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TeachNet Disseminator Grant      << Back to all Grant Winners

Kids News an online blog for kids by kids

Subject: ELA- Technology- Social Studies

Grade Level: 5, & 6th grade

Materials: Computers with Interenet connection, books, digital cameras, Text Blog, Wiki's and Podcasts by Will Rich

About: I have initiated a blogging project with my students. Presently we run two blogs. One is a classroom blog in which we read, listen, and write about various topics. In the fall we studied the elections. Students respond to posts, and we have 300 student pieces of writing on our blog presently. We also podcast our best pieces of writing, and have 15 podcasts. We are starting our own Kids news blog, which will be administered, edited, written, and completely created by students. Our classroom blog is Stufffromthelab.wordpress.com. The Kidsnews blog is Http:://373r.wordpress.com.

The final project is our news blog for students run by students. Students research and write articles, design blog layout, and edit their work. They learn and adhere to the tenets of good journalism. We create several rubrics to gauge the projects success and efficacy, and are in the process of connecting with a school in London that will collaborate with us and give another country's perspective on Kidsnews.

As students create their own website, they are introduced to Internet grammar and information literacy. They become reporters and learn the basic tenets of journalism. They are given complete responsibility to run their own online newspaper. They administer a blog and learn the importance of Internet safety. They problem-solve on a daily basis and work collaboratively and think critically. This is authentic learning with real-world applications.

Creating an online site for students gives them the chance to work collaboratively to research, write, edit, and post articles. This introduces them to skills necessary to compete in a global economy. They take ownership of the project and work as a team to produce quality content. They solve problems while being introduced to 6 trait writing, good research habits, and critical thinking skills, and create rubrics based on what they learn about writing and website evaluation.


Students collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts.
Students analyze experiences, ideas, and information.
Students process information of virtual sources critically and effectively.
Students obtain accurate and relevant information pertaining to a particular topic from networks, texts, websites, and other online sources.
Students use the draft and revision process and 6 trait writing rubric.
Students evaluate the validity and accuracy of information, ideas, themes, opinions, and experiences in text to identify conflicting information.
Students recognize the effect of one's own point of view in evaluating ideas, information, opinions, and issues.
Students revise writing to improve organization, clarity, and coherence, and adhere to the conventions of written English.
Students produce quality content and differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information.

The site teaches students how to organize and build a good piece of writing.
ReadWriteThink offers a collection of online materials to support literacy learning in the K-12 classroom.
An online kids news source from National Geographic.
An online global kids news source from the BBC.
Sports Illustrated for Kids
Time for Kids news site

Students read, write, and listen for information.
Writing ElA
Students read, write, and listen for critical analysis.

Day 1: Introduce kids blogs/ blogging software
Introduce blogging software and familiarize students with the dashboard of a wordpress blog.
Students become familiar with the tools and resources of a wordpress blog.
Teach students how to publish articles/pictures to a wordpress blog.
Computer lab and projector
Introduce students to wordpress blogs administration page.
Show students how to upload articles.
Students navigate wordpress blog dashboard. This may take practice. I suggest creating a chart with prompts until students become familiar with how to post articles and pictures.

Day 2: Review Kidsnews sitets
Students become familiar with various websites that present kids news.
Students examine how articles are written and become familiar with the structure of a news article.
Students examine the importance of a title in a news article.
Students examine online photos that support news articles.
Computers, projector, and various news websites
Students pick an article to research and write.
Students list elements of a good news article.

Day 3: Resarch then write
Students use various websites to research their topic and evaluate search engines.
Students indentify the best websites to research specific articles.
Computers, projector, and various search engines
Using computer and projectors, introduce various search engines.
Students do searches for the same topic using different search engines.
Discuss and evaluate with students which search engines worked best for specific topics.
Create a list of search engines to use as sources of information.
Students create a list of search engines that they use as links on their blogs.

Day 4: Time to write -rewrite and publish
Students produce articles for online news blog.
Use 6 trait writing to write and edit articles using the Writers Workshop model.
Students post edited/proofread articles to website.
Students evaluate website as a whole, and list suggestions and ideas for the next publication date.
6 trait writing chart, rubric, computers, online dictionaries, and Microsoft Word projector
Students collect research and begin writing their articles.
Using 6 Trait writing rubric, have students work on articles.
Students read each others articles and make suggestions. Score using 6 Trait rubric.
Students publish (cut and paste from MS word) articles to blog.
Students evaluate website as a whole, and list suggestions and ideas for the next publication date.
Students make a list of suggestions for the next Kidnews publication.
Students have an understanding of how to write articles. The site itself will be evaluated using rubric.

Day 5:

Meredith Broderick


91 Henderson Avenue
Staten Island , NY 10301

I have worked in a special education school for the last 20 years. I work with emotionally handicapped students who come from some of the poorest homes in our community. I presently teach technology across the curriculm. My students range in grades from 3rd to 6th. Over the past year, we have been creating online blogs featuring student content. My main focus is creating students who have 21st century skills. Students who can work in teams problem-solve, think critically, and have strong communication skills.


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