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Newspaper Activities

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Wondering how you can effectively use the newspaper in your classroom? Here is a collection of wonderful suggestions to assist you in developing lesson plans involving the newspaper.

Posted by: Sharon S

Ask students to arrange all the prices in an ad from the least expensive to the most expensive.
Give each child a specific amount of money to spend.Each child must go through the paper locating items for sale the he or she might like to buy.
Measure the front page of the paper and answer these questions. 1. How wide is your papeer? How long is the front page? How wide is the biggest front page picture? How long is the smallest front page picture? How long is the longest headline? How long is the longest word in the headline?
Circle the prices of 11 homes in the classified ads. List the prices from the lowest to the highest.Add up the cost of all the homes and write the total cost. Divide the total cost by 11 to find the average cost.
Cut ten numbers from the paper containing more than 2 digits and glue them to a paper.Round each number to the nearest 10 and 100.
Cut nine digits from the paper. Race othere classmates to see who can form the largest number in 20 second. Then see who can form the smallest number in 20 seconds. See how many numbers you can make and record your digits in two minutes.
Cut ten whole numbers from the paper containing four or more digits and glue them to a paper. Write the number in words next to the numeral.
More later.

Posted by: GB

What do you want the students to know about the newspaper?

I would develop plans around the parts of a newspaper, learn how to check the weather, learn how to read and analyze interesting articles.

I would also point out that the newspaper contains local, national, and world news and develop plans (use a big newspaper with cut out articles and chart on divided posterboard as a class) to identify and analyze that.

Learn about how an article is set up, who is the author, how to skim and read for headlines, and so on. Learn about vocabulary that applies to the newspaper--what a caption is, the by-line, dateline...

Kids like the funnies, but also like to get info they can use or apply-again the weather, the opinion page...

You could have students create a classroom newspaper with all the parts after you go through everything. Wouldn't it be neat to have an interview with the principal or address a school issue? Students could write about the things PTSA is doing, etc.

There's probably tons of stuff on the web and also there are resource books for teaching the newspaper as well. Hope this springboards you into some great lesson planning!!

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newspaper literacy centers
Posted by: Julianne

Here are some center ideas I got from a newspapers in the classroom workshop. You could have one center in your classroom be a "newspaper center" with rotating activities.

Have students find their spelling words in the newspaper, cut them out and paste them on a paper next to the written spelling words.

Cut rhyming words from the newspaper. Mount them at the ends of lined paper. Try to make a poem using the words you found. Write the rest of the poem with a pencil. Illustrate it if you like.

A center my friend next door used last year was "make your own comic book". Have students at the center choose a newspaper comic they like, cut it out and mount it on a piece of paper. They then must write all the nouns from the strip below it on their paper - or all the verbs, or all the describing words, or whatever you are working on. The finished paper then goes in one of those inexpensive 3 ring folders. At the end of the year each student should have a nice selection of comics.

Just some general ideas about centers - start slowly, introducing one center per day until students "get it". Insist that students respect materials. Remove students who do not. Try to group students across ability levels. In other words, don't put all your low students in one group. Literacy centers work best if there are high and low students in every group. That way the students teach each other. I love centers because they promote cooperative learning and are FUN.

Posted by: Sharon S

Using the index, find the movie advertisements. Choose a movie you and your family would like to see. Compute the total cost for your family at both the regular and discounted price. Figure the change your family would receive if tickets were paid for with a $50 bill.
Use the weather map and charts in the paper. Find the following information: a city with a temperature over 90; the lowest temperature shown; a city with sunshine; a city with rain; a city expecting a cold fron; a city near a lake; (your city's) outlook in two days; (your city's) sunrise; New York's predicted low;
Make a list of words about outer space and space travel from today's paper
I hope these ideas will help.

Posted by: MrJohns

Persuasive writing techniques and debating are perfect ways to incorporate the outside world into your classroom. Have the children pick a local topic and write an opinion back to the editor and see if they can get their writing into the paper. The kids will never forget the writing if they are able to get their response into the paper.

