Click your grade-level and subject for NIE resources designed to help you meet curriculum objectives.
100 Ways to Use the Newspaper
presented by the VPA NIE
| Newspaper Knowledge | Language
Arts | Math
Critical Thinking | Social Studies
| Life Skills | Character Education
Elementary | Middle School |
- Begin a vocabulary list of
science words found in your newspaper. Record the spelling, meaning
and the use of each word. Some examples might be: exploration, narcotics,
energy, pollution, preventative, analysis, comet, weather, antibiotic,
invention, alcoholism, theory, artificial, transplant, medicine, etc.
- Using your newspaper, collect
advertisements for products that were not available 20 years ago.
Can you identify the scientific advances that have made this product
- Find newspaper articles,
advertisements, etc., about equipment that will help conserve energy
such as storm windows or home insulation. What claims are made about
- Find a picture of an animal
that you would like to be! Identify the animal by its genus and
species then write an article pretending you are that animal.
- Make a "first" notebook.
Use newspaper articles about science "firsts" or discoveries.
- Make a scrapbook of pictures
and news stories about conservation. Look for articles about hunting
and fishing seasons, tree planting, energy crisis, etc.
- Make a poster from pictures,
advertisements and articles showing how machines help people do different
- Check today╠s weather map.
Find the longitude and latitude of the regional city with the highest
temperature and the national city with the lowest temperature. Make
a graph that illustrates how many cities have a clear, cloudy or rainy
- Find articles in your newspaper
about areas that have experienced severe weather. Discuss how stories
such as these can help us prepare for weather emergencies.
- Using the movie listings
in the Extra section, count the number of movies advertised in one
theater according to ratings █ G, PG, PG-13, R. Make a pie graph that
represents the number of movies in each ratings group expressed as
- According to the index, what
pages are the following found on: classified ads, sports, editorials,
local news, weather, the crossword puzzle?
- Find the following information:
the telephone number would you call and the starting weekly cost for
a home delivered subscription to Your newspaper. The name of the editor
and publisher of your newspaper. A comic strip showing a working woman.
The score from a local sporting event. The names of three wire services
used by your newspaper.
- Clip and label an example
of each of the following: index, byline, cutline, dateline and headline.
- Find a newspaper article
that is about each of the following: a meeting of a government agency,
a press conference, a disaster or unexpected happening, the schools.
- Find five stories from different
cities in Virginia. Then find five stories different states and five
stories from different countries. Locate each of these cities, states
and countries on a map.
- Project yourself into societies
in which there are no newspapers. Make a list of all the functions
provided by the newspaper, including such things as providing news,
serving as an advertising medium, social announcements, upcoming events,
critical reviews, etc. How would each of these functions be met in
a newspaperless society?
- Scan your newspaper and name
some of the beats covered by reporters. If you were a reporter, what
beat would you like to cover and why?
- Make a chart showing examples
of the vocabulary variations that appear in different sections of
the newspaper. For instance, the jargon used by the food editor and
sports editor would probably be quite different.
- In Your newspaper, find examples
of editorials that are written to: inform the reader, interpret the
news for the reader, entertain the reader, and influence the reader.
- Use the classified section
to buy materials or hire services to help you cross the following
barriers: a snake pit, a barbed wire fence, a 10 foot wall, a 20 foot
deep moat with snapping crocodiles, an angry giant. Compare your selected
products and services with your classmates.
- Use the front page of your
newspaper to draw a circle around every blend. Make a list of all
the blends you find.
- List all the different punctuation
marks used in a news article. Read the articles aloud and notice the
influence of your voice in determining the place of punctuation.
- Is a photo really worth 1000
words? Cut a photo out of the newspaper. Write a new caption and article
about the action going on in the photo.
- Find newspaper examples of
paragraphs written in present, past and future tenses.
- Circle all the singular nouns
and pronouns in a news article in red and all plural nouns and pronouns
- Identify as many sets of
antonyms, homonyms and synonyms as you can by scanning the headlines
in your newspaper.
- Collect pictures from the
newspaper that shows different facial expressions. Label each picture
with descriptive words.
- Select three headlines from
your newspaper and rewrite them as complete sentences.
- Find examples of ten plural
words in your newspaper. Write the root word next to each of the plural
words you find.
- Look at a photo in the sports
section. Without reading the story, write down what is happening in
the photo, what happened during the game, and who won the game. Read
the story. Were your predictions correct?
- Race through the newspaper!
You have five minutes. See how many numbers from 1-25 you can find.
Circle each number as you find it.
- Circle the largest and smallest
numbers on a page. Subtract the two numbers you have found. Add the
- Use recipes from your newspaper
to practice using fractions. Double the recipe; halve the recipe and
triple the recipe.
- Cut words from the newspaper
that relate to quantity. For example: all, none, many, few, fewer,
more, less, most etc.
- Write a word problem that
uses an advertisement as its basis. Let a friend try to solve the
- Look at the movie ads in
the features section. Assuming a 15-minute break between shows, determine
the duration of three movies.
