Friday, September 16, 2005

Online Newspapers & Magazines for Kids

My Information Literacy Skills lesson for the 2nd quarter is all about Reference Sources and Periodicals. With the proliferation of online references and periodicals in the WWW, it is inevitable to discuss these resources in class. Years of teaching Information Literacy has taught me to strike the balance between print and digital formats. They must co-exist in the library as well as the tools that basic education learners can use. It is important that students see the importance of using these resources, each has a different feature and provides specific information to an information question or problem.

As I was preparing for my class a few days ago, I stumbled upon these "child-friendly" online newspapers and magazines. They are specifically constructed and maintained for kids. What's more, some of these sites welcome contributions for kids from stories to poems, photos to artworks, news and feature articles. Now I'm all the more motivated to share these with teachers. I've picked five from the many directories available online.

Two leading newspapers in the US (and in the world) came up with a kids' version of their dailies. The New York Times Learning Network (NKT-LN) and Time for Kids (TFK) features local and world news that bridges these to possible classroom activities. NYT-LN specifically has something for students, teachers and parents to learn and enjoy while TFK sticks with kids and classroom activities and homework helpers.

The Weekly Reader Online leans on the language and communication arts. It also has news from everywhere but it's literary features stand out. An interactive blog of Read and Write Magazine allows readers to continue the story, an activity that teachers can engage their students to do. Weekly Reader online is also a commercial arm of current print magazines in the US today.

The Bear Essential News for Kids is another site that fosters reading and writing skills. It also has interesting articles on the environment and nature. If you're kids are looking for educational games, lead them to Cyberkids. It has tons of interactive games for kids and kids at heart.

You may be wondering what guidelines I employ in selecting these websites for children. I'll save that for next post!

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