I have also had children become journalist and submit articles about school happenings to the local newspaper. Again, if selected there really isn't a bigger reward.

Spelling searches. If you use a spelling list use a highlighter to find spelling words.

Teaching syllables… Find the word with the most syllables.

Parts of speech....nominate words for best adjective, adverb, ect...

Similes....nominate best use of a simile or metaphor.

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Newspaper activities
Posted by: Ron

Jeez, we use the newspaper for tons of language arts activities. Verb searches, adjective hunts, pronoun searches. This week, we had students search the newspaper headlines for words for which they knew antonyms. We sometimes use newspaper photos as picture prompts. The students are allowed to come up with a story about or dialogue for what's goiing on in the picture. We reinforce noun study (person, place, thing, animal) by using the news headlines. There is so much. Of course, I have the students do basic curtrent events activities in the newspaper, too,

Posted by: Julianne

I did this once using articles about our local NBA team. Each week I'd have the students scour the newspaper for information on where their team had played. We hung the articles and ran a string from the article to a big U.S. map in the center of the board showing where the team had played. It was a good geography lesson and fun current events idea. If you wanted to use more news oriented material you could still map it.

Newspaper activities
Posted by: Helen Y.

I use newspapers in my class and consider them very useful teaching tools. I ask the children to find large numbers for math, as many as possible, write them down and read them to their partner. Find sales in the food section of paper and compare with other students their savings. They have to turn in a science article each week for their science teacher and I ask them to look for different categories each week such as "human interest" stories, local,state or national news, holiday or seasonal articles. During the month of September, they were also to look for articles dealing with "National Hispanic Month" or Native Americans. Students are asked to write three main points they learned from reading the article.
There's so much you can do with the newspaper. Our local paper sends month long lesson plans.

Newspaper Ideas
Posted by: Diane

Something my class enjoys doing is playing a creative thinking game called "Go for the Gold." Here's how it works:

1)Using the classified section, take out either one page or a double page of classified ads.

2)Make five circles on the pages, with the largest covering the outer perimeter of the entire page and each circle inside getting smaller. Each space should be a couple of inches wide.

3)Label each section (in between lines)as follows:
a)moat (largest section)
e)GOLD (inside circle)

4)Working either in groups or by themselves, students must find something advertised in the classifieds that could be used to get him/her to the next level. This item must appear in the particular section they're trying to get across.(Example: to cross the moat, you could jump over it on a trampoline - because there was a trampoline listing in the "moat" section.)

5)Students then share their ideas with other classmates once everyone reaches the Gold section.

This really stimulates creative thinking because students must come up with creative ways to use ordinary items.

Posted by: Sharon S

Select a comic strip and have students try to guess what time of day it is. Have students draw a clock face with the time of day in the comic strip.
Find 6 items that sell for less than $10.00. For each, figure what change will be returned from a ten dollar bill.
Circle the largest and smallest numbers found on a page. What is the difference between the two?
Create a code which assigns monetary value to each letter of the alphabet. For example, the letter A is worth 1 cent, the letter B is worth 2 cents. Use the code to give a value to headlines. See if you can find the most expensive headline.
Using a grocery store ad ask students to cut out all the even numbers and paste them on a piece of paper. Do the same with the odd numbers.
I have go but I'll be back later with more.

newspaper activities
Posted by: Susan

Some activities that I've done include:
1. Divide a paper into 4 parts and label each with a different part of speech (verb, noun, adverb, and adjective). Let them use the newspaper to find examples (either pictures or words), cut out, and glue them into the appropriate square.

2. Use your vocabulary words from any subject and have them find an example of that word being used in a picture - then write the made-up sentence under the picture (underlining the vocabulary word). For example: (a picture of a tired lady) Mrs. Jones is weary from the long day at work. (weary would be underlined)

3. Have scavenger hunts. The kids love these. Put the kids in groups and give each group a different list of items to find (word with a long e sound, classified ad for a bicycle, Proper girl's name, etc...).

