ERIC Identifier: ED436009
Publication Date: 1999-12-00
Author: Lu, Mei-Yu
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading English and Communication Bloomington IN.

Online Resources for K-12 Teachers: Children's and Adolescent Literature. ERIC Digest D149.

With the increasing popularity of the Internet, teachers now are actively seeking online resources that will support the preparation of their lessons. This Digest aims to provide useful Internet resources for K-12 teachers who would like to integrate children's and adolescent literature into their curriculum. Preparation of this Digest began with a retrospective review of literature-related questions received over the last two years by the Reference staff of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication. Four categories of frequently posed requests were then identified: (1) literature-based lesson plans, (2) aids to materials selection, (3) online publications for and by K-12 students, and (4) professional development resources. Finally, using Abdullah's (1998) guides for website evaluation, we selected the following websites for each of these


In a survey entitled "Hot Spots: Picks of Language Arts Websites" (Lu & Abdullah, 1999), respondents commented that the best websites were characterized by a high level of immediate applicability. Teachers who responded to the survey indicated that the most useful sites were those providing a wide array of practical teaching ideas. These are some children's and adolescent literature websites recommended for language educators.

Cyberguides: Teachers Guides and Student Activities

Developed as part of the SCORE (Schools of California Online Resources for Education) Language Arts Project, Cyberguides are web-delivered units of instruction centered on core works of literature. These guides are arranged by broad grade levels (K-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12), and each Cyberguide contains background information of a particular title, learning activities, related resources, and a rubric based on California Language Arts Content Standards.

The Doucette Index: K-12 Literature-based Teaching Ideas

The Doucette Index is a major section in the Children's Literature Web Guide, one of the major children's and adolescent literature websites. This site hosts a searchable database of children's and young adult books. Upon typing in the title of a book or an author's name, the database displays a list of references, containing both online and book resources, for teaching a particular work by the selected author.

Index to Internet Sites: Children's and Young Adult's Authors and Illustrators

A project of the Internet School Library Media Center at James Madison University, this webpage is a meta-site designed to foster easy access to curriculum related sites. It collects links to biographical information, lesson plans, and other information that focus on specific children's and young adult authors/illustrators. In addition, this site also features the following resources: (1) bibliographies of children's authors/illustrators, (2) print biographies and autobiographies, (3) author birthdays, and (4) author/ illustrator public appearance schedules.

Maine Samplers

Maine Samplers provide a list of detailed guides to literature- based activities. These activities are a cooperative project written by teachers and librarians based on the Maine Student Book Awards. These guides provide an assortment of activities related to children's and young adult literature. They often include activities to be conducted on the Internet.


Thousands of trade books and reading materials targeted at children and young adults are published each year. Teachers are thus challenged by how and what to choose for their classroom use. In this section, we identify some sites containing criteria for materials selection and booklists suitable for students of various ages and interests.

Canadian Review of Materials

This site is produced by the Manitoba Library Association. Although Canadian based, many titles reviewed in this site are also available profiles of children's authors/illustrators, (2) reviews of currently published children's and young adult books, and (3) information on recently released multi-media, including audiobooks, videotapes, and CD-ROMs.

Children's Literature/Young Adult Literature Book Review Source for K-12

From James Madison University, this site covers a variety of book review sources focusing on children's and adolescent literature. Four types of book review resources are represented: (1) professional periodicals that review children's and young adult books, (2) online book review sources by one or a group of reviewers, (3) book reviews by children and young adults, and (4) books reviewed by commercial sources.

Reviewed Children's Books

This site, a section from Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site, provides reviews of booklists for children Pre-K to grade 9. Readers can find reviewed books grouped by title, author, type of book, and grade level. Some of the titles also include teaching ideas, related books, and resources in addition to the reviews.


Research has shown that publishing students' work helps them develop positive attitudes toward writing (Balcer, 1990), promotes self-esteem (Novek, 1992), and encourages better quality work (Nodsle, 1990; Novek, 1992; Simic, 1993). Here, we suggest three websites that both publish and offer literacy projects to K-12 students.

Kids' Space

Kids' Space is a personal page at Interport Communications, with participants from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan. This site exists to foster literacy, artistic expression, and cross-cultural understanding among the world's children. It includes activities for art, literacy, music, and computer skills.

MidLink Magazine: The Digital Magazine for Kids By Kids from 8 to 18

Intended for children aged 8 to 18, this online magazine is sponsored by SAS inSchool, North Carolina State University, and the University of Central Florida. Four issues are published each year, and each issue includes literature-based projects for students of different grades and interests, information on innovative schools from around the world, and a teacher resource room with various lesson plans.

Reading Zone at the Internet Youth Library Youth Division

The Internet Library is an educational initiative by the School of Information at the University of Michigan. This site includes literature of various genres for children of different ages and interests. It also provides a wide array of online literacy activities, information regarding authors/illustrators, and resources for educators and parents.


In this section, we highlight websites that inform educators of issues and news in the field of children's and adolescent literature, and that also provide a variety of resources for teachers to advance their skills.

The Children's Literature Web Guide

The Children's Literature Web Guide is the most current and comprehensive resource on children's and adolescent literature in education. This site assembles and categorizes the rapidly growing Internet resources related to books for children and young adults. Its special features include a searchable lesson plan database, lists of book awards and quality literature for youth, issues and news regarding children's and young adult literature, and a discussion board.

Children's Literature Association

This website supports serious scholarship and research in children's literature among professionals. To encourage high standards of criticism in children's literature, the Children's Literature Association offers several awards, fellowships, and scholarships to assist members in research. It also promotes several Children's and Young Adult Literature Study Programs. This association has several publications, including the ChLA Quarterly and Children's Literature Journal, which feature articles on authors, illustrators, and periods of children's literature, as well as interpretive essays and book reviews.


Abdullah, M. H. (1998). Guidelines for evaluating websites. ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication. [ED 436 440]

Balcer, B. T. (1990). Give your students a reason to write: Help them get published. Learning, 19 (4), 52-55. [EJ 425 086]

Lu, M.-Y. & Abdullah, M. H. (1999). Hot spots: Picks of language arts websites. San Diego, CA: Paper presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association.

Nodsle, C. (1990). Every student an author. Perspectives in Education and Deafness, 9 (2), 21. [EJ 424 447]

Novek, E. M. (1992). Newsmaking, a tool for self-determination: Urban high school students publish a community newspaper. Paper presented at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. [ED 349 578]

Simic, M. (1993). Publishing children's writing. Bloomington, IN: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication. [ED 363 884]

Digest #149 is EDO-CS-99-10 and was published in December 1999 by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English and Communication, 2805 E 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47408-2698, Telephone (812) 855-5847 or (800) 759-4723.

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