Web Sites and Web 2.0 Tools You Can Use Instantly

By Megan Power on January 17, 2011

This post is the beginning of a master list of free Web sites and Web 2.0 tools that teachers and students can use instantly for literacy projects focusing on word work, vocabulary, comprehension, reader response, and fluency. Come take a look at some really cool tools that are sure to make your reading skills come alive!

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Last week’s post, "Reading Book Projects With Flip Video, Digital Cameras, Web 2.0, and More," asked for reader feedback about free Web sites and Web 2.0 tools that can be used for literacy projects like those my kindergarten students are doing each week. Take a look at last week’s post for some examples of student work. I am excited to continue this weekly project and am sure I will see positive results. 

Here is a list of the FREE Web sites and Web 2.0 tools that have come in so far that can easily be integrated into your literacy curriculum regardless of grade level. Try them out as a whole class or allow your students to select tools and do projects in lieu of book reports.

Vocabulary/Word Work

  • Picture_37 Tagxedo Tagul
    With Wordle, Tagxedo, and Tagul students type in their stories or word patterns and create word clouds. If your group is working on high frequency words, type their story into one of these Web sites and create a cloud that shows the frequency with which the words appear. The more the words are used, the bigger they are in your word cloud.
  • Yodio 
    is a tool I have just discovered, but have not used yet. It is a quick way to give your photos voice. I can imagine my students making digital flashcards for the new vocabulary words in their stories.
  • Picture_103
    is a tool that I have used for a few years. It is an amazing collaborative work tool, but can also be used by students to create digital flashcards to illustrate words or collect their classmates’ thoughts on words from their story.
  • Mind42 Spicynodes
     and SpicyNodes are online mind mapping tools. If your students are working on synonyms, homophones, or any other types of words, these tools will visually show the meaning of the words or create a digital thesaurus.

Comprehension/Reader Response

  • Picture_8 
    is new for me, and I am looking forward to having a group use this tool. Upload digital photos or video clips and add text, and the Web site will use them to create a trailer similar to a movie trailer. I can see this tool being used in many ways, such as retelling a story and showing the story elements, including character, setting, problem, and solution.
  • With Mind42.com and Spicynodes, students can map out story elements in a story web. Voxli is a tool that can host an audio chat with your class. I can imagine a group of my students using this to host a class discussion about their book or a topic they are studying.
  • Picture_108 
    Photo Story 3
     is another wonderful tool that I have used in literacy many times. Students can easily create a Photo Story to retell or interpret their stories.
  • Classtools_net 
    Have your students compare and contrast by creating an online Venn diagram with ClassTools.net.
  • Edu 
    Glogster EDU
    is an online multimedia poster Web site students use to create posters to illustrate their stories.


  • Yodio and Photo Story 3 can also be used for fluency practice since the students add their voices to photos illustrating the story.
  • Blabberize 
    With Blabberize students can record their voices and make a photo talk. I use a similar paid program called CrazyTalk. My students have used this to record themselves reading a portion of their book with good fluency.
  • Podbean Picture_154
    How about having students podcast themselves reading the story using PodOmatic or Podbean?
  • Cueprompter 
    is a fun way for students to practice their reading. Although it doesn’t record the students’ voices, it will make the text move on the teleprompter. It's just like the script news anchors use.
  • Picture_68 Audiopal_audio
    Using Vocaroo and AudioPal, students can quickly record their reading, evaluate the results, and rerecord as needed. These Web sites also make it easy to share the recordings on blogs or Web sites. You can even email the link to parents so they can hear their little ones read.

I am so excited to get this master list started! While researching for this list, I found a few new tools that I am excited to try out in my classroom. Please take a minute to share a Web site or Web 2.0 tool that you are using in your classroom so we can add it to our master list.


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.



Which Literacy areas would you like to get more lesson ideas for integrating technology to improve student learning?

1st Choice-Comprehension/ Reader Response 2nd- Vocabulary/ Word Work 3rd- Fluency

8% are using Podomatic 8% are using Cuepromptor 12% are using Vocaroo 8% using AudioPal

20% are using Animoto 40% are using Photo Story 8% Cool Tools 20% Glogster 16% Blabberize

28% are using Voicethread! Make sure to check out my post on Voicethread and share how you are using it in your classroom.

Out of 29 responses 88% use Wordle 16% Tagxedo 4% Tagul

So far out of 29 responses... 69% are 3-5th grade teachers and 31% teach Pre K- 2nd grade.

So far... Question 1- 100% of teachers teach literacy.

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