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

After decades of war, Afghanistan is facing its best chance of peace. On September 12, Afghanistan's political leaders began negotiations with the Taliban's leadership in the country Qatar. Here are the big agenda items at the negotiating table: https://t.co/Q9fXteAtXV https://t.co/PTSG8qtJhJ
September 23, 2020, 6:30 PM
How do you write an argumentative essay? It's not as complicated as you might imagine, as long as you take time to grasp the steps involved before getting started. Help students learn the five steps explained in this Newsela article. https://t.co/D8Rt68zhZo https://t.co/G7g9apTn8t
September 23, 2020, 5:14 PM
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death on September 18 is the closest death of a Supreme Court justice to a presidential election in U.S. history. What happens next? Use this article to help students understand the process behind filling a Supreme Court vacancy: https://t.co/2GauTaKx1F https://t.co/cmZjRjFpLZ
September 23, 2020, 12:40 PM
Join us for a teacher event about solving tricky distance learning challenges. You'll hear from other teachers and education experts as they share solutions backed by cutting-edge research. RSVP: https://t.co/hAQXYMFpbq https://t.co/XrzM0uRDtQ
September 23, 2020, 1:20 AM
Immigration has been an important part of policy debates for most of U.S. history. Students can use this collection to explore that discourse and determine where the 2020 presidential candidates stand on immigration. https://t.co/fr0lwWgaqF https://t.co/LoXqtnz4N4
September 22, 2020, 8:25 PM
It’s a school year unlike any other, in any election year unlike any other. Join us for a webinar with @iCivics where we’ll discuss how you can bring the election into your classroom and develop key student skills. https://t.co/KFzZqWFLMF https://t.co/WQJ0D6kKFV
September 22, 2020, 6:15 PM
This teen inventor is winning awards for technology that could save kids’ lives. Help your students get their inventive juices flowing with this article 👉 https://t.co/ZKKVA0JHao https://t.co/kMfiop734U
September 22, 2020, 5:26 PM
Black Students Matter. That's why we've compiled the following resources for anti-racist teaching and instruction, inspired by educators whose body of work developed culturally responsive pedagogy. https://t.co/16DtnYXBzB https://t.co/av4DrRXvtc
September 22, 2020, 4:24 PM
Right now school planning is an exercise in embracing uncertainty. How can educators guarantee a quality learning experience for all students amidst this crisis? Let's go beyond masks and wifi and discuss learning continuity. https://t.co/nln5Eobs0f https://t.co/5yjCtzsUtT
September 22, 2020, 2:23 PM
In times of unrest and trouble, being joyful is itself an act of resistance. This article shares the ways Black celebrities are bringing moments of positivity to their followers as a break from sadness and a light shining when it seems like hope is lost. https://t.co/u4Sw4TNbzO https://t.co/JPxjh5HeNO
September 21, 2020, 5:19 PM
The race for the U.S. presidency has delivered its share of game-changing elections. This collection explores a few famous examples dating all the way back to 1800. https://t.co/mqHDloCaf7 https://t.co/CbvBT3ad25
September 21, 2020, 3:02 PM
The best lessons—at home or at school—start with the best content. As your teachers to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, access to high-quality instructional content can make all the difference. https://t.co/i7enF9qALO https://t.co/zvVWiN1VXx
September 21, 2020, 12:11 PM
Is your classroom virtual this year? Give grace to students, says @MrsBayerLSMS. To support social-emotional learning, she recommends staying flexible to make sure your students really know that you care about them. #backtoschooling https://t.co/F9jiMUicQn
September 21, 2020, 11:00 AM
Newsela's Election 2020 collection is curated from a variety of vetted sources so that students can build background knowledge on our electoral process, the issues at hand, and candidates. And it's free. https://t.co/KaimJO4TRD https://t.co/c1ZZNti0oI
September 20, 2020, 8:07 PM
Make Social Emotional Learning a part of your distance learning classroom. The articles in this Text Set come from Newsela’s SEL Elementary School Collection and cover topics relevant to language arts 👉 https://t.co/055i7dGjwS https://t.co/K2N1GJmxLf
September 20, 2020, 6:29 PM
In Ghana, the design on someone's clothing might often tell you their religion, political preferences, or profession. But a local fabric-maker is on a mission to create new fabrics to tell the story of COVID-19 in a positive light for generations to come. https://t.co/211NTWHzUt https://t.co/tXtjpOgpTI
September 20, 2020, 5:01 PM

The best lessons start with the best content.

Ready to bring great instructional content to your students?

Contact Sales