Are you interested in getting something for nothing? Read on. In my last post, I featured primarysourcenexus.org, an excellent source of teaching ideas and materials that incorporate primary sources. Today's post features another great website with enough high quality free material to make a your heart sing. Both websites will help you incorporate Common Core standards in your teaching.
Today's website is The Learning Network: Teaching and Learning
with The New York Times. You can find it at learning.blogs.nytimes.com. To get
an overview of this site, begin by reading "Twelve Ways to Use The Learning
Network Blog This School Year" at
Here you will find a link to a short video that provides an overview of the
entire website, an invitation to sign up for a weekly e-mail newsletter, and a
description of twelve features you can use, with links to each one. Are you
interested in Common Core-aligned lesson plans? Ideas for teaching vocabulary? A
place to get you and your students published?
Poems paired with New York
Times articles? Activities to use with the daily newspaper? These things are all
a click away. Wow!
In this post I highlight Common Core Practice, a
weekly feature found at this site at
learning.blogs.nytimes.com/category/lesson-plans/common-core. Although this
feature is designed for high school students, many of the ideas can be adapted
for younger students. Each week three different writing tasks are
provided--narrative, argumentative, and expository--all connected to CC
standards. Each task is based on material from The New York Times, which you can
freely access. In addition, there is a three-part lesson addressed to
1. Your Task: A clearly written, engaging challenge for
2. Before You Do This Task, You Might...: Helpful
3. Extension Activities: Ways to further
investigate the topic and the task
Not only are students reading The New York
Times, they are applying current information in their writing. This is
challenging and meaningful.
There are also a number of CCSS-related
activities for younger students. A good place to begin is with "Great Ways to
Teach Any Day's Times" at
Here you can access a collection graphic organizers, games and fun, discussion
starters, word play activities, and a collection of maps to fill in.
Common Core State Standards provide us with rigorous goals, but it's up
to us to design the curriculum for meeting these goals. The good news is that
there are sources like The Learning Network that can assist us in this process.