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**** Introducing CSAW *****
What's CSAW? That acronym is pronounced (see-saw) and stands for "ClickSchooling Award Winner." From now on, when I fall head-over-heels for a website, it will be designated in the subject line of the review as "CSAW." It's an easy way for you to determine the very Best of ClickSchooling. :)
Age Range: 12-18+ (While seemingly geared for use in high school and beyond, younger students may enjoy aspects of this site with parental guidance.)
Shmoop.com requested that ClickSchooling review their relatively new website (still in Beta testing mode). I'm glad they contacted me because it may be the best, FREE, web-based reference archive for studying literature, poetry, and U.S. history that I've seen. Shmoops' mission is: "To make learning and writing more fun and relevant for students in the digital age."
Although the "About" section of this site doesn't provide much info in terms of who is behind this magnanimous effort, the content is written primarily by Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities, like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale.
Now, I know that a reference archive may sound boring — but I promise you, Shmoop's laid back and often humorous approach to the material is really engaging. It's a fun read in and of itself.
When you click on the above link, you'll land on the literature page where you'll see a menu of literary works by authors such as Jane Austen, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemmingway, Jack London, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams and more.
Click on any one and a new page opens with a menu that includes:
You'll also find "Themes and Quotes," "Study Questions," and more content that you can access for free, without obligation. However, if you want to use their tools such as the "Write a Paper" guide you must create an account and log in (it's free).
NOTE: I only reviewed the literature section of this site. Use the menu to explore the "Poetry" and "U.S. History" sections on your own. For that reason, and because this site links to exterior websites that I have not reviewed PARENTS, AS ALWAYS, SHOULD PREVIEW CONTENT TO DETERMINE SUITABILITY.
Finally, I'd like to reiterate that one of the best aspects of this site is the way humor is used to engage students. One example is the description of the site's purpose, which I submit for your amusement:
It's this kind of captivating banter that students will find irresistible. Just browsing the site can ignite interest in literature — and that's one reason this site is a CSAW (ClickSchooling Award Winner)!
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