Get Common Core Standards Reading Strategies from the Educators at The New York Times

By Cameron Pipkin

I don’t know how I managed to miss it for so long, but I was turned on recently to The New York Times’ “The Learning Network” teaching blog. As far as I can tell, apart from my own blog and a couple of others, The Learning Network is the only blog that’s been producing Common Core Standards reading strategies since the beginning of the 2011 school year. Scanning the blog’s archives, I’ve found a number of quality Common Core lesson plans worth sharing.

The first lesson plan I’ll point you toward is a list of Common Core Standards reading strategies, centered around informational texts. As most of you know, the Standards recommend that teachers begin to emphasize informational texts, cutting back on the literature that has dominated the American ELA classroom for over a century.

The Times is taking full advantage of this mandate, suggesting to readers with a wink that their publication is chock full of informational text (“pretty much everything The Times publishes,” the blog says).

Fair enough. I’ll play along—though it doesn’t hurt that there are quite a few excellent suggestions for Common Core Standards reading strategies. Below are a handful of strategies offered. Click here to see the rest:

Easy Ways to Weave in The Times

  1. Have students scan just the front page or homepage daily or weekly in order to prepare for the following activities:
  • Take a daily News Quiz, which is based on that day’s print front page.
  • Choose an article to read in depth, perhaps using our reading log.
  • Learn vocabulary, keeping track of it here. Reading just the front page of The New York Times every day introduces scores of SAT-level words in context. On June 14, for instance, you could find vibrant, fissure, unscathed, sectarian, volatile, inert, pretext and many more.
  • Practice making quick connections to another text, to their own personal life, to something they’re studying in school, or to another trend, controversy or topic they’ve heard or read about. This graphic organizer can help.

2. Have students respond online to our daily Student Opinion question, each of which links to a recent, high-interest Times article. Since we keep all our questions open, they can also scroll through and choose the ones they like best.

3. Have students play World History Standards Bingo to see how the same trends, patterns and concepts studied in global history are echoed in today’s news.

Let me know how these ideas work in your classroom, and as always, I’d love to hear how the Common Core is going in your school and/or classroom.

  • Common Core Standards Reading Strategy



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