This week's crop of news sites includes special editions just for elementary ages, as well as news sites that cater strictly to high school students. Whatever grade level you need, these sites are sure to spark conversations in the classroom and at the dinner table about what's happening in the world today.
The winner of several prestigious awards, Channel One has been broadcasting twelve-minute newscasts for teenagers into high schools and middle schools since 1990. Using video, news articles, quizzes, polls and games, the Channel One website is my pick of the day news site for teens. ChannelOne doesn't shy away from the tough stories (such as the war on terrorism) but it also likes to have fun, with a Student Life section with celebrity ("Name that Star") and life style ("Your Guide to the Prom") coverage.
With news, activities and lesson plans for grades three through high-school, the New York Times Learning Network really does have something for everyone. Best bets are the news summaries, daily news quiz, and the twice-monthly interactive crossword puzzle with educational Web links. But don't even think about starting the puzzle until you've finished your homework; it's very addictive. Other don't-miss-them clicks are Word of the Day (with sample usage from the newspaper) and On this Day (with a snapshot of an historic New York Times front page.)
From the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Extra for Students is the place to visit for outstanding news features that take a deeper look at current events (including immigration reform and pet food safety.) To learn how other kids are reacting to the news, visit the Newz Crewz section where your comments are welcomed and posted. Teachers have a section all their own with lesson plans organized by curriculum.
Well-designed and well-written, Scholastic News is a must-see site for students and teachers. Choose your grade level from the drop-down box (first grade through middle school) or select special editions such as New York Times Upfront or SuperScience. Junior Scholastic Online (for junior high or middle school) combines original reporting with an interactive news quiz (ten multiple-choice questions about the week's current events), and an opinion poll ("Should NASCAR racing be banned?"). Special Reports on Global Warming, Hurricane Katrina One Year Later, and Kids in Afghanistan, round out the offering.
Time for Kids includes news features and sports highlights, along with homework help and games. Time for Kids can be navigated from the front page, or through the K-6 grade-sorted archive (look in the lower left-hand column.) Best bet games for learning include World Famous Places and The Great State Race (show what you know about the fifty states.) Teachers have their own section with worksheets, mini-lessons and printable graphic organizers to help students process new information.