A Whole World Of Discovery In Science & Social Studies

by Shannon McClintock Miller

In this week’s post, teacher librarian, technology integration specialist, and author of the blog The Library Voice, Shannon Miller, takes a tour of Kids Discover Online with her nephew and son to explore the life of Jackie Robinson. This is a helpful read for those new to our online reading platform. Thanks so much, Shannon!

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As another school year gets ready to start, we look for resources to bring to our students in the library, classroom and at home.  These resources need to evoke and enrich learning experiences, engage our students and bring something that makes them want to go back for more.

When I showed my son and nephews Kids Discover over the summer, it opened up a door for them into so many wonderful topics.  I love how they discovered new interests and dove into ones they were already passionate about.

One of the most powerful things about Kids Discover is that each article is offered in three different Lexile Reading levels that take into account grammar, vocabulary and sentence length.  This feature will give every child the confidence to read the articles and discover new knowledge along the way.  

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I watched the boys click on Discover at the top.  This is where it gets really fun!  

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This opened up Discover Map, which is a visual concept map that literally connects the dots across different subject areas and time periods.  

I saw the connections they were making as they clicked on Historical Figures.  Cameron and Carson clicked on Jackie Robinson, as they love baseball.  

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As they watched the circles and text boxes within the visual map come to life, the boys made connections with the knowledge they were learning within the research on Jackie Robinson. Not only could they visualize the research, it was also fun for them to participate in the Discovery Map of Jackie’s life.  

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When they clicked in the center of the Discovery Map, the unit on Jackie Robinson popped up.

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Cameron selected his Lexile Level from the drop-down menu in the center of the article before he started to read.  

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He commented about the awesome photographs embedded within the article and…

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…enjoyed what he learned in the article as well.  

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Especially as he went on a 360 degree tour of Ebbets Field.

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Also within Discovery Map, they can find connections with other science and social studies content included in each article.   You can see here how Jackie Robinson connects to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and A Segregated Society. I love how this extends their learning experience and pulls in addition science and social studies topics along the way.

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One of my favorite places on Kids Discover as a teacher librarian is the Desk. This is a personal space for educators to stay organized that you can access this from the toolbar at the top of the website.  

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Within your Desk, you can save and combine content from the library.  

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.41.34 AMYou can even add it to Custom Units or Classrooms.  This will help you prepare for upcoming projects and lessons.  It is that easy!

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The Classroom tool was created to help educators create a shared space for lessons.  Students can join your classrooms and you will be able to assign different reading levels based on individual abilities.  

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One last place I want to point out on Kids Discover is the Standards tab at the top.  

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When you go to this tab, it lets you Search by Standards within the State, Common Core or Next Generation Science Standards.  

I wanted to see how I can tie this into Hagan’s 6th grade Social Studies Common Core Curriculum in Iowa.  

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It gave me a list of all the standards within Behavioral Science, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science/Civic Literacy, and Reading and Writing for Literacy in History/Social Studies.

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The Kids Discover Units are in blue and hyperlinked under each standard, making it very easy for teachers to use in planning units and lessons.  

I clicked on The Wright Brothers under one of the Reading Standards.  

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It opened up to The Wright Brothers unit and even let me Add the Unit to my Desk, Classrooms or Custom Units.  

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As you can see, Kids Discover is one resource you don’t want to leave out for your students this year.  

The adventure it will take them on is one you won’t find anywhere else.  

You will be amazed what they discover, and best of all, they will want to discover even more within Kids Discover all year long.  

P.S. — Stay tuned for more information about our new Assessments feature here on the blog!  

Shannon McClintock Miller

Shannon McClintock Miller is a mom and Eric's wife. She served as the K-12 district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School District in Iowa for 8 years. Shannon is now an international speaker and consultant who speaks about education, librarianship, technology, social media, and making a difference in education and the lives of others, especially children. Shannon is Mackin's Teacher Librarian Advocate and a teacher librarian consultant for Cantata Learning. She is part of Best Keynote and EdSpeakers. Shannon is a collaborator with Educational Consultants. Shannon is the author of the award winning The Library Voice blog and enjoys writing for various blogs, journals and other forums. She is currently writing two children's book series with Cantata. In 2014, she was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker. In 2016, she was awarded the Make it Happen Award by ISTE.