Independent Reading and Writing

To be taught extra about different writing items, go to our writing curriculum overview.

With faculties instructing remotely internationally this yr, unbiased studying and writing is now maybe extra the norm than the exception. But we’re hoping this summer season will nonetheless supply your college students some freedom — if not but to journey the place they’d wish to bodily, a minimum of to discover what they need intellectually.

We hope our annual 10-week summer season contest may also help. Every yr since 2010 we’ve invited college students to learn The Times and select something they like — whether or not an article or an essay, a photograph or a graphic, a video or a podcast — then inform us briefly why it received their consideration. At the top of every week, judges from The Times newsroom select their favorites and we publish them right here.

The enjoyable of the competition, for college kids and for us, is the vary of outcomes. Here’s what Nancy Wartik, a 2016 decide, stated after a summer season of studying what youngsters despatched in:

What struck me concerning the submissions was how wide-ranging the subject decisions had been! It didn’t a lot shock me when college students wrote about Pokémon Go or how train might assist with learning. But there have been essays about insecticide’s impact on bee sperm; disappearing sea ice; a brand new artwork museum in Paris; the loss of life of a younger lady jogger in New York; searching lionfish; sexual assault in South Sudan; the Oklahoma City Thunder and heaps extra.

It impressed me to search out younger folks tackling so many alternative topics.

You can learn far more, beneath, about how the competition works and why dad and mom, lecturers and college students prefer it, however we even have many different assets to assist:

An inventory of Learning Network lesson plans and different assets on unbiased studying and writing, all of which hyperlink to wonderful Times articles and essays on literacy.

A guided observe college students can observe on their very own that makes use of the work of 14 teenage winners of our previous summer season contests as mentor texts to encourage college students to learn what they need and give it some thought critically — then sound like themselves once they compose a response.

A lately up to date record of 70-plus further contests, journals and web sites to which youngsters can ship their writing and artwork in the event that they’d like.

To be taught extra, and to listen to from each lecturers and college students who’ve participated, be a part of our May 6 webinar.

Explore Resources on Independent Reading and Writing.

In Málaga, Spain, Marcos Moreno Maldonado makes drawings that weave round his phrases, retaining a diary that’s botanical, lovely and unusual. Keeping a journal is only one of 12 writing initiatives we propose for college kids.Credit…Marcos Moreno Maldonado

It is our job at The Learning Network to scour The Times each day for the very best, most helpful items for instructing and studying — and then flip them into lesson plans, writing prompts, quizzes, contests and extra.

For occasion, the illustration on the very high of this publish is from a current Times collection “Be a Better Reader in 7 Days.” It can stroll you and your college students via choosing the proper studying materials, making a studying plan, studying how one can learn extra deeply and critically, and sharing one’s ideas socially — all abilities our Summer Reading Contest emphasizes, too.

Because we’ve created so many instructing supplies through the years on the themes of studying and writing, we’re itemizing beneath our most helpful common assets, every of which pulls from and hyperlinks to wealthy Times articles and essays on literacy.

Students can use a few of these, corresponding to 12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic With The New York Times, on their very own, whereas others may also help lecturers construction and information unbiased studying and writing experiences earlier than the varsity yr ends.


Lesson Plan | 12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic With The New York Times

List | Writing for an Audience Beyond the Teacher: 10 Reasons to Send Student Work Out Into the World

Lesson Plan | Writing Rules! Advice From The Times on Writing Well


Lesson Plan | What’s Your Reading History? Reflecting on the Self as Reader

Reader Idea | Studying the Teen Experience With Texts That Are ‘Windows and Mirrors’

Lesson Plan | Metaphors, Memes, Games and Themes: Using Times Visual Resources to Support Student Book Clubs and Independent Reading

Lesson Plan | Join the Club! Supporting Independent Reading With Book Groups

Lesson Plan | Beyond the Book Report: Ways to Respond to Literature Using New York Times Models

Reading and Writing:

Lesson Plan | Teaching Close Reading and Compelling Writing With the ‘New Sentences’ Column

Invite Students to Some Low-Stakes Practice.

If your solely affiliation with The New York Times is front-page information, we will present you how one can discover the whole lot from video games to recipes to articles on younger folks.
Credit…Luis Mazón

As you most likely know for those who’ve been following our writing curriculum all yr, we provide each day alternatives throughout the college yr for college kids to make their very own decisions about what to learn and how one can reply.

For occasion, many lecturers let college students select from our 9 weekly writing prompts (5 Student Opinion questions and 4 Picture Prompts) and reply to them on-line. Every Thursday, we spherical up our favourite feedback in our Current Events Conversation column, which capabilities nearly like a mini Summer Reading Contest. So invite your college students to craft a couple of feedback and publish them to the immediate of their alternative earlier than the varsity yr ends. Our contest begins on June 11.

