Article of the Week is my favorite unit to work through with students. The personal connections students make with their prior knowledge and experiences to the current events/topics being covered in each Article of the Week is priceless and is something that a novel may never be able to do.
As I’ve mentioned before, my school district is 100% virtual through at least the end of October. With the first quarter coming to a close, four AoWs have been assigned to students. Topics range depending on grade level, and the articles assigned for this year and previous years can be found on the Article of the Week resources page.
I had a student recently float the idea of a “Suggestion Box” for potential Article of the Week assignments. Prior to this school year, I’ve always been open to hearing from students regarding topics and issues that they are interested in, want to read about more, and/or discuss with their peers. Being out of the classroom has not allowed for these interactions to happen, so I think the Suggestion Box idea fills this void.
Google Forms have been my go to in terms of collecting data this school year. I enjoy the capability of a Google Form and the ability for it to notify me when it is completely filled out.
The Suggestion Box is formatted with the following four criteria:
Ultimately, I want the Suggestion Box to be more than just “write something down on a slip of paper and throw it in a glass jar” exercise. I want students to identify ONE current event/topic, explain why they think it should be studied, and provide me starting point via a link to an article.
I always include the final question of “What else would you like to share with me?” as a catchall for anything else students with to share with me. I make it required, so students cannot bypass the question and just hit “submit” on the form. The usual responses are “no” or “nothing,” but I do get meaningful responses from students on occasion that help inform my practice in more ways than one.
Here’s to hoping that students engage with the Suggestion Box and that their thoughts and ideas become a reality with future Article of the Week assignments.
I’m thinking of sharing the current events/topics in future blog posts as a ways to inspire other teachers if they are stuck trying to come up with Article of the Week assignments or text sets. Stay tuned for future updates regarding the Article of the Week Suggestion Box.