Friday, 25 March 2011

Learning about World News

Over the last couple of months, I have been researching ways to add world news to our "curriculum".

We don't subscribe to any newspapers or even cable tv or satelite, so I searched the internet for kid-friendly news websites. I came across a few interesting ones that I wanted to share with you.

We are slowly getting into the habit of reading some articles from a couple of these sites and discussing them. Adrienne (13) and Andre (12) read the article on their own. I ask them to make a mental note or write down any words or names that they don't understand. I also read the same article.  I either explain the unknown terms or we can google together. I have never been one to pay close attention to the news, so I will be learning a lot too. We then talk about what we read together.

Adrienne - reading about Japan in Maclean's

We are also trying out Maclean's magazine, which is a Canadian weekly current affairs magazine, readily available at our local library. Another option that we will be trying out is to visit the library and read the newspaper there. Photocopying articles of interest at the library would also be an option.

By trying a few different sources, we will find out which one works best for us. As we try all these different options, we are also getting into the habit of reading the news and talking about them.

There is a variety of choices on the web. Some sites have articles written for young children, with videos and photos included. These sites often have quizes and games. I think these are great, but I also think that reading from regular newspapers, magazines, or sites is important, especially for my older children.

Here is a list of the sites I found most interesting.

DOGO News - this site has an option for teachers to build their own "class" page, choosing which articles will be displayed. There are twelve categories on the right side of the main page, from current events, to science, to entertainment and more. You can also search the website. The articles are filled with photos, diagrams or drawings, videos, and links to other articles or to definitions of certain words. There are two other tabs at the top of the main page, called sites and maps. Under the sites tab, you will find links to sites that kids have reviewed. These are also organized by categories. If you want to find all the kids reviewed sites on Math for example, you could just click on Math; or you could use the search box. The maps tab brings up a google map and shows you more articles at their location on earth.  

Youngzine - this site is also very user-friendly. It has tabs across the top of the page for different categories. A Playzine tab includes games, comics, and videos.  Once you sign up, you are able to leave comments on the articles. You can also take quizzes. You can also sign up as a teacher and create a class to monitor what your children are doing on this site. I haven't read all the details about this option yet.

Another site that I have found useful for myself is the New York Times Learning Network. This site has lesson plans, daily quizzes, crosswords, and many resources. I especially like how they put together teaching ideas that relate to current events, like this one for Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami, or this post filled with questions related to Elizabeth Taylor, or even lesson ideas for celebrating Women's History Month.

If you would like to recommend other websites, please leave a link in the comments.


  1. Great links! Thanks for sharing them :)

  2. Thanks Alex,
    This is great. We too do not subscribe to the newspaper, nor do we have TV hook up. I will be checking out these sites.

  3. We subscribe to Newsademic, an international newspaper for children and young adults:

    It's got wonderful articles, and comes in both British English and American English editions. It also has classroom activities, crosswords, etc.

    We've been really delighted with the content and the fact that nothing is "dumbed down". You could try a free copy and see what you think. I enjoy it every bit as much as my daughters!


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