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.
My version of the weekly assignments have adaptations for close reading and reflective writing skills. The purpose of close reading is “to focus on comprehension, making meaning through careful and thoughtful examination of the text” (Lent, 2016, p. 54). In regards to 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.
Pre-COVID-19, I had students reflect in their Writer’s Notebook, which was an idea I picked out of Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson. The majority of the 2020-2021 school year has been online, 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 that include directions on how to adapt them for your use. Articles that are not linked were used as assessments; therefore, formatting will not be shared.
- “Why You Should Study Shakespeare” by Lori Gray for the UC Berkeley Extension: Voices Blog
- “Jackson Northwest girls basketball forfeits regional game due to spring break opt-outs” by Josh VanDyke for mLive
- “‘When Normal Life Stopped’: College Essays Reflect a Turbulent Year” by Anemona Hartocollis for the New York Times
- “TikTok will no longer let people opt out of personalized ads” by Kait Sanchez for The Verge
- “8-Year-Old Calls Out NPR for Lack of Dinosaur Stories” by Mary Louis Kelley for NPR: All Things Considered
- “Tokyo Olympics: Hugs, handshakes, and highfives banned under strict new rules for games” by Arata Yamamoto and Yuliya Talmazan for NBC News
- “Dear Basketball” by Kobe Bryant for the Players’ Tribune
- “Six top YA authors are collaborating on one of 2021’s most exciting books” by Seija Rankin for Entertainment Weekly
- “Sarah Fuller plans to stick with Vanderbilt football, addresses halftime pep talk” by Andrea Adelson for ESPN
- “Haslett teens open House of Soles, a store for sneakerheads” by Krystal Nurse for the Lansing State Journal
- “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.