Top 6 picks: Quality Research Resources for Year 1-8

It seems to me, not only as a school librarian but as the mother of an almost-ten year old boy, that finding good research sites for this age group can be a tricky business, but thanks to some of the new ways educators are sharing resources, I’ve come across a number of new ones to add to my tried-and-true favourites.  So here’s my Top 6 list of websites to try:

1. BBC Newsround

This site makes current events a little more accessible. Newsround is like an online magazine for quite young children through to possibly even Y9 & 10 students at a push.  As well as news there’s sport, entertainment, book and movie reviews and games.

2. National Geographic for Kids

A site for approx Y4-Y10 students with lots of interactive information from news-bites to popular geography games and a “weird but true” section.  Try using National Geographic for kids yourself, or check out the Little kids edition for even younger children.

3. Time Magazine for Kids

This site has news from around the world, kid reporters and homework help. Time for Kids also has a section on the environment and great country profiles with a small comprehension quiz to test what they’ve read. (the latest edition is on New Zealand!)

4. Any Questions

Any Questions is an extremely worthwhile online homework help site for our Kiwi kids.  An online librarian on tap to help with research questions and Many Answers will give good links to questions already asked.

5. Britannica Encyclopaedia Online

Another unique opportunity for our kiwi kids, we have access to this quality online encyclopaedia in every New Zealand school through EPIC databases, which is funded by the Ministry of Education.  One of the things I like most about this resource is the ability to search by content level which is useful when working with students who need good information at an appropriate level.

6. Google – Reading level

Lets face it ….. these kids are going to use Google, so here’s one way that you can help them navigate the information they find there.  Try doing an advanced search (you’ll now find the advanced search by clicking on the little cog icon in the top righthand side of the page and this is their page to explain how it works).  It will allow you to filter results based on whether the reading level is basic, intermediate or advanced.

I’m sure there will be others you’ve come across which I’d love you to share with me.  What’s your “go to” favourite?  I’ve begun collating these treasures into a Livebinder, and I’ll add any recommended on my blog into it for everyone to share.

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