There are lots of reasons why I love Newsela. It’s an online (and now mobile) platform for current events articles. Teachers can search for articles on different topics and scan through the most recent news reports. Once you’ve found an article to share with students you can choose between five different Lexile levels for the just-right level you need for your class or individual students — or for including paired passages is your lessons.
There is now a dedicated section of Newsela to help teachers connect literature to informational text. The Text Sets section of their site provides a handful of articles that correspond to titles commonly included in book lists for English Language Arts teachers.
- Help your students build background knowledge on a subject before diving into a historical fiction novel.
- Extend student understanding of a topic, theme, or time period through connections to a current event or news story.
- Provide additional context for a class discussion on a topic, theme, or time period by asking students to read an article before they arrive in class.
If you are hosting book clubs in your class around a certain theme or issue, try using these text sets to bring students together to discuss issues related to a similar book featured in the text sets. If you are sharing these literature selections in whole class read alouds, Newsela’s text sets can provide an opportunity to differentiate based on reading level to help students access big ideas around a text.
Paired passages like the ones presented in this text set are perfect for bringing informational text into classrooms where literature takes center stage in your curriculum. This can provide an opportunity for students to connect books written before your students were born to real world issues in their everyday life.