About LanguageLink     Job Opportunities     Language Services     Academic Support     Teacher Training     TEFL Primer     
   TEFL Clinic 
     Link Up     
Language Link Corporate Site

 Teaching Knowledge 
 Practical Teaching 
 Teaching Advice 

Jobs in Russia

Site Search
      



Link Up
     Login          
     Password  
Remember me on this computer
  Forgot your password?
  Register





  Home > TEFL Clinic > Practical Teaching > Teaching Young Learners > Teaching Young Learners & Teenagers (9 - 15 year olds)

Newspaper-based Activites


Using newspapers in class can be fun for the students. In addition to reinforcing language that has been taught, students are afforded the opportunity to learn more about the world around them and discover how they fit into it. The following activities have been used with success in young learner classrooms.

1. A present from the press!

Level
Elementary and above
Time
15 – 20 minutes
Materials
One newspaper for every six students, small pieces of card
Skills
Selective, targeted reading
Activity
Exploring the extent to which newspaper materials are acceptable to others
Procedure
  1. The students each write their names on small squares of card and then circulate for half a minute exchanging cards.
  2. Stop the process and ask each student to find a ‘present’ (picture or story) for the person whose card they are holding. It should be a picture or story that their classmates will be pleased with.
  3. The picture or story should be cut out and given to the person named on the card together with a simple explanation of why it has been chosen.
  4. As the students get their presents, they can show them to those of their classmates who have also received theirs.
Variation
Headline collages can also make acceptable presents.
Comments
  1. This activity makes a nice end to a session or a unit on newspapers, especially when there is a good rapport in a class.
  2. If you do this activity a few times, you will find you remember the presents you gave and were given for a long time.

2. Was it Worth Reading?

Level
Upper-elementary and above
Time
30 minutes
Materials
Ten newspaper articles, glue, coloured pens
Skills
Reading evaluatively
Activity
Assessing the value and quality of newspaper articles
Preparation
Choose ten stories, features, and articles of various lengths on a variety of subjects and glue each to a large sheet of paper. Display these on the walls.
Procedure
  1. Make sure each student has six or seven different coloured pens
  2. Explain that each student will have a chance to read each story and after reading it must decide whether it was worth reading or not.` They will indicate heir judgements making a coloured dot with a pen, for example:
    • Red – certainly worth reading
    • Yellow worth reading
    • Green not really worth reading
    • Blue not worth reading at all
    • (Substitute the colours you have available)
Comments
This is an empowering activity in the sense that it makes the students the arbiters of quality. The results always look good. It is also interesting for the students to see where they are they are in a majority and a minority. Ultimately, the most relevant judgement about anything we read, in a newspaper or elsewhere, is whether it was worth reading.

3. Your headlines, my stories

Level
Upper-elementary and above
Time
15 minutes per story
Materials
Very short simple stories from newspapers
Skills
Planning story outlines
Activity
Predicting newspaper story content
Preparation
Choose two or three simple, very short stories with very distinctive headlines. (‘Bottom pincher owned up after wrong man held’ or Skyway robber steals half a million would be perfect examples see attachments.)
Procedure
  1. Ask the students to work in groups of three.
  2. Read the headline aloud and write it on the board. Allow three to five minutes absolute silence while each student imagines the story that follows. They may make notes if they wish.
  3. Allow up to 10 minutes while the groups compare their imagined versions and decide on the likeliest.
  4. Read the original story aloud.
  5. This procedure can be repeated with a second story.
Variation
Let each group choose their own headline and story. You can then use these in class. Remember to find an alternative activity for the group whose story you are using.
Comments 

4. Whats in a newspaper?

Level
Intermediate and above
Time
30 40 minutes
Materials
One newspaper for every five students
Skills
Making lists, skim reading
Activity
Identifying newspaper text types
Procedure
  1. Ask the students to work in groups of four to five. Each group makes a list of all the types of articles one expects to find in a newspaper. After five to ten minutes, check that each group has the essential categories, including home and foreign news stories, feature articles (medical, social, domestic, personal, cultural and artistic), leaders and comment columns, announcement of births, marriages and deaths, obituaries, readers letters, business news, advertisements, TV and radio reviews and programme schedules, weather reports, crosswords and other readers competitions, cartoons, sports pages, review articles, law reports.
  2. Hand out a newspaper to each group and ask them to spend 10 minutes finding an example of each type of article.
  3. Ask each group to spend a further 10 minutes looking for any features that do not fit their original list of categories, They should add these categories to their list
    Comments
    This is an important familiarization activity that helps the students to classify and put a name to each type of article in a newspaper.

