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Teaching Guides:

Getting Started with Newspapers

Critical Thinking Through Core Curriculum - Using Print and Digital Newspapers - a teachers' guide covering five themes: Financial Literacy, Nutrition, the Environment, Character Education and Information Technology. The guide provides an opportunity to teach critical thinking skills through subjects that will be vital to students' success as adults. The student activities are available in three levels - Grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. (47 pages - NAA Foundation, March 2010)

Six introductory lessons- Help students become familiar with the function and organization of a newspaper.

High Five 2012 - The NAA Foundation, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, developed High Five in an effort to address concerns about student achievement. High Five provides an integrated, three-unit curriculum that includes reading, writing, journalism, grammar, linguistics and visual literacy. All materials are age-appropriate for middle-school students. The curriculum uses the daily newspaper as a textbook and information source. Each unit, aligned to Common Core State Standards, is designed to be used as a stand-alone piece. However, the power of the curriculum lies in interrelated concepts presented in the individual units.

A Good Read: Literacy Strategies With Newspapers - This guide is designed to help teachers integrate research-based literacy strategies into existing curriculum using the newspaper. (55 pages, aligned to the Common Core Standards and includes graphic organizers, intended for middle and high school students. Modified, adapted and reprinted from a 2001 edition of "A Good Read: Promoting Adolescent Literacy Through Newspapers", NAA Foundation, 2011)

UPDATED: Give Them the Keys - This guide is organized by units, so teachers can pick and choose what works in conjunction with their curriculum and students. Each unit includes several lessons that can be taught consecutively in two, three, four or five days, or used independently. Each lesson is specifically designed to include instructional objectives, applicable standards, a list of materials, an anticipatory set, instructional procedures, a formative assessment for each lesson within a unit and resources associated with that particular lesson, if applicable. Adaptations and accommodations for ELL students and those with special learning needs are provided, as well as summative assessment tools.(126 pages, modified, adapted and reprinted from a 2002 edition of "Give Them the Keys", NAA Foundation, 2011)

NIE Week 2010 - Newspaper In Education: A 21st Century Learning Tool - a teaching guide focused on critical thinking skills using the topics of financial literacy, nutrition, the environment, character education and information technology. The guide is divided into three levels (Grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12) and includes reproducable student worksheets. (47 pages - NAA Foundation, 2010) See pages 9-32 for classroom activities arranged by subject and level.

Newspapers Maintain the Brain - a teachers' guide to enhance basic skills. (42 pages - Activities at the elementary, middle and secondary levels, and activity handouts for younger students. NAA Foundation)

Newspapers Now - This guide provides a variety of lessons and activities to help students develop their comprehension and research skills. The materials are for both middle and high school students and special activities are included for elementary students. There are a total of 15 lesson plans with student activity sheets. (53 pages) NAA Foundation, 2009 Plus, 5 in-paper ads/flyers (2 column x 10 inches)

Newspapers: Touching the Kaleidoscope of Your Mind - a teachers' guide with activities organized by the seven intelligences of the Multiple Intelligence Theory which are: Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal. (54 pages - created for use in primary grades - secondary grade activities included from page 49-54. NAA Foundation, 1997)

Newspapers Inspire and Enlighten

Introduce students to newspapers; covers news gathering, newspaper sections, types of writing, advertising, production, history, careers and vocubulary.

What's News? Byline, Deadline & Online

Background information on newspaper content with corresponding activities.

Reading & Writing

"The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963" - This guide is designed as a tool to accompany the reading of the book "The Watsons Go to Birmingham" by award-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis. (12 pages - NYNPA NIE Program, 2006)

NEW: Social Media, The Classroom and the First Amendment - A guide for middle school and high school teachers published by the First Amendment Center and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This guide is designed to give teachers the tools and ideas they need to engage students using social media and existing curricula. Several excellent lessons in this curriculum guide using To Kill a Mockingbird (114 pages)

All Together Now - an activity guides that looks at the role the newspaper can play in developing children's literacy skills in a multicultural society. (37 pages - 12 lessons that reflect the national standards in many different content areas. Modifications for English Language Learners. Can be adapted to fit multiple grade levels. NAA Foundation, 2005)

The ABC Book of Newspaper Sponge Activities

Quick activities reinforce standards-based skills; use when lessons run short and you have a few minutes to fill.


Ready-to-use lessons explore the range of information in the newspaper while making connections that improve reading, writing and comprehension.

Now I Get It! - Actively aid comprehension by making predictions, generating questions, creating visual images and more.
Connect to the World - Construct meaning by matching prior knowledge to content.
Newspapers Now - Explore the range of information in newspapers and the impact newspapers can have on students' lives

Comics Capers

Use comics to introduce specific skills. Each activity includes a focus exercise, extension activity and English SOL correlations for grades 3-8.

Creating a Classroom Newspaper

Five days of instruction: planning, writing news, feature stories and opinions and creating ads. Differentiate lessons with three levels of lessons.

The Essential Question

Enhance critical thinking and comprehension by teaching students to actively build understanding as they read and think.

Featuring the Frameworks

Ready-to-use graphic organizers with rubrics and SOL correlations.

From Writers to Readers

Use newspaper elements as models for writing.

Just Think!

Ten lessons introduce types of news and writing. Activities promote higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills.

Keep It Real

Lessons will help students comprehend informational text structures and organization.

Multigenre Research Projects

20 one-page handouts with rubrics show students how to write and produce different genres used in newspapers. Students use this knowledge to produce a newspaper on a curriculum topic.

Thoughtful Literacy

Lessons actively engage and empower students with effective classroom practices of managed choice, multi-source curriculum, multi-task learning and meaningful classroom discussions.

Lesson Ideas

→ Using Newspapers Photographs to Teach Writing
→ Shakespeare Themes in the Newspaper
→ Where to Find Writing Elements in the Newspaper
→ Propaganda in the Newspaper and Other Media

Printable Activity Sheets

→ Newspaper Circles
→ Hall of Fame - Hall of Shame
→ News Catcher
→ Blank News Catcher

→ Organizational Chart
→ Word Splash
→ Character Snapshot

→ Fact Wheel

→ Word Cube

→ Note Taking
→ Connections

→ Getting The Picture
→ Orginizational Chart
→ Say What?

→ Discussion Web

→ Reader's Theater

→ Diamonte Summary

→ Mind Mapping

Media Literacy Workshop

→ Links and Handouts


The website, Vocabulary University, was created in May '97 with the idea that free puzzles with pleasing, interactive graphics would draw participants into learning vocabulary words at all levels. The site to go to is http://www.myvocabulary.com/