Teaching With Text Sets

Text sets are collections of articles curated by the editors of Scholastic News. Consider these teaching ideas as you and your students explore the collections.

Many teachers use text sets for independent reading, while others use them for whole-class or small-group instruction. Here’s how Scholastic News text sets can help you inspire students to read, gain content knowledge, and synthesize information.

Foster Student Choice

When using text sets for independent reading, empower students to explore their interests by allowing them to choose which sets to read or which texts to read in a set. You can form discussion groups of students who choose the same texts.

Differentiate Instruction

You can support struggling readers and multilingual learners by using alternate versions of texts, especially for guided reading or small-group instruction. Cover stories have a lower-level version available in the toolbar to the left of the text. And most articles are available in Spanish if you click “Open Presentation View” and then “Open Spanish View.”

Build Background

When using texts to teach students about popular curricular topics in whole-group instruction, play a video from the text set to build students’ knowledge before they read. You can give students an active listening task. After the class watches the video once, play it again and pause to discuss key ideas and check for understanding.

Support Comprehension

Each text set includes a page of Close-Reading Questions that are specific to that set. These text-dependent questions call on students to reread articles and cite text evidence to support their response.

Integrate Information

Choose from a host of skill builders that can be used with any text set. These skill builders are designed for students to use after exploring several texts within a set. Find them under the Teaching Resources tab within the text set.

  • What Do You Know?: Use this K-W-L-S chart to track knowledge and questions before and after reading.
  • Make a Word Web: Have students identify and define important terms as they read.
  • What Are They All About?: Use this chart to identify main ideas and important details and then summarize the main idea of all the texts.
  • Take Note!: This two-column organizer will help students take notes as they read.
  • Same and Different: A Venn diagram supports students in comparing two texts from a set.
  • Write the Quiz!: This graphic organizer challenges students to write text-dependent questions and is perfect for partner discussions.

Guide Critical Thinking

Help students understand features of nonfiction texts. Point out the dateline at the beginning of each article that shows when it was published. Explain how students can use that information to understand relative dates, such as “this month,” “last December,” and “by the end of this summer.”

Reflect After Reading

After the class explores a text set, guide students to reflect on it. Lead a discussion by asking questions such as:

  • What surprised or confused you?
  • What did the author think you already knew?
  • What changed the way you think about something?
  • What made you want to learn more?
  • What do you still wonder about?

Launch Research Projects

Use text sets as a springboard to launch research projects. Have students develop questions they want to explore based on their reading. Then guide students to find credible sources, take notes, organize information, and present their findings to the class with a poster, report, video, podcast, or slideshow.