Teaching a Lesson: Grades 56
These exciting activities will help you and your students make the most of Scholastic News Online. Each mini-lesson can be taught in one or two class periods and can be repeated as often as you like throughout the school year.
The "Write" Stuff
- write and publish thoughtful responses to nonfiction text.
- Daily news updates at Scholastic News Online
- After students read a daily news story, direct their attention to the critical-thinking question(s) at the end of the story.
- Encourage students to revise their responses for the traits of good writing, including ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and mechanics.
- Have students submit their responses to the Scholastic News Online student blog section. (Click on "Blog It!" for a screen to type in any responses.)
Is That a Fact?
- summarize a news story and identify facts and opinions within the story.
- Daily news updates at Scholastic News Online, T-chart (PDF)
- Activate prior knowledge by asking students to name some items that have been in the news lately. Discuss why these topics are newsworthy. Point out that many topics in the news are controversial; that is, people have strong opinions about the events or issues. Guide students to understand why it is important to be able to separate facts from opinions in the news we read or hear.
- Explain that students will be reading and summarizing an important news story, then looking for examples of facts and opinions in that story. Review that a fact is a statement that can be proved true, while an opinion is a statement that shows how someone thinks or feels about an issue.
- Have students log on to Scholastic News Online, and point out the "Today's News" section. Have students click on the photo or headline to read the full story. In a journal or on a piece of lined paper, have students write a brief (one paragraph) summary of the story. Then have students create a T-chart to record facts and opinions from the story, listing facts on the left and opinions on the right.
- Have students work in small groups to compare their T-charts. Then ask groups to share examples with the class. For opinion statements, ask groups to share words or phrases (like "thinks" or "argue that") that told them the statement was an opinion. For factual statements, ask groups to tell how one might prove the statement to be true.
Write a Research Report
- research and write a report or Powerpoint presentation on a news-related topic.
- Scholastic News Online, K-W-L Chart (PDF)
- Have students brainstorm report topics from one of the Scholastic News Online Special Reports. Guide students to narrow or broaden their topics as appropriate.
- Have students complete a K-W-L Chart (PDF)for their topic, using the material at Scholastic News Online to supplement their own background knowledge.
- Direct students to online or offline resources where they can find additional information on their topic.
- Have students visit the Writing Workshop: Research Paper online activity and follow the steps to write a research paper. If using Powerpoint, have students create 10 to 12 slides on their research topic.
- define unfamiliar words and use them in appropriate context.
- Scholastic News Online
- As students read news stories and features at Scholastic News Online, have them choose three words from each story that are new to them (or familiar words that are used in an unfamiliar way).
- For each word, have students create a word web. They should write the new word in the center and have six boxes surrounding the word. In those boxes, students should record the words:
- Context (the sentence in which the word was used)
- Part of speech
- Antonyms (if appropriate)
- An original sentence that uses the word