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What Are Students’ Top Interests for 2020?

Researchers gathered teacher input as they developed a writing evaluation system based on real needs

What do Billie Eilish, Serena Williams, Albert Einstein, and SpongeBob SquarePants have in common? They rank among students’ most popular interests, based on responses collected by NoRedInk from millions of students in grades 5–12.

Top student interests

NoRedInk is an adaptive writing curriculum that engages students by personalizing exercises according to their interests. Below are students’ top choices from the 2019–20 school year across several categories:

  • Actor: Tom Holland
  • Actress: Zendaya
  • Animated character/superhero: Deadpool
  • Baseball player: Aaron Judge
  • Famous person: Dwayne Johnson
  • Football player: Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Historical figure: Albert Einstein
  • Musician: Billie Eilish
  • NBA player: Kobe Bryant
  • Tennis player: Serena Williams
  • TV show/movie: SpongeBob SquarePants
  • WNBA player: Candace Parker
  • Video game: Super Mario Bros.

Students are continually invited to suggest new interests for NoRedInk. Based on these suggestions, the company has added 180 new interests for the 2020–21 school year, bringing the total number of interests on the site to nearly 1,000. Top new requests included the anime series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, author Jason Reynolds, and K-pop band Twice! NoRedInk also added a new category for Olympic athletes.

“Students write more frequently and grow more quickly when they’re deeply engaged in their learning,” said NoRedInk Founder and CEO Jeff Scheur. “Ensuring that our English Language Arts curriculum is always infused with exciting, relevant content allows us to significantly boost student achievement while representing the diverse interests of the students we serve.”

About NoRedInk

NoRedInk builds stronger writers through interest-based curriculum, adaptive exercises, and actionable data. It is used by students and teachers in more than 60% of all districts in the United States. For information, visit www.noredink.com.

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