The 20 most-read articles for elementary school students

The 20 most-read articles for elementary school students

A review of the top 20 articles for young readers yields many of the topics we’d expect—think online games, animals, and giant pumpkins—but also a few surprises.

Article HeadersUnique User Views
A cat's purr 207,881
"Fortnite" shoots up gaming charts 190,786
Songs stuck in our heads 182,058
A video game helps students learn 174,109
Pumpkins: A smashing idea for zoos 158,666
"Minecraft" museum fest 139,024
Drake and friends play "Fortnite" 137,892
Donald Trump 137,228
"Fortnite" big hit in baseball 134,139
There really is a great pumpkin 130,713
Gaming is good; kids say yesss! 127,284
Martin Luther King Jr. 121,687
Therapy tool or distracting toy? 120,193
The negative effects of video games 119,921
Too young for "Fortnite" game? 117,116
Catchy "Baby Shark" goes global 113,520
Hurricane FAQs 108,596
"Fortnite" moves enter real world 103,970
I Have a Dream 99,778
Emojis play key communication role 99,155

The fact that nearly half of elementary school students’ most-read articles revolve around gaming is a reminder of just how important games are in students’ home, school, and social lives. It’s important to note, though, that these articles aren’t simplistic: many surface larger concerns around gaming (Does it help or hinder learning? How young is too young?) and explore the ways games intersect with our broader culture. For students, reading about gaming can often expose them to deeper questions—and lead them to examine the role games play in their own lives.

Student article views also indicate a growing curiosity in prominent present-day and historical figures, with Donald Trump and Martin Luther King Jr. both appearing on the list. Students also gravitate to articles about how things work, particularly when scientific stories intersect with their daily lives (Why do cats purr? What should I know about hurricanes? And why—please tell me why!—does that song keep getting stuck in my head?).

Reviewing these preferences helps us understand how elementary students are starting to explore the pros and cons of activities in their daily lives, and to realize that there are deeper layers—and differing opinions—surrounding the things they take for granted. By the time they get to middle and high school, students’ desire to explore both sides of key issues becomes much more pronounced. But in elementary school the seeds of this curiosity are there—along with a healthy dose of Fortnite. 

We’ll be releasing insights from Newsela’s dataset on a weekly basis. Interested in getting content insights about your school or district? Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

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