In this exercise, students are assigned roles as evening news program TV announcers. Have students choose any two articles from the current issue of News for You. After reading the articles, they must summarize the most important information in three or four clear sentences. Have each student sit at a table facing the class and role-play a TV announcer delivering the "Evening News for You."
At first, students may be hesitant to be put in the spotlight. But after the second or third time, they often get caught up in the performance and become more creative.
Here are some phrases that can help them begin their newscasts:
Ask students to locate on a map the states and countries mentioned in an issue of News for You. Then discuss those places. Who has visited them? Who has relatives in them? What time is it there? What is the weather like there?
If students want to know more about one or more states/countries, set up group research projects. Each group could decide what it would like to know. You might want to help groups locate sources of information that could yield answers to their questions. Then ask the groups to report what they learn back to the class.
Ask students to read a front-page story from News for You (those are the top two stories on News for You Online). Don't read the story yourself--it is important that you not know the details. Tell the students that you haven't read it, and that their task is to tell you the most important facts and details in the story.
After they read, you can debrief orally or in writing. You could list the points students tell you on the board and then discuss whether they agree on main points, or you could ask students to write the main points and exchange them with a partner to see whether they agree about which points are most important.
Divide the class into two groups. Assign an article from News for You to each group. Each group will then teach the rest of the class about the contents of their article. Prepare a list of written questions for each group to guide them in their planning. Tell students you will give a short true-or-false quiz on the article to the entire class following each group's teaching presentation. Set time limits for planning and presenting.
This activity gets students to think about a person and share what they know before they read about him or her.
Select a well-known person from a current issue of News for You. Make sure it is someone your students are likely to know something about. Write the name on the board. Divide the class into pairs or small groups and ask them to share what they know about the person. You can use the 5W questions: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Give the students a time limit for gathering information. Ask each group to choose a recorder.
When time is up, the groups share what they gathered with the class. Write the information on the board as each group's recorder responds.
The activity generates vocabulary related to the person. It also gives students good background for reading the article itself and discussing the issues it raises.