5 Easy Ways to Use Newsela


We’re all about getting students engaging as quickly and deeply as possible with texts and forging excellent relationships with teachers in the process. Here are five easy ways to use Newsela to help your students become active, engaged readers.  

  1.  Getting to Know Your Students

This lesson is a Getting to Know You exercise with a twist. Assign fun articles to your students and ask them to tell you about their own experiences that may be similar or different than what they are reading about. This is an easy way to show your students how to have a one-on-one conversation with you about any article throughout the year. 

  1. Creating Newsies

This lesson allows students to become active readers by using Annotations to identify key points of an article. During a group reading, walk your students through identifying the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when and why) of an article. Show students how to use annotations to pose a question about the article and highlight its main ideas.

  1. Predictions From Pictures

Because each Newsela article comes with an eye-catching photo, play a game where students look at only the photo and guess what the article is about. This activity emphasizes the importance of looking at all features of the article. Then, instruct your students to read the article and then go back and compare their original inferences with what they now know.

  1. Compare and Contrast

This lesson allows students to work on comparing and contrasting content. Use Newsela’s categories to find articles that lend themselves to comparisons or check out the PRO/CON Text Set. Assign two articles to the class and then ask students to find similarities and differences between the articles. Students can use Annotations to make notes about key features of each article. Then, they can record the results on a Venn diagram to map out their conclusions.

  1. Uncovering Unknown Words

Although Newsela lets students adjust the reading level on articles, they will inevitably encounter words they don’t know. Ask students to read an article and highlight any words they do not know. In the Annotations, students should write what they think the word means and the context clues that helped them get there. Then, you can turn these words into a vocabulary list for the class.

Visit this section on Learning & Support for in-depth, step-by-step instructions on the tips above. 

Have you found any creative ways to use Newsela with your students? Let us know on Twitter @Newsela!