The Scoop on Current Events!
Analysis and Practice
Use an interactive whiteboard or document camera to project news items for whole class viewing. After some whole-group practice, use items from the online news sources listed below to have students complete some of the following activities (no doubt included of your reading curriculum):
- Skim and scan articles in order to fill out a graphic organizer that lists who, what, when, where, and why.
- Use highlighters to find 10-12 keywords in the article. Use these words to compose a summary of a news item.
- Read about the same topic from two or more news sources. Complete a Venn diagram or T-chart comparing the coverage. This online Venn diagram tool creates a printable diagram for you.
- After a discussion about how headlines or leads can “hook” the reader, have students generate a different headline or lead for an existing article. This requires thought about the article’s main idea. Alliteration can be introduced and practiced as a strategy here (“No Justice for Jack’s Giant,” “Greedy Goldilocks Gobbles All”). Then practice writing leads for classroom news items—a field trip, visiting author, assembly performance, science experiment, etc.
- Complete a graphic organizer related to the idea of the inverted pyramid. This is a format many news articles use. The most important information (including the 5 Ws and H) appears at the top of the article, followed by a few main details and a final (least important) detail. This graphic is available from the folks at ReadWriteThink.org. This one may also prove useful.