Back
The Debrief

How to make time for science in the elementary classroom with Newsela

Lindsey Menichetti
Mar 23, 2020

As a former elementary classroom teacher, I know exactly what it feels like to be asked to add something extra to your science instruction. With limited time for science during the school day, new inquiry-based science standards, and not enough prep time, making any changes to your teaching style can feel overwhelming! Even when there was an exciting opportunity, I always wonder when I would have had the time to implement it.

As a teacher with a genuine appreciation for the importance of science in the classroom, I found it difficult to fit in everything that needed to be taught. I had just about enough time for students to conduct experiments and clean them up. I knew I was losing possibilities for students to discuss the concepts, question the process, and build background knowledge. Yet it was my passion for creating these possibilities in the student learning experience that led me to my new role in the instructional content department at Newsela. 

When I taught in Nebraska, I was often asked to ensure student engagement, track students' formative progress, and find opportunities for cross-curricular learning. Newsela can help teachers do all of those things, and the part I was most grateful for was how much time it saved me by offering texts that were already differentiated for my students. However, I was focused on using Newsela for reading and writing.

Enter: Newsela Science. Newsela Science was not available while I was teaching, but oh how I wish it had been. Teachers and students can pull science-specific, differentiated texts to use during their science or reading block. In addition, many of our articles are already organized to complement popular curricula, such as the NGSS framework. Below you can explore how Newsela Science empowers teachers to embed literacy into their Science instruction with engaging and accessible texts.

 Using Newsela Science for authentic texts, science quizzes, and Write Prompts

 For teachers who are experiencing a lack of science instructional time, Newsela Science is a great cross-curricular tool to engage your students with. Below is the Newsela Science landing page, where content is curated by collection and themes. Teachers can begin their lesson planning by selecting articles with a collection to use during their small group reading rotations that align to their state standards or frameworks. 

The Science of Earthquakes 

Let’s dive into an article from the NGSS Phenomena, Elementary, Science collection to see how you can leverage a text on Newsela Science. In “The Science of Earthquakes” text, teachers can leverage the text at 5 different reading levels, to make their science lesson accessible for all of their students. Articles are paired with Newsela Lesson Sparks, that include activities aligned with the NGSS and offer teachers formative science instruction, while also providing reading comprehension quizzes and Write Prompts to promote literacy. 

Infographics and Literacy 

Partnering with Newsela’s multimedia editor, many articles also include infographics, such as the one below. This way teachers can use texts alongside imagery, which can cross-functionally align with teaching text features in reading as well as the science concept itself. With these dynamic tools, teachers will be on their way to teaching reading strategies and comprehension while building science concept knowledge in no time; not to mention, they’ll be doing all of this with genuinely engaging material.

