How To Use Newsela To Teach Every Age and Subject (2024)

OK, I have to admit I am becoming a huge Newsela fan. Here’s why. It’s really working for my students. Newsela is a free database of free quality nonfiction articles for my students from a wide array of sources. Newsela aggregates news articles from a variety of trusted sources, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Scientific American, and more than one hundred others. Even better, every article can be adjusted to meet five different reading levels.

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You can print articles or have your students read them online, where they can annotate as they go. You can also assign built-in comprehension quizzes or writing assignments.

All those features are free for all teacher users. Schools can also subscribe for additional content, including 20+ genres of informational texts to support instruction across the curriculum. Learn more about Newsela’s paid options here. It’s pretty easy to assign Newsela articles and activities in Google Classroom, so you can use them as homework or for in-class activities. I got the hang of it quickly. The site also works with other learning management systems like Schoology, Classlink, and Canvas. Find out if your LMS works with Newsela here.

Newsela content includes documents and primary sources for ELA, social studies, and science. There is also up-to-date news and current events sections and even a social and emotional learning (SEL) collection. Here are some ways to use Newsela with your students:

1. Try the See, Think, Wonder Method

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Reading is about more than just comprehension. Good readers ponder what they’ve read, considering the content and making their own connections. The See, Think, Wonder method helps students go deeper when they read, and it works perfectly with Newsela articles. Learn more about See, Think, Wonder from The Reading Roundup.

2. Notice and Note

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Notice and Note is another way to approach close reading with news articles. Start by reading articles as a group and filling out the organizer together. Then, assign students articles to read on their own using Notice and Note. BetterLesson has more about this method, plus a free printable organizer.

3. Do an Article of the Week

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Work on close reading skills by choosing one new article to focus on each week. Each day, spend time with the article in a different way, teaching students to read carefully and analyze the content. Learn more about using an article of the week from AdVenturas in Fourth.

4. Add supporting evidence to opinion pieces

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Opinion writing can be a tricky topic, but it’s more important than ever to teach students how to back up their opinions with reliable evidence. Newsela’s PRO/CON articles are a great way to help students debate a topic and find the evidence they need when writing their opinion pieces. Learn more from Performing in Education.

5. Research background info for fiction reading

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Close reading in fiction often means learning more about the time, place, or themes of a novel or short story. Newsela can help provide that info with their Paired Text sets, where common fiction books are matched with current events articles. Students can use the annotation tools or a graphic organizer to record their finds. Find out more at BetterLesson.

6. Make a vocabulary list

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Newsela’s Core Subjects products (one of their paid subscription services) include Power Words automatically highlighted in each article according to the reading level. Teachers can use these to generate vocab lists. If you’re using the free version of Newsela, find your own vocab lists with a tool like VocabGrabber. Just adjust your Newsela article to the appropriate reading level, then copy and paste the text into VocabGrabber to get suggested words for your list. Speech Time Fun has more on using this cool tool.

7. Take Newsela on a speed date

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Reading “speed dating” is all about exchanging facts and opinions with other readers. Students prepare for this discussion strategy by reading and annotating a news article. They then pair up with another student for a quick one-on-one conversation, sharing what they’ve learned and asking questions about the topic. You can get more info about the speed dating discussion strategy at BetterLesson.

8. Combine Newsela with Pear Deck

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If you already use Pear Deck in your classroom, don’t miss out on their Newsela Daily Decks! Each school week, they’ll send you five new decks, one for each day. They’re ready-to-teach and include interactive prompts that will help you get each student engaged and involved. Find out more about these Daily Decks from Pear Deck.

9. Give current events reports

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Because Newsela’s articles are updated daily, they’re ideal for keeping up with current events. Assign a different student to give a current events report every day, or have each student turn in one report each week or month. You can buy printable templates for them to use from Literacy in Focus, or make up your own.

How do you use Newsela with your students? Come share your ideas on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, 24 of the best magazines for kids to add to your classroom library.

