There are some fantastic websites out there to help students develop their reading, writing and speaking skills.
Here's one I love that's great for any grade level (K-12). Adults can give and get a lot from it too. It's called FreeRice.com. It has two goals: Improving your English vocabulary and ending world hunger by providing rice to hungry people. For every vocabulary word you answer correctly, Free Rice will donate 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program.
You have the option to keep track of your vocabulary level and how much rice you've donated. The difficulty of the vocabulary words is based on how many mistakes you make -- and no, rice is not taken away if you make a mistake. The vocabulary is tailored to learner's appropriate level, based on previous correct and incorrect answers.
Teachers, think of how you can use this to extend learning in the classroom. How many grains of rice in a cup? How much rice does a hungry person need to eat in a day in order to survive? Where in the world do most of the hungry people live? Keep track of how many people you've helped feed.
For kids in elementary school (K-5), express your creativity by writing, illustrating and publishing your own storybook online. The Big Universe is a free website where you can create your book cover, write your story, and illustrate it using their large library of artwork. You can even upload your own pictures to illustrate your book. The Big Universe has a helpful demo and several short videos containing tips on how to create your book. Once completed, you publish it online and can share it with others on the website. Read books other kids have written as well.
Free registration is required, and kids 13 years old and younger must use the website with a parent or guardian.
Writing poetry is a favorite activity of middle school students (6-8). And riddle poems are a fun way for students to express their creativity and try to stump their friends and classmates. Read-Write-Think has an excellent free website for this type of poetry, Riddle Interactive. Riddle Interactive describes, step by step, how to think about and construct a riddle poem. It provides an example, and guides you through creating your poem. When you're ready to write your poem, the website provides a riddle poem organizer in Adobe Reader, that can be printed after you fill it in (or before, if you want to make copies of the form for a class).
Read-Write-Think is one of my favorite sites, with interactives kids love. They have language arts activities for students of all ages, with lesson plan ideas for teachers and parents. This site is a partnership between the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.
There's a cool website for high school students (9-12) to write creatively. Check out Make Beliefs Comix. Bill Zimmerman designed this site as a place where writers could create their own world and free themselves from their immediate problems. You pick the characters and their emotions, write their thoughts and dialogue, edit the strip, then print it or email it to yourself and your friends.
Panel prompts help define when the dialogue in each panel occurs. You can write your own, or use one such as "To be continued ..." to turn your comix into a series.
Dialogue prompts at the bottom of each screen provide helpful hints about using the characters as well as guidance on tapping into your creativity for writing dialogue.
You'll find hundreds more free websites to help kids of all ages with their reading, writing and language skills at LearningReviews.com > Language Arts. For childrens poetry, take a look at the Best Websites for Kids Poems. I review my K-12 Top 12, and readers have added many more of their favorite sites.