One thing our students love about Newsela is that they can read articles on subjects they are interested in. Newsela’s text sets, built around a wide range of topics, are a great way to further engage a student in their area of interest. Texts sets typically group articles under a common academic subject, historical time period, or area of interest (e.g. Food: Science and Culture).
Part of the payoff of Text Sets comes when Newsela integrates an academic subject or a real-world application. If a student is interested in math, for example, assign them one of the Newsela text sets, which blend math with everything from art to sports to math-heavy career paths. Students learn how an area of interest branches out into other subjects, and they are challenged to see their favorite subject in a different context.
Text sets also work as a perfect supplement for group activities. We assigned students a text set called “It’s Greek to Us” in preparation for a mock Senate debate between Sparta and Athens. At Alpha, we have found Newsela to be an excellent tool for increasing engagement and helping students learn faster.