Author Topic: (Updated) Using Newsela, Modified News articles  (Read 7894 times)

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Offline pskim4

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(Updated) Using Newsela, Modified News articles
« on: May 13, 2018, 04:00:59 PM »
Newsela is a great resource for reading news articles at modified/simplified reading levels. (And--it's FREE! :D  Although there is also a "Newsela Pro" version. I wouldn't know what to tell you about that, though, because I've only used the free version ;) )

There are many resources that modify fictional texts but this one focuses on nonfiction news articles as well as opinion pieces. (and the original sources are always available as well)

This website has a wide collection of articles that can easily be changed according to students' reading levels. Not only is this a convenient tool for teachers, it is greatly beneficial for students because by finding the appropriate, personalized article at or slightly above reading level students can engage with content that is within their Zone of Proximal Development and maximize their learning.

I have used this website as a tutoring resource with a 3rd grade elementary student for reading and with a 4th grade ESL student to teach English. The students enjoyed the fact that they could choose how hard or easy the article that they picked could be and that the website updated frequently for them to be up to date with a variety of news and current events. I was pleasantly surprised at their enthusiasm to want to challenge themselves and read at a higher reading level. It was a bit surprising to me to see them so engaged in the readings because they had struggled with and avoided reading nonfiction in the past.

Another benefit is that the articles include comprehension and short answer questions. The answers are only available in the paid version, but it was easy for us to go back to the article and check.

One way I would use this in a classroom setting might be for students to practice their summarizing and/or reporting skills. They could work individually or in groups to summarize or paraphrase the articles they read (and there is a wide variety of topics and articles available--another thumbs up!) and present to the class something new or exciting they learned and read about. You could even set up a classroom news station and do this activity as a recurring weekly or monthly thing.

I have attached a few screenshots to show you an example of the same article in different reading levels!
Also, I learned about a new feature, called "Power Words", and articles that have this feature include five vocabulary words that have definitions embedded in the article. Each reading level contains different vocabulary words according to the level.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 05:17:04 PM by pskim4 »