In the 2021-2022 school year, students viewed over 53 million articles and conducted over 26 million searches on Newsela–that’s a ton of reading. We took a deep dive into what students were reading and looking for on the Newsela platform and some of the results may surprise you (while some timeless classics never seem to fade). Here’s a look at how students and teachers were using the platform and some ideas for how Newsela’s lesser-known content can make it in your classroom next fall (or even this summer!).
Students sought out stories of Black changemakers and civil rights leaders. Three out of the five most-viewed biographies on Newsela were of Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, and Frederick Douglass. William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe also topped the list of most-viewed biographies.
Next year, students may be interested to dive deeper into biographies of Black entrepreneurs, activists, and artists of the present-day, like Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. If it’s authors they’re looking to read about, this biography tells the story of the Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor, Toni Morrison.
Students are interested in what their peers are up to and what they’re publishing. The number one most viewed article on the platform was a piece written by a fifth-grade student from California, which was featured as part of Newsela’s student opinion series. Another top article was about a teenager developing a video game to assess mental health.
Next year, continue to foster interest in peer work by exploring all the student opinions on Newsela where students can read about the stress of test-taking, if people should be allowed to climb Mt. Everest, and whether zoos should be banned. While you’re at it, you can also read from the opinion pages of major national publications.
In addition to doing their schoolwork, students also used Newsela to learn more about their own interests. “Animals” was the top search with over 315,000 hits, followed by “Ukraine,” and it appears “Roblox” beat out “Fortnite” as the game of choice for students. Kids also took to Newsela to search for “dream job,'' “stock market,” ''mars,” and a funny bunch of kids searched for “poop” over 22,000 times.
Next year, make sure to check out our search bar that features trending topics and school subjects to learn more about what fellow teachers and students are looking for on Newsela.
Student usage mirrored national conversations, including articles about current events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the meanings behind national holidays.
Next year, remember that Newsela publishes multiple new texts daily and to check out the homepage for the latest news.
Check out Newsela’s top content this year:
Hugo and the Seal, by Nora Nickum
Vanishers, by Josh Allen
The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe
The Dark Tree by Brian Gibbons
The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell