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Classroom uses for the newspaper

April 30. 2011 12:46AM

Newspaper Knowledge

  1. According to the index, what pages are the following found on: classified ads, sports, editorials, local news, weather, and the crossword puzzle?
  2. Find the following information: the telephone number would you call and the starting weekly cost for a home delivered subscription to the newspaper. The name of the editor and publisher of the newspaper. A comic strip showing a working woman. The score from a local sporting event. The names of three wire services used by the newspaper.
  3. Clip and label an example of each of the following: index, byline, cutline, dateline and headline.
  4. Find a newspaper article that is about each of the following: a meeting of a government agency, a press conference, a disaster or unexpected happening, the schools.
  5. Find five stories from different cities. Then find five stories different states and five stories from different countries. Locate each of these cities, states and countries on a map.
  6. Project yourself into societies in which there are no newspapers. Make a list of all the functions provided by the newspaper, including such things as providing news, serving as an advertising medium, social announcements, upcoming events, critical reviews, etc. How would each of these functions be met in a newspaperless society?
  7. Scan the newspaper and name some of the beats covered by reporters. If you were a reporter, what beat would you like to cover and why?
  8. Make a chart showing examples of the vocabulary variations that appear in different sections of the newspaper. For instance, the jargon used by the food editor and sports editor would probably be quite different.
  9. In the newspaper, find examples of editorials that are written to: inform the reader, interpret the news for the reader, entertain the reader, and influence the reader.
  10. Use the classified section to buy materials or hire services to help you cross the following barriers: a snake pit, a barbed wire fence, a 10 foot wall, a 20 foot deep moat with snapping crocodiles, an angry giant. Compare your selected products and services with your classmates.

Language Arts

  1. Use the front page of the newspaper to draw a circle around every blend. Make a list of all the blends you find.
  2. List all the different punctuation marks used in a news article. Read the articles aloud and notice the influence of your voice in determining the place of punctuation.
  3. Is a photo really worth 1000 words? Cut a photo out of the newspaper. Write a new caption and article about the action going on in the photo.
  4. Find newspaper examples of paragraphs written in present, past and future tenses.
  5. Circle all the singular nouns and pronouns in a news article in red and all plural nouns and pronouns in blue.
  6. Identify as many sets of antonyms, homonyms and synonyms as you can by scanning the headlines in the newspaper.
  7. Collect pictures from the newspaper that shows different facial expressions. Label each picture with descriptive words.
  8. Select three headlines from the newspaper and rewrite them as complete sentences.
  9. Find examples of ten plural words in the newspaper. Write the root word next to each of the plural words you find.
  10. Look at a photo in the sports section. Without reading the story, write down what is happening in the photo, what happened during the game, and who won the game. Read the story. Were your predictions correct?


  1. Race through the newspaper! You have five minutes. See how many numbers from 1-25 you can find. Circle each number as you find it.
  2. Circle the largest and smallest numbers on a page. Subtract the two numbers you have found. Add the two numbers.
  3. Use recipes from the newspaper to practice using fractions. Double the recipe; halve the recipe and triple the recipe.
  4. Cut words from the newspaper that relate to quantity. For example: all, none, many, few, fewer, more, less, most etc.
  5. Write a word problem that uses an advertisement as its basis. Let a friend try to solve the equation.
  6. Look at the movie ads. Assuming a 15-minute break between shows, determine the duration of three movies.
  7. Choose any three-digit and any two-digit numbers from the newspaper. Do the following:
    • Find the product of the two numbers
    • Find the sum of the two numbers
    • Find the difference between the two numbers
    • Find the quotient of the two numbers to the nearest hundredth
    • Now, find the sum of all the answers above
  8. Read a page in the newspaper and underline words and phrases that refer to time such as: annual, bicentennial, 90-day warranty, next week, etc.
  9. Refer to the entertainment section and choose the kind of entertainment that you would enjoy most and the place you would most like to eat. Determine the total cost of your outing for one person, for two and for your family.
  10. Add up the total points scored by AFC teams in the NFL on any given Sunday or determine the total elapsed time between the first and last place Nascar driver.

