School Year

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Unique ways to use newspapers in the classroom

Today's students have numerous devices at their disposal that can make learning more fun. Teachers may rely on such devices to engage students, but one more traditional teaching tool can still be an asset in the classroom.

Newspapers have changed considerably over the last decade-plus, but they still can serve teachers and students alike. The following are a handful of ways for teachers to incorporate newspapers into their lesson plans.

• Use newspapers to teach geography. Whether they're local, national or international periodicals, newspapers contain stories from all over the globe. Teachers tasked with teaching students about world geography can assign each student an article about a newsworthy event taking place in a given country. Kids can then write a report about that country, including information about its location in the world, its citizens and its history.

• Use newspapers to teach vocabulary. Perhaps no resource is more valuable than newspapers when teaching vocabulary. Assign each student a story or stories from the newspaper, instructing them to underline or jot down between five and 10 words they are unfamiliar with as they read. Once they have finished reading their assigned articles, students can then look up and write down the meaning of each word, ultimately handing in their list of words and/or sharing those words and their meanings with their classmates.

• Use newspapers to teach mathematics. While newspapers are often touted as great tools to teach reading comprehension and vocabulary, they also can be used to teach math lessons. For example, newspaper classified sections typically list dozens, if not hundreds, of items for sale. Assign each student 10 vehicles listed in the classified section and ask them to calculate the average asking prices of these vehicles. Another potential lesson is to ask kids to determine the percentage breakdown of each section of the newspaper. You can then explore the reasons why certain sections may be given more ink than others.

• Use newspapers to teach current events. The world is an interesting place, and newspapers are great resources for people looking to keep up with all that is going on in the world. While current events can sometimes be confusing for young students, newspaper reporters aim to convey complicated topics in ways that readers of all ages and backgrounds can understand. By assigning newspaper articles as part of their students' current events assignments, teachers can help students gain a better understanding of what's going on in their world.

While newspapers may have changed considerably over the last several years, they still make great teaching tools that can benefit instructors and students alike.