Ideas for Using AASL Best Websites: Youngzine

There’s good news for educators looking for safe online sites with quality content for their students. Youngzine is a child-friendly online news source with excellent subject matter designed for upper elementary to high school students. The original educational news articles and accompanying media provide a wonderful springboard for current events discussions.

The site is attractive and easy to navigate. Content is updated weekly. Students and teachers do not have to register to view the articles and videos, but registered members can rate articles nd submit comments and original articles to the site. All comments in the public and private forums are vetted by the site’s educational team. The U Write feature is comprised of original student contributions of short stories, nonfiction articles, poetry, and art work.

This resource is a great supplement to social studies, science, and language arts classroom instruction. All of the news articles are written for elementary through middle school reading abilities. Points and badges are earned by students as they read, respond, and submit contributions. The online content along with the site’s multi-media and interactive components will attract even reluctant readers.

Youngzine’s newest feature is the classroom blog. Teachers can register and then create a private online space for students to use for class discussions. In this safe environment teachers can use the site’s news articles and media to design and post custom assignments. After teachers register their students to create an online class, students can then read and respond to the assignment’s discussion prompts. Teachers moderate all comments to decide which comments to make visible to the whole class.

In addition to the classroom blog there are numerous ways Youngzine can be used in the classroom.

  • The site has a weekly quiz based on recent articles. Teachers can view students’ quiz scores and print out the results for documentation.
  • Students can use a news article as a prompt for further research.
  • Students’ comprehension and critical thinking skills can be assessed using students’ responses to articles.
  • Students can use the online articles as models when they write their own news articles about their local community.
  • A news article can be used as a morning bell ringer or warm-up activity.

Youngzine can be a great teaching and learning resource for your students. Give it a try and share with others!

Submitted by Elizabeth P. Dumas

Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee member

 

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Author: Heather Moorefield-Lang

Heather Moorefield-Lang is an associate professor at The University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science. To see more of Heather’s work visit her website at www.techfifteen.com, email her at moorefield-lang@sc.edu, or follow her on Twitter @actinginthelib.



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