[kids-lib] Newsela's Summer Reading Challenge

Jennifer Maurer jennifer.maurer at state.or.us
Fri Jun 27 10:47:47 PDT 2014

Newsela is a website designed to help students build close reading and critical thinking skills by offering news articles, from reputable sources<https://newsela.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/226656-where-do-the-articles-come-from>, each rewritten at five different Lexile levels. The site also offers quizzes and ways for teachers to track students' participation and progress. This is a free resource, but users must register to read articles. Note that you can preview up to four articles without registering.

Newsela is sponsoring a Summer Reading Challenge from June 16th - August 18th. From Joyce Valenza's SLJ blog posting, "Students earn points and quirky, colorful badges for completing a range of mini-challenges based on article assignments." Many of the instructions and guidelines for the challenge are geared towards teachers, but this would be a great activity to promote in public libraries. Common Core emphasizes reading informational text, and news articles are good sources of that and help develop youth's interest in current events.

Note that for students to sign up, they need a code that they get from a parent who has registered.

If students don't know their Lexile reading level, one can get a very rough estimate from this grade equivalent chart, and that can be used as a starting point. That being said, it should be noted that MetaMetrics, the company behind Lexiles, does not like to compare Lexile ratings to grade equivalents. The page with the chart explains more about that.


At a minimum, Newsela might be worth sharing with teachers as you work with them throughout the school year.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us>

OSLIS || www.oslis.org
Learn to research. Research to learn.
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