When working with classes I’m always looking for current events resources and writing prompts that connect what we are learning to our everyday lives. These resources are great at the beginning of a lesson to demonstrate how the topic is relevant, to help students generate ideas about a topic, and to look at issues through a new lens. One of the resources I use for these activities is the New York Times Learning Network. This year, the New York Times Learning Network has expanded their resources to include a 7 unit writing curriculum.
If you aren’t familiar with the New York Times Learning Network they offer several resources educators can use in their classroom. This includes:
- Current Events Lessons (Daily)
- Student Opinion Questions (Daily)
- Word of the Day (Daily)
- What’s Going On in This Picture? (Weekly)
- What’s Going On in This Graph? (Weekly)
- Geography Quizzes (Weekly on Mondays)
- News Quizzes (Weekly on Tuesdays)
- Film Club (Weekly on Thursdays)
- Current Events Conversation (Weekly on Thursdays)
- Picture Prompts (Tuesday-Friday)
- Teenagers in The Times (Monthly)
- Contests (Monthly year-round)
- Our Writing Curriculum (All year)
The new writing curriculum is a great resources for teachers to find articles to support specific writing instruction. The first unit focuses on writing a personal narrative. Here is a description of that unit from the New York Times website:
In this unit we draw on many of these resources, plus some of the 1,000-plus personal essays from the Magazine’s long-running Lives column, to help students find their own “short, memorable stories” and tell them well. Our related mentor-text lessons will help them practice skills like writing with voice, using details to show rather than tell, structuring a narrative arc and more.
Each unit last approximately two months and the New York Times will be publishing additional units as the school year progresses. At the moment you can access Unit 1: The Personal Narrative Essay and Unit 2: The Review. Also, each unit will include:
- Writing prompts to help students try out related skills.
- Daily opportunities to practice writing for an authentic audience.
- Guided practice with mentor texts.
- Teaching ideas and webinars.
- A contest that can act as a culminating project.
To find out more about all of the resources available and the resources available in the visit the the New York Times Learning Network website.
Photo: samchills / Flickr