News reading is an important literacy practice that helps students not only improve their reading and literacy skills but also develop global awareness and intercultural competencies preparing them to become responsible global citizens.
As I argued in Teaching with News, it is not only about reading news but more importantly how to read and interpret news. In other words, our students need to develop critical media literacy skills to be able to critically engage with news articles and understand global contexts.
Besides empowering our kids and students with the tools and know-how to critically evaluate news sources and determine their credibility, we, teachers and parents, can also provide them with reliable student-friendly news websites where they can access current news events and read news stories written in a language that is accessible to them.
The purpose of today’s post is to share with you a collection of some of the best news websites and news sources for students. These are websites that cover current world events in a language that caters to students learning needs and skill levels.
Importance of teaching news for kids
As I argued in Teaching with News, teaching news to kids is an essential aspect of education, as it helps them develop a range of skills and understanding about the world they live in. Here are some reasons why teaching news is important for kids:
Awareness of current events
Exposing children to news helps them stay informed about local, national, and international events. This understanding contributes to their development as responsible and engaged citizens.
Critical thinking skills
Teaching news encourages children to think critically about the information they consume. They learn to analyze and evaluate news stories, discerning fact from opinion, recognizing biases, and questioning the credibility of sources.
In a world saturated with media, teaching kids about news helps them develop the skills to navigate and interpret various media formats, including print, online, and broadcast journalism.
By discussing news stories, children become more curious about the world around them. This curiosity can inspire them to ask questions, seek answers, and explore new ideas.
Developing empathy and understanding
Exposure to news stories from diverse perspectives helps children develop empathy for people from different backgrounds, cultures, and situations. This understanding promotes tolerance, respect, and compassion.
Building vocabulary and language skills
Reading and discussing news stories exposes children to new vocabulary and language structures, improving their reading comprehension, writing, and communication skills.
Connecting to the curriculum
News stories can be linked to various subjects in the curriculum, such as history, geography, science, and social studies. This connection helps children see the relevance of their studies and the real-world application of their knowledge.
Encouraging civic engagement
Teaching news empowers children to become active participants in their communities and societies. They learn about the importance of voting, engaging in community projects, and voicing their opinions on issues that matter to them.
Developing problem-solving skills
Discussing news stories encourages children to think about solutions to problems and consider the impact of different decisions. This helps them develop problem-solving and decision-making skills that are essential for success in various aspects of life.
Fostering a lifelong interest in learning
Teaching news at a young age can help foster a lifelong interest in learning, as children become more engaged with the world around them and develop a habit of staying informed.
Best news websites for students
1. TIME for Kids
Time for Kids offers news for kids of different age and grade level. Simply select the grade you are interested in to start browsing reading materials. You can choose among the following grades: K-1, grade 2, grades 3-4, and grades 5-6. Featured news in Time for Kids cover various categories including art, science, media literacy, and more.
You can also access news covering only the United States or go global and choose world news. Other features provided by Time for Kids include read aloud with the ability to adjust reading speed, the ability to print news articles, and many more.
2. National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids features a wide range of educational materials created specifically for students and young adventurers. These include news stories covering ocean, space, world cultures, history, science, and many more.
It also offers games (e.g., action, puzzle, funny fill-in), educational videos on animals and nature, and several other resources to help kids develop their global awareness and improve their literacy skills.
DOGOnews is another good news website for students. It offers kids friendly news stories covering current events in the world. DOGOnews offers a unique feature that allows you to search for news articles by word count.
For instance, you can filter your search by articles that are written in up to 200 words, 200–400 words, 400-600 words, and so on. You can also search for news articles by category. Major categories included are Current Events, Science, Social Studies, Civic, World, Environment, Fun, Video, and Sports.
Newsela is an educational platform that provides leveled cross-curricular reading materials for for k-12 students. Newsela’ s informational content is standards aligned and is meant to optimize students learning and get them excited about reading.
Teachers can use it to enrich their lessons and create engaging learning experiences within and outside classroom.
Newsela provides tons of nonfiction texts (and some fiction) resourced from over 100 authority sources in the publishing realm namely: History, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, PBS NewsHour, Scientific American, Smithsonian, World History Encyclopedia, among others.
News-O-Matic is a daily newspaper for kids. “It provides an exciting and engaging nonfiction experience for children, complete with valuable literacy tools for the classroom…Thanks to its unique combination of editorial and technology, News-O-Matic creates innovative solutions to help children become tomorrow’s responsible citizens. It gives young readers a window into the world — and a reason to love reading news”.
6. The Learning Network
The Learning Network from the New York Times offers various resources to help you teach with news. These include contests, lesson plans, writing prompts, quizzes and vocabulary, teaching ideas, and many more.
7. Scholastic Kids Press
Scholastic Kids Press is a service from Scholastic where talented kid reporters share news stories covering various topics including politics, breaking news, sports, entertainment, the environment, and more. Students from all around the world aged 10-14 can apply to become Kid Reporters in Scholastic Kids Press.
8. Science News Explores
Founded in 2003, Science News Explores offers news stories and reading materials tailored specifically for younger audiences as well as parents and educators. Stories cover the latest research and current events across STEM fields.
“Each article is associated with free additional content that can aid in learning and boost impact in classrooms and on overall science literacy. Some of these learning-specific resources are available to all website readers; others are available for free with registration.”
9. CNN 10
CNN10 is another reliable news website for students. It offers news programs for kids 6 years and up. Its popular show Today’s News in 10 Minutes provides kids with a summarized version of current news that teachers can easily integrate in their classroom instruction.