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Weekly Accessible Learning Activities: Comeback Stories, Newspaper Poetry, Smiling

Each Wednesday we shine a spotlight on five student activities that support a broad range of learners. In this week’s roundup of accessible activities, we invite students to reflect on athletes coming out of retirement, learn how to make poetry with the newspaper, reflect on a photograph from the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings, learn a new word invented by a student and make observations about a photograph.

Note: To learn more about this new weekly feature, read our introductory post. Please share your thoughts in the comments section or by emailing us at [email protected]


1. Share your opinion on comeback stories.

This Student Opinion question focuses on athletes who retire from a sport and then “un-retire.” Students can share how they feel about athletic comeback stories and if they’ve ever had an experience of quitting something and returning to it later.

2. Create poems using the newspaper.

This short guide features the advice of poets Leah Umansky and E. Kristin Anderson and provides students with four ways to use their newspaper to write a poem. For this National Poetry Month, students can experiment with found poetry, an erasure poem, a cento poem and a golden shovel poem.

3. Reflect on a photograph.

This Picture Prompt features a now iconic image of Ketanji Brown Jackson, and her daughter, at Judge Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Students will share what they know about the image, read a related article to learn more about the context, and share their opinion of the message.

4. Use a new word invented by a teenager.

This April Fools’ Day, The Learning Network published a new word invented by a student, Rohana Khattak, age 16, from Islamabad, Pakistan. Students can try using the invented word in a sentence and learn about why Rohana thinks it’s important. Then, they can invent their own new word following our February Vocabulary Challenge guidelines.

5. Make observations about an image.

In this week’s What’s Going On in This Picturestudents can participate in an animated conversation with other students around the world about what they think is happening in an unlabeled New York Times photograph.

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