Ask your students to bring highlighting pens to class. Then ask them to highlight any new words or words they are unsure of in News for You stories.
Ask students to pair up. Then have them compare their highlighted words. Student A can explain to Student B any of Student B's words that he or she understands and vice versa.
The pairs can join into groups of four. Again, students can teach each other any words that are still unknown. It is important for you to monitor this work closely to make sure the word meanings are correct. If any highlighted words remain unexplained after this step, you can explain them.
This activity gives students practice speaking clearly as they try to explain the meanings of the words they know. It recognizes that although students may be at the same "level," the knowledge they bring with them differs.
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:
Choose an article in News for You that students may find controversial. Have students read the article. Then ask each of them to take and defend a position on that controversial topic. They can do this in writing or orally, individually, or in groups. Encourage them to "disagree agreeably." These discussions can lead to good topics for essay writing.
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.