Monday, February 14, 2011

Tween Tribune

Tween Tribune is a fantastic site that teachers have free access to.  Jill Brandeberry and I have used this with our middle school social studies classes.  The site allows you to create a class and give your students access to relevant news that is interesting for their level.  We've found that this site helps us integrate our writing into social studies so that literacy naturally becomes a part of our class.  We have our students select certain topics, like world news, and read about the available articles.  Once students connect to an article they feel passionate about, they write a response, or comment, to the post.  Students are use to the format because this is very similar to the social networking sites they're accustom to.  We've found that students are reading more (outside of class) because they're interested in the topics and they're searching for that 'just right article' to reply to.  Additionally, students have become so passionate about some pieces that they're commenting on several articles, as opposed to the one required response.  Tween Tribune has helped us integrate cross-curricular subject matter and discuss real-world issue with our students.

A brief description from the Tween Tribune site is as follows:

Welcome to TeenTribune and TweenTribune – the daily news sites for teens and tweens. Each day we post the most compelling, relevant and interesing news for teens and tweens. Stories are selected by teens and tweens working closely with professional journalists. Teens and tweens can comment upon these stories. They can also submit their own stories and photos.

Unlike other news sites for kids, TeenTribune and TweenTribune are easy to use, updated daily and allow teens and tweens to participate in so many ways. But most importantly, these sites encourage teens and tweens to seek out news on a daily basis. Our democracy depends upon a well-informed public, so it's important to foster a daily news-reading habit at an early age.

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