Friday, April 11, 2014

Sports Illustrated for Kids

Title: Sports Illustrated for Kids
Author: Various
Managing Editor: Bob Der
Published by Time Inc.
Publications per year: 11 (monthly, except January/February combined issue) 

ISSN: 1042-394X

Audience Ages 8-15, Grades 2-8

Summary: This is a nonfiction magazine about sports.  It features articles about sports figures, teams, and other news including an article that comes from the pages of Sports Illustrated.  Regular features include a “Freeze Frame” section with photographs of sports action, pull out cards and posters, Tips from Pros where professional athletes give advice to kids, and an End Zone section with puzzles and a comic. The magazine asks for kids to send humorous captions for photographs, drawings of athletes, and ideas for Sportskids of the Month through their website. 

Strengths:  This is high-interest material, especially for boys and reluctant readers. The articles are well-written with some challenging language (an example quote: “James has already begun to chisel out a prominent place for himself in basketball history”), and the crossover to Sports Illustrated would encourage older students that they were not reading something aimed at young children. There are great illustrations, but there is a lot of content here too.

Weaknesses: Obviously, the material does not have a lot of crossover with curriculum, beyond perhaps biography. The high level of readability could be a challenge if younger students or non-readers tried to tackle it, and a teacher or librarian should make sure that they are not frustrated. Many of the public library issues that I reviewed had the pull out cards and posters removed by patrons.  

Uses: Magazines are an excellent choice for ESOL students, learning disabled students, and struggling readers. Sports are a particular interest of many children, especially many boys, 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. 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).   Magazines also use different types of text structure that could be analyzed by students (CCSS ELA:RI.5 Grades 4-6).  PE teachers could use the articles about different athletes and sports as inspiration for the students. 

Parents’ Choice Gold Award
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner Association of Educational Publishers 

Read Alikes (all magazines)
·      Boys’ Life
·      Junior Baseball
·      Odyssey
·      SportingKid  


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