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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Reading Workbooks  >  High School
Newspapers in Education -- High School Reading

Newspapers in Education -- High School Reading

Compiled by Tom Janz

In the last two years, newspaperman Tom Janz has traveled hundreds of miles across the Kenai Peninsula, showing teachers how to use the newspaper as an educational tool in their classrooms.

Janz is Marketing and Circulation Manager of the Peninsula Clarion, a small paper for the Kenai Peninsula, and he is also the administrator of the Clarion's Newspapers in Education (N.I.E.) program. He has written workbooks for grade schools, middle schools and high schools that contain hundreds of lessons to get students involved with the newspaper.

For high school the exercises are broken down by subject (reading, writing, health, science, math, etc.), and each subject is categorized into knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. "My aim," says Janz, "has been to give the high school kids a more comprehensive understanding of the paper and the world at large."

If you would like to have Tom Janz visit your school with ideas about Newspapers in Education, call (907) 283-7551.

Reading Exercises

  1. Select an important event receiving coverage and follow it for a few days. Find examples of a news story, an editorial and a feature story on some aspect of the event. Compare how these three types of articles are similar and how they are different. What do you think is the purpose of each style? Write a short article in each of the styles on another topic.

  2. Play editor. Clip ten news stories from today's paper. Arrange the stories in order of importance. Which story is most important? Which story is least important? How did you make your decision? Compare your decisions with the way the stories actually appeared in the newspaper.

  3. Find a news story about a continuing event. Read the story and predict the outcome. Watch the story in the newspaper and compare your predictions with the actual outcome.

  4. After reading about an accident in the newspaper, write accounts of it through different points of view. How did the eyewitnesses feel watching the accident? What went through the victim's mind seconds before the accident occurred? How did police officers feel when they arrived on the scene? Using these accounts, develop a vivid recreation or story about the accident.

  5. Select two different comic strips. Compare the strips with one criterion in mind: portrayal of women, importance placed on monetary success, relationships to real life, etc. Decide how the two strips compare on the issue. Which comic strips come closest to your own values?

  6. Using a comic strip such as "Calvin & Hobbes" that depicts people of various ages, figure out the characters' ages based on vocabulary, physical development, language, etc.

  7. Contrast different writing styles in the newspaper. News is a straightforward delivery of facts. It follows the inverted style and uses short sentences with neutral verbs. Feature style is more versatile, personal and interpretive. Editorials are opinionated exercises in logic. In editorials, both concepts and sentence structure are more complicated. Sports style is easy, analytical and colorful. Verbs are vivid and descriptions precise. Drama, opinion and "hype" appear in sports stories.

Vocabulary of Newspaper Terms You May Find in These Exercises:

  • Advertisement - a message printed in the newspaper in space paid for by the advertiser.
  • Banner - a headline in large type running across the entire width of the page.
  • Box - a small article or headline enclosed by lines to give it visual emphasis.
  • Byline - the name of the writer of the article, usually appearing above the news of feature story.
  • Caption - title or explanatory note above a picture.
  • Credit Line - acknowledging the source of a picture.
  • Cutline - information below a picture which describes it.
  • Dateline - line that tells where the story originated.
  • Ears - space at the top of the front page on each side of the newspaper's nameplate. Usually boxed in with weather news, index to pages or an announcement of special features.
  • Edition - in a single day, a newspaper may publish several editions, each one going to a different part of its circulation area.
  • Editorial - an article stating an opinion of a newspaper editorial board, usually written in essay form.
  • Editorial Cartoon - cartoon which expresses opinions; appears on the editorial page.
  • Feature - a story in which the interest lies in some factor other than news value.
  • Filler - copy with little news value; used to fill space.
  • Flag - a stylized signature of a newspaper which appears at the top of page one.
  • Headline - display type placed over a story summarizing the story for the reader.
  • Index - table of contents of each paper, usually placed on page one.
  • Issue - All the editions of a newspaper published for a single day.
  • Journalism - process of collection, writing, editing, and publishing news.
  • Jump - the continuation of an article from one page to another.
  • Kicker - a short, catchy word or phrase over a major headline.
  • Lead - the first few sentences of opening paragraphs of a news story containing the answers to who, what, where, when, why and how.
  • Mass media - any of various methods of transmitting news to a large number of people (e.g. radio, television, newspaper).
  • Masthead - the matter printed in every issue of a newspaper stating the title, ownership, management, rates, etc.
  • Newsprint - a grade of paper made of wood pulp used for printing newspapers.
  • News Services - news gathering agencies such as Associated Press (AP). They gather and distribute news to subscribing newspapers.
  • Obit - an obituary; a story of a deceased person's life.
  • Review - an account of an artistic event such as a play or concert which offers a critical evaluation by the writer.
  • Sidebar - a short story related to a major story and run nearby.
  • Typo - short for typographical error.

Related Articles
Newspapers in Education -- High School Writing
Newspapers in Education -- Middle School Reading
Newspapers in Education -- Middle School Writing
The Newspaper: A Living Textbook
Newspapers in Education -- Writing About News Photos

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