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Our six favorite Newsela updates for back-to-school 2021

The Newsela Team
Aug 3, 2021

With back-to-school just around the corner, it’s imperative we get students excited about heading into the new year. In order to do that, students need lessons that keep them engaged in what they are learning about. That’s why we’re sharing our six favorite Newsela updates that help teachers build connections with students by pairing our authentic and accessible content with rich instructional supports for any type of classroom. Check them out below. 

1. Pear Deck and Newsela Lessons

Teachers can now deliver Newsela lessons via Pear Deck! Newsela Lesson Decks offer hundreds of in-depth, ready-to-use lessons for ELA, social studies, and science instruction. Teachers are able to combine authentic, engaging content with tried-and-true lesson sequences from other teachers that are grounded in strategies like connecting past to present, studying cause and effect, and question-and-answer relationships. 

2. Lavinia Group Lesson Plans on Newsela

We’ve added over a dozen brand new lesson sequences to Newsela ELA that offer upper elementary students more opportunities to practice close reading skills in the context of interdisciplinary, content-rich instruction. Created by Lavinia Group and grounded in their Close Reading for MeaningTM approach, these sequences are able to fill days of instruction with meaningful lessons (on topics ranging from food and the brain to music in the Civil Rights movement), all with authentic Newsela content as the foundation to build background knowledge. 

3. Teach This Poem lessons from Poets.org 

Bring the works of famous poets to life with over 25 new Teach This Poem in Newsela ELA. Dozens of new Lesson Sparks incorporate instructional resources from beloved educational organizations side-by-side with engaging content that help students and teachers bring Lucille Clifton, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, and other legends to life in their classrooms. These lessons incorporate engaging activities like choral readings, multimedia connections, and more, that students can participate in wherever they’re learning.

4. Embedded SEL supports in Newsela ELA

CASEL-aligned supports are now embedded into our most popular Newsela ELA collections. Content and strategies support themes of Close and Critical Reading and Community Inquiry, while lessons help students develop reading, speaking, and listening skills needed to address complex topics related to equity.

5. Learning for Justice Teaching Strategies

Weave anti-bias concepts into ELA instruction with our new collection, ELA Teaching Strategies from Learning for Justice. 20+ teaching strategies from Learning for Justice are paired with representative, differentiated content on Newsela that teachers can choose from to make ELA classrooms more just and equitable. Anchored in two key themes – Close and Critical Reading and Community Inquiry – these resources will have students participating in engaging activities that help them develop the reading, speaking, and listening skills needed to address topics like race, place, class, and gender equity.

6. Read Aloud Mode

No matter the learning environment, teachers can utilize Newsela’s Read Aloud feature to help students follow along with any Newsela text and stay engaged in their lesson. With word-by-word highlighting, students are able to listen to any Newsela article. Plus, both English and Spanish texts are supported.    

Check out our  Newsela updates video to see these new features come alive in Newsela.

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