Writing

Webinar Series: Teach Writing With The New York Times – The New York Times

Professional development

From September to May, we’re hosting seven free webinars to help teachers use our prompts, mentor texts and contests to teach everything from argument and narrative writing to informational essays and podcast scripts.

When schools around the world went remote last spring, we tried to help. From late March to early May, we hosted nine webinars, and over 4,000 teachers, parents and students signed up. We were no experts: Up until that point we had hosted only nine public webinars in total over the previous two years. But the response was enthusiastic, and we were thrilled to get to know so many talented educators and share ideas live.

Now that we know what’s possible, we’re hosting more professional development webinars for the 2020-21 school year than ever before. Seven of these webinars will match the seven units of our free writing curriculum. We’ll discuss all the ways to use our writing prompts, mentor texts and contests to teach different types of writing: argument, narrative, informational — even writing for podcasts. We’ll feature student examples; we’ll respond to some writing prompts together; and we’ll have a chance to meet each other and share ideas in the chat feature.

Sign up for a single webinar, or come to all of them. If you can’t attend live, then you can watch later on-demand at your convenience. We offer a professional certificate for participating — and C.T.L.E. credits for New York teachers.

And, if you’re excited about our webinars and writing curriculum, then you might also want to join our brand-new professional learning community on teaching writing with The New York Times.


Thursday, September 24 @ 4pm ET

Coming of Age in 2020, our first contest of the school year, acknowledges both the tumultuous events of this year and their outsized impact on young people — and invites teenagers to respond creatively.

We hope to create the richest possible portrait of what it’s like to be a teenager in America in 2020 as we can. To do that we’re hoping to reach your students, and young people in every corner of the country — from a wealth of backgrounds, communities and circumstances — and invite them to document their lives in ways that feel authentic and meaningful to them, whether through words or images, video or audio. No matter what format they choose, we believe every teenager has something important to say

This webinar will not only cover the basics of the contest, but will also suggest ways to help students brainstorm ideas both big and small, and use mentor texts to help those ideas shine. You will also hear from teachers who are using this contest in their own classrooms — and we’ll save plenty of time for questions and discussion. And, of course, whether students send their work to us or not, documenting our lives right now is valuable far beyond the classroom: Historians, archivists and museums recommend that we all do it, if only for ourselves.


Thursday, october 8 @ 4pm ET

While The Times is known for its award-winning journalism, the paper also has a robust tradition of publishing personal essays. On our site, our daily writing prompts have long invited students to tell us their stories, too. Last year, we introduced a new contest that asks students to write a short, powerful story about a meaningful experience from their lives.

In this webinar, The Learning Network, along with expert educators, will share ideas and resources to get your students reading, writing and thinking about their own stories, and prepare them for our personal narrative contest.


Thursday, december 3 @ 4pm ET

Book reports and literary essays have long been staples of language arts classrooms, but our curriculum unit on writing reviews encourages students to learn how to critique art in other genres as well. Beginning with our informal writing prompts and culminating in our review contest, we encourage students to post their work for a global audience of both teenagers and adults to read. For the contest, students are asked to review a book, movie, restaurant, album, theatrical production, video game, dance, TV show, art exhibition or any other kind of work The Times critiques.

In this webinar, The Learning Network, along with expert educators, will walk through how to use writing prompts and mentor texts from the work of Times critics to help students understand the elements of a successful review, and write one for our contest.


Thursday, january 14 @ 4pm ET

Informational writing is the style of writing that dominates The New York Times as well as any other traditional newspaper you might read, and in our writing unit, and this webinar, we hope to show students that it can be every bit as engaging and compelling to read and to write as other genres. The Times offers a diverse range of informational writing genres – from reporting on politics to news about athletes in Sports, recipes in Cooking and long-form investigative pieces in the magazine.

For this writing unit and contest, we are focusing on just one broad area of informational writing — that with a STEM theme. We invites students to take any STEM-related discovery, process or idea that interests them and write about it in a way that makes it understandable and engaging for a general audience.

In this webinar, The Learning Network, along with expert educators, will share ways to make informational writing engaging and fun for students, show you how the Trilobites column of the Science Times, and other mentor texts, can be used to write compelling and informative writing, and walk you through our STEM writing contest.


Thursday, February 11 @ 4pm ET

Each year, The Learning Network’s Editorial Contest provides students a platform to write short, evidence-based persuasive essays like the editorials The New York Times publishes every day. Over 10,000 students participate annually.

We know that evidence-based argumentative writing is an important component of middle and high school education. This contest serves as the perfect real-world example of this genre. And students have the chance to share their opinions with our judges — and, if they’re one of dozens of winners and runners-up, with the world.

In this webinar, The Learning Network, along with expert educators and some previous teenage winners, will explains how students can use our resources to sharpen their skills at making and defending arguments and walk you through our editorial contest.


Thursday, March 25 @ 4pm ET

Student-produced podcasts are an engaging way to merge project-based learning, storytelling and digital media skills. Podcasts give students a voice — an opportunity to tell their story, teach something new or explore a topic that’s important to them. This multimedia form of expression has exploded in popularity over the last several years and further surged during the coronavirus pandemic.

In this webinar, The Learning Network, along with expert educators, will walk you through how students can strengthen their writing, research and digital media skills by creating their own podcasts and entering them into our annual podcast challenge.


Thursday, May 6 @ 4pm ET

Every year since 2010 The Learning Network has invited teenagers around the world to add The New York Times to their summer reading lists and, so far, over 60,000 have.

Participating is easy: Every week, we invite students to choose an article, photo, video, podcast, or graphic in The Times that has sparked their interest and to tell us why. At the end of the week, judges from the newsroom pick their favorite responses, and we publish them.

In this webinar, The Learning Network discusses ways to keep teenagers reading, writing, thinking and learning on their own this summer.