cases, you will not need to log in at all if you are using an MCPS computer. See other websites to which MCPS holds a subscription.


This web page may contain links to one or more pages outside the MCPS Web. MCPS does not control the content or relevancy of these pages.

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