My students need a weekly magazine/newspaper appropriate for their interests and reading levels.
Today's students are asked to acquire information from multiple media sources. No longer do we ask students to read only textbooks as their sources, but now we ask students to gain information from multiple resources. Media literacy is now a necessary literacy.
My third grade class is in a public school in an urban setting.
Many of my students are bilingual in that they speak two languages and some are even biliterate in that they have literacy in two langauges. They are a lovely group of students who are always eager to learn and love to connect what they are learning to their own lives. My students have access to online resources, but do not always have access to online resources that are age-appropriate. Their love to read is demonstrated by their thirst for books, magazines, newspapers, and digital print. Research and analyzing data has been a new skill added to their instructional day. My students are novices at deciding on which information is important for their topic. More experiences with age-appropriate expository text is one of their greatest needs.
Media literacy is almost like a second language for my students in that their recources have mostly been connected to library books, textbooks, and online games. Understanding the structure of a print magazine or newspaper is a new experience for most of my students. Graphic features that we as adults take for granted (such as headings, titles of feature articles, tables and graphs, pictures with captions, volume/edition numbers) is a new kind of literacy for my third grade students. Magazine and newspapers that are age-appropriate may not be a resource with which they have had much experience. My students need the Scholastic newspaper since I want my students to acquire media literacy so that they understand that the structure of a newspaper or magazine will aide in their understanding of the text. Since many online resources are also structured like a magazine or newspaper, then I hope that their knowledge and use of media literacy will then carry over to using online resources.
The Scholastic News newspaper is an almost weekly newspaper with 24 issues released each school year.
The newspaper offers the graphic features of any traditional newspaper with feature articles, graphics, and even an editorial section where children can voice and support their opinions on issues relevant to third graders. As a part of our subscription, the students then also have access to the enriched and expanded online version adding to my students' experiences.
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