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Quick Summary

Britannica School, available to all Minnesota residents and schools at no cost, is a go-to site for learning about any subject, for all ages and learning abilities.

Britannica School database interface with options for browsing and searching the database.

Britannica School, available to all Minnesota residents and schools at no cost, is a go-to site for learning about any subject, for all ages and learning abilities.  Britannica's editorial team creates content at three levels to support students in all grades and stages of education.  These resources are "designed in collaboration with parents, educators, and content experts" and can benefit any learner whether at home or in the classroom.  Britannica School contains 130,000+ fact-checked articles, 60,000+ images and videos, and over 1,100 biographies.

The Elementary Level is designed and built using pleasing and eye-catching colors to help keeps students engaged and includes regularly updated content with lesson hooks and discussion points.  The Explore Tools can empower students to explore the resources independently, including the World Atlas and Animal Kingdom.  

The Middle Level offers At-a-Glance articles and a Daily Buzzword to inspire engagement and possible discussion.  All levels offer the Compare Countries feature which is a great tool to "develop global awareness by supporting students' understanding of other countries around the world using unbiased, factual information." 

The High Level, relevant to high school students, offers tools like Flash Facts and In Their Own Words, where students can conduct research and develop critical thinking skills. The Biographies feature allows students to research people from a specific era or occupation and the Media Browse offers a range of high-quality multimedia resources to help develop an understanding of a topic.

Britannica School supports differentiation by offering articles with multiple academic levels.  Students can toggle from an elementary level article to the middle school level up to the high school level and then back down if they so choose.  Learners can be encouraged to challenge themselves by reading more advanced content and struggling students can choose a level that allows for comprehension.

Like many of the K12 resources in ELM, Britannica School offers many ways to "support developing readers and to encourage independent learning." The Read Aloud tool lets users hear the words while following along with the highlighted text.  Vocabulary can be learned by using the quick-click, or double-click dictionary.  Simply double click on word and get the Merriam-Webster defintion and pronunication.  

For ideas on how to use Britannica School in your classroom check out the Britannica Blog. The Britannica Blog includes lessons plans with learning objectives, materials needed, activities, and assessments, all that incorporate content in Britannica and correlate to standards.  If your curious about Britannica's rigorous editorial process you can view this breif video: Learn about Encyclopedia Britannica's editorial process.

If your library or school doesn't yet have links to Britannica School, do yourself, your users, and your students a favor and set them up.  For specific information on setting up links to these and other ELM databases please visit How to Create Links.




Written by

Beth Staats
Outreach & Instruction Librarian, Ebooks MN Coordinator
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Encyclopedia, magazine, journal, and newspaper articles, plus multimedia, primary sources, and more