Our worlds may have shrunk during lockdown, but we can still expand them by learning something new!
While your children are doing some schooling from home, they might have a project they’re researching for school. If they don’t, you may want to encourage them to research a topic they're interested in, be it ancient Egypt, native birds, or tornadoes. It is way easier to motivate them if they're finding information about something they're passionate about!
One of the first places you can look for information is an encyclopedia. Encyclopedias have moved with the times - they have gone online and added multimedia content, like sound files and videos. The benefits of using encyclopedias with children are that you know they'll be getting up-to-date, high quality information, and that the articles will be age appropriate.
Below are a few online resources I can recommend if you have children or teens who are trying to learn at your house. Best of all, they are all free to use! You will just need a library card and PIN number to access them.
World Book Kids
I searched for polar bears, and was able to read an article (or have it read aloud to me), listen to the sound a bear makes, and watch a video of two bears interacting! World Book Kids also has interactive maps, games, science projects and other activities to keep your children busy.
NB: If you find that World Book Kids is too easy for your child then try World Book Students, which has more in-depth articles.
Britannica Library Kids
This is a very nicely presented, easy to use encyclopedia, and has the same sorts of features as World Book (videos, photos, sound recordings, etc). You can choose the reading level and the amount of detail you want to read about - level 1 is most suitable for primary and intermediate kids, and level 2 is most suitable for teens.
Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Being a small country, it can be hard to find good quality information about us online. Te Ara , meaning 'the pathway', is produced by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Along with the stories there are images and video clips. Te Ara's website is ‘the’ place to go if you want to find out about weka, Māori architecture, the life of Kate Sheppard, or anything else to do with Aotearoa New Zealand and the people who live here.
You can read it in English or in te teo Māori, and you can either search for a particular topic, or browse the different subjects under sections. You’re sure to find something interesting!
If you’re looking for information, you could also see if there’s any information available on the Many Answers website, brought to you by the Ministry of Education and the National Library. Librarians from all around New Zealand have brought together the best resources for common research topics for our kiwi kids and teenagers. You might need a password from your school library to use some of the eResources, but you can access lots of them through our website with a library card and PIN number.
Do contact the library if you have questions or want some support, but in the meantime check out these other #libraryfromhome resources:
- More research eResources for kids
- Resources and activities for tamariki/kids
- Find out more about Māori culture with Ngā Whāinga - our challenges for tamariki
All the best with your teaching endeavours!