About DOGO News
“DOGO” means young or small in Swahili. DOGO News empowers kids to engage with digital media in a fun, safe, and social environment. It has kid-appropriate articles on current events, science, technology, sports, and more. It also has a list of reviewed websites that are appropriate for children and book & movie reviews that are written for kids by kids.
DOGO has a teacher page that will give suggestions on how to make this free site work in your classroom. Moreover, each article posts lesson plan ideas based on either CCSS or national science standards. Some articles include activity sheets, maps, videos, an option for the article to be read aloud, and other types of online media. There are so many ways you can make this website work in your classroom.
One Way I Use DOGO News in My Classroom
Quarterly Current Event Article Reviews
Each grading period, my students are required to complete a current event article review. They must find a kid-friendly, current news article; I encourage them to use DOGO News. The article can be on hard news, science, technology, entertainment, or sports. Whichever article they choose must be current, no older than a month. In addition, the students are required to pick a news article they found interesting or cool. Students must have a copy of the article. Any student has the opportunity to print article at school. That way, there are no excuses as to why they could not find an article.
My students must read the article and write an article review. The article review includes only two paragraphs: a one paragraph summary of the article and one paragraph opinion of the article. Each paragraph consists of 5-8 sentences. The max is a nonnegotiable. Surprisingly, kids have a really tough time being brief and summarizing the high points. They will write two pages if I let them.
I require the students write their article review by hand to discourage others from completing their work. Plagiarized article reviews are unacceptable and will not be graded. The last part of this quarterly project is the class presentation. Students bring in the article and article review in class. They read the review, and we have a short discussion.
- Most of my kids LOVE doing current events. It’s funny that they are often surprised to admit that.
- I show my students both good and bad examples of articles. We talk about what the writer (me) did right and wrong in these examples. This way they know what good articles look like, and they also see was blatant plagiarism looks like.
- Kids are allowed to get my computer or the computers in our school library to search for an article and print it.
- I encourage students to complete their reviews early during their quarter rather than wait until the due date.
- Any student who turns in his/her work before the week it is due will have the opportunity for me to read and edit their work with no repercussions to their grade. I will help in any way. Honestly, this low-stakes approach is an amazing way for them to improve their nonfiction writing. Most kids take this option and improve greatly throughout the year.
- I grade the article review using a rubric a colleague and I created. All the students get a copy of the rubric. They understand how they are graded because we’ve talked about it. I give them clear and concise instructions. Being explicit about your expectations helps convey what you want and helps the students understand what they need to do.
DOGO News is a great resource for the classroom. Whether you are just participating in a discussion of a current event or discussing a book review, DOGO is a fun way to include nonfiction text into your reading, science, and social studies classes.
Do you use DOGO News in your classroom or with your children? If so, what tips do you have? If you haven’t used DOGO News, how do you think you could make this site work for you?
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