The Latest from @Newsela

Although many of us might not have known George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, we are still grieving the loss of their lives. This group of articles seeks to empower students by giving them tools to process their grief. https://t.co/xzRLtdFHjL https://t.co/VkO88FFFZ6
July 31, 2020, 1:30 PM
Kids everywhere love the Slip 'N Slide every summer. In fact, kids sparked the idea for the accidental invention during the hot summer of 1960. Use this article to help students explore the fun and wacky history of the Slip 'N Slide over the years 👉 https://t.co/63YxvE6JlI https://t.co/DkEpoGj1yw
July 30, 2020, 8:25 PM
With high school around the corner, middle schools tend to make math, science and English classes the priority — but what about learning to manage emotions and stress? That's why we created our Social-Emotional Learning Collection for Middle School 👉 https://t.co/bCNoyAnqA5 https://t.co/dCsM5XeoQV
July 30, 2020, 7:31 PM
School’s out for the summer but learning never stops. Summer is a great time for students to review core concepts. Find out how young learners can use Newsela to drive background knowledge 👉 https://t.co/9w5ALsj1Gr https://t.co/4WkR17yzAy
July 30, 2020, 4:33 PM
Making distance learning more equitable, bulk printing gives districts the flexibility they need to plan for distance learning and provide all students with accessible at-home resources, with or without access to technology at home. https://t.co/QK6uEeL6Hy
July 30, 2020, 3:31 PM
A car is pulled over. If the person is being singled out on the basis of race, it might be an example of profiling. Or it might be discrimination. Separating the two can be hard. Deepen students' understanding of racial profiling with this overview: https://t.co/UuJViWxvh5 https://t.co/shX6Vc1qxy
July 30, 2020, 2:32 PM
How does the stock market work? The topic can be intimidating, but mastering it is key to understanding how money and the global economy works. This article can help teach students about stocks and the real nature of investment. https://t.co/20ls2mNjXR https://t.co/SOStp42uIS
July 29, 2020, 6:45 PM
Tomorrow! Join us for an interactive #backtoschooling chat with NC District Administrators to learn how to empower teachers with content that can differentiate at scale, seamlessly transition from physical to remote learning, and reach every NC student. https://t.co/R3w6WA40qU https://t.co/eleLfw3THb
July 29, 2020, 5:11 PM
⚽️ Gooooaaaallllll: The Sports Reading Club! 📚 Students can continue to grow their love of reading from home. Newsela Reading Clubs let students read daily about a topic that interests and challenges them 👉 https://t.co/Wj8Tco7sTw https://t.co/xjxuCTaJu1
July 29, 2020, 3:45 PM
Newsela + @Peardeck are being responsive to COVID-19 challenges by resourcing educators with ready-to-go assignments. Subscribe to the Deck Decks for new ways to share updates with your students every week. https://t.co/WIJGZrA70c
July 29, 2020, 2:24 PM
During COVID-19, more people are volunteering to transcribe historical documents. Read the story of Meghana Venkataswamy, a volunteer who channeled her "inner Sherlock Holmes" to transcribe astronaut Sally Ride's letters and more fascinating records. https://t.co/M2RzywOtuA https://t.co/cWGa4vOmkl
July 29, 2020, 1:14 PM
Becoming a Newsela Certified Educator helps you review the basics and work towards designing meaningful classroom applications with Newsela. Learn more about getting certified this summer (and earn 5 hours of PD) 👉 https://t.co/9f2QMfAYeF https://t.co/FBW09N3oa0
July 28, 2020, 9:27 PM
What if your students could curate the art displayed in museums? Several museums across the U.S. are giving teens this very opportunity. This article explores the ways this is inspiring new perspectives for museum professionals and visitors 👉 https://t.co/7oX8R4TplH https://t.co/bxjl426Chk
July 28, 2020, 7:08 PM
ICYMI - We extended our @C3Teachers collaboration with the new C3 Inquiries: High School collection! It includes 4 new Inquiries designed specifically for high-schoolers with topics spanning Ancient Civilizations, U.S. History and Government 👉 https://t.co/65L9Idbzx7 https://t.co/Wcul0qGYPo
July 28, 2020, 5:40 PM
Meet Jason Ward, a self-taught birdwatcher who turned his passion into a full-time career. In this article, Jason answers common questions about birdwatching (or birding, as some refer to it) and shares the story of pursuing his dream job. Let's explore: https://t.co/VFZLEvI6uo https://t.co/9wyco2nYvU
July 28, 2020, 12:26 PM
Doctors use algorithms as tools to help guide the medical care they give. But according to a new study, many of these algorithms include racial bias. A recent report outlines 13 examples—this Newsela article explains three of them 👉 https://t.co/rXZhobiOAb https://t.co/NXNTrQPD6E
July 27, 2020, 8:40 PM
How many people are in the workforce? Should everyone without a job be counted as unemployed? Let's explore the 4 types of unemployment — and better understand how economists use this data to measure the health of an economy and navigate change. https://t.co/CWjwWkDLcc https://t.co/39fvD8PlzM
July 27, 2020, 6:16 PM
This is a time of change for many right now, and with that comes various emotions, questions, and an urge to take action. Students and their families can explore content and activities for social distancing in the Newsela SEL Collection 👉 https://t.co/aZHnhm1eLD https://t.co/bLp1ZCuGDs
July 27, 2020, 5:11 PM

The best lessons start with the best content.

Ready to bring great instructional content to your students?

Contact Sales