Bringing the news into the classroom is a great way to enhance your students’ educational experience, making abstract theory relevant to the modern world. But how do you go about it? Well here are a few ideas how you could bring the latest new stories into the classroom.
Simply reading a newspaper article is one of the best ways to bring the news into the classroom. Reading has obvious benefits for pupils’ literacy, so bring in an article for them to read. Task them with answering the questions: who, what, where, when, why and how, thus providing you with an up-to-date understanding of their reading comprehension skills. Then ask your pupils to write a letter to the editor giving their opinion of the article.
Give your pupils a newspaper and a worksheet that specifies a number of things they need to find within the publication. For example, ask them to find a news story featuring a teenager, a weather report, an arts review, a write up of a sports event and an advert. Ask your students to identify one article they like and one they don’t, and give thought as to why that’s the case.
Bring in articles from different publications about the same event; and give your pupils time to read and consider them.
Discuss how the same news story is given a varying amount of prominence in different newspapers. Also, see how the event reported is given a different angle in one newspaper to another? Ask your pupils what similarities and differences they have spotted between the different accounts. Also, consider if any of the reports make sweeping statements for which they don’t give evidence.
Scrutinising news reports assists pupils in developing their analytical skills. Reading varying accounts of the same event can help your students to see an argument from different sides, and to weigh up the evidence for themselves.
Eye witness accounts are a powerful thing and show the impact of an incident in a way that statistics, tables, diagrams and theory often fail to do so. So, harness the power of eyewitness accounts in your classroom.
For example, it doesn’t seem that many days pass without a reference in the news to severe weather or a natural disaster of one sort of another. Using these new reports in the classroom, though emotive, shows how abstract theory has a place in the world. Such reports have an obvious relevance for subjects such as physical geography, but their relevance stretches wider than this, raising questions about community and citizenship.
Ask your pupils to write up an account of the new item from the perspective of another person caught up in the event, like a passerby, someone working in the emergency services, helping with relief efforts; or a newspaper reporter. Alternatively, embrace the power of IT and film a news report with a news anchor, a roving reporter and a few eye witnesses.
So as you can see, there are numerous ways in which you can bring the news into the classroom, and many ways in which doing so can help your pupils develop their skills. Want to bring the news into your classroom? Then contact Simply Education in Lincolnshire about teaching opportunities in the region.