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Making Cultural Connections Through Kid-friendly Journalism


Found in: Current Events, Language Arts and Literature

Our classroom is pulled together each morning with the help of the huge variety of kid-friendly news articles and texts available on the Internet. There are incredible free resources to make news available to students including the k-12 New York Times school subscription, Newsela.com, and the Smithsonian Tween Tribune. Through these resources we build an understanding of how culture is changing and growing every day.

We settle into our day by reading about big events that are affecting our local community or country. We often focus on kids that are doing amazing things in the world. Students are learning how other children are working to make their communities better, or how they are striving to achieve new things. They are seeing how changes are being made by kids just like them and are making connections to their own lives. These connections help them to understand the possibilities that are out there for them in the world.

While this strategy can be used regularly, it is also great for following-up a teachable moment (like the time my students didn’t believe there was an International Space Station and people lived on it). I also use this technique when there’s a disruption to the schedule, or if students need help reengaging in the current topic of study.

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