    5. Whats happening to people like me?

    Level
    Intermediate and above
    Time
    45 minutes
    Materials
    One newspaper for every five students
    Skills
    Scanning, making lists, exchanging information.
    Procedure
    1. Ask each student to draw up a short, factual, background description of themselves that details age, sex, occupation, family status, and, if they wish, interests and character.
    2. Give out newspapers and ask each student to find out what is happening to other people with the same or similar backgrounds. They should make a list of all the things the other people of roughly the same age, sex, occupation, and family status are doing.
    3. Ask the students to work in groups of four or five and exchange the information they have discovered.
    Comments
    This activity works best in classes where students do not know each other well, where it can be used as an activity that helps the students to get to know more about each other. It also works well with groups who do know each other well, particularly if you ask the students to include interests in their background descriptions.

    6. Someone Id change places with

    Level
    Intermediate and above
    Time
    30 40 minutes
    Materials
    One newspaper for every five students
    Skills
    Discriminating reading, discussion
    Activity
    Relating to the newsworthy
    Procedure
    1. Give out newspapers and ask each student to try to find someone in a story that they would genuinely change places with. Or if they cannot find anyone that they would actually change places with, at least someone they would very much like to be. Allow 15-20 minutes.
    2. Ask the students to work in threes and share the people they have chosen and the reasons for their decisions.
    Variation
    An interesting variation on this activity is to ask the students to try and find an ideal partner for themselves from amongst the people who feature in newspaper stories and photographs. Once each student has a partner, there are all sorts of fantasy activities one can do writing to ones partner, wondering about the first meeting, hypothesizing ones partners views of oneself, etc.
    Comments 

    7. Categories of story

    Level
    Intermediate and above
    Time
    30 40 minutes
    Materials
    One newspaper for every five students
    Skills
    Categorizing stories
    Activity
    Categorizing newspaper story types
    Preparation
    Write the following list on the board:
    Absurd, animal, embarrassing, enraging, funny, green, romantic, sad, sexy, silly, unbelievable, unjust, xenophobic, describing an accident
    Procedure
    1. Ask each student to choose one type of story to read from the list of story types on the board. Explain their meanings if necessary. Each student should keep his or her choice secret.
    2. Distribute newspapers and ask each student to scan the stories looking for good examples in their category. They should note down examples as they find them.
    3. Ask students to work in groups of four or five and share their work.
    Comments
    This activity reveals the very wide range of story types to be found in the newspapers. It allows individual students to choose categories that interest them and determine whether each story they came across meets the necessary criteria for membership of the chosen category.

    8. Making a Class Newspaper!

    Level
    Intermediate and above
    Time
    Occasional project
    Materials 
    Skills 
    Activity
    Making a newspaper
    The idea of a class newspaper is an old one. Here are a number of thoughts that may help you make creating a class newspaper more interesting (they are not all compatible with one another):
    1. Each student becomes a reporter and tries to ferret out something unusual.
    2. The paper contains only stories about members of the class. All the stories should be newsworthy and previously unknown to fellow students.
    3. Stories that refer to members of the class should contain pseudonyms rather than real name this adds spice to reading the paper.
    4. The newspaper should be set in the future in he year 2100, or when everyone is 10 or 20 or 30 years older, for example.
    5. The [paper should be modeled page for page on the structure of a real newspaper and displayed on the wall as it is being put together alongside the model.
    6. The paper should be a compendium of the most remarkable things the students have done.
    7. Each student should be responsible for obtaining one guest contribution from someone not in his or her class.
    Procedure 
    Comments 

    9. Yuk!

    Level
    Upper-intermediate and above
    Time
    40 60 minutes
    Materials
    A copy of Moscows free newspaper the eXile.
    Access to a photocopier.
    Skills
    Identifying offensive writing
    Activity
    Discovering how tasteless popular journalism can be
    Preparation
    Choose five or six pages from the eXile that contain the most tasteless stories and headlines that you can find. Make enough photocopies for each student to get one page.
    Procedure
    1. Seat the students in a circle and hand out the photocopies. Make sure that each student has a different page from his or her neighbours. Allow reading time. Ask each student to cross out the most tasteless word, headline, picture, and whole story on the page.
    2. Ask students to exchange their pages with their neighbours and repeat Stage 1. This time they must choose a new most tasteless word, headline, picture, and whole story.
    3. This stage may be repeated as many times (up to five or six) as seems appropriate.
    4. Group students who have ended up with the same page and ask them to find anything pleasant left on their page to share with the class.
    Variation
    If you do not have access to a photocopier, this activity works equally well if you display half as many tasteless pages on the wall as you have students in the class. Each student should cross out their tasteless word, headline, picture and whole story on different pages.
    Comments
    This activity can play an important part in conveying a realistic picture of popular English-speaking culture.







    Jobs in Russia Online since September 19, 1997




    1997-2016 LANGUAGE LINK
    e-mail: info@language.ru
    +7 (495) 730-6399


    Rambler's Top100