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8 Webinars on How to Teach Writing With The New York Times

Are you looking for engaging ways to teach your students about how to share their stories? Are you thinking about bringing a real-world approach to your writing curriculum for the next school year? Have you thought about incorporating multimedia projects, such as podcasts or photography, into your classroom but don’t know where to start?

In the eight videos below — all edited versions of previously recorded live webinars — we walk teachers through how to use The New York Times to teach writing using our lesson plans, writing prompts, mentor texts and student contests. Each video focuses on a different genre: argumentative writing, narrative writing, informational/science writing, review writing, profile writing, podcast writing, multimedia creation and reader responses. The videos feature a mix of Learning Network staff, Times journalists, classroom educators and student creators who share their advice for producing writing that is meaningful, engaging and impactful.

Please note: Each year we adjust our lineup of student contests. Please stay tuned for our 2022-23 contest calendar.

Evidenced-based persuasive writing is a core component of middle and high school education, and you can find models of it every day in The Times Opinion section. In this webinar, you’ll hear from an educator who uses Times editorials in his teaching de ella, past winners of our Student Editorial Contest and Katherine Schulten, a Learning Network editor and the author of “Student Voice: 100 Argument Essays by Teens on Issues That Matter.” They’ll show you how you can use our writing prompts, lesson plans and real-world texts to sharpen your students’ argument-making skills.

When you think of The New York Times, personal narratives may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the paper has a long tradition of publishing personal essays on everything from love to animals to life in college. In this webinar, you’ll learn how you can use these essays to teach narrative writing and inspire your students’ own stories. You’ll leave with ideas to get your students writing about their lives right away.

Informational writing is the style of writing that is most dominant at The Times and at any other traditional newspaper. While this genre may sound boring (to students and to teachers), in this webinar we offer The Times’s excellent science journalism as an example of how informational writing can be engaging, compelling and — dare we say — fun. You’ll get advice from science journalists and student writers about how to explain concepts in a clear, concise and compelling way.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to write a review from the experts: the arts and culture critics of The New York Times. AO Scott, Jon Pareles, Jennifer Szalai and Maya Phillips share their tips for writing criticism that is engaging, fair and influential. We also give you mentor texts and writing prompts that can help your students generate and develop their opinions on movies, music, books, art, fashion, restaurants and more.

The year 2020 was extraordinary. To meet the moment, we invited teenagers to show us — through writing, images, audio or video — how the year’s events had affected them. This webinar, which focuses on that exceptional year, can help you explore how multimedia projects can allow students to document their lives. We suggest ways to help students brainstorm ideas, both big and small, and use mentor texts from The Times to make those ideas shine.

Who are the fascinating characters in your community? In this webinar, we introduce you to the journalistic profile and discuss how finding, interviewing, photographing and writing about interesting people can give students useful academic and life skills. Two Pulitzer Prize-winning Times journalists — Corey Kilgannon, a reporter, and Todd Heisler, a photographer — also share their “craft moves” for writing and shooting profiles.

Write a narrative, do an interview, conduct an investigation or put on a radio play: Podcasts put a creative spin on virtually any kind of writing or research project that you want your students to do. In this webinar, you’ll get step-by-step advice from an educator, New York Times audio producers and teenage creators on how to help your students produce their own podcasts. And we’ll show you how our lesson plans, as well as student-made and Times mentor texts can help.

How can you keep teenagers reading, writing, thinking and learning on their own, outside of the classroom? One idea we pose in this webinar is the “reading response.” Via our annual Summer Reading Contest, we invite students to read, watch or listen to anything in The Times and then respond by writing a comment. In this video, you’ll hear from educators who have taught with this contest, as well as from past student winners who say that responding to articles of their choice gave them the chance to make personal connections and explore their own voices.

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