The newspaper provides much more than news: opinion, humor, advice, book reviews, and more. It is resource as comprehensive as it is underutilized.
Newspapers are inexpensive and readily available. If your local newspaper has a Newspaper in Education ((NIE) program, you can probably get a deep discount.
This series of lesson plans uses the newspaper as a textbook for a variety of disciplines, from math and science to literature, grammar, and character education. No matter how often you teach the lesson, the newspaper will provide fresh material for the exercises.
For example, if you are teaching a lesson in subjects and predicates, not only does every newspaper offer a rich supply of sentences for identifying those elements, but every day brings a fresh supply.
The inherent beauty in using the newspaper is that as students use articles for grammar exercises, they are also being exposed to the news. In the best of circumstances, students will have the opportunity to look through the paper before proper lessons begin.
Newspapers and Education
“Much has been said and written on the utility of newspaper; but one principal advantage which might be derived from these publications has been neglected; we mean that of reading them in schools, and by the children in families. Try it for one session - Do you wish your child to improve reading solely, give him a newspaper - it furnishes a variety, some parts of which must infallibly touch his fancy. Do you wish to instruct him in geography, nothing will so indelibly fix the relative situation of different places, as the stories and events published in the papers. In time, do you wish to have him acquainted with the manners of country or city, the mode of doing business, public or private; or do you wish him to have a smattering of every kind of science useful and amusing, give him a newspaper - newspapers are plenty and cheap - the cheapest book that can be bought, and the more you buy the better for your children, because every part furnishes some new and valuable information!”
(Maine) Eastern Herald editorial, June 8, 1795.
This lesson uses the newspaper to learn word-attack skills, which are critical to reading comprehension. Recognizing common prefixes, suffixes, and word roots are key to deciphering the meaning of words. This lesson introduces dozens of common affixes and provides exercises using the newspaper—and Harry Potter.
It is one section of "Learning Language through the Newspaper," also listed on TPT.
For further information about the Newspaper in Education program, and to learn whether your local periodical participates, visit http://NIEonline.com.