60 of Our Favorite Teaching and Learning Resources From 2020

60 of Our Favorite Teaching and Learning Resources From 2020

1. What Students Are Saying About What Kobe Bryant’s Death Means to Them

On Jan. 26, the basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash. More than 350 teenagers paid tribute to them in our related writing prompt, and we published a selection of their comments in this special roundup.

2. STEM Writing Contest: Explain a Concept in a Clear, Engaging Way

In a first-ever contest, we invited students to choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health and explain it in 500 words or fewer. We received over 1,600 entries from teenagers around the world and selected 44 finalists. We’re holding this contest again in 2021, from Jan. 19 to to March 2.

3. Annotated by the Author: ‘Tiny Tyrannosaur Hints at How T. Rex Became King’

As part of our writing curriculum, we tried something new at the beginning of the year: inviting Times journalists to annotate their own articles to help demystify the research and writing process. Nicholas St. Fleur, a science reporter, was the first of many to let us in on his process — and the feature became an instant hit with teachers and students alike.

4. The Winners of Our Personal Narrative Essay Contest

In another first-ever contest, we asked students to write short, powerful stories about a meaningful life experience. We were thrilled to publish the eight winning essays, which teachers tell us they now use as compelling mentor texts to teach narrative writing.

5. Lesson of the Day: ‘What Is the Coronavirus? Symptoms, Treatment and Risks’

In January, when the novel coronavirus was spreading through Asia, but still a mystery to many Americans, we published this lesson to help students learn about the virus by using Times photographs, graphs and articles. We couldn’t fathom then how much it would turn our lives upside down.