Back
The Debrief

How the most popular content categories vary by state

The Newsela Team
Nov 20, 2019

With Newsela, teachers have access to more than 20 genres of content tailored to spark a variety of different discussions in the classroom. From science to social studies to sports, articles are selected to cover a diverse set of subjects, the goal being that teachers, schools, and states can use Newsela to support a wide range of content needs. Surveying the most popular content categories by state and observing how they differ, it’s encouraging to see how our goal of providing diverse content is being reflected in schools across the country.

Broadly speaking, the most-read content topics by state can be divided into six themes: Science, Social Studies, Kids, Sports, Law, and Health. Within those top-level themes are a wide-ranging set of subtopics, and it’s interesting to note where there are commonalities and overlap—and where there are some surprising outliers.

The most popular content category is Science, and we see 28 states where science stories top the list when categorizing articles by topic. Science subtopics vary greatly state by state, however, and while Animal Studies is a common sub theme, it’s by no means the only one. Science subtopics that are uniquely popular in their states include Climate Change (Connecticut), Wind Phenomena (Delaware), Earthquakes and Tectonics (New Hampshire), and Celestial Bodies (South Dakota).

Social Studies is also a popular category across the country, with 13 states seeing that as their top-ranking theme. The subtopic of Culture, Society & Ethics is the most-read sub theme, but other Social Studies subtopics that appear for specific states are Sociology (Idaho), Ancient Rome (Rhode Island), and the Persian Gulf War (Vermont).

The remaining high-level themes—Kids, Sports, Law, and Health—belong to a smaller number of states, and the subtopics vary widely. In Nebraska, Photography is the most popular content topic; in Utah, students are reading articles in the Labor Rights category. American Football and the Olympics are popular topics in the classrooms of Iowa, North Dakota, and Wyoming, and the only state in which the most popular theme for articles is Health is Alaska.

Overall, the map of the most popular content categories by state tells a compelling story: across the country, schools are using Newsela to help students engage with a diverse range of themes and topics.

The Latest from @Newsela

What is the delta variant? Why is the delta variant a concern? Will booster shots be needed? Answer students' questions about the delta variant, using this article: https://t.co/IGJoo46gnY https://t.co/vhxx4VZm0P
August 3, 2021, 1:30 PM
Olympian Simone Biles is no stranger to the spotlight. ✨ Beyond the headlines, follow Biles' journey from her first gymnastics class to becoming the most decorated American gymnast. https://t.co/kTMRyPEWrQ https://t.co/eU4pzCIeuh
August 2, 2021, 5:14 PM
Teachers know their students best, and that's why our content can be customized to meet the needs of each class. Brush up on customizing an assignment and its instructions in the Educator Center. ➡️ https://t.co/ai7Ax3GOl9 https://t.co/bD8ec8QEPk
August 2, 2021, 1:00 PM
Sports play a key role in shaping American society- and American history at that! 🏅 This essay explores the importance of sports history, from professional athletes serving as inspiration to minorities and women overcoming prejudice. https://t.co/aMjk0ZLGB8 https://t.co/aZhUpes1lR
August 1, 2021, 6:00 PM
Reluctant readers getting you down? Improve engagement by pairing high-interest novels with related Newsela articles. Learn how Newsela Fellow Keith West's project resulted in greater student interest and investment in reading. 📚 https://t.co/KE7SBiI2zJ
August 1, 2021, 3:00 PM
Too often, literacy instruction relies on outdated texts. Newsela ELA’s Debate and Discussion collection uses highly engaging texts and real-world topics to help students develop a foundation for building evidence-based arguments. https://t.co/RUa5XBf5Xx
July 31, 2021, 6:00 PM
Consider building an audio library to increase student interest in nonfiction texts. 🎧 Newsela Fellow Melody Isabela explains how to support students with additional audio scaffolds for reading comprehension, here: https://t.co/v6o2m0EWSl
July 30, 2021, 7:00 PM
Set students up for a year of meaningful learning with a Back-to-School Scavenger Hunt! 🔎 Students will familiarize themselves with Newsela and learn how to make the most of the many features. Check it out: https://t.co/smVCDD8Stp
July 30, 2021, 1:30 PM
Blue Origin's commercial spaceflight included the youngest and oldest person to visit space- and billionaire Jeff Bezos. This article explains their trip through the atmosphere and the future of private space programs. https://t.co/0rvw4uWIXd https://t.co/TU91e4NccC
July 29, 2021, 8:00 PM
Start your learning pathway to becoming an expert in all things Newsela! ⭐ The Newsela Certified Educator Program is a self-paced training program worth 5 hours of professional learning credit. Take the first step: https://t.co/6xjKh5m8ld https://t.co/FupEAXtDm3
July 29, 2021, 6:46 PM
Mindset matters. Teach students the importance of a growth mindset through science! 🧠 This Text Set features a multiday lesson around growth versus fixed mindsets and the role the brain plays in creating and retrieving new information. https://t.co/iYSMsLnN7f https://t.co/zJE8hzGBoo
July 28, 2021, 6:08 PM
Get inspired by our Newsela Fellows and try something new this school year! Learn about each Fellow and their passion project on Newsela's YouTube Channel. https://t.co/w7h7XRHEob
July 28, 2021, 4:36 PM

The best lessons start with the best content.

Ready to bring great instructional content to your students?

Contact Sales