Students can use the Notice and Note strategy by acknowledging signposts to notice and mark important moments in the text that they are reading. This strategy, based on Kylene Beers & Robert Probst's Notice and Note protocol, helps students focus on six easy to remember signposts for close reading and to reflect on what they have read. They include: Contrasts and Contradictions, Ah-Ha Moments, Tough Questions, Words of the Wiser, Again and Again, and Memory Moment. Notice and Note can be applied to many different Newsela articles and a range of text topics and themes and provides an opportunity for students to enhance their annotation and critical thinking skills.
Analyzing and interpreting multimedia and text features is an important skill for secondary students to have and is applicable in all content areas. Often, students notice informational text features as they read but skip over these valuable sources of information. In this strategy, students analyze and explain the information presented in a chart, graph, map, cartoon, or infographic that accompanies an article and draw conclusions from them. Through using graphic organizers in this strategy, students can organize information and evidence they collect as they analyze an informational text feature in order to prepare to build their response.
A KWL graphic organizer is a useful tool for students to both demonstrate their background knowledge on a topic and then share their learning about a topic. The KWL chart can also be used with a variety of topics and across content areas. In this strategy for secondary students, teachers can explore how to incorporate a digital KWL chart for students to use as they analyze a Newsela text or Text Set. By using a KWL organizer, students are able to visually measure their understanding before and after reading a Newsela article in order to reflect on what they have learned.
While reading Newsela texts and Text Sets, students can gain exposure to various opinions on a particular topic, which can help to inform their own opinions on that topic. This strategy supports students to form an opinion on a topic after reading about it and use the evidence an author includes in a text to support their opinion and defend it. In this strategy, students also learn how to identify counterarguments while reading a text and acknowledge those counterarguments in their writing using a clear writing formula.
Newsela provides an abundant supply of news articles which can give students the opportunity to research issues they care deeply about. Reading and researching these topics can help students relate to what they are learning as they plan to effect change in our world. Reading and Writing for Change does more than just help students improve literacy skills -- it helps students discover causes they feel passionately about, and write a letter to an influential person who can enact change so they can improve their own lives and, ultimately, our world.
Pairing texts about similar topics but written by different authors helps students to see differences in how authors approach a topic and ultimately analyze how a topic might be written about differently. In this strategy, students will have the opportunity to compare and contrast authors' styles, tones, and genres in order to make connections between the articles they are reading.
Comparing and contrasting is a key skill for students at all levels. Newsela provides many non-fiction articles which students can use to read, annotate and analyze. This strategy helps students to organize notes and look for ways two articles can be similar or different. Annotating and organizing notes in a T-Chart helps students to prepare for their written response so they can easily organize their writing.
Teaching students to reflect on learnings by asking key questions can be applied to any Newsela text using the BIG questions from Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. These questions are:
1. What surprised me?
2. What does the author think I already knew?
3. What changed, challenged or confirmed my thinking?
These questions support students to demonstrate their understanding and reflect on the text they have read while reading and after reading.
Students will practice the art of asking questions in Newsela nonfiction texts by identifying questions that remain unanswered after they have read a text, crafting those questions, and identifying who or what might be a good source for helping answer the questions. Then students will consult additional resources in order to answer their outstanding questions.
Newsela provides an add-on service to the PRO Subscription called "Power Words" which highlights new vocabulary based on the Lexile level of the article. Power Words are selected from Newsela’s Academic Word List (AWL) of Tier II academic vocabulary words, organized by grade level. Students who master these words will be well prepared to read complex texts across a variety of subjects. This strategy helps students recognize the meaning of Power Words and challenges students to identify the context clues in the article that support the meaning of new vocabulary.