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Article of the Week

Please note that, as I explain in-depth in this blog post, I take no credit for coming up with the article of the week (AoW) assignment. Kelly Gallagher (or, as I sometimes call him, The Gallagher) came up with the idea, and I first came across it in his must-read book Readicide. Thus, anything I share about my classroom’s experiences with AoWs, any theories or experiments I try out with the assignment, and any success my students or I have with it thoroughly and ultimately traces back to Kelly’s work. If I ever come across as the progenitor of this idea, please either drive to Michigan and egg my house OR contact me here so I can fix attribution mistakes.

Want to read more about how I rock the A o Dubs? Click here.

Want to read even more about the A-o-Dubs? Click here.

Articles of the Week for 2016-2017

I carried some of the “timeless” articles from last year into this year. I’m a collector, so not every article below will be used with my students. I hope you find an article that’s useful to you and your purposes with your students. Please keep in mind the context within which you introduce article of the week and the way in which you frame each week’s articles. I choose some articles that are arguing for one side of an issue. Bias is real! I teach my students to read for these things, as my goal is never indoctrination and is always clearer thinking and a greater knowledge of the world.

With these things said, please use discretion when choosing articles for your kids, keeping in mind the context you teach within and the sensitivities of your students and families.

Time-sensitive Articles

Timeless Articles

These are articles that I’ve used in the past and that I could, in a pinch, use again this year.

Curricular Articles — these are used in direct connection with my world history curriculum

Articles of the Week for 2015-2016

I’m being a bit more proactive with my AoW approach this year, organizing articles that I plan to use by time-sensitive — it’s best to use these near their publication date — and timeless — these touch upon themes and ideas likely to be relevant for at least a few years.

Time-sensitive Articles

Timeless Articles

The list of articles of the week for 2014-2015

Here’s the list for this school year:

  1. “Abolish prison,” from The Week. (pdf)
  2. “These are the 12 things most likely to end the world,” from Vox. (pdf)
  3. “President Obama says he doesn’t believe Cuba is supporting terrorism,” from Newsela & the Washington Post. (pdf)
  4. “Too Many Tests? More Parents Opt Out; Congress May Rewrite Law,” from Newsela & the Washington Bureau. (pdf)
    1. Dear Readers: Please note that this is a controversial issue, and that you should use this article thoughtfully. I chose this article because of what I feel is a balanced reporting of an issue that many of my students have been hearing about. The aim of these articles is not to sway students one way or another, but rather to provide them background knowledge so that they might better understand the world they live in and be better able to read its texts.
  5. California Water Shortage, from Newsela & the LA Times. (pdf)
    1. Kelly’s AoW this week takes an argumentative approach to this topic — click here.
  6. Two Articles about Space Travel, from The New York Times and CNN.com.
    1. This is one of Kelly’s AoWs.
