Newspapers in Education

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Newspapers in Education

  • Literacy Teaching Ideas
  • Presented by:
  • Kathy Conville Sims
  • Simsboro High School

Newspapers in Education

  • Newspapers are the most widely used of the media as a teaching instrument in the classroom.
  • Newspapers are a cost effective way to educate.
  • Newspapers teach all sorts of valuable skills including reading comprehension, writing for meaning, media literacy, critical thinking, word meaning and sequencing.

Reasons Teachers Use Newspapers In Education

  • An adult medium that students of all ability levels can be proud to be seen reading.
  • Deals with what’s happening now, providing motivation for reading/discussion.
  • Extremely flexible and adaptable to all curriculum areas and grade levels.
  • Bridges the gap between the classroom and the “real” world.
  • Builds good literacy habits that last a lifetime.
  • Can be cut, marked, clipped, pasted, filed, and recycled.
  • Gives everyone something to read – news, sports, comics, weather, editorials, etc.
  • Makes learning fun.
  • Contains practical vocabulary and the sound models of clear, concise writing.

Newspapers Impact Literacy in All Classrooms

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Social Studies
  • Critical Thinking
  • Life Skills
  • Character Education

Language Arts Ideas

  • Remove and display headlines from news stories. Students take stories and match to appropriate headlines. Excellent group activity!
  • On newspaper page draw circles around various parts of speech. List examples.
  • Build bulletin board of articles written in and labeled present, past and future tense.
  • Find words with prefix/suffix. Locate base word and meaning. Change prefix/suffix to create new words. Use words in a sentence.
  • Cut apart comic strips with multiple frames. Have students sequence comics in correct order. Students may create their own comics strips.

Using Newspapers in Math

  • Write a word problem using an grocery advertisement as its basis.
  • Read a page in the newspaper and underline words and phrases referring to time (annual, bicentennial, hourly, etc).
  • Race through the newspaper. Circle all the number words you can find!
  • Refer to the “Living” section. Choose several kinds of entertainment you enjoy. After determining the cost of each, journal about an imaginary weekend of entertainment including specifics.

Science and Technology Ideas

  • Find article about severe weather. Use dictionary to define unknown terms. Write essay on preparation for weather emergences.
  • Find article discussing world problem. Write about an invention to solve the problem.
  • Begin vocabulary list of science/technology words from newspaper. Record spelling, meaning and use of words.
  • Collect advertisements for products not available 20 years ago. Identify scientific/technological advances these products have made possible. Journal on ideas.
  • Find articles on animals. Identify genus, species, etc. Research animal for project written report.

Social Studies Ideas

  • Travel by means of newspaper. Journal about things you might do or see in a different country. Share your ideas.
  • Read an editorial or article. Draw political cartoon representing information.
  • Place news stories (photos) of each state on large outline map of the US. Read and summarize articles from different states.
  • Use news stories to teach new words related to geography, government, etc. Discuss the meaning of words used in newspaper stories.

Critical Thinking Idea # 1

  • Choose a story from the front page.
  • Find answers to the following: Who? What? When? Where? Why?
  • Note organization of story details.
  • Which detail is most important? Less?
  • Where is this detail found in article?
  • Does the headline highlight an important fact?
  • If not, where did information for headline appear in story?

Critical Thinking Idea #2

  • Choose editorial from newspaper.
  • Underline each fact.
  • Circle each opinion.
  • Discuss logic of the ideas.
  • Discuss the organization and development of arguments.
  • Have students journal about their opinion(s) on this issue based on fact.

Life Skills Ideas

  • Take a scavenger hunt and circle certain names and phrases with certain meanings or emphasis.
  • Prepare menus using food advertisements including food from all 4 food groups.
  • Collect articles about accidents. Journal about how these accidents could have been prevented.
  • Select a job in the classified section. Write a letter to the Human Resource director stating what qualities make you perfect for the job.
  • Find a comic strip in the newspaper that shows a conflict. Rewrite it depicting a better way for the situation to be handled. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms for words. Recreate the cartoon.

Newspapers in Character Education

  • Make a “Hall (Wall) of Fame” by clipping articles of people who exhibit good character traits.
  • Make a “Survival Vocabulary List” of words (including legal terms) a person would need to know to be a responsible citizen.
  • Read an article about an honest individual and consider the consequences of the act.
  • Make a poster of a family crest with examples of what is good about you and your family. Cut words out of newspaper that remind you of your family.
  • Find articles of individuals, groups, or nations in conflict. Write about resolutions and solutions to conflict.

My Favorite Newspaper in Education Activities

  • Political Cartoons
  • Bill of Rights
  • Spotlight on News

How I Use Political Cartoons in My Classrooms

  • To stimulate discussion on certain topics
  • To gauge prior or recently developed knowledge and/or values
  • To gain student’s interest
  • In some cases, just for humor
  • As a form of formative or summative assessment
  • To develop skills involved in interpreting cartoons
  • To increase opportunity and motivation for students with lower literacy levels to participate

Political Cartoon Activity

  • Discuss political cartoon and reason behind it.
  • Use current or past political cartoons.
  • Analyze dates, captions, people, etc.
  • Have students write a evaluative paragraph about the cartoon.
  • Have students draw their own political cartoon.
  • Identify people, places, time periods, vocabulary and symbols of cartoons.
  • Compare drawings of people in cartoon to actual photographs.
  • Use Venn diagram to show similarities and differences between two cartoons.
  • Develop an essay, based on the Venn diagram exercise.

Bill of Rights

  • Brainstorm basic rights students possess as Americans.
  • List student responses on board.
  • Distribute copies of Bill of Rights.
  • Identify which rights were omitted during brainstorming.
  • Find articles in newspapers relating to individual rights.
  • Analyze which rights the topic of the article relates to.
  • Determine if rights were upheld or violated.

“Spotlight on News”

  • Read the chosen article.
  • Look for important details on topic.
  • Summarize those details based on the facts presented in the article.
  • If possible, compare the news story in one newspaper to the same story in another newspaper.
  • Write a written report of summary.
  • Make an oral report to the class.

Newspaper In Education Activities:

  • Support literacy in numerous ways.
  • Stimulate student interest in current events.
  • Support learning across the curriculum.
  • Promote higher level thinking skills.
  • Stimulate independent reading and writing.
  • Support character development.
  • Provide a lifelong desire to read and learn.
  • Many of these ideas came from the “Newspaper in Education Web site. To find more information on “Newspaper in Education” classroom activities visit: .

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