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

In celebration of #LearningFound, we've created a number of custom GIFs for educators to use! 1️⃣ Open Twitter's Search for GIFs 2️⃣ Type in "Newsela" 3️⃣ Choose your favorite GIF and post! What does engaged learning look like in your classroom? https://t.co/ctQI3nTnrt
May 10, 2021, 3:00 PM
In crafting recovery plans, we have a rare opportunity to redesign education systems to better serve all students. The best way to do this? Embrace the principles of learning science. Read our whitepaper on reimagining learning, here: https://t.co/ZVZITCjwgf #LearningFound https://t.co/xDs1upYPze
May 10, 2021, 1:32 PM
Students spend over 1,000 hours in school each year. It's time to make every hour count for every student. See what meaningful learning looks like. #LearningFound https://t.co/WdXxUjLYBI
May 10, 2021, 11:00 AM
We made a few changes to the daily email to provide you with more of our most recent, relevant, and engaging content- right to your inbox, every day. Save time in your search for content and daily resources to keep students engaged with the daily email. https://t.co/faRElT3Oou https://t.co/HPYDy1BxKY
May 9, 2021, 4:40 PM
Happy Mother's Day to all mothers and mother-figures. You are often your child's first educator, and we thank you for all that you do! https://t.co/6eYHjwZNky
May 9, 2021, 1:00 PM
If you use Pear Deck and like the Daily Decks, you'll love the brand new Newsela Lesson Decks that offer in-depth, ready-to-use lessons. Combine authentic, engaging content with tried-and-true lesson sequences from real teachers, here: https://t.co/MYmgb4Y66F https://t.co/ljT3owRdtE
May 8, 2021, 3:10 PM
Should schools be able to discipline students for something said off-campus? A Supreme Court case will evaluate the limits of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, but what do students think? Get students thinking and share their thoughts here: https://t.co/QYh79z4cSL https://t.co/kCuGLT4Jaz
May 8, 2021, 1:28 PM
Many had to hold off on in-person celebrations of Mother's Day last year, but vaccinations bring new security for reunions. Students can compare and contrast the effects of the pandemic on Mother's Day this year versus last, using this article: https://t.co/3QQZ6dvhyJ https://t.co/hN75tmdOg7
May 7, 2021, 2:36 PM

The best lessons start with the best content.

Ready to bring great instructional content to your students?

Contact Sales