Article of the Week is a yearlong unit that I have adapted from Kelly Gallagher and developed to fit the needs of my students. Gallagher’s purpose for assigning these non-fiction texts is to provide his students with information to enhance their prior and background knowledge in order for them to be stronger readers, writers, and thinkers.
I, too, recognize that my students need more context with certain topics, books, issues, and articles, so I have assigned Articles of the Week (AoWs) since 2015.
I often turn to two mentors when creating AoWs for my students – Kelly Gallagher and Dave Stuart Jr. My version of the weekly assignments have adaptations for skills assessed both in this unit and beyond.
One of the skills that is focused on with Article of the Week assignments is close reading. The purpose of close reading is “to focus on comprehension, making meaning through careful and thoughtful examination of the text” (Lent, 2016, p. 54).
Another skill covered with the assignments is that of reflective writing. I’m looking for students to reflect on their thoughts, beliefs, opinions, experiences, etc. that tie in and relate to the topics being covered in the Article of the Week. Gallagher also has his students reflect. I have students reflect in their Writer’s Notebook, which was an idea I picked out of my reading of Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson. For the 2020-2021 school year, I am teaching online through the end of October, so reflections have moved to a digital format and the Writer’s Notebook has not been adapted.
Below is a list of AoWs for the 2020-2021 school year with the most recent being on top. All links lead to Google Docs. Articles that are not linked were used as assessments; therefore, formatting will not be shared.
- “45 years later, remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck” by Kevin Byrne and Jesse Ferrell for AccuWeather
- “Alex Trebek: Jeopardy! game show host dies with cancer aged 80” from BBC News
- “TikTok Sensation: Meet the Idaho Potato Worker Who Sent Fleetwood Mac Sales Soaring” by Bobby Allyn for NPR
- “American classics amongst most ‘challenged’ books of the decade in US” by Alison Flood for the Guardian
- “McDonald’s Travis Scott Meal proves to be more popular than expected, leading to shortages at some restaurants” by Kelly Tyko for USAToday
- “Are Your Texts Passive-Aggressive? The Answer May Lie in Your Punctuation” by Danny Hensel for NPR
- “Why it matters that TikTok wants to reveal its algorithms” by Rebecca Heilweil for Vox: Recode
- “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater remakes renames the “Mute” grab to respect original skater’s legacy” by Imogen Donovan for VideoGamer
Note: Articles are subject to the copyright protections specified by the original source.
Lent, R.C. (2016). This is disciplinary literacy: Reading, writing, talking, and doing … content area by content area. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.