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Filling in the Picture: background reading

posted Dec 4, 2010, 11:20 PM by Katie Day   [ updated Dec 5, 2010, 4:10 PM ]
When reading fiction about time periods, regions, or events you are unfamiliar with, it often helps to stop and do some quick non-fiction background reading.

Encyclopedia are a good place to start.  

You all know Wikipedia, but often its level of English is high and the information provided is far more than you need or want.   

Simple English Wikipedia (designed for speakers for whom English is an additional language) is good, but it doesn't have as many entries.  

Let's explore some other digital options.  

Encyclopedia Britannica is one -- with three levels of text (Primary, Middle, and High School).  If you're in school, then you can access it via our school subscription.

The National Library Board (NLB) of Singapore also offers the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as many other databases perfect for students -- and they are free for everyone living in  Singapore to use. 

You just have to register for a digital account.  Click here for more information from the NLB.

  • If you want to test out the NLB digital resources, feel free to use my login/password temporarily. My username is "katiebday" and my password is the same as for the "eastinfant" account in school.