Title: Ranger Rick
Editorial Director: Mary Dalheim
Published by National Wildlife Federation
Publications per year: 10 (monthly, except January and July)
Audience Ages 7-12, Grades 1-6
Summary: The classic children’s nonfiction magazine about nature and wildlife. It features nature photography and articles about animals. Most issues contain a craft or project, a cartoon/graphic story, and some activity pages including riddles. The magazine asks for kids to send nature riddles to the “Reader Riddles” page by email or postal mail. Readers are also invited to send digital photos to a monthly photo contest.
Strengths: The photography in Ranger Rick is always stunning, especially the close-up animal prints. The articles feature many different animals and biomes that are part of most school curricula. The topics would be high-interest for many kids, including ESL or reluctant readers. There are no advertisements, which is refreshing.
Weaknesses: There is a not a great deal of content in the articles. Depending on the depth required, they might be a better starting place for a research project. Depending on the article and the ability of the students, the readability could be a problem, and teachers should preview the material to make sure the article is appropriate for their classroom. In a library setting, the issues are flimsy and could easily be defaced.
Uses: Magazines are an excellent choice for ESOL students, learning disabled students, and struggling readers. Animals are a particular interest of many children so this magazine would be a good choice for many reluctant readers as well. Teachers and librarians often recommend magazines for independent reading or DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time during school hours. For students who are writing research reports (CCSS ELA:W.7 Grades K-6), this magazine would be a great starting place for their research. The issues also contain many charts, graphs, and other graphics that could be used as examples of text features (CCSS ELA:RI.8 Grades 4-6). Science teachers could use the articles as high-interest additions to studies about particular types of animals, habitats, or biomes. Magazines also use different types of text structure that could be analyzed by students (CCSS ELA:RI.5 Grades 4-6). Art teachers could use the magazine as examples of superior digital photography.
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
Periodical of the Year Grades K-5 Association of Educational Publishers.
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner Association of Educational Publishers
Read Alikes: (all magazines)
· National Geographic for Kids
· Ranger Rick Jr.
Educator’s resources on their website, with a guide for each issue.