Text Sets for Literature

We’re big readers here at Newsela, whether it’s the news, novels, or anything in between. With many educators on our team, we also know how challenging it can be to pair classroom fiction reading to relevant, high-interest nonfiction texts. We want to make this process easier for teachers – and maybe even fun. That’s why we’re excited to introduce Text Sets for Literature.

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These Text Sets aim to help teachers and students connect fiction themes to current events. A few members of our team picked their favorite Text Sets for Literature to get you started:

JJ JanikisThe Outsiders by Susan Eloise Hinton

“The Outsiders was one of my favorite novels I read with my 6th-grade students. These articles really help make strong real- world connections to the issues the characters face in the novel.”

Ted PalenskiThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” This text set explores themes from Fitzgerald’s novel with stories on income inequality, the recession, and more.

Nicole Boyle: 1984 by George Orwell

“When teaching this novel, my students often assumed everything in the novel was outdated since we have passed the year 1984. However, the themes of the novel are more applicable to the world we live in now than they may have been in 1984. By showing students articles that align with the themes of the novel, they start to look at the world differently. When seeing how many parallels there are in current events, the students see Big Brother everywhere.”

Stephanie Vatz: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
“In a pre-Harry Potter world, A Wrinkle in Time was the first book I remember not being able to put down. It led me on a science fiction binge that lasted into my middle school years. Madeline L’Engle created a mysterious world that contains both good and evil, tragedy and love. She embraces individuality and self-sufficience, all illustrated by her protagonist, a 13-year-old girl named Meg.”

We’re happy to see that many of you have already contributed your own Text Sets based on books, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

Have you created a Text Set you’d like to share? Let us know on Twitter @Newsela!

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