While at a professional development seminar earlier this week, I learned about two awesome websites that can easily be incorporated into the English classroom, but would come in handy for other subjects as well.
The first is commonsensemedia.org. Among other things, this website has book reviews for many popular books, but what makes it unique is that it has a chart along the sidebar that for categories like: positive messages, positive role models, violence, sex, language, etc. When you like on the category it tells you the explanation for the rating. There is also a chart for the recommended age group. This is a great resource to know about the appropriateness of a book. After all, as teachers, we read many books, but we can't read them all.
The second website is newsela.com. This has teen-appropriate newspaper articles. Categories include: war and peace, science, kids (which is like pop culture), money, law, health, and arts. You can even change the lexile level of the article to adjust it to the students' needs. The picture stays the same, but the lexile adjusts. This is an easy way to accomodate differentiated instruction while bringing current real-world issues into the classroom.
Check them out!