One of my goals this year was to institute a video of the week and an article of the week in my classroom to aid my students in continuing to develop 21st century literacies. After watching the video or reading the article, I ask students to spend a few minutes discussing in small groups what they think about it. I hope that this time helps students think critically and disagree kindly, all while looking each other in the eye.
Through this process, I also hope that students will learn that reading non-fiction can be fun and a life-long pursuit. Reading the news does not have to be boring. I try to choose a wide variety of texts from a wide variety of sources in hopes of exposing students to the breadth of information available to them. This also allows us to discuss bias and validity in sources. After students discuss in their small groups, I ask them to give me a thumb-o-meter on two questions: 1) How much did you agree with the viewpoints shared in this article? and 2) How much did you enjoy this article? I enjoy seeing their diverse opinions.
Here are some of the articles we have read so far this year:
“What happened when I tried the U.S. Army’s tactic to fall asleep in two minutes”
”Readers Howl Over Insult to Canine Intelligence”
”4 Strategies for Overcoming Distraction”
”The only six words parents need to say to their kids about sports—or any performance”
”Skim reading is the new profound. The effect on society is profound”
”We Spend Too Much Time Teaching Students to Argue”
”Are pro athletes playing too much Fortnite?”
”This Is Personal” - Steph Curry
One of the things I have loved the most about this process is that students send me articles that they recommend we read as the Article of the Week. This means that they’re reading what they come across online and that they actually like it!