“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” – Albert Einstein
In my opinion, there is a lot of power in this quote. It doesn’t matter how much you teach until you make what you teach matter. Students long to be engaged and understand the “why” behind the tasks they are asked to complete. The young minds in our classrooms truly desire to understand why the lesson matters. As educators, we must provide conditions in which our students make powerful connections to real life. They need connections for learning to matter!
One powerful way to make reading matter is to provide conditions for students to make connections with current events. In my experience students do care about current events and are anxious to explore how events connect to them personally.
When I taught 5th grade ELA I had a group of students who met with me 2 days each week for enrichment/acceleration. One of my favorite resources to use with this group was NEWSELA. This site has current event articles designed for students at every grade level. The questions are aligned with new standards and each article is paired with a writing assignment. This resource helped students make connections with current events. This resource helped make learning matter!
Today NEWSELA has a feature article titled, “Taxpayers, donors pay big bucks for inauguration that costs a pretty penny.” The article is adapted from the a recent article published by the Washington Post.