TweenTribune – News for Kids (review)

Posted: December 6, 2012 in LIBR 264 - Materials for Tweens, Review, Tween Books
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This is a wonderful website with daily news that ranges from typical information regarding national and world current events from politics to the newest hit dance sensation as seen in the recent article featuring PSY and his hit Gangman Style. The website is available for students of the ages 8-18. The articles are chosen by tweens and teens and are most appropriate for the page they are highlighted on. Tweens and Teens are encouraged to comment on stories that offer a critical thinking question at the end of the story and even take quizzes.

TweenTribune is a free online tool, offering daily news in social site format, and offers ample classroom curriculum options since student accounts requires one of their current teachers/librarian having an account so they can register, especially for those under the age of 13 who are commonly restricted from a lot of online social interactions are able to participate. Students that comment on articles and take quizzes will have their scores delivered to their teacher for grading if desired and comments for approval prior to publishing. TweenTribune is COPPA compliant.

TweenTribune’s quote on the top of their home page currently as of 12/6/12 stated “79323 teachers make learning happen with ‘Gangnam Style’”. I think any student would find that mind-blowingly awesome! And, the headline article of 12/4/12 was Gangnam Style” is most watched video – ever , and had the following critical thinking challenge following the article: Give three reasons why “Gagnam Style” became more popular than Justin Bierber’s “Baby.” Explain how the audience for each video is the same or different. Some replies include:

  • Submitted by remim-Sho on Monday, 12/03/2012 – 22:19. – There are three reasons why Gangnam style is a more popular song than Baby from Justin Beiber. One,is that Gangnam Style was an unprecedented event meaning it was never before known or experienced. Another reason Gangnam Style is better than (Baby) is because in Gangnam style as you are listening to the song,there is a dance that you can do. I do not think that Gangnam Style was mimicking Justin Beiber”s style by like putting it up their. One day ether one of theses pop stars can relinquish their career when ever they want to. And the last reason why Gangnam Style is better than Justin Beiber song is because when you listen to Gangnam style and you’re a guy you won’t feel like weird. On the other hand if you are a guy and you are listening to Baby by Justin Beiber you are gonna feel weird because Baby seems like a song more for girls.
  • Submitted by Stephenb18 on Sunday, 12/02/2012 – 11:10. – I think gangnam style should be more popular than Justin biebers baby and I can give reasons why. I think that gangnam style is more popular because it has a good music video, a fun dance that goes with it, and it’s in Korean. Those are three reasons I think it is more popular. I also think that the fans for each video are different. I think they’re different because gangnam style managed to get more views then baby and baby came out earlier.

Or another article with greater relevance to the classroom, Is penmanship important or a waste of time?, with the critical thinking challenge of: Is penmanship important or a waste of time? Some replies include:

  • Submitted by DanielS-G on Friday, 11/30/2012 – 07:47.  – I’m undecided. I kind of think it is a good thing to have cursive memorized just in case you ever have to sign your name or your electronics shut down, but I think it may just be a complete waste of time. Cursive is much slower than typing and typing comes out easier to read.
  • Submitted by kaylees12345 on Friday, 11/30/2012 – 14:45. – Honestly, I think that cursive shouldn’t be taught because it’s a waste of time! And it also hurts your hand…. Like, A LOT… Kids shouldn’t be tortured to learn this. It’s very annoying and everybody I know hates it…. Wait, no, scratch that… Strongly dislikes it…. No I’m going back to, everybody hates it.
  • Submitted by HannahM7124 on Friday, 11/30/2012 – 14:41. – I think teaching cursive writing isn’t important. There are more important things to learn and if you spend time teaching cursive that’s time you have lost teaching topic or skills that will be a bigger impact on a child’s life. Some people may argue that cursive is a way to have a stamp of identity, but in my personal opinion there are better ways to express yourself like through art, speech, or music.

TweenTribute offers students with current events with topics that go beyond classroom curriculum ensuring something will fancy their interest, get students reading, and hopefully participate. A paper magazine option is still available for subscription to TweenTribune, but the online version offers current news in real-time, and the discussions provides more than the paper version ever can by encouraging critical thinking, classroom use, a safe moderated environment, and exposure to the opinions and cultures from students from all areas of the globe as well as the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of being a contributing member of society.

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