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Current events is something I have struggled with teaching in the past and I am trying to redeem myself this year. We do not have cable TV, so we don’t get the news other than from online or the radio in our home. I felt like my kids needed to learn more about what was going on in the world around them. I started researching various ways to help teach this to my kids and have come up with a few ways that we have begun implementing into our homeschool routine.
We have started watching a daily kids news show with our kids. I was surprised to see how many options there are for kids to learn about the news online! It is great to have so many options to choose from. I like having a news site that makes it easier for kids to understand the news stories and relates it to them.
I will start with our ALL TIME favorite. It’s an App called News-O-Matic. There is a yearly subscription fee of $7 – 8, but there is a free trial. It is great! My kids beg to use it every day. It is interactive and interesting to them.
News Websites to Teach Current Events to Kids:
- Channel One– this site has the videos shown in the public schools. I watched them growing up. There is also an app for Channel One that we like to use instead, called Family Daily. On the app you can actually choose upper grade or lower grade.
- Time for Kids– they have a website with top news stories and a magazine subscription option. There are lots of free teacher resources there, too.
- PBS Newshour– this is for upper grades (7-12). There are videos, news stories, lesson plans, student voices, and weekly e-mail updates.
- NY Times Learning Network– This site is geared more towards teachers. It is a blog with teaching ideas, current news stories, and more from the NY Times content. They also include student ideas and polls.
- Detroit News does a print & online news magazine for kids called Yak’s Corner. There are fun news stories and learning activities. It is free to download each week.
- Kid Scoop is another free weekly kids newspaper download. It includes teachers guides and lots of fun learning activities.
- Scholastic News is a popular one that has teacher resources and news stories for kids. You can also purchase their weekly readers that come in the mail each week with current stories.
- National Geographic Kids is more nature and Earth focused but is a great site for current stories on these topics. They also have a magazine subscription available.
- BBC News has a whole kids news section called Newsround. It is a colorful, interactive site with international news stories geared towards kids. There are videos, quizzes, games and more.
- CNN Student News also offers a kids news video that reminds me a little of what Channel One does. It is 10-12 minutes long and has music and news stories explained to kids middle school through high school aged.
- Youngzine– this is another news site for kids. They have current news stories from around the world. You can sign up (for free) to receive teacher updates and submit stories, entries to contests play games, and more.
- Washington Post also has a kid news section called KidsPost. It has news, games, contests, puzzles and other activities for kids. You can download the Sunday edition each week (as well as archives). There is a teacher section with lesson plans. You can sign up to get email alerts on your favorite topics, too.
- Nickelodeon has a news site called Nick News. It has current stories, videos, games and more. It has been running for more than 20 years. (It is linked through the Nickelodeon site so kids may get distracted by all of their favorite cartoons up above!)
- DOGO News is another great site for teachers and kids. I am impressed with the available teacher options on this site. It has current news stories and you can create lesson plans around them with their recommended resources. They have weekly e-mails, book reviews, movies and more.
- GoGo News is a news site as well as a teaching site. They have stories in various subjects for kids.
- Sports Illustrated Kids is obviously sports focused, but could be a great way to get kids who loves sports interested in reading news sites and magazines.
- Tween Tribune is a site geared to kids in grades 5-8, but they also have sections of the website for other ages of kids. There is a teacher section with teaching ideas. It is available in Spanish, too.
- Gods World News is a Christian-based News magazine for kids. I have heard wonderful things about this magazine and would love to try it out sometime. There are six different levels based on age/grade level of kids.
Use the Newspaper to Teach:
- Reading main headlines together and discussing them
- Let kids choose an article that interests them and they can write about it- what they think, give them some questions to answer, how it affects them…
- Do crossword puzzles together- great way to teach vocabulary!
- Let them browse through and write down 20 words they don’t know and define them.
- Give them an article and use it for your grammar lesson: parts of speech, verb tenses, punctuation, paragraphs, etc.
- Learn about stocks and choose a few to track over time.
- Map the news stories to see where around the world they are happening.
- Learn about local news vs. national or world news.
- Give them just a photo or just a headline and have them write the news story.
- Learn about the parts of the newspaper and teach them how to use the index to find various parts of the paper.
- Discuss the various uses for a paper: headlines, advertisements, entertainment ideas, classified ads, opinions, sports, stocks, etc.
- Have fun with the comics. Cut them apart and have the kids put the sequence back in order. Let them create a new ending for the comic. Let them create their own strip!
- Create a news scrapbook of important news events over time.
- Learn about the freedom of press!
- Look at ads and talk about money- even give them an imaginary budget to spend from the ads. Which ads are most effective?