4. Have each student find an article to read and summarize it. Then have them read it to the class. This helps teach summarizing and gives them exposure to speaking in public.

5. Cut out a picture and rewrite the story (using who, what, when, etc..). Pretend they're the reporter and write the new article, making sure they use some dialogue in their story. The story can't be anything like what the original story said. They really come up with some great stories! I used this on a wall display that was labeled, "Who, what, when, where, why, and how?" in red (black background)with some newspaper bulletin board border. They glue the picture to a piece of paper and have the story written underneath it.

That's some of my favorite activities - I really enjoy doing them and the kids have a ball! Have baby wipes handy for the black ink that rubs off!

Posted by: Michelle

I taught 4th grade LA last year. I used the newspaper in conjuction with our reading text. If we were reading about heroes, then I asked them to find someone in the newspaper they consider a hero. They picked some great articles! During Black History month we used the information leaflet that ran on a Sunday to research about a famous black american. I have also used the paper to award bonus points for spelling. They get a point for each spelling word they can highlight in the paper. Hope this helps!

Headlines for Newspaper articles
Posted by: kitty11710

I have taken newspaper articles (best from Kids magazines such as Time for Kids) and whited out the headlines. I set the articles up in centers and students had to move around the room and read each article. After deciding the main idea of the article, students had to write their own headline for the article. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Posted by: chelsie

I have a large bulletin board in my classroom that been divided into different caragories news: What' going on?... In our school, In our Community, In our state, In our country, and In our world. I ususally post different news articles,school/classroom news letter thereeach week. The students also receive extra credit if they write up a short summary of a current event that would fit into one of our catagories.

life skills
Posted by: Beth

When I student taught I did a lot of life skills stuff with my 8th graders. For reading, we had the students go on newspaper searches. In the morning I would buy enough newspapers for the class (some newspapers will donate them for educational use), I would write 10-15 questions down that required them to use the newspaper. For instance: You lost your watch, write the page and section where you should look to see if anyone has found it. OR You are looking to buy a used Honda, but only have x-amount to spend, write the phone numbers of where you could call to buy one. (These have to do with the classifieds) I even wrote questions about using movie timetables, finding lottery numbers, weather reports, finding information in an article, etc. It required the students to read, navigate a newspaper, and find information as needed.

In math, I did a unit on keeping a checking account. How to open one, write out checks, keep track of your balance. Other math related things could be setting and maintaining a household budget, figuring out a tip, counting back change...

Hope this helps

Bias and propaganda
Posted by: LindaR

Hi Carolyn,

My 6th graders and I just finished a section in our reading program that included bias and propaganda. I found the best "source" for teaching propaganda to be magazines, newspapers, and TV ads. I've saved political brochures over the years, which have been very useful.

My kids have really become more aware of how words and phrases are used to show bias, as well as being a tool to "sell" a product. They are still bringing in ads they have found!

We are planning a pizza party next week, so I had them create a poster of their favorite pizza. They had to use one or two of the propaganda techniques we learned about, and then write a persuasive essay (using descriptive words to show their bias ).

Also, as you read with the kids, help them identify the various words or phrases that show a particular bias (positive, negative, or neutral), especially when reading about history.

I hope this helps.

current events
Posted by: Erica

This is the way our fifth grade team does Current Events Friday. We assign half of the class to goup A and the other half to group B. We give the class a schedule telling them when Group A's article and summary are due and when Group B's are due. On that Friday, the students for that week bring in a Current Events article that they read in any newspaper or magazine. We encourage them to try to find something that relates to something we are studying in school (though not always necessary). The students bring in their summary of the article as well as two sentences stating why they chose the article and how it related to school. Each group is scheduled every other week (except when we have a short week or holiday). They enjoyed these and we made sure they did a good job with the summaries during the first few weeks of school.

This is the way we did CUrrent Events Friday and we found it easy to manage and valuable to all of the students. They were always so eager to share them during morning meeting on Friday mornings. Good luck and hopefully this was helpful to you in some way!

God bless