Using Today's Newspaper
Don't leave the newspaper on the table after reading it over your morning cup of tea. Ever considered using them in your classroom or with your children? It could be a welcome change in your list of teaching resources. The daily newspaper can enliven a classroom and instill enthusiasm for learning in the minds of the students, whose normal props are unchanging school textbooks.
Why do we read newspapers? The obvious reasons are that some read them for news and information, some for interesting facts and gossip, some for the comics and some for other reasons. Try using the same reasons as a tool to teach. .
For a start, try using the newspaper for:
Effective use of technology
Instead of focusing on the content and the knowledge of the medium, newspapers could be used as a way of engaging students and working on outcomes that are vital to the whole curriculum.
The language teacher might be interested in having the children analyze different newspapers and their articles, which is written in the most accessible, least biased and most objective language. They could learn vocabulary and reading skills by just studying newspapers.
The history teacher may not just use the events in the newspapers as they are reported for analysis. They could also show how the media influences our understanding of history.
The science teacher may be interested in helping students understanding why ecological and environmental issues are hard to locate in the mainstream press.
The health and physical education teacher may use the advertising techniques to create awareness among the students about the power of persuasion.
The music teacher might be able to investigate the influence of music TV and popular radio on students' musical taste and consumption.
Photographs and articles in the business could be used to generate discussions regarding the influence of media and how media interpret messages.
Besides discussing the news with the children, here are some activities that could help you:
Ask the child to circle all the words on a page of the newspaper that have to do with the sense of smell.
Get the children to find synonyms for the word 'said' from page 1 of the newspaper.
Make columns on a sheet of paper for vowels
Cut out words in the newspaper and glue them into the appropriate spaces. Do the same for prefix, suffix and root word.
Divide all of the headline words into syllables.
Give the children some of the photographs and have them write a report based on what they see or write a suitable caption for it.
Have the children pay attention to the advertisements and the places they appear in the newspaper. Get them to prepare an ad for a class newspaper.
Finally, encourage and guide the children to prepare their own newspaper with reports, articles, photographs features, and all! Introducing the newspaper at a young age serves to bridge the gap between classroom or home and the "real" world outside. Here's wishing you luck for crossing this bridge!