  7. “The End of Coal?” from The Week.
    1. This is one of Kelly’s AoWs.
  8. “Two Articles about Net Neutrality,” from CBS News and The Washington Post.
    1. This is one of Kelly’s AoWs.
  9. “A Thirsty, Violent World,” by Michael Specter for The New Yorker. (pdf)
  10. “Warren Buffet’s Two List Strategy,” by James Clear. (pdf)
  11. “The case for invading North Korea,” by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry for The Week. (pdf)
      Note that this article is tough! I will be a little more “hands on” with this article as students will need greater scaffolding to understand the author’s primary arguments.
  12. “Why invading North Korea would be insane,” by Harry J. Kazianis for The Week. (pdf)
  13. “Five Maps and Charts that Will Surprise You,” by Ezra Klein for Vox. (pdf)
  14. “The Sony Hack: How it happened, who is responsible, and what we’ve learned,” by Timothy Lee for Vox. (pdf)
  15. “Two Children’s Activists Win Nobel Peace Prize,” by Los Angeles Times and Newsela staff.
  16. “Why the Government Should Pay Every American Child an Allowance,” by Matt Bruenig for The Week.
  17. Glendale district says social media monitoring is for student safety,” by Stephen Ceasar.
    1. This one comes from Clifton But — you’ll notice the formatting is different, but my kids are used to things not always looking the same, so it’s all good!
  18. Infamous Hajj Selfie Is One More Thing Transforming Mecca, And Not Everyone Is Happy About It,” by Antonia Blumberg for Huffington Post.
    1. Thank you to Caleb Allen for providing this article — you’ll notice it’s in the fuller rubric + reading for meaning statements format.
  19. One Feminist Critic’s Battle With Gaming’s Darker Side,” by NPR.
    1. Again — thank you Caleb Allen!
  20. “The Minimum Wage Ballot Debate,” by McClatchy Washington Bureau, adapted by Newsela staff.
    1. Thank you to Teresa Wecht for putting this beauty together and sharing it with the Teaching the Core community!
  21. “Eight Things the Happiest People Do Every Day,” by Eric Barker of Barking up the Wrong Tree.
  22. “Six Ways to Strengthen Your Self-Control Muscle,” by Laura Entis for Entrepreneur.
  23. “Colorado Students Protest a Conservative Call to Change Their Curriculum,” by Matt Ferner for The Huffington Post.
    1. Thanks again to the dynamic duo of Erica Beaton and Clinton Chapman for finding fascinating article of the week!
  24. “Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart,” by Sal Kahn for The Huffington Post.
    1. Thank you to Erica Beaton and her husband Matt for this one!
  25. “US Works to Step Up Ebola Aid, but Is It Enough?” by Lauran Neergaard for the AP.
    1. Thank you to my student teacher, Clinton Chapman, for creating his first article of the week!
  26. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: The Man Who Would be Caliph,” by TheWeek.com.
  27. “Crumbling Under Our Wheels,” by TheWeek.com.
    1. This one also come from Kelly’s website.
  28. “What is ISIS?” by Gil Kaufman for MTV News.
    1. This one comes from KellyGallagher.org — the format is different from the articles I’ve been posting on Teaching the Core for the past year or so, but the concept is the same. My students were highly engaged by this piece last week as, tragically, ISIS executed another American journalist.
  29. “Here’s how much your high school grades predict your future salary,” by Jonnelle Marte for the WaPo.

