Teachers can use Science News for Students to find reading materials to supplement units in science, math, and language arts. Since many articles contain “Power Words” and their definitions, you can review the words in advance so kids can better understand the text. Some articles also contain questions for kids to answer while reading. Teachers can search for articles based on readability range, NGSS standard, or keywords. Buttons on each reading make it easy to post the resource to Google Classroom, so you can assign readings for homework.
Science News for Students provides engaging stories appropriate for elementary through high school students. All articles offer educators a readability score (based on grade level) and Related Readings take students to earlier stories on a topic. In terms of other support, there are many articles with Classroom Questions so you don't have to develop your own. Some readings are streamlined versions of articles on the adult Science News site and provide helpful tools for tackling the task of reading scientific texts. Topics are interesting and relevant, from American cannibalism (eeew!) to predicting tsunamis.
Their Explainers Collection provides understandable summaries of key science topics such as “What are Antibodies?” and “How do our eyes make sense of light.” There are also Experiments, Cool Jobs, and Analyze This collections that inspire kids to do their own experiments, analyze data, and learn more about science-related jobs. Science News for Students also features a Word of the Week to help kids build discipline specific vocabulary. Words are defined, used in a sentence, and come with an audio recording to help with pronunciation.
The readings in Science News for Students help kids think about complex scientific problems -- from how we calculate the age of the universe to how to build a better battery. Kids can also see examples of student research and learn tips on how to start their own research projects. Power Words at the bottom of each article give kids a tool to attack complex text and make sense of it. They can analyze scientific reading using questions provided and cite evidence from the article in their answers.
Science News for Students is particularly effective in helping students analyze and interpret data. The Analyze This series on data literacy presents data tables and figures from actual research projects. Then the Data Dive questions help students make sense of the information. On the downside, while Science News for Students provides readability scores for each article, a tool like Newslea provides leveled text so that students of different reading levels can all discuss the same article. That functionality would be ideal for teachers, as would translations into multiple languages. As it stands, however, this free resource is bound to get kids excited about real-world science and give teachers enough support to get started.
Key Standards Supported
Statistics And Probability
Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11–12 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
Earth and Human Activity
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
Communicate scientific ideas about the way stars, over their life cycle, produce elements.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information to support the claim that digitized signals are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information than analog signals.