Newspapers and Learning

posted in: Reading, Writing | 0


Newspapers are a great resource for teaching a whole range of literacy skills. Many newspapers include a weekly segment designed specifically for students. However, any newspaper can provide great learning opportunities. If you don’t regularly receive a newspaper you can pick up a free local newspaper or grab a copy from a neighbour, friend or relative who does regularly purchase a paper.[divider]

Beginning Readers and Writers

  • Locate and cut out letters that the child is learning. Include lower and upper case versions and match these together.
  • Cut out letters to form words the child is learning to read or spell..
  • Cut out all the words the child can read. Can these words be combined to form a sentence?

Developing Readers and Writers

  • Cut out some interesting pictures. The child writes a caption for each picture. Discuss how captions help readers understand one small component of the story and are designed to capture the reader’s attention.
  • Choose an interesting, age-appropriate article and read it with your child. Ask your child what, when, where, how, who, why questions about the story.
  • Choose an advert and discuss what is being sold and the underlying selling technique(s).
  • Choose words from headlines that your child doesn’t automatically recognise but are reasonably decodable. Help your child break each word into syllables and to connect letters representing one sound so they can decode the word. Use a magnet to place the word on the fridge for your child to practise reading. Challenge everyone in the family to use the word as often as possible in conversations throughout the day.

More Competent Readers and Writers

  • Choose a paragraph and challenge your child to learn to read the paragraph accurately and fluently.
  • Cut out several articles and remove the headline. Ask your child to match the headlines with the correct articles.
  • Make your own family newspaper. Make sure each story includes a headline and a picture with an appropriate caption.
  • Discuss the structure of the newspaper and then challenge your child to quickly find an article about sport, international news, local news, letters to the editor, etc. Cut out articles from different sections of the paper and have your child sort the articles.
  • Read some letters to the editor. Discuss the writer’s opinion and how this compares to your child’s opinion and your opinion.
  • Help your child write a letter to the editor about a topic in which they have an interest or in response to a letter.
  • Discuss the difference between fact and opinion. Select a few different articles, including some opinion pieces. Read each sentence and help your child determine if it is just a statement of fact or is expressing an opinion. Discuss the words that indicate an opinion is being expressed. Discuss how validity is given to an article by quoting experts and statistics.
  • Many newspapers include a recipe. Provide as much assistance as required so your child can make the recipe.
  • Many newspapers include crosswords and other word games. Do these together as a family.