If you have an AoW you’ve used this year that you’d like to share, contact me — I’d love to post it for the good of the community.

The list of articles of the week for 2013-2014

Here’s the list for this school year:

  1. “American Prisoner in North Korea Requests Rescue,” by Choe Sang-Hun for the New York Times.
  2. “Why ‘Stop and Frisk’ is Worse than NSA Surveillance,” by Marc Ambinder for The Week.
  3. “The Writing is on the Wall,” by Esther Cepeda for the Washington Post.
  4. “Monsanto Doesn’t Want You to Know What You’re Eating,” by Zack Kaldveer and Ronnie Cummins for AlterNet.org
  5. “Can the Postal Service by Saved?” by The Week.
  6. “Seeing Narcissists Everywhere,” by Douglas QuenQua for the New York Times.
  7. “Nazi War Crimes Suspect, 98, Dies Awaiting Trial,” by Alan Cowell for the New York Times.
  8. “Why Are Chemical Weapons Worse Than Conventional Weapons?” by Keith Wagstaff for The Week.
  9. “Dying Well,” by Katy Butler. Note that this article includes my first attempt at an AoW rubric and also the Reading for Meaning strategy. We’ll see how it goes!
  10. “Miss America and Social Media’s Ignorant Bigotry,” by Leonard Pitts Jr. for The Miami Herald. Once again, the format I’m using is tweaking the AoW 2.0 I started playing with in AoW #9.
  11. “Rest of the World Thinks Congress is a ‘Laughing Stock’ for Government Shutdown,” by Shadee Ashtari for The Huffington Post.
  12. “Smart Strategies that Help Students Learn How to Learn,” by Annie Murphy Paul for Mind Shift. Special thanks to Erica Beaton for putting this one together!
  13. “E-Smoking Among Teenagers” and “Everything You Need to Know about E-Cigarettes,” by NYT and ABC News, respectively.
  14. “Forget Cursive. Teach Kids to Code,” by Keith Wagstaff for The Week.
  15. “Pro/Con: Fast Food Minimum Wage Debate,” by Mark Weisbrot and James Sherk for McClatchy-Tribune News Services; adapted by NewsELA.
  16. “End Adolescence,” by Newt Gingrich for Business Week. Thanks to Chad Walden for putting this one together!
  17. “Five Arguments For and Against Capital Punishment,” by Flame Horse for
  18. “How to Raise a Kid Who Isn’t Whiny and Annoying,” by Lyz Lenz for LyzLenz.com. Thank you to colleague and friend Heidi Bonnema for putting this one together!
  19. “Richard Sherman: Evil, or Genius?” by Keith Sharon. Thank you to Jennifer Villalpando and the fine teachers of Oceanside Unified School District for sharing this!
  20. “Eating Food that’s Better for You, Organic or Not,” by Mark Bittman for The Times. Thank you again to Heidi Bonnema for this great article!
  21. “Less Sleep, More Time Online Raise Risk of Teen Depression,” by Maanvi Singh for NPR.org. Heidi once again provided this one. Thank you!
  22. “What to Pay the Babysitter,” by Jan Francisco for Huffington Post.
    1. This one’s not in our usual format, but it’s a great article to give kids during those odd weeks before a break you want them to debate on something pretty “in their world.” Thanks again to Heidi Bonnema for this one!
  23. Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions,” by Jay Dillon. Once again, Heidi Bonnema created this one!
  24. “A Startlingly Simple Theory about the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet,” by Chris Goodfellow for Wired Magazine. Thank you again to Jennifer Villalpando and her colleagues at Oceanside Unified School District for sharing this one!
  25. “How to get a job at Google,” by Thomas Friedman. Thanks again, Jennifer and Co!
  26. “Study: You Really Can ‘Work Smarter, Not Harder,” by Nanette Fondas. Thank-you, Heidi for creating this one!
  27. “Read, Kids, Read,” by Frank Bruni for the New York Times. This one isn’t in the AoW format, but it’s a great read for kids prior to summer break — we need them to read!
  28. “Should Drone Attacks Continue ,” by ____ for USA Today. Thank you to Chad Walden for sharing this one — like Chad says, it’s an older article, but the issue is current and it’s a nice format with an opposing view included. Thank you, Chad!
  29. The Coding Debate: A point-counterpoint pair of articles featuring “Teach It As Early As Possible,” by Hadi Partovi, and “Other Skills Should Come First” by Beverly Amico; for the New York Times.
    1. Thank you to Jay Dennis of Gautier HS in the Pascagoula School District for contacting me and offering to share your articles of the week! This one was from Jay, as well as the next one
  30. The Coding Debate: A point-counterpoint pair of articles featuring “Teach It As Early As Possible,” by Hadi Partovi, and “Other Skills Should Come First” by Beverly Amico; for the New York Times.

