Media Matters

November 2012

Yummy Math

Yummy Math is a fantastic blog/site dedicated to helping students and teachers understand how math is relevant to the world. The lessons are not only relevant--but also interesting! In one lesson, students will use data to find the "real" cost of owning an iPhone 5. In another, they can see how votes really count with an activity on the Electoral College. Categories include: Algebra, Data & Probability, Geometry, Number Sense, Sports, Holidays & annual events, Food, Social Studies, Art, Science, Social Studies, and Entertainment. Each week, multiple activities and ideas are added to the site. One more exciting thing...Common Core standards are listed for each lesson! Note: When you click on the link, you'll be at the bottom of the site. Scroll up to the top! (

The Literacy Shed

The Literacy Shed is a great one-stop-shop for inspiration and ideas to improve literacy and critical thinking in your classroom. The site is separated into “sheds,” each with a different genre. There are short films, images, and book suggestions that are each accompanied by a teaching idea that includes discussion questions and writing prompts. Students will become familiar with a variety of genres and become comfortable with the characteristics of each. (

The Scale of Life

The Scale of Life is a neat way for students to explore size, science and math. Students can examine the scale of objects compared to other objects and make observations about size and purpose of the object in the universe. Along the bottom of the site is a slider that lets students zoom in or out in size to see things relative to each other. Students can get as small as 0.0000000001 yoctometers to as large as size of the known universe. You could split students into teams to choose a different scale to learn about. You may want to play the music in the background of your class! If you don't like it, click on the music notes in the top right corner to turn it off. (

Draw a Stickman

Draw a Stickman is a fun interactive site that uses student creations to tell a story. Students are prompted to draw a stick figure. The figure they draw springs to life and is faced with several challenges. Students must follow directions and draw several props for their stick figure to interact with. This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving mysteries, thinking creatively and solving problems. Students will love the hero of the story (the character they created) and the villain (a dragon). Students can focus on fleshing out their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can come up with a moral of a story that they add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class…to see how many different stories the students could come up with using the same base. (


Lexipedia is an amazing site for learning about words and word relationships. Just type in a word to look it up on Lexipedia and in seconds you will have a web of words complete with definitions. Lexipedia gives all nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, fuzzynyms, synonyms, and antonyms for the word. Students can choose to see all of these words at once or choose to show only one type of result. When students hover their mouse over a word, the definition pops up over the word. Students get an immediate visual of word relationships. (

Gettysburg Address (Animated Video)

This animated video illustrating the Gettysburg Address, brings the famous speech to life in a memorable and meaningful way. You could discuss the artist's choices with students. What imagery is used to convey the tone and meaning behind the speech? What would they have done differently? Students could take a famous speech (for example, MLK’s "I have a Dream") and create a video or presentation that conveys the meaning behind the words. PhotoStory, Movie Maker, and/or Animoto would be excellent resources to use. I'd be happy to help you with this! ( Note: You'll need to unblock it to watch.

Critical Past

Critical Past is a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online. The videos and photos are also available to purchase for download. The site is easy to search either by decade and topic or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find “related videos.” Students can watch a clip and the related videos and reflect on how the clips are related. Sometimes it is a similar time period, sometimes a related event, other times it is a related location. (

Telescopic Text

Telescopic Text is a very simple website that could be very useful in the language arts classroom. The site starts off with a very simple sentence: I made tea. Each time you click on a word, the sentence expands adding adjectives, adverbs, and makes the sentence more interesting. You could use this website to teach students about creative, descriptive writing and how to improve their writing with descriptive words. One activity is to have the students write their own simple sentence and expand it into a story with the addition of descriptive words. (

My Amazing Thanksgiving

My Amazing Thanksgiving is an online activity, created by Houghton Mifflin, that works likes Mad Libs. Students fill in the blanks with the parts of speech and a wacky Thanksgiving tale is created for them. If you'd like to try more of these activities, click here. (

Happy Thanksgiving (Diana Ross Style)