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Students Stay Current and Challenged with Newsela.com


Found in: Current Events, Language Arts and Literature

As a coach, I get this question often from teachers: “Where can I find informational text aligned with my curriculum that won’t put students to sleep?”

Enter Newsela.com. It has become my go-to source for current events news articles that immediately engage students in relevant, complex text aimed at building knowledge while increasing comprehension. Teachers use Newsela in a variety of ways: to raise awareness of current events, to build background knowledge, or to provide practice in reading, writing, and speaking.

Recently, a teacher asked me to help him design a literacy lesson, and since our high school students are immersed in prom season right now, I chose a Newsela article titled “High School Boys Hold ‘Draft’ to Select Idea Prom Dates.” The article was timely, relevant, and controversial – just what high school students love. Students read, annotated, and discussed the article using a strategy called “Save the Last Word for Me.”

Students were highly engaged in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking, and because the text was based on a relevant current event, their responses exceeded expectations for evidence, clarity, and most importantly, student voice.

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