Use News for You as the basis for a national and international scavenger hunt in the classroom. Give students copies of two maps: one of the world and one of the United States. Divide students into pairs or small groups. Ask them to skim the newspaper for national and international place names. When they find a country, state, or city name in an article, ask them to find and color its location on the relevant map. Then ask each student to write a sentence or two explaining why each place is mentioned in News for You. Have the students attach their summaries to their maps.
This work can lead to discussion. Which country seems to be the setting for the most interesting or meaningful news? What does anyone in the class know about this country or state, in addition to the information shared in the newspaper?
Cut out the photos, with captions, from a print copy of News for You. Next, cut out the headlines and the articles separately. Have learners match the photos to the headlines and articles, using clues from reading the captions and text.
Cut an article from News for You in half, then make enough copies of each piece so every learner will have one half. Separate the class into two groups, and give each group a different half of the story. Ask each group to read their portion of the article and write down details that are missing.
Put the learners into small groups with others who have the same half. Ask them to talk about the article, to try to fill in any missing information, and to compile a list of questions they want answered about the article.
Pair up students who have different halves of the article. Have them talk about the article so they discover the whole story, but without looking back at their original half of the article.
Finally, have the learners go back to their original groups. Have the groups write a summary of the entire article without looking back at it.
Save old copies of News for You until you have at least 10 weeks' worth. Put students into small groups and give each group a large white piece of paper, several pairs of scissors, and a couple of glue sticks. Give a different back issue to each member of the group. Then give the students a list of things to find.They are to glue their findings onto the group's paper and label them. They can race or you can give a time limit. The following is an example of a list. You can add to it or create your own in order to reinforce things you have studied in your class.
Choose two articles from News for You that can be developed into skits. Set time limits for planning and presenting the skits. Divide the class into two groups, and give each group suggested ideas for each skit. Include characters, scenes, and actions. Get class members in the audience involved in each skit by having them ask questions of the players in character after the skit presentation.
Divide students into small groups. List headlines from an issue of News for You on the board and assign one headline and its article to each group. Have each group read the article and write questions about it.
Next, write the headlines on separate pieces of paper, then put them in a hat and have each group draw one. (If they choose the headline they used for writing questions, they should put it back and choose another.) Each group must read the article with the chosen headline and try to answer the questions written by their fellow students.
Enlarge a copy of a News for You article and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces. Post a piece on each wall of the classroom (not in the order they appear in the article). Label the pieces A, B, C, and D in the order they appear going around the room.
Assign each student a letter. Tell students to go to the wall where their section is posted and read their part of the article. No paper or pencil is allowed. If students want to take notes, they must go back to their seats to do it. They can discuss the article with other people at their wall. A student reads only one section.
Form new groups. In each group, include one A, one B, one C, and one D person. Each person explains his or her section of the article. The rest of the group listens and, if necessary, asks questions for clarity. Then the group decides on the logical sequence of the sections, for example, B, C, A, D.
The teacher has students read an issue of News for You as homework before class. Before class, the teacher prepares a grid. Choose five stories and label columns with their names across the top. Then put the dollar amounts $100, $200, $300, $400, and $500 vertically down the left side. Prepare a question for each cell, with easiest questions at the $100 level and hardest ones at the $500 level.
In class, divide the group into two or three teams. Choose a team to go first. The first team member chooses a dollar amount and a story. The teacher reads the appropriate question. The student who chose the question must answer it but can consult with other members of the team.
If the student answers correctly, the team gets the "dollar amount" added to its total, and it is the next team's turn to pick a question. If the student answers incorrectly, the next team gets a chance to answer and then takes its regular turn. If no team gets the answer, the teacher can choose whether to give the answer or open it to later guessing.
The team with the most "money" at the end wins the game.
An interesting idea for a class project would be to start a "vertical file," or resource file of information. After the class has read the newspaper, students cut out the articles and classify them by subject matter. For example, they could create files on natural disasters or sports. This helps them classify and organize information. It also helps them create their own resource files for future reference.
First, have students skim News for You. This could be done as homework. Meanwhile, come up with 50 to 75 questions based on articles in that issue.
Divide the class into two groups. Have each group divvy up the articles so each person reads one or two stories carefully.
