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Language Arts

1. News stories include the 5 Ws - who, what, when, why and where. Pick a story from the newspaper and highlight the 5 Ws.

2. Find a comic strip character who has a problem. Assume the character's identity and write a mock letter to "Dear Abby" and ask her advice. Just for fun, trade letters with your classmates and write back words of advice.

3. Find the obituary page in the newspaper. As a class, discuss all the types of information provided in an obituary. Next, write an obituary for a throwaway item such as an old shoe, an empty milk jug or a paper towel holder, for example.

4. Some of the most colorful expressions of the English language originated in the world of sports. For example, below the belt, bull's eye, high five, and hold your horses. Research the origins of these and other interesting sports terms and expressions found in the newspaper. Next, use these words and expressions in sentences not related to sports.

5. Look through the sports section of the newspaper for synonyms for the words win and lose. (Headlines are a great place to start.) Compete with your classmates to see who can find the most synonyms.

6. Read an article from the Sports page and as you are reading, make a list of vocabulary words that are about the sport. Write a definition for each word and draw a picture to illustrate what the word means. Make a sports glossary by adding other sports related words and illustrations.

7. Choose a news story and write a limerick based on that story. Share your limerick with your classmates.

8. Choose an article in the newspaper to read. Then, go back over the article and underline all the nouns. Next, circle all the verbs. Finally, highlight all the adjectives. Which category of words has the most?

9. New words are invented often and Webster's dictionary adds some of these new words each year. For example, groovy was a slang word used so heavily in the 1960s that it became a "real" word. Create new words of your own to replace words found in the newspaper. Share them with your class.

10. Find three ads in the newspaper and highlight all the adjectives. Replace the adjectives with other adjectives. Discuss how the ad would "read" if there were no adjectives.

11. Cut out several advertisements from the newspaper. In each ad, identify the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. List each by category. Which category has the most words?

12. Elect one of your classmates to write a paragraph on the chalkboard without any punctuation or capitalization. Then have each of your classmates rewrite the paragraph in its proper form. As a class, discuss the corrections.

13. It is very important to be able to describe the world around you, whether in conversation or in writing. Practice this skill by recording daily observations in a reporter's journal. "Observe" a story in the newspaper and underline details in the story that allow you the ability to see, hear, smell, feel and taste.

14. Some headlines are written as complete sentences while some are not. Skim the newspaper and find four sentences that are complete and four that are not. Punctuate the complete sentences and rewrite the ones that are incomplete, adding whatever is necessary to make them complete.

15. One of the things that make some stories great is the description of the setting or the place where the action happens. Vivid descriptions of the setting helps the reader feel part of the story. Look through the newspaper and find a picture of an interesting place. Write a description of the place pictured using as many of the showing words as you can. Try to paint a picture of the scene with words. What kind of a story could you make up to go with this place?


1.Check the TV listings in the newspaper for today's shows. Count the number of talk shows, drama, cartoons and comedies. Make a bar code to show how many of each type of show are scheduled. Write three facts about your graph.

2. Find five new cars advertised in the classified section. If a salesperson makes a 12 percent commission on each car sold, figure out how much he/she would make on each car sold. How much for all five?

3. Pretend you have a $15 weekly allowance. Find an item advertised in the newspaper that you would like to buy. How long will it take you to save up for it? Make a list of things you would have to give up to save for it.

4. Find measurements in the newspaper and change them to their metric equivalents.

5. Pretend you have $100 to spend on your best friend for his/her birthday. Shop through the newspaper for a gift. Then, pretend you only have $25 to spend. How does this affect your choice?

6. Look through the newspaper and find measurement words such as large, tall, deep, etc. Make a list of all the words you can find. See who can make the longest list.

7. Look through the Help Wanted section and make a list of jobs that require: a high school diploma; a college education; a master's degree or higher. Chart the results. What conclusions can you draw?

8. Find 10 items advertised in the newspaper with prices listed. Figure out the amount of sales tax for each item.

9. When you look through the newspaper, you can find examples of different values. Advice columns, editorials and letters to the editor all show values that are taught in your home and school. In small groups, discuss the different values that are found in today's newspaper. Rank them in order of importance to you. As a class, share the groups' lists. Create a matrix that shows how each class member ranks these values.

10. Look in the Help Wanted section for jobs that include a yearly salary. Figure out the amount paid by the week, day and the hour if a person works eight hours per day, five days per week all year long.

11. Find the obituary section in the newspaper. Figure out the average age of death for those listed. What is the ratio of men to women?

12. Find an ad in the newspaper for carpet or other floor coverings. Measure your classroom and figure out how much carpet or other floor covering is needed and how much it will cost.

13. Find the comic strips in the newspaper. Rank the strips, with #1 being your favorite. As a class, collectively rank the strips to find out which ones are the most popular. Pretend you are a newspaper editor and you have to get rid of two strips to make room for two new ones. Based on the rankings, which two strips would you get rid of?

