Recently while looking for science resources to use in the classroom- I came across Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune. This is a site created to encourage kids to follow current events. The site’s content provides daily news stories, with the same one edited several times for different reading levels. It is divided into sections for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12, covering topics like world news, culture, sports and has a Tech category. Teachers can search by topic–animals, art, book reviews, education, science, sports, technology, world news– or they can search by Lexile levels. It also features content in Spanish, which can be used for ESL students or for kids learning the language. 

Smithsonian TweenTribune

Journalists work with teens, tweens, and teachers to select the articles, which are mostly from the Associated Press. Every day, a couple of new items are posted; fascinating articles that include comprehension and vocabulary-based quizzes. A critical-thinking challenge question encourages kids to consider a specific aspect of a story, such as a person’s motivation. Students can also post teacher-moderated comments about articles. On top of that, teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor it all, as well as moderating student comments. 

What is really great is the ability to adjust the Lexile levels for differentiated instruction- students can all read the same article but at their own reading confidence. Teachers can easily differentiate instruction assigning articles written at a range of Lexile levels to different groups of students within a single class. Strong readers might be able to read an article that measures 1130L, while other students in the same class may need to read the same article written at a 1000 Lexile level. This differentiation challenges students at different reading levels while allowing them to access the same information.

And it’s all available for free! -a great place to grab informational and nonfiction texts written at various Lexile levels to support a wide range of reading abilities. Perfect for any classroom!

Submitted by Angela Russell, Instructional Media Specialist