Write a lucky limerick

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up quick.
Grab a pen and write a limerick.
Be a rhyming rockstar,
you’re sure to go far,
and a lucky winner we’ll pick.

Want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
You have something clever to say?
Join in the fun,
add in a pun,
And encourage your friends to play.

Try writing your own limerick.
Write it down with a leaded stick.
Make it divine,
and submit it online.
Your limerick we’re sure to pick.

Join in the St. Patrick’s Day fun by entering our annual limerick writing contest. To help you along the way, we’ve created a fun little video about writing limericks, hosted by Nick from the Imagine Learning software. Nick teaches students how to write limericks step-by-step, and explains the process by sharing his own limericks. Teachers, get your students involved! This video is the perfect way to begin an engaging lesson plan on limerick writing.

You can also watch the video on Vimeo.

We hope you have fun trying your hand at poetry writing! Submit entries in the comments section below. We will award prizes to the top three limericks.

Prize Pot-o-gold:

1st prize: a $25 Amazon gift card
2nd prize: a Booster bobblehead
3rd prize: a talking Mike the Microphone plush toy

We’ll accept submissions through end-of-day Monday, March 17th. Special consideration will be given to limericks with an educational flavor, and also to student submissions. Check back often to see the entries—and the lucky winners. You’ll be green with envy.

Good luck (o’ the Irish) to everyone!

Nick’s Limerick Video Lyrics:

Hello! How are you? I’m Nick.
Here to teach you a fun little trick.
To have a good time
when writing a rhyme
try writing your own limerick!

There are limericks of all different kinds.
So how do you write one that shines?
You’ll see that it’s cool
if you follow the rule:
a limerick is made of five lines.

So listen close to this song.
Lines one, two and five are all long.
And in poems of this sort
make lines three and four short
and I promise you’ll never go wrong.

You need to be sure and contrive
to rhyme lines one, two, and five
Then do it once more
with lines three and four
and your limerick surely will thrive!

So let these pointers take hold
And if you’ll write as you were told
at the rainbow’s end
you’ll find there my friend
your own limerick pot o’ gold!

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We’re head over heels for Booster’s Valentine Creator

Share the love with your friends and family by using Booster’s Valentine Creator.

Booster’s Valentine Creator is an interactive webpage that helps you create customized valentines—all with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Here’s how to put a little pizzazz into your valentines this year:

Choose a character. All the Imagine Learning stars are here, from loveable Pete the Prairie Dog to chatterbox Mike the Microphone.

Select a colorful background. Roses are red and violets are blue; we’ve got a color that’s perfect for you.

Pick a memorable message. Using the arrows above the card, select the perfect sentiment.

Once you’ve completed your creation, download and print it, or email it to a lucky recipient.

Teachers, be sure to share the love with your class, as they will be absolutely smitten by this fun, interactive activity. So put some heart into it and make a sweet valentine for that special someone.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all your friends at Imagine Learning!

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10 fun ways to use video creation in the classroom

Why not celebrate Digital Learning Day by instigating a video creation project in your classroom? Students enjoy working on video projects—they inspire creativity, allow for teamwork, and produce a final product the students can be proud of. Incorporating video projects in the classroom is one way to provide a rich blended learning experience for students.

  1. Divide students into groups to make a movie of a book they have read, retelling the elements of a plot. Or, ask students to create a video project about their favorite character or chapter instead of writing a book report.
  2. Create a song or rap video to help students remember math strategies, spelling words, or grammar rules.
  3. Turn student-written poems into artistically visual videos.
  4. Play charades by asking students to create a 30-second video. They can act out vocabulary words and have the rest of the class guess which word they represent.
  5. Design a movie about the history of your school or community. Have the children act it out.
  6. Produce a news segment of a special event, such as a guest speaker, a school 5K fun run, a beautification project, or a fund raiser.
  7. Ask students to highlight themselves in a one-minute get-to-know-you video.
  8. Invent a music video, using a song the students are learning in music class.
  9. Build a short documentary to explain a science project. Video is great to show time-lapse changes for experiments.
  10. Allow students to re-teach a unit using video. Students can create props and visuals to summarize what they learned about a given topic.

 

Useful Video Apps

Many students now have access to iPods, phones, and tablets which are equipped with great, portable cameras for taking video. The following movie-making apps are useful, inexpensive (most are under $2), and can take your student-created videos to the next level: ScriptWrite, iMovie, Game Your Video, Action Movie FX, Time Lapse Camera HD, Movie Looks HD, Avid Studio, SloPro, FiLMiC Pro, TiltShift Video, and Scrolling Credits.

Helpful Online Tools

Masher is a fun, free, tool for creating video mash-ups. Masher offers large collection of video clips, music, and effects from their gallery. You can also add your own images, video clips, and music clips through the Masher uploader. Masher allows you to insert text throughout your video. Using Masher is simple: just drag elements from the media gallery into the timeline editor. From there, you can arrange the sequence of elements, and when you are ready, you can publish and share your production.

Animoto is great for quickly making simple videos by using still images, music, and text. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto. Animoto’s free service limits you to 30-second videos. By applying for an educational account, you can create longer videos.

Stupeflix is a service that allows users to create video montages using their favorite images and audio clips. Stupeflix allows users to drag and drop their images into a desired sequence. You will want to upload your own audio clips as Stupeflix offers only one default soundtrack. But an advantage of Stupeflix is that it allows you to use more than one audio clip within the same video.

Photo Peach is a new service that allows you to easily create an audio slideshow, with captions, from images in your Flickr, Picassa, or Facebook account. You can also use images saved on your local hard drive to create a slideshow. Adding captions is easy: simply type the text into the caption box. Also, changing the order of images is a simple drag and drop procedure.

Xtra Normal is a unique service that enables students to create animated, narrated movies just by typing the dialogue then dragging and dropping characters and set elements into the movies. There are free and paid plans for using Xtra Normal, but the standard plan should be more than adequate for most academic uses.

If your class uses these ideas or resources for making video, we would love to hear about it. What ideas do you have about incorporating video in the classroom?

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The 2012 State of the Union address

Last year we shared a Wordle based on the president’s State of the Union address, and I thought it would be fun to do so again this year.

Show this Wordle to your students to start a discussion about current civic issues. Based on the word cluster, what topics and issues were emphasized during the president’s speech? Is his administration focusing on the right things? What do your students think?

Wordle lets you create “word clouds,” or visual representations of text that give prominence to words that occur more frequently. If you don’t have an hour to spend watching the whole State of the Union address, you can get an idea of the main points pretty quickly by looking at the Wordle.

Did you watch the State of the Union address? If you missed it, it’s not too late– watch the speech here:

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Get out! 3 ways to take language learning outside of the classroom

This week is national Take a Child Outside Week, and since the good weather of summer is winding down into cooler autumn days, now’s a great time to get your kids outside as much as possible. Here are three easy ways you can take language learning activities out of the classroom and into the great outdoors:

Read more »

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