To our valued educators,
We at Newsela believe students are being deprived of reading experiences that are essential and engaging. What do I mean by that? Think about everything you’d like your students to read – in order to be informed and confident dealing with the many types of media and rhetoric they’ll face in college, careers, and civic life.
There’s a good chance your list includes famous works such as the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, as well as lesser-known gems spanning a range of topics and genres. Perhaps Cesar Chavez’s powerful speech on workers’ rights, or a biography of someone like Confucius or Aretha Franklin, or maybe archaeologist Harold Carter’s diary entry from the day he discovered King Tut’s tomb. In other words, you want your students experiencing the actual words and lives that shape and illuminate the world in which we live.
Unfortunately, there’s an even higher chance that you don’t feel comfortable assigning many of these texts for fear that the reading will prove too challenging for your students. What do you do in that situation? Well, for decades you’ve had mainly two options. One, use a textbook, which more often than not offers a bland, oversimplified summary. Or two, skip it, and find something else.
To upend this paradigm, we’re thrilled to introduce the Library, an ever-growing collection of leveled nonfiction content covering core subjects ranging from the arts and culture to history and government. Packed with biographies, famous speeches, primary source documents, essays, and news archives, the Library can help turn your teaching three-dimensional while building critical reading comprehension skills. Much of this content you know and love. Some of it will be new to you. All of it, you can be sure, has been selected and presented in a way that will add depth, variety, and rigor to your tried-and-true lessons.
So whether you use these resources as assignments to beef up background knowledge, or you set your students loose to conduct their own inquiries and research, you can know that they are enjoying an authentic reading experience, and one that is – as always – at the right level for them.
Chief Content Officer at Newsela