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January 2004

Santa's Secret Village at northpole.com
Primary grades goodies from the North Pole (online).
Grade Level: Pre-K-2, Parents

http://www.northpole.com/ben.html

CONTENT:
Santa's Secret Village is filled with interactive learning activities as well as games, puzzles, recipes, and much more that is just plain fun for the pre-K to grade-3 child.
AESTHETICS:
The site features adorable child friendly graphics and is advertising free, child safe, and family friendly.
ORGANIZATION:
A variety of navigation tools make movement within the site child's play. There is an interactive imagemap, interactive navigation menu, an index in the left margin and a top navigation bar.

REVIEW:
Santa's Secret Village has something for children, parents, and teachers. This is a great site for families to enjoy together! Young children will love being able to write letters to Santa and have him answer, read and print stories, play fun games and sing Christmas songs with Santa's Karaoke Machine. The parents' section gives parents ideas for using the site with their children, recipes for great treats, cards, and certificates from Santa to print out for their child and original stories that can be printed and colored. Teachers will want to visit the Elf Pal Academy where they'll find a variety of fun learning activities grouped by categories such as visual skills, basic motor skills, sound recognition, vocabulary, learning numbers and more. More than two-dozen original illustrated stories that convey a theme or teach a lesson are available for reinforcing reading skills and three of the stories can be personalized by the students. Additionally, students can "chat" with elves Bif and Bonnie and ask all their questions about Christmas, Santa, the North Pole, or elves. This chat uses artificial intelligence in the form of a Java Applet and is not actually transmitted to another person over the Internet. So it is perfectly safe for students to use.

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01/21/2004