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Newsela: Reading Comprehension of Current Events

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

Tech Product Equipment

Computer(s), Internet access, projector

Activity Description

Newsela is a personalized reading service designed to help students master non-fiction literacy by providing daily news articles at five reading levels. Newsela makes it easy for an entire class to read the same article at their own reading level.

The teacher assigns an article(s) to the class. Many of the articles have quizzes available. "Write" is a feature that allows students to answer open-ended questions. The teacher can customize the prompt.

Newsela offers a free version and a premium for pay program called Newsela Pro. Pro includes many additional features including student tracking, annotation on articles, etc.


  1. Sign up for a teacher account, then read the following document: Registering for Newsela (Students) .
  2. Select article(s) for your class to read. To do this, open the article you want to assign. Select the button for the class you want to assign the article to. (The button will change color.) Students can change the reading level.
  3. There is a Write prompt for each article. You can assign this prompt or create your own.
  4. Or print a copy of the Example Document (above) titled Summary Writing Graphic Organizer.
  5. To assist student enrollment, print the Example Document (above) titled Instructions on how the student can access Newsela. Individualize it with the sign in code assigned for your own class(s).


  1. Introduce the topic of current events.
  2. Demonstrate Newsela.
  3. Help students enroll . Give students the Sign-Up Code and instructions for Username and Password (see Example Document [above] titled Instructions on how the student can access Newsela.)
  4. Assign an article.
  5. If there is a quiz available, have students take it.
  6. If you are using the Write feature, demonstrate how students can enter their response to the Write prompt.
  7. Responses will be in your binder or distribute the Example Document and have students use the Summary Writing Graphic Organizer.

Teacher Tips

  • See the Learning & Support ¬†section for information about how to sign-up students, quick start, and ways to use Newsela. Under "How do I...?" there is a "Quick Start Guide for Teachers" including a printable PDF copy of the instructions available at the bottom of the guide.
  • Take a look at the Write Toolkit ¬†for suggestions on how to use this feature. Included is a grading rubric and a 10-minute video describing the nuts and bolts of Write.
  • Students love this site. They enjoy reading articles about current topics. If you do not have enough computers, print the article and hand it out to students.


Select subjects and subcategories

English Language Arts

  • English 1-4
  • Journalism

Social Studies

  • Social Studies Electives
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.