Newspapers can be a HUGE asset to teachers as an informational text teaching tool.
Why are they helpful?
1. Students who regularly read the newspaper show greater interest in local, state and national affairs.
2. Students who read the newspaper in school have less trouble reading it on their own, and have a more positive attitude towards the newspaper.
3. People who read newspapers regularly are more likely to become regular voters.
4. Reading the newspaper helps to raise reading scores according to research done by Dr. Dan Sullivan of the University of Minnesota.
5. Newspapers are more timely than text books
6. Newspapers are models for clear and concise writing.
7. There's something for everyone in a newspaper
Here are just a few of the ways to use newspaper to teach informational text!
1. Choose one main article and copy it for the class. Discuss the lead sentence. That is the "Hook" to get readers to continue reading the article. How does the lead sentence in this article grab the reader's attention? How would students make it better?
2, Discuss the 5 w's used in newspaper writing. (who, what, when where, why). Go through one article and point out how each of these questions is answered. Ask students to write their own article following the 5 w's about something going on in school.
3. Get into groups of three. Ask them to skim a newspaper section within a specific period of time, then do a short report about what is in the news today.
4. Writer a letter to the editor on an item of interest.
5. Cut out pictures from a newspaper and ask students to write a story to go with the picture in the form of a newspaper article. What happened just before the picture was taken?
6. Ask students to write a new headline for an article of interest.
7. Look for articles that show the different types of writing (narrative, persuasive, expository). Write each heading on the board. Cut out articles and put on the board under each heading.
8. Group students into groups of two or three. Ask students to take 10 to 15 minutes to make up a ten question quiz on a newspaper article. Ask them to focus on who, what, when, where, why. Swap quiz with another group to answer. Discuss what makes a good question.
9. Ask students to take a particular article and make a list of key vocabulary words used in the section. Ask them to then write a defition for each of these words, and draw a small picture to illustrate it.
10. Ask students to cirlce all of the store ads in a section of the newspaper. Ask students to discuss what makes an appealing advertisement, and what does not. Ask students to explain what text features in the add were especially appealing, and made them take interest in the add. Ask students to create their own that will be appealing to readers.
11. Ask students to read the pets section of the classified ads. Which add makes them want to see the pet, and maybe adopt or buy it? Ask students to pretend they work at the local pet store. Their job is to write an add of their own selling a pet at the local pet shop.
12. Assign students a particular article from the newspaper. Asks them to do a mind map of the article on a piece of paper. Draw a rectange in the middle of the paper, then write the main idea in that rectangle. In circles around the rectangel, write supporting details that support the main idea.
13. Use the site: AllYouCanRead.com to choose and print an article from any country in the world on any subject! Compare how the article compares with the local newspaper.
14. Keep an eye out for articles in your local newspaper that may be of interest to your students. Bring them in and read to students, then discuss, or write a short paragraph to summarize the article.
15. Ask students to skim articles in the main section of the paper. Newspaper editors must decide which article is worthy of being their lead front page article. Ask students if they agree with the editor's choice. Why? What other article might deserve to be the headline article instead?
16. Use the newspaper to compare your own weather to that in other parts of the country. Discuss the map features used that help in understanding the information.
17. Choose an article that students may not be too familiar with. Do a K-W-L chart with students. First show the article, discuss the headline. Then ask students to write under the "K" what they already know about this subject. Then under the "W" what they want to know, then read the article and under the "L" write what they learned.
18. Teacher chooses an interesting article for students, reads it to them as they draw a picture of what the article causes them to visualize. After sharing pictures, discuss the word choice in the article that prompted pictures to be drawn in such a way. Add a caption to the picture to explain what it is about.
19. Ask students to find one word for which they do not know the meaning in a newspaper article. Ask students to figure out the meaning by using context. Share definitions.
20. As a homework assignment, ask students to read an article in the paper or online at home. Draw a picture to summarize the article, and write a two sentence summary.
21. Do a short research paper on one person discussed in the news.
22. Look at the opinion section of the newspaper. Underline facts, and circle opinions.
23. For a center, cut out about 10 headlines, and the ten articles that go with them. Students must match the headlines to the article.
24. Make a list of ten questions and pass out to groups of students. Post the different articles the questions come from around the room. It is best to put them on construction paper so they are obvious. Students go around the room reading the articles, then answer the questions on their paper.
25. This is easiest as a center: Give students a number of old newspapers. Then give them a page with the following things to look for: some good news, some news about a different country, some bad news, something about a famous person in politics, news about a Hollywood star, news about a sport. Students write a short sentence about what they found, and give the date of the newspaper it was found in.
Tips for using the newspaper in your classroom:
Before starting explain how each section of the paper works, and what the focus is for the section.
Look for vocabualry words that could cause difficulty, and go over 3-5 of them that students will see.
Give kids time to do the reading.
Use one section at a time. Too much is well, too much!
Newspapers can be cut-up, marked on, whatever is needed...kids love that!
Hope you enjoy using those newspapers! If you have any other suggestions that you have used in your classroom, please add it below!
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