Summer Reading Challenge: Toughest Quiz Questions

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Last month, we launched our second annual Summer Reading Challenge for students. They’ve proven equal to the task. So far, more than 91,000 students have signed up and have read 1,127,900 articles, earning a total of 28,533 badges and 432,977,845 points.

We’ve posted previously on the most popular content on Newsela (including Who’s King in Newsela’s Animal Kingdom?) and engaging with many of these articles now has the added benefit of earning badges. If your readers love articles on animals, have them peruse our favorite dog stories to earn the Canine Chronicles badge. For inquiring young minds, take on the Mini-Mythbusters badge, where commonly accepted theories are put to the test. Budding moguls in your midst? Inspire them to action with the articles in the Junior Entrepreneurs badge.

We found that some badges were harder to earn than others. The Power of the Pen badge, which contains articles about writing with impact, contained 4 of the 5 toughest recent quiz questions – most of them from our article on teens using poetry as an outlet for creativity and problem-solving.

Of our toughest questions, 3 out of 5 of them were “BEST” questions, meaning they asked students to look for the best answer out of multiple plausible responses. We had previously learned through research that these questions asking students to not only find a possible answer, but the best of all possible answers, were difficult for students.

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Questions from fourth grade, one of our lower reading levels, had the highest incorrect response rate. More surprising was that most of our difficult questions were actually from Anchor Standard 1, which asks students to look at what the text says. Though many of our teachers tell us that they try to get students to focus on finding the main idea (Anchor Standard 2), this tells us that paying attention to small details and gaining a full comprehension of what happened in each story is something our readers should work on as well. Good news: we have over 675 Anchor Standard 1-aligned articles for teachers and students to choose from.

Have your students or children been participating in the Summer Reading Challenge? If so, how did you motivate them to keep reading? Let us know your thoughts @Newsela.

Articles in Power of the Pen: