2. Creating Newsies


This lesson allows students to become active readers by using annotations to identify key points of an article. During a group reading, walk your students through identifying the 5W’s of an article, a one-sentence summary of the article and examples of specific support. Show students how to use annotations to pose a question about the article. Once you have completed the lesson as a group, assign another article and ask students to complete the lesson individually. This is a great way to set expectations for how you want students to read an article and provide feedback throughout the school year. It is also a great way to prep for a Newsela quiz. 

The Lesson

As your students read and engage with the articles on Newsela, it is important that they become active readers. The quizzes on Newsela allow them to do so but it is important that they comprehend key elements even before taking a quiz. Newsela’s annotation feature allows student comprehension to be recorded right next to the text of the article.

  1. Use filters to search for an article and assign the article to your students.
  2. At the end of the article, add an annotation that poses a question about the article.
  3. Read the article out loud with your class and identify the 5 W’s. Use the Newsela Pro annotation feature to record these so that they become a part of the article for all students to view.
      • Who: Who does the article involve?
      • What: What is happening the in the article?
      • Where: Where does the article take place?
      • When: When does the article take place?
      • Why: Why is this article newsworthy?
  4. Challenge your students to come up with a one sentence summary that states the central idea of the text. By limiting them to only one sentence, the students are forced to consider the most important elements of the article. Highlight the headline of the article and make an annotation to record the sentence. Each time students revisit this article, they will be able to see your annotation and be reminded of what they should consider when they read other articles.
  5. Ask your students to identify at least two sections of the article that support their main idea. Highlight those areas and then add annotations that explain why this supports their central idea.
  6. Review the question you posted at the end of the article and ask your students for the answer. Now, instruct your students to create their own questions about the article. This encourages the students to think more about what they have read. Sometimes this is a lingering question they have about the content and other times, it is a more personal question.


  • Once you have completed this exercise with the entire class, break the students into smaller groups and have them read a new article together. This also works as an individual project as well.
  • By using Newsela to record critical information about the article, the students can go back and use the article to support a paper or essay throughout the year.
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