Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology

Sep 15, 2020 2020-09-15

Digital Learning • Learning Support

Writing Curriculum Offering Teens a Creative Outlet in Extraordinary Times

The New York Times Learning Network is again offering middle schools and high schools a free, flexible seven-unit writing program based on the real-world writing found in newspapers—from editorials and reviews to personal narratives and informational essays. The 2020–21 version of the program is useful whether students are learning in person, online, indoors, outdoors, in a pod, as a homeschool, or in some hybrid of a few of these. The main goal is to show young people they have something valuable to say and to give those voices a global audience. Each unit includes writing prompts to help students try out related skills in a “low stakes” way, daily opportunities to practice writing for an authentic audience, guided practice with mentor texts, “Annotated by the Authorcommentaries from Times writers (and teenagers), and a contest that can serve as a culminating project. The following units are offered in the 2020–21 school year: September–October: Documenting Teenage Lives in Extraordinary Times; October-November: The Personal Narrative; December–January: The Review; January–February: Informational Writing; March–April: Argumentative Writing; April–May: Writing for Podcast; and June–August: Independent Reading and Writing. For each of the seven units, The Times hosts a webinar to introduce educators to the many resources and provide practical suggestions on how to use the prompts, mentor texts, and contests in the classroom. New for this school year, educators are invited to join a virtual Personal Learning Community on teaching writing, where they can share resources, strategies, and inspiration about teaching with these units.

Reading/English/Language Arts Media Literacy Information Literacy Global Awareness

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