Newspapers hold a wealth of learning opportunities for our children. With the proper support from parents, newspapers can help develop creativity, reading skills, and math skills for our young learners. Before you know it, kids will fall in love with nonfiction reading, newspaper style.
Making a habit out of reading and sorting through the daily paper — or even weekend editions — will demonstrate how parents use the paper as a means for gathering information, learning about the world around them, and planning for future events.
Here’s a section-by-section look at how newspapers can be used, even with younger learners:
The World Section of the newspaper often contains the most eye-catching photographs and eye-popping headlines. If the photos or headlines are not too scary for young children (sometimes they are!), use them to talk about world events. Look at the photographs and read the headlines, then model for your children how to make logical predictions using both. Talk about what the children know about the topic and what they might learn if they read the article.
Most newspapers’ Local Section holds the weather forecast, which is a super place to begin reading each day. Show your children the week’s forecast, and have them count the number of sunny, rainy, cloudy, or snowy days. Discuss which weather you’ll see the most and which you’ll see the least. Talk about what you need to wear or have with you in order to be best prepared for the day’s weather.
The Style or Arts Section often contains the comics and Kids’ Section, which are great supports for emerging readers. Cover the words in a comic strip and have your child make up her own silly story using the pictures in each box; this is a great way to stretch little ones’ imaginations and to create beginning, middle, and end events. Many papers have a Kids’ Section, and whether it’s one page or several, the articles and photos are usually kid-friendly and easier to read. Read the article to your child — or support him as he reads — and talk about the contents. Consider using the Internet to search for more information.
The photographs in the Sports Section are often stories in themselves. Point out the sports being played in each picture, taking a minute to talk about the variety of athletes, equipment, and locations where each sport is played. For slightly older learners, the box scores are a super place to stop and talk about numbers, especially averages and differences between winning and losing scores!
- There’s no need to overlook the Coupon Insert because the colors, pictures, and numbers can be used for playing games with math. Give your child a pair of safe scissors, and roll through the alphabet, searching first for anything that begins with an A, then a B, then C, and so on. Collect your pictures, then glue them on paper for a colorful alphabet reference. Or give your child a marker, and do the same thing with numbers: hunt for a 1, 2, 3, or specific monetary amounts — 25, 50, or 75 cents. Go on a hunt for the biggest coupon amount.
Even if your children are young, the newspaper is a fantastic way of incorporating nonfiction texts into your every day.
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