As more schools have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many students have to rely on online resources to continue learning. If you are one of those students who are searching for useful free learning materials, especially materials for improving reading and writing, I would recommend checking out the following eight websites:
Readworks is a supplemental reading resource aimed to help students improve their reading skills. You can select articles based on grade, Lexile level, text types, and topics such as natural science, history, and literature. You can use these articles as reading comprehension practice and vocabulary tests.
CommonLit is built on the Common Core curriculum. It is free, built by teachers and serve teachers. It was ranked as one of the top 10 educational websites by HomeSchool Base. Its library has over 2,400 high-quality free reading passages for grades 3 to 12. You can search for articles by choosing different themes. There are more than 30 different genres for you to choose from, such as biography, non-fiction, and short story.
K12Reader is an online reading resource. Their reading practice is not merely for reading comprehension, but for developing overall language skills, including grammar, vocabulary, composition, and so on. Under each printable worksheet, you can find its grade levels.
TweenTribute is created by Smithsonian Institute. More than 200,000 teachers are using their tools in their classrooms. Their articles come from daily news and are edited into four different versions (grade) based on Lexile levels. You can also narrow your search by selecting topics you like, such as technology, national news, world news, etc.
TweenTribute asks one critical thinking question for each passage and those open-ended questions can promote deep thinking. Its timely articles help you learn what’s going on in the world right now.
NewsELA has thousands of news and nonfiction articles originated from various most trusted sources such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Highlighter, etc. The news categories span from war & peace, money, kids, to science, law, health, arts, and sports.
The news articles on NewsELA are not categorized by grade, but you can adjust the difficulty of each article by choosing any one of five reading levels based on Lexile levels.
TeAchnology is a website dedicated to providing free and easy to use resources. There are numerous downloadable worksheets on a wide range of language arts topics, ranging from parts of speech to story writing. If you are particularly interested in writing practice, they offer grade-leveled writing prompts. Their writing worksheets include writing checklists, prompts, and examples.
Vocabulary.com is a website focusing on vocabulary development. What I like most is the vocabulary lists section, where one can boost vocabulary through their huge lists. For example, if you enter “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” you get vocabulary tests for its book chapters. After you select an answer, it also shows explanations of the word on the right side.
Purdue OWL provides rich writing resources that cover general writing mechanics and techniques and more specific writing assignments (e.g., expository papers, book reports). It also includes instructions on writing academic papers, such as conducting research, writing with statistics, and citation styles.
Learning doesn’t need to be limited to the classroom. Make good use of the online learning resources and study at your own pace. I’m sure you can find something helpful for you. Keep reading and writing and have fun!