And for those who’d wish to introduce college students to what The Times has to supply earlier than you flip them free with it this summer season, we’ve assets for that, too:

We know your college students know that our paper stories the information, however “21 Things Teenagers Can Do With a New York Times Subscription” — printed in April, 2020 when the world first started quarantining — may also present them how one can play video games and watch movies, hearken to music, be taught a talent, hear a podcast, discover recipes and work out. It’s a fast introduction to corners of they may not have identified existed.

A 2017 publish, “10 Ways to Teach With The New York Times Today,” provides a scavenger hunt for introducing college students to the varied sections of, in addition to all types of different recommendation for connecting The Times to your curriculum.

Finally, in a 2021 piece, A Simple Exercise For Encouraging Independent Reading, 4 lecturers from throughout the U.S. tried a brief experiment wherein they challenged their college students to learn Times article on a subject inside their consolation zone, and one article on a subject outdoors it. In this piece, they and their college students mirror on the profitable outcomes. If you’d wish to attempt it, we’ve a Student Opinion query that challenges your college students to do the identical.

Inspire Them With 14 Teen-Written Mentor Texts.

Images from Times items college students have chosen through the years for our Summer Reading Contest. 

If you’ve been pissed off by reader responses from college students that don’t go a lot additional than “I liked it” or “I hated it,” this version of our Mentor Text collection may also help. And so can the most recent version of our widespread Annotated by the Author video collection, that includes two 2020 Summer Reading Contest winners discussing their items.

The first useful resource provides 4 steps for composing feedback which are richer, extra analytical and, effectively, simply extra enjoyable to write down (and learn). The guided observe walks college students via how one can:

Make an fascinating private connection

Read critically and present their pondering

Reference particular particulars or quotes

Write of their pure voices and experiment with model.

To demystify the method, every of those steps is illustrated with examples from the work of earlier pupil winners. Your college students will learn a poignant private story a few lifetime of feeling “awkward,” a humorous essay about consuming bagels in California and a pointy evaluation of how the media stories on Beyoncé, amongst different responses.

Then, within the Annotated by the Author video, you’ll hear from two 2020 winners about how and why they selected their article, and what recommendation they’ve for different college students who’re collaborating within the contest.

We hope they’ll see that there’s room on our website for all types of real, considerate reactions — together with theirs.

Enter Our Summer Reading Contest

Our 2021 Summer Reading ContestCredit…Julien Posture

Every yr since 2010 The Learning Network has invited youngsters all over the world so as to add The New York Times to their summer season studying lists and, up to now, over 70,000 have.

Though our targets are just like these of many educators — honoring pupil “voice and choice,” serving to youngsters turn into extra conscious of the world and their place in it, studying how one can navigate subtle nonfiction and working towards writing for an actual viewers — we additionally hope that college students will notice that studying the newspaper might be enjoyable. They can select actually something they like that was printed on in 2021. We don’t care what they write about; we simply care about why they selected it.

Maybe essentially the most compelling motive to assign this contest, nevertheless, is what members themselves say about it. Reflecting on the finish of the summer season of 2017, an adolescent named Emma Weber, from London, informed us:

Prior to this summer season, the one writing I did was for varsity assignments or Google searches. And if I did get round to it, I by no means reread what I wrote. That’s why, because the weeks went on, I stunned myself once I started double and triple checking my feedback for errors, of which there have been way over anticipated!

Another transformation is my newfound curiosity within the information. I was the type of one that opened a newspaper and went straight to the puzzles part, and although which may be unchanged, I now really feel compelled to learn a couple of articles that catch my eye too. In return, exposing myself to present affairs has fine-tuned my political views, and via constant writing I realized to specific them in a means that accentuates them.

The end result? I really feel grounded in my views and perceive what’s happening on this planet. It’s superb what a change 1,500 characters every week make.

Find Even More Places to Send Student Work.

An picture by Darcie Wu, 13, created in response to a Learning Network name for illustrations on the idea of “student voice.” It and 5 others appeared in print in The New York Times in June 2018.Credit…Darcie Wu, 13

We’ve lately up to date our widespread record, “Out of the Classroom and Into the World: 70-Plus Places to Publish Teenage Writing and Art,” in order that your college students have many, many extra locations to ship their work.

From an enormous nationwide arts contest to a small on-line journal dedicated to teen comedy writing, you’ll find quite a lot of potentialities to maintain your college students creating all summer season lengthy.