Wow! Ranger Rick has hit the web big time! I reviewed this kids’ National Wildlife Federation magazine a couple of years ago and can now share its online splash with my readers. Ranger Rick’s online presence adds a lot to what educators and their students can do with the magazine. Each month’s publication of Ranger Rick (ages 7-12), Ranger Rick Junior (4-7), and Ranger Rick Cub (0-4) is available online. Although I’m subscribed to Ranger Rick, I can also view the current issue of Junior and a sample of Cub. All three magazines are top quality, encouraging engagement with science concepts, divergent thinking, exposure and practice with science vocabulary, and fun activities.
For only $5 a year, you can access your Ranger Rick magazine subscription, play online games, engage in craft and suggested outdoor activities, enjoy almost 1500 jokes and riddles, watch videos, and enter the monthly photo contest. The volume (90+) and quality of animal videos is striking, as are the 300+ animal pages. The online games range from completing photo puzzles or trying to survive as a fish in the ocean, to getting a squirrel to the bird feeder and solving word searches. The shop is full of gift ideas, teaching materials, apparel, and apps. More on those later!
With that single membership, teachers can review detailed lesson guides for each issue, along with downloadable worksheets. Previous issues are archived for easy access. The worksheets I saw involved higher level thinking skills and continued use of science vocabulary, which is key to fluent reading in subject areas.
What is helpful to special needs students? A lot!
- The online access will be appealing to kiddos who love their tech gizmos. The games do not all have timed features and range widely in difficulty.
- The clear photos and videos will allow students to focus easily on the topic at hand. Like the paper version, online Ranger Rick minimizes visual clutter.
- A major advantage of the online version is the typed version of each article (in addition to snapshots of the pages). Students with reading challenges will appreciate this plain, well-spaced type on a white background. Some devices most likely read the type out loud, too.
- A simple click on the page snapshots opens to a fullscreen image of that page, which allows for clearer photos of the featured animals, along with the original text. This could be used to scaffold from plain type to the more colorful pages of the magazine.
- Links to interesting, related videos are also clear.
Online Ranger Rick gives you a lot of bang for your five bucks. Check it out!