I am not a teacher, but an awakener.—Robert Frost
General Uses for the newspaper in your classroom:
- Have young children search for different letters of the alphabet. Throughout the various sections of the newspaper children will find type written in different sizes, colors, fonts (type faces), and styles (bold, italic, etc.). When they cut out letters of the alphabet, they discover the many ways that a letter can be written and still be that letter. These letters can be glued to paper to make an ABC poster or stapled together to make a book.
- Introduce children to some simple concepts related to newspapers: headlines and articles. Show them that the headline is like the title of a book: it is written in larger type and tells what the article is about. Cut out and laminate articles; separate the headline from each article. Have the child sort the “pieces” into two piles: headlines and articles.
- Introduce children to the differences between articles and advertisements. Show them both and have the children generate the characteristics of each. Point out the drawings, prices (with dollar sign), and borders that often surround ads. Talk about the purposes of newspaper articles and ads: articles are intended to inform while advertisements are intended to influence us to buy something.
- Read short, appropriate articles to students. This develops their schema for informational writing, broadens vocabulary, and helps them understand the variety of topics that could be included in their newspaper.
- Children can use the pictures in the newspaper, the advertising supplements, and magazines to make an alphabet book. Have the children peruse the newspaper for things that start with the letter/sound that they are supposed to focus on. They can mount these objects on the appropriate page and bind them together in alphabet book form.
- Introduce the children to comic strips. Show them that the people in comic strips are characters and the words the characters say are written in the “bubbles.” This introduces the concept of dialogue.