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How To Use Newsela To Teach Every Age and Subject (2024)

FAQs

How do you get all answers on Newsela? ›

To view answer keys from a teacher account, follow these steps:
  1. Go to an article and select the level for which you want to see the quiz answer key.
  2. Click Activities to open the activities panel.
  3. Click Quiz. Click Next and Back to view all quiz answers.

What are the disadvantages of Newsela? ›

Pros: Sprawling library of high-interest, cross-curricular, adjustable nonfiction texts. Cons: Needs better search and filtering. A lot sits behind a paywall.

Why use Newsela in the classroom? ›

Newsela offers Formative, which supports a range of assessment needs, from in-class checks for understanding to district-level assessments. In addition, Newsela's subject products come with embedded reading comprehension quizzes, writing prompts, and the ability to add customizable assessments through Formative.

What does the lightning bolt mean on Newsela? ›

Clicking a Power Word reveals a definition of the word as it's used in the article. In the activities panel, students can complete Power Words activities. Locate articles with Power Words by looking for the lightning bolt symbol under the article. Reviewthe Newsela Top 100 Power Words for your grade level(s).

How do I use Newsela in Google Classroom? ›

Assigning in Google Classroom

Create an assignment in Newsela, by clicking the assign button and following the prompts. Once your assignment has been created, click Share on the left side of the page. Choose Google Classroom from the drop-down menu. This will open Google Classroom in a new tab.

How do you get quizzes on Newsela? ›

Students can take the quiz at every level of an article. Open the Activities panel by clicking Activities in the upper right-hand corner. Click Quiz. If the article has two or more quizzes, check the instructions to see which quiz your teacher would like you to take.

Is Newsela not free anymore? ›

Newsela Lite is free for any teacher to: Access 4 pre-selected news articles, offered at 5 reading levels. Select and lock reading levels for students. See alignment to state standards.

How much does Newsela cost per student? ›

The Newsela pricing is dependent on the plans you choose. The Newsela pro can be expected as $6000 per school, $2000 per grade level and $18/student per year.

Can parents use Newsela? ›

The first step is to create your own account. This account allows you to sign into Newsela to assign articles to your child. Choose Parent, Tutor, or Caregiver, in the bottom right. Follow the prompt to create an account using a Google or Microsoft connection, or by creating a username and password.

How do I set up a class on Newsela? ›

Teachers and students who sign in with Microsoft create manual classes with a Class Code in Newsela. To create a class, Go to Classes by clicking your initials in the upper right-hand corner, clicking on Settings from the dropdown, and selecting the Classes tab. Click Create a Class.

Why is schoology better than Google Classroom? ›

Google Classroom prioritizes data security with strict measures and reliable uptime. Schoology excels in providing a robust LMS with analytics to personalize instruction and meet individual student needs.

What are the grade levels for Newsela? ›

Each Newsela article is available at 5 reading levels, ranging from grades 2-12.

Can students annotate in Newsela? ›

With Newsela's Annotations feature, teachers and students can highlight and annotate within articles. Annotations are created and stored in the Annotations section of the Activities panel.

Can students change reading level on Newsela? ›

They can also choose to allow students the flexibility to change the level of the article, or lock it at the chosen level. Students can navigate to a different level once the quiz is submitted on the locked level. Teachers can also hide the lexile level from students.

What is a power word in Newsela? ›

Power Words are selected from Newsela's Academic Word List (AWL) of Tier II academic vocabulary words, organized by grade level. Students who master these words will be well prepared to read complex texts across a variety of subjects. Words on the Newsela AWL are organized into families.

How to reset Newsela quiz? ›

In an article row, click on an activity to review it in more detail on the article page. For a shortcut to resetting the quiz score or requesting a writing response revision, click the three dots on the right side.

What is the maximum reading level in Newsela? ›

Each Newsela article is available at 5 reading levels, ranging from grades 2-12.

How to get Newsela articles? ›

Search for Articles
  1. Click Search on the Search and Navigation bar.
  2. Enter a keyword or subject.
  3. Click 'Search'. You will be directed to the results page that includes content from all of your Newsela subscriptions.
  4. If your results are limited, try additional search terms.

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