Want more ways to use a free reading comprehension website in speech therapy?
NewsELA? What is that?
NewsELA is a FREE website (just need an email address to create a free account, yes there is a paid version but haven’t found the need!) and it is just perfect for grabbing quick passages to use to bring literacy into your speech room.
Why bring literacy into your speech room?
Yes although literacy depends on decoding skills, it also depends on language skills as well! Even listening comprehension is a cognitive and linguistic skill. Therefore, we can support literacy by working vocabulary, grammar, higher level thinking questions, memory and more.
I did mention it is free, right? They also have high-interest passages that are relevant to the times. They are adding constantly. They also have the ability to alter based on reading levels, comprehension questions, and more amazing features.
I will share with you fun ideas to target various aspects of language using this fun website!
Using NewsELA to target vocabulary
You can easily pair the articles on this website using the Expanding Expression Tool (EET). You can describe concepts being described or related. In the image below, I would have the students describe ice cream! We would also hunt for descriptions within the passage to see if they are there!
You can also copy and paste the text into a free tool called VocabGrabber to get all of the tier 2 and 3 level vocabulary words. You can do sorting activities, context clues, parts of speech and more. Click HERE to read more on using this tool.
Using NewsELA to work on main idea and details
I love to have my students identify details and even if they are relevant ones! I make for them (or have them make) a visual by folding an index card and writing “main idea” and “detail” on each side. As we read, I will stop and make note of a detail to remind them that those are just “details.” They can indicate this by showing that side of the index card visual. Then, I will review and throw in a main idea somewhere to see if they can identify that that one is bringing together ALL of the details. Learn more about this idea by clicking HERE!
We also practice expressing the main ideas. We can all write them down on index cards and share our responses!
Using NewsELA to work on higher level thinking
For this, I will primarily use the questions given. However, not all of them are directly “literal” vs. “inferential.” Others have to do with main idea and sequencing. That could be a whole different task to determine the difference between all of them. Click HERE to read about my comprehension guide idea. For literal vs. inferential, I have cut them apart so that I can only show them those that are. I also give them visuals to remind them of the different types.
We also work on locating the evidence using fun props like these finger puppets from Target.
It is also important for students to know that there are two different clues that can help them answer these questions. Not only the evidence from the text, but their own experiences/schema. I help my students pull out their own schema and show them how important it can be. I model for them how I use what I know to help me answer questions. Want more ideas on working on background knowledge? Click HERE!
So, as you can see there are tons of ways to bring these articles to life and address speech and language goals. Go check out the site and let me know what you try out! Fun tip…always check in to that website because you never now what will be added and relevant to the current events. The site also can allow you to sort by skill you want to work on!