In the News – Literacy

There is nothing quite like a big event to bring the world together.  We’re exposed to at least two big ones right now – Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 and the referendum in Crimea.  You can’t turn on a television, radio, open a newspaper or go to your favourite online news site without seeing these stories near or at the top of the news.

It’s bound to raise questions from students in class and discussions at an age-appropriate level are helpful.

For the older students, it’s also a good opportunity to do some investigation into Literacy and the editorial slant of news providers.

One of the very best resources is the Newseum.  In particular, the link that lets you take a look at the front pages of newspapers from around the world.

The Anchorage Daily News and the Toronto Star features the stories prominently on their Sunday newspapers.

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Click on the thumbnails above to link to the actual newspaper image.

  • How are the stories treated from different locations about the world?
  • Are the stories written by staff reporters or are they syndicated from other sources?
  • What are the dangers of getting your news from one source?
  • How do the various newspapers arrange their articles for maximum exposure?
  • Can you read the newspaper from a different language source?

There are lots of good questions that can be generated.

Perhaps even a comparison of how your local newspaper stacks up with others around the world is in order.  What kind of slant on the news is your community getting?

In addition to an awareness of current world issues, a nice benefit would be an ongoing appreciation for the news.

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2 thoughts on “In the News – Literacy

  1. Great ideas, as ever. I am always amazed how many of my students in Grade 7/8 don’t have a clue what’s happening in the world outside their doorway. I put 2 news-related trivia questions up on my board each week, and there are bonuses for answering them (I’m looking for kids to practice their search skills, as well as figuring out what they already know). When we take the q’s up on Friday, I am sometimes flabbergasted at those who don’t know that these have been major world news topics that week.

    We have access to a database (something Press – name escaping me right now, will track it down), which allows us not just front page, but editions of world-wide papers – it’s a great way to compare bias and the way different parts of the world report on events; and you can also translate text, which is handy for the french teacher.

    Another fun activity ( I did it when the Pope resigned) is to have students independently survey a number of news outlets, and figure out what the top story of the day is, and write a 5 Q summary of the story. Great way to have them identify what they think is an important story.

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  2. My son had an amazing Grade 4 teacher who combined reading, understanding, world issues, etc. who brought a love for this stuff. It was the one year where he went overboard reading. It gave him a livelong interest in world issues.

    I really like your ideas, Lisa. I hope that visitors to the blog can benefit from your sharing. Thanks so much.

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