If a newspaper is news printed on paper, then what do you call the news you read online? News sites? News nets? Whatever you call them, several readers asked me for them, so here are my favorite current event sites for kids and their families. [Editor's Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Online News for Students]
Despite its title, this resource is not just for kids, but for anyone who wants to "CReAte Your Own Newspaper." Start by entering a name and slogan for your paper (The Barbara Times "Your News Your Way") then choose your news sources (such as USA Today or The New York Times), comic strips (Rugrats or Peanuts anyone?), and additional snippets (This Day in History and Merriam-Webster Word of the Day are two excellent choices.) Your paper can be formatted as a single page, a framed page (my preference) or in two windows. Click to save and view. Congratulations! You're a newspaper publisher.
Well designed and well written, this is my pick of the day for middle-schoolers. Junior Scholastic Online combines original reporting with a news quiz (ten challenging questions) an opinion poll (Should there be a Children's Day?), a geography game, a research helper, and links to additional news sources. Elementary ages can find their own grade-appropriate versions by choosing Scholastic News Online in the drop down menu at the top of the page.
Welcome to Newseum, the interactive museum of news. "What is the top news event of the 20th Century? Men walk on the moon? U.S. women win the right to vote? A surprise attack wrecks Pearl Harbor? Jackie Robinson integrates baseball? The Beatles teach teens to rock? Leading American journalists have voted. Now it's your turn." Cast your vote by choosing VOTE (at the top of the screen) and then deciding whether to view the 100 events in chronological order, or organized by topic.
Time for Kids is available in two versions ï¿½ one for grades two and three, another for four through six. In addition to fun stories (such as the widespread popularity of Pokeman), Time for Kids also covers the tough issues such the crisis in Kosovo ï¿½ although not in as much detail as Junior Scholastic Online. And don't worry -- unlike the related print edition, which is not published during summer vacation, Time for Kids Online is available year round.
Yak's Corner for elementary kids, created by the Detroit Free Press, is part news magazine and part online playground. Yes, there are feature stories here (such as a good coverage of Y2K, including but not limited to, the year 2000 computer bug) but there are also fun activities such as puzzles, Yak Yuks (these are jokes, get it?) and Yak crafts. My favorite click is the never-ending collaborative story. Read the first twelve paragraphs, and then submit one of your own. You'll find it listed under Yaktivities.