This school year, The New York Times is offering a free, flexible, seven-unit writing curriculum based on real-world genres found not just in The Times, but in all kinds of print and online sources. Woven into each unit are multiple opportunities for students to publish and have their writing read by authentic audiences. Each unit includes writing prompts to help students try out related skills, daily opportunities to practice writing for an authentic audience, guided practice with Mentor Texts, teaching ideas and webinars, and a contest that can serve as a culminating project. To support this year’s contest, The Times is publishing a mentor text-guided practice series that shows how Times journalists write about literature, history, science, and the arts by doing this same kind of contextualizing that helps readers see the relevance of a topic in their lives today. The following units will be offered throughout the 2019–2020 school year: “The Personal Narrative Essay” (September/October), “The Review” (October/November), “Analysis and Connection Making” (December/January), “Informational Writing” (January/February), “Argumentative Writing” (February/March), “Multi-Genre Writing” (April/May), “Independent Reading and Writing” (June–August).
Devon Scott and Samantha Harris, two class of 2021 medical students in Southern California, have created a book, entitled Why We Stay Home, to help children understand why their worlds have changed dramatically in the last few months and why it has been important to stay home during that time.
Finding the right words to discuss race and racism with children can be challenging, but images can help. An article written by members of the Youth and Families team in the Art Institute of Chicago offers ideas about how to use picture books and artworks to talk about race and affirm children’s identities.
Behind My Mask / Detras de me cubrebocasis a pedagogical tool to engage bilingual youth in conversations around identity and emotions amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. Written in English and Spanish, the book includes reflective activities about emotions and promotes the use of masks.