September 27, 2021

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Teach Writing With The New York Times: Our 2021-22 Curriculum

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At the end of the unit, we invite teenagers to submit their own writing to our Third Annual STEM Writing Contest to show us what they’ve learned. (Dates: Feb. 2-March 9, 2022)

March-April

The demand for evidence-based argumentative writing is now woven into school assignments across the curriculum and grade levels, and you couldn’t ask for better real-world examples than what you can find in The Times Opinion section.

This unit is, like our others, supported with writing prompts, mentor-text lesson plans, webinars and more. But thanks to the fact that we’ve run the related contest for eight years now, we also have several lesson plans and videos that focus on winning teenage work, on topics as varied as policing, anti-Asian racism, toxicity in gaming, saving the snow day, the “life-changing magic” of being messy and how “Animal Crossing” might save Gen Z.

At a time when media literacy is more important than ever, we hope that our annual Student Editorial Contest can encourage students to broaden their information diets with a range of reliable sources, and learn from a variety of perspectives on their chosen issue. (Dates: March 2-April 13, 2022)

April-May

Most of our writing units so far have all asked for essays of one kind or another, but this spring contest invites students to do what journalists at The Times do every day: make multimedia to tell a story, investigate an issue or communicate a concept.

Our annual podcast contest gives students the freedom to talk about anything they want in any form they like. In the past we’ve had winners who’ve done personal narratives, local travelogues, opinion pieces, interviews with community members, investigative journalism and descriptions of scientific discoveries.

As with all our other units, we have supported this contest with excellent examples from The Times and around the web, as well as with mentor texts by teenagers that offer guided practice in understanding elements and techniques. (Contest Dates: April 6-May 18, 2022)

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