DOGO means « young » or « small » in Swahili. DOGOnews is an online newspaper for children. It offers amusing articles on current events, science, sports, entertainment. Also, international, green, amazing and fun articles. It is a learning resource full of stories, lots of pictures and its content can be used for classroom work from grades K to 8.
Facts about DOGOnews:
- Attracts 500,000 visits each month.
- Attracts 18,000 educators.
- Holds 28,000 book reviews.
- 12,000 teachers have already subscribed.
It was founded in 2010 by Meera Dolosia who is the editor and the main contibutor. New articles are posted almost every day. Each contains pictures, highlighted vocabulary that leads to an integrated dictionary or maps for geographical contexts, a video, and questions for comprehension. There is also a link for lesson plan suggestions and a word search. Publishers Weekly gives a good description of the website and cites Meaghers comments on the mission they have which is to « empower kids to engage with digital media in a fun, safe and social environment ».
Besides feeding children with fun knowledge and instructional articles, DOGObooks and DOGOmovies is just a click away. The site gives children the opportunity to write their opinions and reviews on what they read and movies they watched (all reviews are verified before going online). Children can even join the National Geographic Club and flip pages of a magazine or play games. They have opportunities to win free books giveaways or free books contests. Tara Linney posted a video on youtube that briefly guides students to navigate on the website, but really, it is easy to browse and search, interesting and it looks good.
The web has a platform for teachers where they can create lesson plans, student accounts, reading lists & recommended books, they can add links to favorite websites, add events to class calendars and control student comments. And all this is free. Teachers First gives an array of things that can be done in the classroom using these materials such as creating a class magazine or have students choose from the articles, and email it to themselves.
According to the The Québec Education program, it is important to give accessibility of English media and cultural products to students. The articles in DOGOnews are perfect to put students in contact with the structures of the target language and reinvest in the understanding of written texts. Furthermore, discussing on these articles makes students also reinvest their oral skills. I found the articles well written and they can serve for many different activities. Reading comprehension of articles can be further exploited by adding ourselves more questions since the site offers around three questions to reflect on. And why not have « the news of the day » posted in your classroom as a regular activity routine to have children discuss, it can be an icebreaker activity to start off class. As teachers we want students to be eager to come to class, perhaps these cool facts will keep them interested while they learn. Students like change and bringing innovative new materials that suits their interests will surely increase their participation, knowledge and enthusiasm.
In conclusion, DOGOmedia is a fantastic discovery. The site gives access to abundant articles on various subjects and much more. It is an interesting tool that brings teachers, kids, news and books together.