Social Studies

  1. Place news items or pictures about each state on a large outline map of the United States. See how many states you can find in the news in two weeks.
  2. Chart community crimes for one-week using reports and articles in the newspaper. Chart the type of crime, age of the criminal, location, etc.
  3. Travel by means of the newspaper. Clip pictures of a country. Find articles and check the weather page for weather conditions in your chosen country. Then write a story about the things you might do and see if you visited that country.
  4. Write an editorial on a topic of controversy for the period of history you are studying. Study some of the editorials in today's newspaper before doing this activity.
  5. Research good and bad relationships between the United States and other countries. Try to categorize the reason these relationships may exist.
  6. Using the newspaper, give some names and titles of international and political leaders. Describe their roles, as you understand them from articles you have read.
  7. Read an article or editorial in the newspaper. Draw a political cartoon that represents the article.
  8. Find and read newspaper articles concerning pollution, overpopulation or major social problems. Make a list of the various items or the social problem you have selected. List some reasons that these articles are carried in the newspaper. Prepare a poster or write an essay telling how you would deal with solving this social problem.
  9. Use news stories to teach new words related to geography, such as delta, monsoon, panhandle, harbor and terrain. Discuss the way the words are used in newspaper stories.
  10. Find examples of the Bill of Rights in action as expressed in articles in the newspaper. What articles would not be in the newspaper if we didn't have freedom of speech or the right to a fair trial?


  1. Begin a vocabulary list of science words found in the newspaper. Record the spelling, meaning and the use of each word. Some examples might be: exploration, narcotics, energy, pollution, preventative, analysis, comet, weather, antibiotic, invention, alcoholism, theory, artificial, transplant, medicine, etc.
  2. Using the newspaper, collect advertisements for products that were not available 20 years ago. Can you identify the scientific advances that have made this product possible?
  3. Find newspaper articles, advertisements, etc., about equipment that will help conserve energy such as storm windows or home insulation. What claims are made about saving?
  4. Find a picture of an animal that you would like to be! Identify the animal by its genus and species then write an article pretending you are that animal.
  5. Make a 'first' notebook. Use newspaper articles about science 'firsts' or discoveries.
  6. Make a scrapbook of pictures and news stories about conservation. Look for articles about hunting and fishing seasons, tree planting, energy crisis, etc.
  7. Make a poster from pictures, advertisements and articles showing how machines help people do different things.
  8. Check today's weather map. Find the longitude and latitude of the regional city with the highest temperature and the national city with the lowest temperature. Make a graph that illustrates how many cities have a clear, cloudy or rainy forecast.
  9. Find articles in the newspaper about areas that have experienced severe weather. Discuss how stories such as these can help us prepare for weather emergencies.
  10. Using the movie listings, count the number of movies advertised in one theater according to ratings - G, PG, PG-13, R. Make a pie graph that represents the number of movies in each ratings group expressed as a percentage.

Life Skills

  1. Draw a rough floor plan of a home. Collect newspaper pictures of furniture and appliances to fill the home and make it comfortable. Determine the approximate cost of furnishing a home by using classified ads.
  2. Make a chart that is divided into four parts: spring, summer, fall, winter. Cut out pictures of clothing you would wear during each season. Paste the pictures under each word.
  3. Prepare menus using food advertisements in the newspaper. Example: Christmas dinner, Italian dinner, etc. Make sure that you include something from all four-food groups.
  4. Collect articles of accidents that have happened in the home. Tell how the accidents could have been prevented.
  5. Select a job in the classified section of the newspaper. Write a letter to the Human Resources director of your chosen job stating what qualities make you perfect for that job.
  6. Check the salary levels for unskilled workers in the help-wanted section of the classified ads. Compare the salaries to those for skilled laborers or professional positions. What are the differences and why?
  7. Find a recipe in the food section of the newspaper. Examine the recipe's ingredients to see if it includes enough of the nutrients necessary for a balanced diet. What other foods or recipes could you add to make a balanced meal?
  8. Go on a scavenger hunt in the newspaper. Find and circle the following items: the price of a used Ford truck, the name of the president of the United States, a TV show that starts at 8PM, the high temperature of a city, a sports score, an index.
  9. Look at the grocery ads in the newspaper and find an example of multiple products sold for one price (example: 3 ears of corn for $2.00). What is the cost of each item? Is a larger quantity of an item always the better value?
  10. Find an example of a comic strip newspaper that shows two coworkers or an employee and manager having a conflict. Rewrite the comic strip depicting a better way for the characters to handle the disputed situation.

Critical Thinking

  1. Choose one story from the front page of today's newspaper. Find the answers to these questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Note the organization of details in this story. Which is the most important? Where is it found in the story? Does the headline highlight the most important fact? If not, where did the information for the headline appear in the story?
  2. Choose an editorial from the editorial page in the newspaper and underline each fact and circle each opinion. Discuss the logic of the ideas and the organization and development of the arguments.
  3. Look at a feature article closely to see what words and sentences help to make you have certain feelings about the article. Make a list of these words and sentences.
  4. Imagine that you are in charge of preparing a time capsule that will be opened in 200 years. Cut items that you think would tell the most about our lives today from the newspaper.
  5. Compile a list of words that you are not familiar with in your newspaper reading. Make a crossword puzzle using these words with your definitions.

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