In today’s digital world, we seem to be surrounded by news. Clickbait, anyone? Yet the pervasive and often intrusive nature of internet news articles belies the fact that many of these sites are behind a paywall, biased, or feature low-quality reporting.
Still, online articles are a great starting point for all kinds of learning assignments across the curriculum. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best free article websites for students. Many of these sites offer not only high-quality topical articles on every subject, but also ideas for lessons, such as questions, quizzes, and discussion prompts.
Student Article Websites
With thousands of high-quality, Common Core-aligned reading passages for grades 3-12, this easy-to-use literacy site is a rich source of English and Spanish texts and lessons. Search by theme, grade, Lexile score, genre, and even literary devices such as alliteration or foreshadowing. Texts are accompanied by teacher guides, paired texts activities, and assessments. Teachers can share lessons and track student progress with a free account.
News articles featuring current events, science, social studies, world events, civics, environment, sports, weird/fun news, and more. Free access to all articles. Premium accounts offer extras such as simplified and audio versions, quizzes, and critical thinking challenges.
Replacing the popular CNN Student News, CNN 10 provides 10-minute video news stories on current events of international importance, explaining how the event fits into the broader news narrative.
Created by a New Zealand primary school educator, Kiwi Kids News features free articles about health, science, politics (including U.S. political topics), animals, and the Olympics. Kids will love the “Odd Stuff” articles, which focus on unusual news, from the world’s biggest potato to centenarian athletes.
PBS NewsHour Daily News Lessons
Daily articles covering current events in video format. Each lesson includes a full transcript, fact list, summary, and focus questions.
NYT Daily Lessons/Article of the Day
The New York Times Daily Lessons builds a classroom lesson around a new article each day, offering thoughtful questions for writing and discussion, as well as related ideas for further study. Perfect for practicing critical thinking and literacy skills for middle and high school students, it’s a part of the larger NYT Learning Network, which provides an abundance of activities for students and resources for teachers.
The Learning Network
Current event articles, student opinion essays, movie reviews, students review contests, and more. The educator resource section offers top-notch teaching and professional development resources.
News For Kids
With the motto “Real News, Told Simply,” News for Kids strives to present the latest topics in U.S. and world news, science, sports, and the arts in a way that’s accessible to most readers. Features a coronavirus update page.
A fully free research-based platform, Readworks provides thousands of nonfiction and fiction passages searchable by topic, activity type, grade, and Lexile level. Educator guides cover differentiation, hybrid and remote learning, and free professional development. Great resource for teachers.
Science News for Students
Winner of multiple awards for journalism, Science News for Students publishes original science, technology, and health features for readers ages 9-14. Stories are accompanied by citations, recommended readings, glossaries, readability scores, and classroom extras. Be sure to check out Top 10 tips to stay safe during an epidemic.
Teaching Kids News
A terrific site that publishes readable and teachable articles on news, art, science, politics, and more for students grades 2-8. Bonus: The Fake News resource section links to online games about fake news and images. A must for any digital citizen.
Smithsonian Tween Tribune
An excellent resource for articles on a wide range of topics, including animals, national/world news, sports, science, and much more. Searchable by topic, grade, and Lexile reading score. Lesson plans offer great ideas for the classroom and simple, usable frameworks for implementing these in any grade.
Have you ever wondered if llamas really spit or if animals like art? Every day, the award-winning Wonderopolis posts a new standard-based article exploring intriguing questions such as these. Students may submit their own questions and vote for their favorites. Be sure to check out “Wonders with Charlie,” featuring acclaimed writer, producer, and director Charlie Engelman.
A unique news site for young people that focuses on climate science, solutions, and policies to address the myriad effects of global warming. Kids have an opportunity to express their views and literary creativity by submitting poetry or essays.
Scholastic Kids Press
A multinational group of young journalists ages 10-14 report the latest news and fascinating stories about the natural world. Features sections dedicated to coronavirus and civics.
National Geographic Kids
A fine library of articles about animals, history, science, space, and—of course—geography. Students will enjoy the “Weird But True” short videos, featuring fun animations about oddball topics.