- Choose any three digit and
any two digit numbers from Your newspaper. Do the following:
- Find the product of the
- Find the sum of the two
- Find the difference between
the two numbers
- Find the quotient of the
two numbers to the nearest hundredth
- Now, find the sum of all
the answers above
- Read a page in your newspaper
and underline words and phrases that refer to time such as: annual,
bicentennial, 90-day warranty, next week, etc.
- Refer to the Extra section
and choose the kind of entertainment that you would enjoy most and
the place you would most like to eat. Determine the total cost of
your outing for one person, for two and for your family.
- Add up the total points scored
by AFC teams in the NFL on any given Sunday or determine the total
elapsed time between the first and last place Nascar driver.
- Choose one story from the
front page of today╠s newspaper. Find the answers to these questions:
Who? What? When? Where? Why? Note the organization of details in this
story. Which is the most important? Where is it found in the story?
Does the headline highlight the most important fact? If not, where
did the information for the headline appear in the story?
- Choose an editorial from
the editorial page in Your newspaper and underline each fact and circle
each opinion. Discuss the logic of the ideas and the organization
and development of the arguments.
- Look at a feature article
closely to see what words and sentences help to make you have certain
feelings about the article. Make a list of these words and sentences.
- Imagine that you are in charge
of preparing a time capsule that will be opened in 200 years. Cut
items that you think would tell the most about our lives today from
- Compile a list of words that
you are not familiar with in your newspaper reading. Make a crossword
puzzle using these words with your definitions.
- Place news items or pictures
about each state on a large outline map of the United States. See
how many states you can find in the news in two weeks.
- Chart community crimes for
one-week using reports and articles in your newspaper. Chart the type
of crime, age of the criminal, location, etc.
- Travel by means of the newspaper.
Clip pictures of a country. Find articles and check the weather page
for weather conditions in your chosen country. Then write a story
about the things you might do and see if you visited that country.
- Write an editorial on a topic
of controversy for the period of history you are studying. Study some
of the editorials in today╠s newspaper before doing this activity.
- Research good and bad relationships
between the United States and other countries. Try to categorize the
reason these relationships may exist.
- Using your newspaper, give
some names and titles of international and political leaders. Describe
their roles, as you understand them from articles you have read.
- Read an article or editorial
in your newspaper. Draw a political cartoon that represents the article.
- Find and read newspaper articles
concerning pollution, overpopulation or major social problems. Make
a list of the various items or the social problem you have selected.
List some reasons that these articles are carried in the newspaper.
Prepare a poster or write an essay telling how you would deal with
solving this social problem.
- Use news stories to teach
new words related to geography, such as delta, monsoon, panhandle,
harbor and terrain. Discuss the way the words are used in newspaper
- Find examples of the Bill
of Rights in action as expressed in articles in your newspaper. What
articles would not be in the newspaper if we didn╠t have freedom of
speech or the right to a fair trial?
- Draw a rough floor plan of
a home. Collect newspaper pictures of furniture and appliances to
fill the home and make it comfortable. Determine the approximate cost
of furnishing a home by using classified ads.
- Make a chart that is divided
into four parts: spring, summer, fall, winter. Cut out pictures of
clothing you would wear during each season. Paste the pictures under
- Prepare menus using food
advertisements in the newspaper. Example: Christmas dinner, Italian
dinner, etc. Make sure that you include something from all four-food
- Collect articles of accidents
that have happened in the home. Tell how the accidents could have
- Select a job in the classified
section of your newspaper. Write a letter to the Human Resources director
of your chosen job stating what qualities make you perfect for that
- Check the salary levels for
unskilled workers in the help-wanted section of the classified ads.
Compare the salaries to those for skilled laborers or professional
positions. What are the differences and why?
- Find a recipe in the food
section of your newspaper. Examine the recipe╠s ingredients to see
if it includes enough of the nutrients necessary for a balanced diet.
What other foods or recipes could you add to make a balanced meal?
- Go on a scavenger hunt in
your newspaper. Find and circle the following items: the price of
a used Ford truck, the name of the president of the United States,
a TV show that starts at 8PM, the high temperature of a city in Virginia,
a sports score, an index.
- Look at the grocery ads in
your newspaper and find an example of multiple products sold for one
price (example: 3 ears of corn for $2.00). What is the cost of each
item? Is a larger quantity of an item always the better value?
- Find an example of a comic
strip in the Extra section of your newspaper that shows two coworkers
or an employee and manager having a conflict. Rewrite the comic strip
depicting a better way for the characters to handle the disputed situation.
- Make a Hall of Fame, Hall
of Shame poster of bulletin board. Clip articles and cartoons of people
who are exhibiting good character traits. Place these under the Hall
of Fame heading. Place examples of people not using good character
traits under the Hall of Shame heading.
- Go through Your newspaper
and make a "survival vocabulary list" of words that a person would
need to know to be a good responsible citizen in today╠s world. Be
sure to list the legal terms you find that we assume all people understand.
- Read an article in your newspaper
about an individual who is honest. What has the honest act? What were
the consequences of the act? Would you have made the same decision?
