Article of the Week

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Please note that, as I explain in-depth in the free e-guide above, I take no credit for coming up with the article of the week (AoW) assignment — Kelly Gallagher is the man who first introduced me to the idea through 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 any mistakes.

The list of articles of the week for 2014-2015

To just about every other state in the country. I apologize for not having any articles listed yet — the thing is, students don’t start back to school in Michigan until the day after Labor Day! Don’t hurt me!

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,” 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.