Teachers share their best reading and writing units that boost essential literacy skills for each grade level.
Student success must extend beyond the classroom. As a teacher, I search for lessons that bridge the school world and the world outside of school. The alarming news of students' lack of reading for pleasure prompts teachers of all levels to help students relate reading to their lives and fall in love with literacy. Using newspapers and magazines in the classroom entices students to build a lifelong reading habit. Teaching students to recognize bias in journalistic-style writing will help to create informed citizens. The key to making this work with students is to use materials that appeal to them and to allow time to build that reading habit.
- Analyze newspapers and magazines for journalistic style
- Recognize signals of opinion and bias in printed materials
- Summarize articles with main idea and important detail
- Write articles in both newspaper and magazine style
Students are assigned to research their favorite musical artist. Along with facts about the musician's life, students must define the category of music performed, some facts about that genre of music and its history. This helps students place their favorite artist in a historical perspective and leads to more objective writing. Students then write a magazine article on that musician and we publish the articles in a class music magazine. I have also had students write a compare/contrast piece on their favorite and least favorite musician in the same genre of music. This extension is extremely popular with students.
Resources to Encourage Life-Long Literacy
It takes a variety of resources to encourage reluctant students to get in the habit of lifelong reading. There is a magazine for every interest and a newspaper in every town. Encourage your students to find the right resource for them.
Newspapers From Near and Far
Classroom Tip: Encourage students to stay current by looking for sections that appeal to their interests. Most papers have daily and weekly sections including sports, entertainment, lifestyle, science, the arts, business, not to mention regional, national and international news and politics.
A Magazine for Every Interest
Scholastic Classroom Magazines offer publications that address many interests and curriculum requirements. Titles like Science World, Scope, The New York Times Upfront, Choices, and Scholastic ART are just a few of the great magazines you'll find.
National Geographic (monthly) mixes geography with award-winning photojournalism to promote the world's cultural, historical, and natural resources.
Can't get enough technology? Wired (monthly) covers new technology and how it shapes our society.
Classroom Tip: Scholastic Classroom Magazines and other titles of interest are a great way to foster lifelong reading. Invite debate into the classroom with news magazines or use any of them as motivation for independent reading.