First, have students choose an article to work on. After they have read it carefully, ask each to review the five W's for it--who, what, when, where, and why--and write a summary. Then ask students to write a critique of the article or an editorial about it. This will require applying the information in a subjective way.
If the students get really interested in the topic, form small discussion groups or teams. Formulate a question or issue for the students to discuss, and then ask them to do some research to find facts to back up their opinions. A class discussion or debate based on such research should be rich. And students can feel knowledgeable about a current issue while developing their research and writing skills.
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.
Use a new crossword puzzle word as the basis for a lesson. For example, the clue "short for Delaware" could lead into a search for Delaware on a map, followed by learning a little of the history of the state.
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.
Help your students evaluate whether a photo in an article is showing what is claimed.
An easy way to check where a photo came from is to use Google Images. Just save a copy of the photo to your desktop, and open http://images.google.com/ in your browser. Drag the photo to the page, and Google will show where else the photo has been used. (If you use Chrome, you can just right click on the photo on the website and select "Search Google for image.") If it has been shown to be fake by Snopes.com or another factchecking site, those results often show prominently.