Imagine the thrill of reading news about your loved comics, a scientific discovery, or actors across the world. Did you know newspapers act like they are the eyes of the nation? Right from the technological developments in the space research area to the story of your neighbor next door, newspapers play an important role in offering vital information.
While newspapers are all about different blogs and articles, it is crucial to know that they are powerhouses of abundant knowledge. Newspapers are not just plain pieces of paper but are filled with visually appealing images and eye-catching headlines. As high schoolers get into the world of learning and exploring, newspapers serve as an interesting medium to broaden their horizon.
In the world of social media and smartphones, it is difficult to develop the habit of being connected to newspapers in high schoolers. So, what about engaging students in learning through creative activities? Activities create a comprehensive fun learning environment in which they not only engage but also enjoy learning without compromising on the fun factor. In this article, we will discuss some of the helpful activities that reinforce knowledge and curiosity in students.
Interesting Newspaper Activities for High School Students
Teaching through activities helps students explore newspapers beyond developing different types of reading skills. They can easily connect with topics, discuss them with classmates and learn to present their understanding of them. With the below-mentioned activities, you can foster a fun learning environment thereby boosting their interest and the zeal to learn.
1. What’s the Genre?
Newspapers are filled with many different news articles and blogs coming from across the world. When imparting knowledge, it is important to make students understand the category of different pieces of information.
- For this activity, ask students to get the newspaper of the same date and publishing house
- Now, give them some time to classify the articles
- To make it more interesting, allow them to choose their own categories which may include Crime, World News, Business, Technology Development, and so on
- Now, pick any student and ask where a certain article belongs
- Invite an open discussion about how newspapers selectively print information and why
A healthy discussion between high school students enables them to broaden their critical thinking skills. They are more likely to understand the context of information than just read it.
2. Design a Newspaper
With many designing tools, it is now easy to incorporate technological advancements in education. This activity focuses on the amalgamation of information, design, and creativity.
- For this activity, divide the students into teams of 3 members each
- Now, ask them to design their own newspapers in the class
- Give them 2 A3 size papers which can be stuck together to look like a 4-page newspaper
- Now, they need to stick important articles, headlines, dates, and specific advertisements
- After this, ask the group to explain the placement of information in the newspaper along with its purpose. For example, they may display an advertisement for a brand-new car on the first page to grab the reader’s attention
As students look at the newspaper beyond reading information, they get an idea about various aspects of marketing. Such an activity allows them to fully explore the placement of articles or ads along with the reasons behind it.
3. What’s the Word?
A newspaper includes many pages with a whole load of information about cinema, crime, world trade, and a lot more. In this activity, we take complete advantage of enhancing vocabulary skills for high schoolers.
- For this activity, ask students to focus on any one page
- Divide the students into teams of 3 each for the first round
- Pick a unique word from the page and ask students to read the article
- According to their understanding, ask them the meaning of the word
- For example, if the word is merchandising, let them explore the content and try to derive its meaning
- Invite an open discussion when students show more interest in exploring the topic
With such an activity, students get an opportunity to fully understand the meaning of the information and try their best to crack it. It boosts critical thinking skills along with a curiosity to keep learning.
4. The Headline Race!
Newspapers are all about unique and catchy headlines that grab the reader’s attention. This activity helps students understand the importance of a short statement which creates a huge impact for readers.
- For this activity, you need to read an article to the class
- Divide the students into teams of 4 each
- Do not allow them to see the newspaper for this one
- Once they have heard the piece of information, they need to suggest catchy headlines for the topic
- Make sure to inform that headlines should be short yet convey the information that article holds
When students get to play the role of a newspaper editor, they are more likely to open their creative minds. Since there is no right or wrong, it boosts their confidence along with strengthening team-building skills.
5. Be the Reporter!
Students are likely to notice a lot of happenings around them just like any piece of news. This journalism activity helps them to vocalize their perspectives in a fun manner.
- For this activity, ask students to play the role of a reporter
- It is an individual activity so every student needs to find his/her unique story
- The stories can be about their school, surroundings, or a random incident at the supermarket
- Give them a day to observe and ask them to note the people involved, place, time, date, and so on
- The next day, ask them to draft the news along with the headline
- Once done, let them read it aloud in front of the class
Reading newspapers does help in improving knowledge however, this activity helps in writing with the same style and characteristics of a news article. Such creative writing activities allow students to note points and then present them in a structured format.
6. One Picture, One Story!
Pictures are an important part of newspapers as they convey half the message before even reading the entire article. This activity focuses on developing visual communication skills in a creative way.
- For this activity, have pictures of different incidents or advertisements
- Divide the students into teams of 3 members who will be responsible for the introduction, body, and conclusion of the news article
- Display 1 picture to the team and allow them 5 minutes to make their own story for the news
- There is no right or wrong however, all 3 members need to talk about it in a structured format
To make it interesting, you may ask the class students to vote for the best news by teams. Such activity creates a comprehensive learning environment as students are exposed to untapped areas of a newspaper.