The list of articles of the week from 2012-2013

Below is a list of articles I prepared for the 2012-2013 school year. Some were read as part of the AoW assignment; others were read for different lessons or units (which I note parenthetically).
  1. “Best. Decade. Ever.”, by Charles Kenny for Foreign Policy.
  2. Saudi Arabia’s Judoka Strikes Blow for Women’s Rights in Olympics,” by Esther Addley for The Guardian.
  3. Teen Hospitalized after 4-day Video Game Binge,” by TheWeek.com.
  4. The Media’s Obsession with Political Gaffes: Four Downsides,” by TheWeek.com.
  5. Justin Bieber Disses Prince William on Thinning Hair,” by Lisa Suhay for The Christian Science Monitor.
  6. Sikhism and Gun Control,” by TheWeek.com.
  7. “The Quietly Heroic Life of Ambassador Chris Stevens,” by TheWeek.com.
    1. My colleague Erica Beaton created this one — thanks Erica!
  8. The Writing is on the Wall,” (pdf) by Esther Cepeda for The Washington Post Writer’s Group, 9/20/12.
  9. State Dept Never Believed what Hilary Clinton Said,” by Daniel Halper for The Weekly Standard.
  10. The World’s Silliest Territorial Dispute,” by TheWeek.com.
  11. The Cases for Obama and Romney,” by TheWeek.com.
  12. Articles related to marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado; I’ve also created an ACT-style writing prompt and debate for this issue:
    1. Legalizing Marijuana: The View from Mexico,” by T.W. for The Economist.
    2. Pot Legal but ‘Jury Still Out’ on What’s Next,” by Jonathan Martin for The Seattle Times.
    3. Is Marijuana Bad for Your Health?” by TheWeek.com.
  13. “Did Big Labor Kill the Twinkie?” and “Ding Dongs — Big Labor Strikes Again,” by TheWeek.com and by Jennifer Rubin for The Washington Post, respectively.
  14. “Is the 500 million Powerball Lottery a Tax on the Poor?”, by TheWeek.comand Natasha Lennard at Salon.
  15. “10 Things You Need to Know Today: December 9, 2012,” by TheWeek.com.
  16. “Why the World is Preparing for War in Mali,” by D. B. Grady for TheWeek.com.
  17. “North Korea’s Rocket Launch: 3 Consequences,” by Harold Maass for TheWeek.com.
  18. “What Gun Control Can and Can’t Do,” by Marc Ambinder for TheWeek.com.
  19. “4 Disturbing Trends You Should Pay Attention to in 2013,” by Paul Brandus for TheWeek.com.
  20. “The Growing Humanitarian Crisis in Syria: By the Numbers,” by TheWeek.com.
    1. I used this on a Friday — it was a 15-minute activity that tied into our world history unit on the 1700s, but these “by the numbers” articles are fantastic for developing students’ ability to read, visualize, and logically link numbers and statistics
  21. “Is Bashar al-Assad Nearly Finished?”, by Harold Maass for TheWeek.com.
  22. “What’s Happening in Mali?”, (Various sources)
    1. I used this article to expose students to the breaking news in Mali this week, as it perfectly tied into some issues we were exploring in our 1700s unit in history. This document includes a progression of 3 news releases and a collection of opinions on whether France will regret intervening in Mali.
  23. “Bride-burning in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh is Acceptable Murder,” by Nancy Koerner for The Examiner.
  24. “Urine the Army Now: Arguments against Women in Combat,” by William Saletan for Slate.
  25. “8 Ridiculous Vladimir Putin Publicity Stunts” and “Did Iran Fake its Space Monkey Mission?”, by Samantha Rollins and TheWeek.com.
  26. “The Early Bird Gets the Bad Grade,” by Nancy Kalish for the New York Times.
    1. My colleague Becky Kooi created this one — thanks so much, Becky!
  27. “Struggling Back from War’s Once-Deadly Wounds,” by Denise Grady for the New York Times.
    1. This article serves as an excellent segue into All Quiet on the Western Front, as well as into any discussion about the human costs of war.
  28. “Sleep Deprivation has Genetic Consequences, Study Finds,” by Erin Brown for the LA Times.
    1. This article comes from Kelly Gallagher’s list of Articles of the Week.
  29. “Bystander Psychology: Why Some Witnesses to Crime Do Nothing,” by for Time.com.
    1. We’ll be connecting this case to our study of WWI and WWII in world history.
  30. “Secrets of the Most Successful College Students,” by Annie Murphy Paul for Time.com.
    1. This is another from Kelly Gallagher’s list — it was way too good to pass up!
  31. 3 articles on escalating tensions in Korea (pdf), by various authors for TheWeek.com.
    1. In world history, we are beginning our study of 1950-2000, and, as part of that, we’re reading Blaine Harden’s Escape from Camp 14.
  32. “He has Millions and a New Job at Yahoo. Soon, he’ll be 18,” by Brian Stelter for the New York Times.
  33. “Inside the World of Kim Jong Un,” for The Week.
    1. This is another North Korea tie in to our reading of Escape from Camp 14. Thanks to Kelly Gallagher for providing this article of the week.
  34. “Should college grads do what they love?”, by Carmel Lobello for The Week.