Review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2016


Kid-friendly news source helps students read all about it

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Great for:
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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Pros: Kid-friendly articles are relevant, accessible, and engaging.

Cons: There's limited support for ELLs or any other students who might struggle with reading; teachers may need to differentiate carefully when assigning.

Bottom Line: A solid starting point for elementary-level current events and social studies reading.

Use DOGO News when assigning current-events work to your younger elementary school students. The site is updated regularly, so articles can be assigned on a weekly basis. With some extra prep, you can individually select articles for students or gear articles toward an average reading level. In either case, you'll want to create some tiered comprehension questions -- the site's ready-made questions can serve as a great base, and they'll be a big help.

Articles can also easily be used for group work such as a collaborative research project. You and your students could search and select articles relating to a variety of topics. Use the basic classroom-management system to assign articles and create an assignment calendar. Do note, however, that answer keys aren't provided, so you can't track scores or store assessments on the site. Instead, you'll need to figure out your own way to do this.

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DOGO News is an online resource for current events, nonfiction articles, and interactive maps culled and written with grade 3-8 students in mind, but it would most likely be great with upper elementary or sixth-grade students. New features include DOGO Books and DOGO Movies, review pages written for and by kids. With large, eye-catching fonts and an overall design that's simple and digestible, the site encourages independence.

Kids can browse or search for short, punchy articles full of photos and other interactive content, including links for vocabulary terms and quick videos. Kids can filter search results by grade level, or they can search categories such as Science, Sports, Green, or Entertainment. The site also includes an option for teachers to create class lists and calendars, assign articles, store lesson plans, and monitor students’ comments on articles. The lessons can be shared to Google Classroom or to a class Dogo page.

DOGO News articles are relevant and accompanied by questions that mostly tap into basic reading comprehension, though they sometimes pose evaluative and inferential questions. Most articles include links to key vocabulary and an open-ended "critical thinking challenge." Most are directly aligned with Common Core State Standards, and each article links to a list of activities that connect closely with them.

While there's an option to search by grade cluster (K-2, 3-5, 6-8), it seems as if many articles may be assigned somewhat broadly for grades 3-8, which could muddle kids' search results. Teachers should preview articles to determine whether they're at the right level. Will the topic and tone challenge advanced readers and older students? Will developing readers be able to comprehend what the articles are about? The frequency of upper-level comprehension questions varies. Teachers may want to craft additional questions or invite students to create their own.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Article topics are fun and encourage kids to expand their perspectives and offer other topics to explore. More interactive critical-thinking challenges could boost excitement and interest.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The critical-thinking and comprehension questions, plus the definitions and maps, give kids awesome tools to work with. However, it will likely take a teacher or parent to motivate and frame learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Options for language support would improve accessibility and add nicely to the site's already-international flavor. Though it's fairly easy to browse, more streamlined categories could make the site easier for kids to navigate.

Common Sense Reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Erin W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Great way to add relevant nonfiction reading to your classroom daily!
I really like this tool, on top of having really well written nonfiction articles, there are also short video clips to go with each article (this ups the interest level for many students) and students have the ability to comment. If you have a limited number of computers available to students, you can also print the articles.
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