CNN Student News, Authentic Literacy Experiences

We all know that the Common Core asks us to expose our students to more informational reading and writing experiences. I've been looking for a site that produces daily short articles that my students can read, discuss, debate, and write about persuasively.  Right now I use Time For Kids once a week, but I've been dreaming about having a short article on their desk each morning for them to independently practice the above skills regularly.  However, finding and printing daily short articles (appropriate for fifth graders) is tough.  I think I may have just found a better option.  CNN Student News.

I just found out about it from Lauren over at Life in Middle School. I checked out the site and it plays FREE daily 10 min news broadcasts specifically designed for middle school students.  So, instead of a short article every day, I could switch it up every other day with a live newscast on our SmartBoard.  Now I'm just dreaming at the moment, and I haven't tried it out yet.  But, I'll get back with you on my thoughts in a few weeks. For now, it definitely seems promising, and just what I've been looking for!  Maybe you'll check it out with me and we can compare notes.

Also, if you're looking for a way for your students to organize their note taking, thinking, evidence, and persuasive/opinion writing about informational text - check out my authentic literacy instructional template!  It's a lifesaver for scaffolding these tough skills with students.  It discusses why current events authentic literacy instruction in the classroom is essential and will raise test scores. It includes: 

  • Step by step instructional planning template for teachers to follow
  • Student vocabulary graphic organizer - based on Robert Marzano's vocabulary instruction strategies
  • Student planning guide for citing key ideas, discussion topics, and formulating opinions of each article
  • Writing template for students to craft a written response arguing their opinions of the key ideas from the article
  • Focus Correction Area Rubric, for teachers to use for grading and setting individual writing goals for each student

Enjoy :)


  1. I LOVE this idea! I'm going to the site right now. Please post back--I'd love to know what you think.

    1. I will, I can't wait to hear what you think also!

  2. Check through the site because I'm pretty sure they post comprehension questions that match up with their news articles each day!

    CNN Student News rocks! :)

    Life In Middle School

    1. Thanks, I'm heading to search for them right now. :)

    2. Also, thanks again for sharing the link in the first place!

  3. Wow what a wonderful resource! I was just thinking this weekend about how to incorporate more non-fiction and current events into my year - I cannot wait to try that with my 5th graders!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Joy in the Journey

  4. I teach 5th in Chicago and we watch it every day. It's quick, goofy, and a great way to keep up on our current events.

  5. Hi! I'm so glad to hear other 5th grade teachers are using CNN student news. My 5th grade teacher used to tape CNN student news during the night and bring it in each morning for our class to watch on a small television. In fact, that is my most favorite memory of the 5th grade. I told my students the story and they insisted on watching it too. We watch it daily and briefly discuss some of the discussion questions. How is it going in your class?


    Elementary Teacher Files


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