Now, ask your questions. Don't pause for long gaps between questions. Ask a volunteer to keep score on the board and help you listen for which group gives the correct answer first.
Anyone can answer the questions, so the answers come fast. Things get very noisy and exciting. Sometimes the winners get small prizes, but bragging rights are what the teams really want. This makes reading the newspaper really fun.
Choose three to five words from a News for You article that you think will be unfamiliar to most of your students. Write the words on the board, then have the students read the article aloud or silently. Have the students try to come up with a definition for the first word based on the context of the article. When they're finished, have them look up the word in a dictionary to check whether they were correct. Repeat these steps with the rest of the words.
The teacher chooses one word at random from a photo caption somewhere in News for You. The first student to find the word must give the page number and story headline where the caption is, then read the caption aloud. If students don't know the meaning of the word, they can look it up in a dictionary. If there are several possible meanings, the class can discuss them.
Put students into groups of three or four. Have them read an article together. Then have students retell the story in their own words, with each student responsible for making at least one comment.
Have students review articles in News for You and have each choose one story to read carefully. After reading, ask each student to write several paragraphs relating the article to his or her own life experience. Students can read their paragraphs aloud, or they can exchange their experiences in small groups.
This activity extends comprehension, provides a purpose for reading, and gives writing practice.
Choose one article from News for You and have students circle the verbs in each sentence. List the words on the board, and talk about which verbs they think are the "strongest." You can talk about strong, active verbs and how they make writing better.
This activity is especially good for students who process information best by manipulating it.
First, have the students read an appropriate article. It might work best to have someone read the story aloud. Then ask the group to discuss the characters, the setting, and the sequence of events described in the article.
Hand out art supplies, magazines, etc. for the students to use to create their own cartoon versions of the story complete with dialog bubbles. Share results with the rest of the class and/or post the cartoon strips.
Choose an article from News for You and ask students to read it carefully. Then have them put away the paper or close the article on their screens online. Read the article aloud to the students, but make some changes. For example, change dates, names, or other facts. Ask students to call out or raise their hands when they hear something different from what they read in the story. Then they can give the correct version.
Variation: Let students "doctor" the stories and read their versions aloud to classmates. Ask the classmates to listen for differences.
This activity integrates reading and listening skills. It also provides practice in listening for detail.
This activity is good for ABE and GED students. It is especially useful as an activity to precede formal essay instruction.
Ask each student to choose an article from News for You to read carefully. Then ask students to write short two- or three-sentence summaries of their articles. Finally, ask them to write their reactions to the articles. These reactions should reflect the student's feelings and should be supported with details and/or examples.
In advance, find nine numerical figures in an issue of News for You, and prepare clues that would help students figure out which story each figure comes from.
In class, after the students have read that issue of News for You, write the nine figures on the board. Distribute a blank, nine-square grid to each student and have then write the nine figures on their grid, in any order.
Give the students the clues, and have them cross out the correct numerical answer on the grid. Whoever gets three in a row first is the winner.
Check the answers for accuracy, then hand out copies of News for You and find the stories associated with the numbers.
First, model and explain that "who," "what," "where," "when," "why," and "how" questions can be literal (facts from the article) or inferential (no "right" answer in the article). For inferential questions, students must either give an opinion or gather evidence from the story to make a judgment.
Tape two large pieces of paper on a wall. Label one "Literal" and the other "Inferential."
Ask each student to read one article and then write at least 3 questions about it, each on a sticky note. One of the questions should be inferential.
Students exchange sticky notes with a partner. The partners answer their questions. Then the partners decide which of their questions are literal and which are inferential. They stick the notes into the appropriate sections of the papers on the wall.
Discuss with students whether the questions are in the right groups. Sticky notes can be moved if necessary. Finally, have the class group the questions into other categories (such as settings, themes, etc.)
After reading and discussing an article, play Stump the Teacher. Students need to write at least two questions about the article. The students should know the answers to their questions. Writing questions is often difficult, especially for ESL students. The teacher must answer the questions from memory without referring to the article. Students love to stump their teachers.
Have students write an opinion about, not a condensation of, an article topic for homework. Then look at their work, circle places where it needs to be revised, and let the students try to make the corrections. If necessary, tell the students what is expected. Later, the students read the corrected pieces aloud. This helps students become increasingly secure in oral work. It also often leads to discussions.
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.