Who’s King in Newsela’s Animal Kingdom?

Who’s King in Newsela’s Animal Kingdom?

Newsela has done plenty of stories on animals. From fascinating science explorations of the earwax of whales and the rights of orangutans, to heartfelt feature stories about guide dogs and Navy-trained dolphins — we’ve covered it all. Twitter and analytics tell us that students love animals, but we wondered just which animal they liked best. We gathered up our furry, scaly and feathery friends and tried to find out who was most popular. Here’s what we found:

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  1. Scientists study anti-aging drugs for dogs

Cute and cuddly dogs are always a hit with kids and this story touches on a note many students can relate to — how can I help my dog live forever? Through a relatable problem, the story informs students about cell growth, what aging actually is and attempts made by scientists to prevent or slow it.

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  1. Shark attacks rise sharply in Hawaii

At first glance, one might think this was a Shark Week article based on the title. But reading on will show that the story is also about the sharks’ diminishing ecosystem and Hawaii’s reliance on tourism to support its economy.

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  1. Yawns are contagious among wolves just like humans and dogs

Animal lovers could not resist the great picture accompanying this story. Past the adorable photo of a wolf pup yawning is an update on what scientists are learning about empathy between animals — particularly wolves and dogs.

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  1. It's getting harder for polar bears to act naturally, even in nature

Again, a story about a 10-year-old polar bear named Koda engages students. However, teachers can use this article to present how climate change poses a threat to the polar bear population, both physically and mentally.

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  1. Seaturtles' long ocean swim home

Finally, we get to the king of Newsela’s animal stories: the powerful, majestic, beautiful — turtle? Yes, our turtle stories are incredibly popular and this one presents a zoological mystery. The story investigates how sea turtles are able to travel thousands of miles and navigate back to the beaches where they were hatched in order for them to have their own babies there.

Through turtles, puppies, sharks and bears, Newsela educators can teach their students about economics, climate change, basic biology and more.

Which animal story has been most popular in your classroom? Let us know on Twitter.

Text Sets for Literature

Text Sets for Literature

You First! On Getting Your Students to Annotate

You First! On Getting Your Students to Annotate