You asked; we listened! NextLesson values teacher ideas and feedback. Your thoughtful insight helps make us better! That’s why we’ve been working hard all summer to bring you some new and exciting things!
New Frontiers for Young Minds Lesson Series
NextLesson is proud to share and promote Frontiers for Young Minds in its mission to bring free readable and accessible science to students around current discoveries and core concepts. We especially love the student empowerment we see as Frontiers for Young Minds encourages students to be real-world science editors.
Frontiers for Young Minds is a collection of freely available scientific articles for kids. Distinguished scientists are invited to write about their cutting-edge discoveries in a language that is accessible for young readers, and it is then up to the kids themselves – with the help of a science mentor – to provide feedback and explain to the authors how to best improve their articles before publication.
By working directly with scientists, Frontiers for Young Minds ensures that its content is of the highest quality. And by working directly with kids, the journal helps foster curiosity both in and out of the classroom and engage the next generation of citizens and scientists.
The first lesson in our Frontiers for Young Minds lesson series is Covid-19: The Quarantine Disease. In this interactive lesson, students read and evaluate the science behind the 2020 pandemic. They’ll read a scientific article written by scientists and edited by students their age, rank the virus’s actions to survive, and finally write a Science Explainer – informative writing – for a younger audience. Grades 6,7,8 | ELA, Science
Introduction to Characters Lesson Series Expansion
Our curriculum team has been hard at work, adding additional titles, many requested by our awesome teacher users, to our Introduction to Characters lesson series.
In second and third grade, these lessons introduce the literary concept of “character” with a popular story. Students discuss character traits through examples both in a story and in the real world. They focus on one character and determine the strongest traits in this character by ranking choices with a partner. Using reasoning skills, they explain and justify their decisions. A final writing prompt assignment is included, and the lesson ends with a written reflection that measures students’ understanding.
In fourth and fifth grade, these lessons introduce the literary concept of character for various novels. The lesson could be completed partway through reading the book or at the end to deepen character understanding. Students analyze positive and negative character traits, find evidence for several character traits through a book scavenger hunt, and complete a rank and reason activity to rank the story’s most prominent character traits. An adaptable writing assignment finishes the activity by asking students to present the evidence for three character traits that seemed most important to a character’s journey.
21st Century Math Projects Updates
Our team continues to update the 21st Century Math Projects, developed by Clark Creative Education, for grades 6-12. As part of our updates on the interactive platform, we will include even more interactive questions types (to help support increased auto-grading), supporting images, and consistent, easy to view formatting. Keep an eye out for these updated lessons in our New and Updated Lessons carousel on your NextLesson homepage.
Performance Tasks Data Updates in Progress
Exciting news! This summer, we had an incredible group of data interns who worked hard to gather updated sports information for the most recently completed season for each sport (Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Tennis, Soccer, Olympics, Race Cars, and more).
Now that we have this new data, our curriculum team is working their way through all the sports Performance Tasks and Essentials to update them accordingly. Be sure to keep an eye out for these updated lessons in our New and Updated Lessons carousel on your NextLesson homepage.
Stay tuned for even more new and exciting additions and updates at NextLesson this year. We will be sure to let you know, via the NextLesson Monthly Newsletter, about anything new. You can also subscribe to our blog to receive updates.