Magazines?! {Mentor Text Linky}

This week's theme for the mentor text linky with Collaboration Cuties is language arts and reading.

Yesterday I posted some information I read in Richard Allington's book What Really Matters for Struggling Readers.  One of the chapters was about making sure you have plenty of books students can and want to read.  One suggestion was to have magazines available for students, since most of our reading as adults in done in a similar article type format.

I do know my students LOVE magazines.  My boys last year always brought in car/truck magazines.  But I only had one available in my classroom...Zoobooks.  When I moved to my new classroom, there happened to just be a stack of 20 or 30 old ones in the cabinet.  They were probably the most popular "book" I had in my classroom, especially with the boys who can always use motivation to read.  

So knowing that the mentor text linky was today, I got to thinking about how I might actually USE the magazines rather than just have them lying around.  So I just pulled out a few and started looking through.  Each Zoobooks magazine is about an animal.  So beyond just reading information texts to identify facts (which is huge in 2nd), I also think the magazine (and likely any magazine) would be great for....text features!  

The text features are everywhere, and in a real life format.  Not contrived and looking weird when they are intentionally put in.  And there are lots of them!  Of course it is easy to find the caption when there is only one text feature on the page, which is often the case with our instructional materials.  There are captions, diagrams, maps, labels, and photographs.  Now I do not see headings, a table of contents, or an index in this magazine...which would be awesome...but I know I have in other magazines so I guess I just need to get some more.

Zoobooks is $30 per year (10 issues) on Amazon

So I started looking on Amazon and found some others that look like good options for second graders.  

Sports Illustrated Kids is $20 per year (12 issues) on Amazon

American Girl is $23 per year (6 issues) on Amazon

The other thing is that they all seem to have corresponding websites with additional activities and reading, which might encourage more reading and engagement.

I'm looking for other magazines about different topics that would interest my students (and are within a reasonable price range).  Many of them seem expensive!  Any suggestions?  Have you found any good deals on subscriptions?  Anywhere to get old magazines?  What magazines do your students like?  


  1. I love the idea of using these magazines and I'm so glad you listed the prices! We used Time For Kids this year which is a newspaper/magazine. It was around $5 per kid and we had parents pay for it at the beginning of the year. It came weekly. Have you heard of it?

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  2. I use Zoobooks and Ranger Rick in my classroom. This past year, my students seemed less interested in them. Perhaps because they are hidden in a big white basket. I love the idea of using a sport one in the classroom- I am lacking books in that genre!

    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  3. I think magazines are wonderful to have in the classroom as well! I'll be a first year teacher this upcoming year, but during my reading focus classes in college, my professors and textbooks talked about how important it is to have a lot of different varieties of text materials for the students.

    I just ordered some magazines for my classroom the other day that were recommended to me by my mom who is an elementary school librarian. She said her students' favorites are Ranger Rick and National Geographic Kids. I ended up finding National Geographic Kids for $15 per year on Amazon!! Then I ordered Ranger Rick and another magazine, Ask from and found a 20% off coupon for it on also has free shipping! I'm not sure how much the students will like Ask magazine, but I figured I'd take a chance since it focuses on asking questions about the world around us. Hope this helps! :)

  4. Great idea! Kids, especially boys, love magazines. Real reading! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  5. Thanks so much for sharing--I really like how you made suggestions of mags and told us the prices per year. My second graders also love magazines, and I too need to expand my selections. National Geo Kids and Ranger Rick (Jr. version as well) are some of their favorites. Spider and Cricket are other good ones, yet they are a bit more pricey (worth it, though). I like how many of the magazines now have apps available for the iPad that provide interaction, too. Again, thanks for your suggestions, as I will be adding them both to my list of must gets for this year. Great post!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  6. I love using magazines in my classroom. I have National Geographic for Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids, and Time for Kids. I will have to check out Zoobooks.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  7. I love these! I use Zoo Books when I teach my non-fiction unit on text features. I agree kids love these. Thanks for sharing! I will be adding some of these to my list too.

    Paulina @ Blessings of a Teacher

  8. I have saved all of the sample magazines sent to me over the years, and I have quite a collection going into year 10! I plan to add a basket of these to my library. Thanks for the great post!

  9. Order from discount magazines! If you call your order in sometimes they will add free magazines. When I ordered for my school last year I only paid for 15 of the 21 subscriptions. Yes, I'm the librarian and ordered several different magazines, but maybe you could order with another teacher to get several. ASK they may throw in a freebie anyway! My second graders like Ranger Rick, Sports Ill Jr, Zoobooks, Your Big Backyard, National Geo for Kids, American Girl and seems like there's another one for your age group I order but can't remember.

  10. I love Zoobooks magazines!!


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