Building background knowledge about a topic or theme that students will explore more fully when reading an upcoming novel helps students gain exposure to the topic or theme as well as engages them in the topic or theme. In this strategy, students select Newsela articles to read that are related to the content of a novel in order to complement their knowledge about the topic. Then, they share their new knowledge about the topic or the theme with their peers in small groups via either a Newsela Connector role during a Literature Circle or Book Club or using tech tools to convey their learning to the entire class.
In this strategy, students read an article on Newsela and determine the main idea of the article. The students then create multimedia products of their choice such as presentations, cartoons, or videos to teach the main idea of their article to others. This strategy provides students with several opportunities for choice in the text(s) they read and in the way they present the main idea of the text to the class. Teachers can modify this strategy so that students identify other elements of the text that they want to teach to their peers such as key learnings, interesting insights, etc., and share their learnings with their peers, either to the whole class, to a small group of peers, or via a digital gallery walk format.
Speed Dating is a discussion strategy that allows students to engage in several short discussions around a specific topic -- from a factual conversation about a text to a discussion in which students share evidence-backed opinions on a topic. In this strategy, students read and annotate articles to learn about content material and annotate the articles in order to identify important information about an assigned topic or a topic of their choice. They then engage in sustained and focused one-on-one conversations about the content they learned with a variety of partners by responding to teacher-developed prompts or questions.
The Jigsaw strategy allows all readers to become experts on a text in a Newsela Text Set and then teach and learn from others in cooperative groups. In this strategy, each student is assigned a different article to explore within the same Text Set. While they are reading, students use the Newsela Annotations feature to highlight important information that they would like to share with their classmates. After reading, students report on their learnings and findings to a small group of their classmates.