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Connecting your classroom to the world
from Upper Elementary to Transition.

Newstopia instructional material sample with a tablet showing news stories, an example of Fantastic Facts and a non-fiction article for students.

An Engaging News Program
for Students with Complex Learning Needs

Newstopia provides special educators with engaging instructional materials to increase background knowledge and knowledge of the world for students receiving special education services. This program includes curated and customized weekly news articles, discussion guides, corresponding videos and rich media tailored for students with complex learning needs provided in an online format for educators.  Lessons and activities are engaging, capture students’ attention and connect classrooms to the world.

Teachers access short news articles for students in grades 3-12+ with rich media including slides and videos. The font size for each article can be modified by the educator and a shared reading lesson is provided in an anchor, read, apply format to activate background knowledge and class discussion. The nonfiction articles provided cover a wide range of subjects including science news for students. 

Why Choose Newstopia™?

Illustration of a laptop with a screenshot of an article on wildfires from the website

Covering the News

We value connecting classroom learning with real-world events. Educators need a fresh, weekly info source using dynamic education to boost special ed students’ learning. No dull tasks, like worksheets! Newstopia combines the potential of comprehensive information, real-world contexts, and multimedia for an immersive learning journey that grabs attention, fosters understanding, and links classrooms with the world!

Multimedia Resources

Screenshot from the Newstopia product website showing an example of the rich media resources including this video of a volcano.

Newstopia’s weekly articles leverage a variety of multimedia resources, including videos, instructional slide shows and photos. Research shows that the use of symbols for communication drives just that, communication, but when it comes to literacy the only symbols needed are the letters in the alphabet. The resources cater to different learning styles, making the learning experience engaging and inclusive.

Critical Thinking

Screenshot of one of the pieces of instructional materials within Newstopia - an interactive document with questions about map directions to promote critical thinking.

Newstopia encourages critical thinking skills by prompting students through teacher-led discussions. Additional lessons are provided to get the most out of every story without valuable time spent by a classroom teacher to connect these articles to standards based learning.

Teacher Support

Newstopia provides comprehensive teacher resources, including lesson plans, weekly materials and professional development resources.

Real-World Application

An examples of the real-world application instructional materials within Newstopia - a diagram of a neighborhood, a key and a compass
Newstopia emphasizes the application of knowledge to real-life scenarios. Students are encouraged to identify connections between classroom learning and their own experiences, fostering a deeper sense of relevance.

Reinforcing Secondary Transition Planning

An example of how Newstopia empowers transitional learners - a life skill lesson using a Yellowstone visitor guide

Stepping beyond the K-12 environment is a pivotal moment, especially for exceptional learners. With thoughtfully developed lessons, Newstopia provides a love of learning and cultivates essential life skills. Through engaging personalized lessons and a comprehensive approach to real-world events, Newstopia provides a bridge for success. Empower your secondary transition program with tools that enhance communication, critical thinking and global understanding.

Interactive Lessons

An example of an Interactive Lesson within Readtopia with images and informative text about the Yellowstone National Park
To keep students actively engaged and to meet standards, Newstopia offers interactive weekly lessons, discussions and projects that encourage collaboration and a deeper exploration of topics. This hands-on approach empowers students to take ownership of their learning. You can expect lessons like Fantastic Facts, Science, Social Studies, Geography and so much more.

Inclusive Education

A black and white iimage with text: Focal Pop - this is a video element that is included in Newstopia to provide optimized video images for students with CVI and visual disabilities.
Recognizing the diverse needs of learners, Newstopia’s articles are designed to be inclusive. We provide resources that support students with different learning styles and abilities.

Global Awareness

A screenshot from Newstopia with images of Yellowstone National Park
Newstopia promotes a global perspective by covering a wide range of topics from different parts of the world. This helps students gain cultural awareness and a broader understanding of global interconnectedness.

Lifelong Learning

By nurturing curiosity and a passion for learning, Newtopia instills a lifelong love for knowledge and encourages students to stay informed and engaged even beyond their formal education.

Newstopia Pricing

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Homeschool/Parents: If you’d like to bring Newstopia into your home, call us at (847) 238-8889 for a discounted license.
School District or Organization

Discounts are available for districts/facilities who send their purchase order in before March 31, 2024.

View Sample Newstopia™ Instructional Materials

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D.​

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Her focus is on understanding the best ways to assess and teach reading and writing to children with the most severe disabilities. As a special education teacher, Dr. Erickson has worked to support students with a range of disabilities in a variety of classroom settings, particularly students who do not use speech as their primary means of communication.


Author Profile:,Ph.D.

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