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Kids news round-up
We are so lucky to have available an array of kid-friendly current event options, rich with instructional resources, and mostly free!
Here’s a round-up of some of my favorites.
Newsela: This popular site organizes news by theme: War and Peace, Science, Kids, Money, Law, Health, Arts, and Sports. There’s content written in Spanish. Users can also browse the Editor’s Picks or content Most Loved This Month. Students and teachers can search for news by individual grade level or by any of the eight reading standards. Many of the articles are accompanied by a Common Core-aligned quiz designed to check for student understanding, to prompt critical thinking and to provide teachers with immediate feedback. Teachers across the curriculum will appreciate the ready-to-go nonfiction text sets:
News-o-matic: This daily newspaper for kids is available: for Android on Google Play, for iPhone and iPad at the App Store, or for Kindle. The app offers five daily stories on an array of topics covering U.S. and international news, written by journalists, K-12 writers, and educational experts. Students are encouraged to react to the news with peers around the world, may vote for their favorite articles, and engage in conversations with interviewed newsmakers. Also included are interactive maps, in-app audio playback, vocabulary and pronunciation support, news games and Spanish translations. The School edition offers assessments, standards alignment and the ability to customize instruction.
New York Times Learning Network: Leveraging the daily resources of The New York Times for teaching and learning, this fabulous blog offers critical thinking lesson plans, questions for writing and discussion, quizzes, contests and of course, articles. Lessons are organized by discipline. The site offers opportunities for students (over 13) to contribute opinions. Check out these regular features a teacher or a librarian might use nearly every day:
- Weekly News Quiz,
- Word of the Day
- On This Day in History
- Student Crossword
- Skills and Strategies
- Film Club
- Teaching Topics Index
- Text to Text
- E.L.L. Practice
- Teach Any Day’s Times
- Poetry Pairings
- WGOITP? (What’s going on in this picture?)
- News Q’s
Smithsonian’s Tween Tribute: Includes news for grades K-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12, and news in Spanish. Search news by tag or by Lexile. The portal offers two AP news articles each day, self-scoring quizzes, critical thinking questions, student comments, weekly lesson plans and videos, as well as a weekend “Monday Morning Ready” newsletter to help teachers prep for the week ahead.
CNN Student News: is designed for use in middle and high school classrooms. The ten-minute, commercial-free daily news program is produced by journalists. Videos may be streamed or downloaded as a podcast Mondays through Fridays. Transcripts and suggested viewing questions are available for each show. Sign up for Daily Emails to preview the major stories to be covered. You may choose to have your school recognized in the CNN Student News Roll Call (for ages 13 and over).
News for Your Classroom: is Scholastic’s free daily magazine complete with kid reporters, video highlights and an archive.
KidsPost The Washington Post offers a kids version, featuring news as well as fun–birthdays of the week, this week in history, games, puzzles, 10 Things You Didn’t Know. Other features include this KidsPost’s Guide to the Presidents and an Ever Wondered? column.
PBS Newshour for Kids: For grades seven through twelve, the site features daily top stories as well as lesson plans, videos, student voices, and a searchable database of articles. There’s a rich Election 2016 archive.
Time for Kids: While a premium version is available for classrooms, Time generously presents an attractive array of stories–national and international, health, science, sports, entertainment. You’ll find Mini-sites covering special events and celebrations, Kid Reporter Scoops, TFK’s own Person of the Year and a For Teachers section, offering instructional ideas and printables.
C-Span Classroom: Supported by cable television for social studies teachers, the site features classroom videos clips and supplementary instructional materials–lesson plans, handouts, and special offers. Free membership enables you to access such features as: On This Day in History, Constitution Clips, Campaign 2016, Bell Ringers, and the rich primary source and critical issues content in Class Room Deliberations.
ReadWorks: Aimed at teachers, and not exclusively newsy, the non-profit site is designed to address reading comprehension by offering a wealth of free, CCSS standards-aligned “research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled non-fiction and literary passages.” Get reading passages, paired passages and question sets. Content is divided into:
Here’s a little Symbaloo gathering these new resources.
About Joyce Valenza
Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza
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