Collect a number of newspaper articles (from a variety of different newspapers), and try some of the following activities:
1) Separate the articles from the headlines. Put the headlines in one pile and the articles in another. Ask the children to match the headlines to the articles.
2) Repeat the above activity, but include some headlines without including the articles that go with them (and vice versa) to make things a little harder.
3) Give the children a headline, and ask them to write an article to go with it. This activity can also be tried by giving the children the article and asking them to make a headline for it.
4) Give the children a number of articles about the same story but from different newspapers. Ask them to compare the stories from each newspaper. Ask them some of the following questions:
- Are there any differences between them?
- Are some stories biased towards one particular point of view?
- Does one newspaper have more text than another?
- Does one newspaper have more pictures than another?
- How important does the newspaper see the story? (i.e. is it on the front page or in the middle of the newspaper?)
Ask the children to think about why differences exist between newspapers. What kind of readers does each newspaper have?
Here’s another suggestion from Trish Wan…
I have used this idea with a Grade 3/4 (ages 7/8/9) class here in Australia (credit to my supervising teacher). A quick activity to add value to any of the pictures: ask the children to cut out words from newspapers (or magazines) to ‘label’ or enhance/decorate their pictures.
Results I saw ranged from using just the big title words to constructing their own words from different letters, to tiny words appearing in adverts such as Brrm Brrm from a car ad used to ‘label’ a vehicle on a boy’s picture.
A more basic version for those still learning their letters that I saw in a P/1 (ages 4/5/6) class was to cut out and stick in their letter book, occurrences of the particular letter they are studying, and/or pictures/photos of things beginning with that letter. Also, they can practise making their name/words on the spelling list by cutting out letters in this way.
Yet another use for newspapers and magazines is to mind map using words and pictures, for example, using a teen horse magazine to make a mind map on horses etc. The list is endless.