This great resource from the Kentucky Virtual Library is a fun-looking map that graphically outlines the steps a student should take when doing research for a project. Each part of the map is a link to a new page explaining that particular stage in the process. The graphics are appealing to kids and the information is very readable. This is a good site for students who are doing independent research projects.
Vocab Ahead would be an appropriate site for gifted students from 3rd grade and up. English/Language Arts teachers of secondary students would also be interested in using this site. It is designed to prepare students for the SAT and ACT tests. However, anyone who is interested in advancing his or her vocabulary skills would enjoy the free features on this site. After registering, a teacher can design individualized lists of words. Students can view short videos using the words in context, practice learning them with flash cards, and take quizzes. The customized lists can be embedded into a teacher’s website or blog. In addition, students can create their own videos for words that can be uploaded to the site. For this reason, I would advise the teacher to preview any of the videos he or she chooses to add to a list.
I am not a huge fan of spelling tests, particularly when everyone in the class is responsible for the same words. However, this site has some amazing tools that will allow you to customize lists for your students. There are also fun games that they can play to practice those specialized lists. The site is free, although you need to register. There are some perks for purchasing a premium membership, but it can still be a valuable tool without all of the bells and whistles.