News articles are a great source to connect kids with the broader world and have them investigate the features and traits of non-fiction texts. Furthermore, discussing current events in class is a great way to engage students to inquiry more deeply into concepts being covered in your school’s curriculum. The difficulty has always been find texts written appropriately for children; both in content and in reading level. Here are three that I have found useful.
Newsela is the newest kid on the block (just recently being released from Beta phase) and is an incredibly robust news site aimed at the education sector. It is currently free for teachers to create an account. Upon doing so you receive a class code which students then use when signing up. Newsela allows you to adjust the reading level (Lexile) of single news article anywhere from grade 3 to grade 12. This is a amazing feature as the content and difficulty of the same article changes to support high school seniors or elementary students. All articles are adapted from Associated Press articles from major U.S. papers. Some articles even have accompanying quizzes focusing on non-fiction reading strategies.
Behind the News (BtN)
Behind the News is an Australian Broadcast Company show created for school children. The show has been around since 1968 and thus has a huge archive available online. The show has great 2-5 minute episodes on a variety of topics including current events. Some clips are also accompanied by quizzes and discussion cards, which some teachers may find useful. New episodes air weekly on Tuesdays.
Teaching Kids News (TKN)
Teaching Kids News is a Canadian online newspaper started by a third grade teacher from Toronto. The site publishes articles about current events both international and domestic. Reading levels range from second grade through to eighth and are can be categorized using the search function. Each article is accompanied with prompts to assist teachers to use these current events in the classroom. Prompts included discussion ideas, writing prompts, grammar work and work analysis.
Know of other great news sites for kids? Leave comments in the blog section below.