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Free Newsela resources to help students understand coronavirus

Tyson Jurgens
Mar 5, 2020

UPDATE: 3/13/20

Things have evolved rapidly since this blog post was originally posted, including Newsela’s commitment to helping teachers embrace distance learning through school closures.

From now until the end of the school year, any teacher that needs it can freely access Newsela’s full suite of products to assist with their learning continuity plans. We’re also offering frequent professional learning resources to help them develop their mastery of distance learning techniques. Read more about our resources and get instant access.

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The new coronavirus is spreading quickly, but not as quickly as fear and misinformation about the illness. We noticed teachers and students have been increasingly turning to Newsela for information about the spread, so we assembled a free resource for teachers and students to help.

Coronavirus: Resources for Students

Using the articles in this text set, students can learn about the new COVID-19 virus from trustworthy, reliable sources in a language they can understand. They can also learn some simple tools to keep themselves and their community safe and calm.

The resources available in this text set will be regularly updated with new information aimed at helping students feel more empowered and informed.

Ideas for using this resource with your students

These lesson suggestions use students’ own ideas and questions about the coronavirus outbreak as a starting point before diving into the texts. This helps teachers to reach students where they are, calm any potential anxiety, and help them to feel empowered and informed on this topic.

Thinking Routines

Use a thinking routine/structure to uncover potential misconceptions about the virus. Examples of these routines are “Connect-Extend-Challenge” or a post-reading activity like “I used to think...Now I think”.

Self-reflection and Community Connections

Ask students to write about or share what they know about the current situation and how it has affected them, people in their community, and others in the wider world. Then, have them read the texts to learn more.

Questions & Concerns to Understanding

Ask students to share any questions or concerns related to the situation before reading. Then, have them read and look for answers or information in the texts, and share out their new understanding.

Additional Resources

We found some additional resources to help teachers address concerns about COVID-19 in their classrooms and keep students informed.

Analysis | What schools and teachers should be doing now about coronavirus, according to the experts - Washington Post 

Coronavirus - BrainPOP

Coronavirus Prompting E-Learning Strategies - Education Week


If you have ideas or suggestions for ways teachers can incorporate learning about the coronavirus into their lessons, share them on Twitter and let us know by tagging @Newsela.

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