Consider it the Internet’s gift to teachers—a free source of newspaper articles on topics of interest to adult students, available in a range of reading levels, from roughly 7th grade to 10th. There are hundreds of articles here, within the categories such as Science, Health, War & Peace, Law, and Money. One of the very best features is that teachers have access to articles on one topic that are on a variety of reading levels, so those with multi-level classes can still have all students in class read about the same topic.
These articles can be used in the classroom in a number of highly effective ways:
Choose and print articles related to content tested on the TASC for example:
- In a study of evolution, “Animals are lots Bigger than they were Millions of Years Ago, study shows”
- While learning about economics: “The Falling Price of Oil is both Good and Bad”
- For a lesson on separation of church and state: “Some Turks say Government is adding religion to Country’s Schools”
As a prompt for writing.
- Each Newsela article has a “Write” icon which provides students with a writing prompt for that article. The student responses can then be placed in a virtual binder for teacher review.
- Pro/Con articles also provide ideal sources for the persuasive writing that students must do on the TASC. Sample Pro/Con articles: “Filling American’s need for Skilled Workers;” “Should U.S. Troops be Fighting Ebola in West Africa?”
Other teacher-friendly features of Newsela:
- Click on “Learning and Support,” and find “Quick Links” that provide easy-to-follow directions for using some of its features such as “Write,” mentioned above.
- The “Write Toolkit” includes a rubric teachers can use to evaluate student written responses
- “5 Easy Ways to use Newsela” has some helpful lesson suggestions for teachers
Teachers love Newsela! A few comments:
“I have used Newsela in past semesters but only this semester discovered that they have added a Write button. After students read assigned article and take the quiz (if there is one) then they click on the Write button and are asked to write a paragraph identifying the central idea using two details to support it. Then they save it and I can go in later, read and comment and grade.
This is the first online platform where I have been able to do this. I highly recommend it.
Teachers can also filter for articles that focus on specific learning objectives and they can also filter for Pro/Con argument writing.”
–Jane Parkerton, Adult Literacy Teacher, LaGuardia Community College ALC
“I used Newsela yesterday in the computer lab and it was very successful. Students sent me their work and they enjoyed the science articles.”
–Angelo Ditta, Lead Teacher, LaGuardia Community College ALC