- Make a family crest that
shows examples of what is good about yourself and your family. Look
through today╠s paper and cut out words or pictures that remind you
of what you like about your family. Paste them on a sheet of paper.
- Look through Your newspaper
for an article that shows individuals, groups or nations involved
in a conflict. Write down the different sides, and what seems to be
the reason or reasons for the conflict. Think of as many different
ways as you can that they might resolve this conflict. Write a letter
to the editor that explains how the groups or nations can resolve
their conflict. Would these groups need courage, kindness, forgiveness,
and patience? What other character traits would they need to exhibit
to solve their conflict?
- Find as many synonyms for
"Win" and "Lose" as you can.
- Circle five verbs located
in the Sports section of your newspaper. Take turns acting these words
out to see if your classmates can guess the words you chose.
- Using the television show
listings in the features section, graph the number of comedies, news
shows, dramas and documentaries airing between 8PM and 11PM.
- Using the classified ads,
find prices of cars that are equal to, greater than, or less than
- Locate the statistics from
games in the Sports section. Graph the total number of yards rushed,
homeruns hit, passes thrown, etc. in a single game.
- Read articles in your newspaper
about court cases. Compare the structure of our court system with
the judicial system created by the Ancient Romans.
- Skim the articles and photographs
on the front page of your newspaper. Rank each news items in order
of importance. Why did the news stories get the news placement that
- Scan your newspaper for articles
about someone what has broken a law. How would you feel if you were
the lawbreaker, the victim, the lawyer or the judge? How would you
rewrite the article from the point of view of one of those people?
- Select six headlines from
the pages of your newspaper. Cut apart the words from those headlines.
Using your words, create new sentences. Identify the noun, verb and
adjective in each. How many complete sentences can you create?
- Look through the pages of
your newspaper to locate something you can see, something you can
smell, something you can taste, something you can hear, and something
you can touch.
- Using a ruler, figure out
the percentage of space on a given page for ads, pictures, stories
- On the front page of your
newspaper, circle all the numbers you can find and give the range.
Determine also the mean, median and mode.
- Over a period of several
weeks, clip articles that deal with problems and/or issues facing
your local city government. Discuss the reason for these problems,
and how the government hopes to solve them.
- Find a news article written
in past tense. Clip it out of the paper and rewrite it in present
- Research the area of drugs,
tobacco or alcohol, and write an article that informs the local readers
of the dangers of one of the substances.
- Look in the classified ads
to find job listings for the medical/health professions. What is the
median pay range? Job requirements? Educational requirements? Benefits?
Opportunities for advancement?
- Look for slogans used by
businesses in their advertisements. What is the reason for these slogans?
Are they believable to you? To whom do they appeal, and what propaganda
devise is used? Make up five businesses and write slogans for them.
- What are the qualifications
a person should have to hold public office? Make a list, and then
see how the current office holders of candidates stack up. Use articles
from your newspaper and other sources to find out about previous jobs,
experiences, and other factors that make each candidate or office
holder prepared to serve as an elected official.
- Select three apartments listed
in the classified ads for rent section. For each of the following,
compute the total rent for a year. Determine the average monthly rent
based on the apartments you have chosen. Which of the three apartments
you have chosen appears to be the best choice for the money and why?
- Scan through Your newspaper
and list ten occupations which are discussed. Don╠t use your classified
advertisements for this activity!
(NIE activities compiled from various
sources obtained through NAA Foundation)
- Look for a grocery ad with
a soft drink advertisement. Figure out how many fluid ounces are in
the eight bottle carton or six pack, and break it down into pints,
quarts, gallons and liters.
- Every week, check through
the job listings and put a red X through those jobs that could not
be filled by a high school dropout. Put a black X through those that
could not be filled by a person with a technical school or college
training. Discuss your findings.
- Choose an editorial and read
it carefully. Decide which statements or parts of the statements are
facts, which are opinion, and whether or not the tone of the editorial
is conservative or liberal. Watch for upcoming issues to see if there
is any reaction to the editorial on the letters to the editor page.
- To improve map skills and
stimulate interest in current events, follow the route of a government
official as he travels around the country or around the world. Show
the route he or she takes on a map with a marker or pushpins.
- Find the area of the floor
in your classroom or library. Using a carpet or tile ad from your
newspaper, compute the cost or carpet or tile the room. If the carpet
was offered at a 20% discount, what would the cost of the carpeting
- After skimming your newspaper
each day, select the important news story of the day and post it on
a bulletin board. At the end of the week, have the class vote on the
most important story of the week.
- Look in Your newspaper for
articles about countries at war. Use newspaper archives and reference
books to look for the same topic 3 or 5 years ago █ what has changed,
been resolved or worsened over the past 3 to 5 years?
- Have a discussion of employment
trends and demands in your community, based on the help wanted section
of the classified ads and any related articles.
- Study the periodic chart
of the elements, and then take a red magic marker and mark the appropriate
chemical symbols found in scientific articles in your newspaper.
- Select a sports story that
is of interest to you, and rewrite passive voice sentences into active