Online Publication Sites and Children's Writing
The Internet offers unlimited opportunities for students to display their writing online, share it with a global audience, and receive authentic feedback from readers (McNabb, 2006). When students create multimodal projects that incorporate audio, video, animation, or graphics into their writing, electronic publication is essential so that readers can fully experience what students are communicating. Students are learning to use new literacies when they express their ideas with multimodal features and engage in online communication (Labbo, 2005).
Here’s a list of five of the best online publication sites for students:
This site publishes original writing, mostly stories and poetry, written by 7- to 16-year-olds. The multimodal stories are especially interesting.
This website posts children’s art, writing, and music pieces from around the world. In the writing category, stories, play scripts, and poems written by 5- to 16-year-olds are invited.
Students’ stories and poems are published in this e-zine that’s divided into areas for 5- to 8-year-olds, 9- to 12-year-olds, and 13- to 16-year-olds.
This British website posts students’ poetry in the Poetry Gallery and provides other poetry resources for teachers.
Stories From the Web
This website, divided into preschool–grade 1, grades 2–5, and grades 6–8 areas, accepts submissions of students’ stories, play scripts, poems, raps, and songs.
Students can also use Internet search engines to locate new e-zines. It’s inevitable that some online publication websites will shut down, but others will spring up to take their place.
Each electronic magazine posts its own guidelines for contributors and submission information that students should read and follow. Most e-zines specify that students’ submissions must be original, and that writing that deals with violent or offensive topics or that employs inappropriate language won’t be published. Students usually aren’t paid for their writing. Submissions must be ready for posting; it’s naïve to assume that an editor will format students’ writing or correct misspellings and other mechanical errors. Students usually complete an on-line information sheet and e-mail their writing to the e-zine’s website, and parents are required to submit a statement giving permission for their child’s writing to be posted online.
Students can also display their writing on the class website for others to read and respond to in guest books, blogs, and e-mail messages (Weber, 2002). Even first graders can access and read the writing posted on their class website (McGowan, 2005)! If the teacher doesn’t have a class website, students can work with their teacher to create one and post their writing there.
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