Navigating and Teaching Tough Topics

When Newsela publishes articles on sensitive breaking news, we do so in order to allow educators and students to have all the information about events as they happen. Below, we've put together additional tips and resources to help you address these difficult issues within your schools and families.

If you would prefer your students not to see these articles, as a teacher on Newsela, you can take a few actions on Newsela:

  • Direct your students to Newsela ElementaryClick here to find out more about setting up Newsela Elementary classes, or have your students navigate directly to
  • If your students are not using Newsela Elementary, you can use the Hide function in the top-right corner of the article page, above the headline.

Prepare yourself to talk with students

When tragedy strikes and the news is filled with graphic words and images, it falls on educators to help students make sense of the world. We've curated some resources to help you.

  • Guest Post: 10 Ways to Talk to Students About Sensitive Issues in the News from the NYTimes Learning Network. This post lays out 10 suggestions for discussing challenging issues, including finding out what students already know and think about the issue and maintaining open and clear communication with families when broaching these topics.

  • Explaining the News to Our Kids from Common Sense Media. This blog post breaks down strategies by age groups.

  • Helping Children Cope from the National Association of School Psychologists. This publication provides points on staying calm and how to explain events in a developmentally appropriate manner.

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