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The Washington Post's KidsPost content, which often involves historical events, gets points for being written specifically for kids. However, the site has fairly frequent missed media opportunities. An article on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, for example, doesn't include an audio, video, or text version of the speech. There also aren't any visual tweaks to make the site easy for kids to navigate; its interface is nearly identical to the standard Post. Most contributions seem to be from staff writers or wire services instead of kids, and users under 13 can't post comments, increasing the safety factor but preventing opinion-sharing. Activities are few (and many are quizzes). The frequent Post subscription ads also detract from the experience; they seem to pop up everywhere and get annoying fast. However, there are a few good resources: the Readers' Corner features kids' book reviews written in a kid-friendly voice, and the lesson plans for teachers can be a good jumping-off point for discussion. KidsPost can provide extra reading practice, but, for current events or news analysis, you may want to provide monitored access to a more comprehensive site.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about responsible, informative news coverage. What elements make an article a good read? How can you tell if facts are substantiated?
- Newspapers often feature editorials and essays. What's the difference between a piece of writing that expresses someone's opinion and one that reports facts about an event or issue? How can you tell them apart?
- Newspaper readers can share their feelings about an article by posting comments on a website or submitting a letter to the editor. Discuss communicating your reaction to a topic in an effective way.
For kids who love Current events
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