A One Page Poster is one of the most versatile and universal summary activities that can be used with any article on Newsela. Students can demonstrate their understanding of the article they just read by creating a poster that includes the title of the article, three relevant images, a written summary or theme of the text, five key terms, character traits, or concepts, and two to three relevant pieces of evidence, details, or quotations from the article that support the summary or the theme. One Page Posters, when paired with Newsela, enhance students' learning experience. Newsela helps to deliver the content at the appropriate lexile level to the student, which in turn, allows all students to comprehend the material in the article and participate in the activity. The One Page Poster allows teachers to quickly assess students' understanding of the article that they read. The One Page Poster is also very adaptable and can be used for any content or skill level.
Cause and Effect mapping helps students identify and support their understanding of causal relationships and sequence them. This strategy first supports students to identify and become more familiar with the concept of cause and effect, and then students practice mapping several cause and effect relationships while reading a Newsela article. Through this strategy, students will also begin to understand that causes can have multiple effects. Teachers can also check students' mastery of the concept of Cause and Effect as the students engage in the task.
P.I.E. Active Reading is a scaffolded reading strategy that challenges students to think critically about an article and effectively break the article down. P.I.E. reading is an acronym that stands for Pre-Read, Identify, and Engage. The activity can be applied to all Newsela primary sources and provides students with a consistent way to analyze a text. The first step, P: Pre-Read involves the students reading the source, title, and the first and last sentences of the document and making a prediction about what they are going to read. This will help set up a frame of mind before reading the article. The next step is I: Identify. In this step, the students will number the paragraphs including quotes, and then start to identify names, locations, concepts, and dates in the reading. This step can be a quick skim of the article to quickly identify the major parts and people in the reading. The next step, E: Engage is when students fully read the text in its entirety and engage with what they are reading. In this step, students are encouraged to ask questions of the text and make assertions and inferences from the text. Students begin to make connections between what they have identified in the previous step with evidence that supports those big ideas and concepts. Then, as an extension activity, students can summarize the text in order to demonstrate their understanding.
A Social Function Discussion or a Classroom Mingle is an open-ended discussion that students have with each other after they’ve finished reading a text. The goal of this activity is for students to get up, move around, and discuss the article they read with their classmates around the room. The students can either read the same article, different articles from the same Text Set, or they can read a self-selected article on a teacher-selected topic.
After they’re finished reading the text, students are given a “Networking” worksheet on which they can record information they learned from their peers during their one-on-one discussions. The goal of this activity is to practice oral communication skills, exhibit reading comprehension skills, and find connections that can be made between the articles students have read. After students have mingled and talked with their peers, the teacher can engage the students in an all-class discussion about the connections students made with their peers and what they read. The strategy can be used as a tool to build students' background knowledge about a topic or theme before reading a more complex text or engaging in a new unit. Or it can be used to deepen students' understanding of a concept or topic during a unit of study.
A Body Map is a tool for students to identify key character traits of or insights about an individual they are reading about in a biography article or text. A body map has certain requirements (listed below) that students must determine and analyze through reading and assign to different parts of their body map. For example, a student can create a quote bubble for their person's famous quotes and a heart with information from the text that covers what that person felt passionate about. Teachers can use Newsela texts or text sets about different people throughout history and the modern day to have students research the person about whom they are creating a body map . This activity works particularly well if a teacher creates a text set of different people on a certain topic. For example, a teacher can create a text set of famous scientists or Civil Rights activists for students to research and create body maps. Included in the implementation steps below are sample directions for an example body map students could create. These directions below could be changed or adapted based on the particular subject or topic that students are researching.