7. Topic for the Day!
Here is a fun activity that creates a challenging yet fun learning environment inviting a joint contribution by the class.
- For this activity, ask students to read the newspaper daily
- Now, pick a certain article that needs to be discussed and encourage students to research beyond reading
- Here, they need to find facts, numbers, and information that is not available in the newspaper
- After this, pick any 5 students and ask them to share the gathered information
- For example, if climate change in America is the topic, all 5 need to speak about their research on it
As this activity involves randomly picking 5 students, you might notice how other students show curiosity in contributing. It creates an inspiring environment where students are exposed to different news genres. This self-identity activity allows them to understand their liking and dislikes towards different news types.
8. Offer a Reaction
News articles are not always fully drafted with a conclusion. At times, readers find their own conclusions about deals, crimes, sales, and so many others. Hence, this activity takes a step ahead for students to draft the concluding lines.
- For this activity, assign any 1 article to a set of 10 students each
- Ask them to draft a reaction to the article or an advertisement
- For example, if it is an advertisement for a car launch, their reaction can talk about the features, pricing, and whether it is a good deal for customers to buy
- Allow them some time to draft 5-6 concluding lines and invite an open discussion for the same
When students get an opportunity to form their own conclusions, they are more likely to think creatively and put their thoughts into it. It allows a mixture of perspectives in the classroom thereby encouraging diversity in thoughts.
9. My Geographical Discovery!
Newspapers are filled with news and articles that talk about the discovery of places or traditions of different parts of the world. This geography activity focuses on extracting unique information in a comprehensive way.
- For this activity, ask students to read a similar newspaper in the class
- Allow them time to analyze information and ask them to draft their geographical findings
- They can make as many notes from the articles to discover something fresh
- For example, the news could be related to the discovery of a new planet, an ancient tradition of a certain country, the presence of islands in the world, or archeological findings
- Now, allow them one more day to research more about it through the internet, friends and family
- Invite an open discussion the next day to understand the topic
When students are exposed to a unique piece of information, it can drive their intrigue for discovery. Such communication skills activities also develop their interpersonal skills as they learn, discuss and accept opinions.
10. Daring Debates!
Debates are fun for audiences as they get to see strong points coming from both teams. However, debates play an important role in developing leadership skills in students.
- For this activity, choose any newspaper and pick a specific article
- Divide students into teams of 3 members each
- Considering the information, one team needs to speak for the topic, and the other needs to speak against the topic
- For example, if it is an article about a financial policy for children, one team may discuss why it is wrongly drafted and the other team shall talk about the apt drafting of it
- Similarly, the ground for discussion could be the placement of the article, the type of information displayed, or the usage of language and color
Debates help students broaden their skills as they learn how to effectively communicate their stance. Since they work with their classmates, it enhances their network and coordination.
Teaching through Newspaper: Boosting Language Skills?
With a rapidly growing economy, newspapers are more than just a medium of information for students. If you observe carefully, newspapers are great teachers of language and grammar skills. Articles based on different genres are drafted with different writing styles and languages. For example, an advertisement for a luxury car has a different tone compared to an article discussing the ill effects of pollution. Newspapers include a great play of words communicating urgency, excitement, or thrill depending on the event. So, newspapers can be of great advantage for high schoolers in more than one area.
Research was conducted in one of the schools in Pakistan to understand the impact of English reading proficiency on students. Students were divided into two groups and one group was taught through the traditional reading method. The other group was taught reading through newspapers. According to the results, students who read newspapers performed way better than students who didn’t. The research proved the significance of newspapers in improving vocabulary and language skills in students.
Another important study highlights the importance of innovative teaching methods. It is discussed how the traditional methods of teaching language and reading can be boring over a period of time. When teachers use innovative methods like newspapers, there are higher chances of developing knowledge retention in students. The study also suggests that involving students in creative ways of learning including newspapers can boost creativity and communication skills.
Teaching high schoolers the importance of newspapers is an essential step toward encouraging them to read, learn, analyze information, and derive perspectives. As newspapers offer a plethora of learning, students get an opportunity to choose what they like to read and what seems confusing to them.
With the usage of activities, teachers can create a fun learning platform thereby offering hands-on knowledge to learners. The above-mentioned activities help enhance creativity, critical thinking, and thoughtfulness in students. These activities are a great combination of learning and fun element.
- Abbas, Furrakh & Farid, Faisal & Iqbal, Asif & Parveen, Sabahat. (2020). Impact of Using Newspapers Reading in Improving English Reading Proficiency: A Study of Pakistani University Students. 2020.
- Barno, S. (2021). View of Innovative Methods of Teaching English Language. Eurasian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(2795–7683), 97–99. https://geniusjournals.org/index.php/ejhss/article/view/292/258