New York Times Learning Network

On Monday and Wednesday, we took a look at two sites that support students’ access to resources for informational text. Today, we’re taking a look at another site for teachers to consider: the New York Times Learning Network. While the materials are based on content from that specific newspaper, the same instructional ideas might be applied to the use of other online newspapers.

Not only are students provided with informational text resources, but they are also invited to join in the conversation about what’s going on in the world by submitting comments to articles or responding to opinion questions (for students 13 and older). This provides teachers with another avenue for helping students develop digital citizenship skills. Comments made by students are moderated to check for appropriateness before they’re posted.

There is a specific schedule for the week with each day devoted to a particular curriculum/content area. Check out the schedule to see which day would be most appropriate for your content area.

Classroom Connections
The New York Times Learning Network takes advantage of some good instructional strategies:

  1. Connections to Common Core: Start here to look at some suggested ways for weaving the use of the Learning Network site into your instruction.
  2. Keep track of your reading: So that students (and teachers) can track the independent use of the articles, a reading log is provided.  Teachers might also consider creating this log as a Google form to better track student use and progress in applying reading strategies.
  3. 6 Q’s about the News: This provides students with a focus for reading the articles using who, what, when, where, why and how to begin the questions.
  4. Reading strategies: Scroll down to see a listing of strategies to use before, during and after reading. There are several graphic organizers available here to support the strategies.
  5. Word of the Day:  Each word is presented with its definition, an example of the word used in the context of an article and links to, the source for the words used.  In addition, a graphic organizer is provided that closely matches Robert Marzano’s research on vocabulary instruction.

What other resources have you found online that are useful for your content area or grade level to provide students with access to a variety of informational texts? How are you using those resources?

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