Putting More Fun into Nonfiction

From futuristic features on flying cars and fun facts about the rainforest to the latest football stats and fashion trends, who said nonfiction reading can’t be fun? Yet despite recent calls for increased nonfiction reading from the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), more often, students are reaching for fiction books. In fact, according to the 2018 What Kids Are Reading report, the world’s largest study of K–12 students’ reading behavior, nonfiction reading has only grown by less than 10% nationwide since NAEP laid out its reading framework in 2010.
A solution many classrooms are using to engage K–8 students is myON News, powered by News-O-Matic. The service delivers five daily news articles, 52 weeks a year, on timely topics and current events.

Each article incorporates engaging multimedia to help students better understand news and other informational topics. Accompanying maps show where news is occurring relative to the location of the reader, as well as other fun facts. Students can read about a wide variety of topics: high-interest U.S. and world news, arts and entertainment, sports, science and technology, animals, wacky news, and kids in the news. Every article is written at three Lexile levels (pre-K–3, 3–5, and 5–8), with accompanying audio supports to further student understanding. Each article is also vetted by a child psychologist to ensure children are reading content that is age appropriate for K–8 students. In addition, the articles, which are written by professional journalists, are available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and French.

Teachers can use the metrics from myON News to track the number of articles their students have read as well as the categories and articles that are most popular with each student. Students can learn about the world in a way that fosters their natural curiosity. The platform also assists students with developing critical-thinking skills to determine the difference between “real” and “fake” news and helps educate them on global headlines that may impact their daily lives. renaissance.com/products/myon-news

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