14. Find the used car section in the classified ads of the newspaper. Figure out the following percentages: the cars that are more than five years old; cars with mileage above 50,000; cars that are less than $1,000; cars that are made by Chevrolet, etc.

15. Find an upcoming event in the newspaper that you would like to attend. Use a map to find two different routes you can take to get there. What is the shortest route? What is the difference in the distance between the shortest route and the longest route.


1. Create employment ads for jobs that existed during specific periods in America's past. Include the skills needed, education requirements, salary range and benefits.

2. It has been said that today's news is tomorrow's history. Each day, stories in the newspaper tell about history-making events. Look through the main section of the newspaper and pick one story about an event you think will make history. Then, summarize the story as it might one day appear in a history book.

3. Design an ad for a product or service that existed at least 100 years ago. Does that product, or a similar product, still exist? If not, why?

4. Find a story in the newspaper about a celebration of a historical event. Write a paragraph about how this event helped shape today's society.

5. Pretend you are a newspaper editor present during the time of the passage of the Bill of Rights. Write an editorial about your thoughts on this issue. Remember, editorials are opinions based on facts.

6. Pretend you are a Pilgrim who traveled to America on the Mayflower. Create a newspaper ad encouraging others from your hometown to come and live in America. Be sure to include information about the quality of life, work opportunities, and land purchases.

7. As a class, create a classroom newspaper that reflects the "times" surrounding the abolition of slavery. Include news stories, editorials, letters to the editor, advertisements and regular features.

8. Write a newspaper style feature story about a historical figure you admire. Study feature stories from the newspaper to get ideas.

9. Create a collage of newspaper words and pictures to illustrate your thoughts about a historical event. Display them in your classroom or bulletin board.

10. Pretend you are a newspaper reporter assigned to cover a historical event of your choice. Write a paragraph about the picture you would take to illustrate the event and who you would interview. Make a list of reporter's questions and write a feature story.

Social Studies

1.The First Amendment guarantees our right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Look through the newspaper and find stories that would most likely be censored by the government if we did not have the First Amendment.

2. As a class, discuss the qualities of a good citizen. Find stories in the newspaper about people who are good citizens. What qualities do these people have in common?

3. Look through the newspaper and find stories, pictures and advertisements that show how people change the environment. Make a list of the good changes and a list of the bad changes. Which list is the longest? What would happen if these changes weren't made?

4. As a class, discuss the new technologies that have changed the way people work. Brainstorm on future technologies and how they will change jobs, too. Write classified ads for these jobs and be sure to include the skills and education that will be required.

5. Everyone has felt stressed out at one time or another. Look through the newspaper and find at least three stressful situations. What do you think is the most stressful? How would you handle yourself in this situation?

6. Look through the newspaper and make a list of all the things that can be recycled. Can these things be recycled in your city or a nearby city? Make a list of all the ways to recycle newspapers (there are hundreds of ways!). See who can make the longest list.

7. Newspapers publish history as it unfolds. Find an controversial story in the newspaper and keep a journal of the series of events that follow.

8. Find the "Dear Abby" column in the newspaper. Cut out one of the letters to her, but don't read her response. Write your own advice to the person. Then, compare your advice to Abby's. Was your advice different or about the same?

9. Interview your grandparents or other older adults about their needs when they were your age. Make a list of reporter's questions before you conduct your interview. Write a story about how some needs have changed throughout the years and how some have stayed the same.

10. Look through the newspaper and find a story about a medical advance or breakthrough that will prolong the life of someone with a serious illness. Write a story about how this will change peoples' lives.

11. Look through the newspaper and make a list of all the crime stories. Did they all get covered the same way? Which got more attention? Why? Write a paragraph stating why some crime stories receive more attention than others.

12. Look through the newspaper to find the Letters to the Editor. Choose one to read and write a paragraph about why you agree with the writer or why you don't.

13. Find a newspaper article about a person who is trying to make changes in society. Write a paragraph stating your opinions about this person's efforts. Are they effective?

14. Look through the comic strips and find a character you consider to be a good citizen. Make a list of this character's good qualities and share it with the class.

15. Write a letter to the editor about a problem in your community. Be sure to include solutions you think will solve the problem.

1.Look through the newspaper's weather report for symbols used to illustrate the weather. Make your own symbols for weather conditions such as showers, thundershowers, cloudy, partly cloudy and sunny.

2. Find pictures in the newspaper of people expressing emotions. Make a collage of these pictures.

3. Choose a piece of art (a painting, sculpture, etc.) and design an ad to sell this item. What adjectives best describe the piece of art?

4. Cut out three examples of color photos from the newspaper and three examples of black and white. Make a list of all the differences from the examples. What does color lend to a picture that black and white doesn't? What does black and white lend to a picture that color does not? When should color be used and when should black and white be used?

5. Find an interesting picture in the newspaper. Without looking at the caption, write a brief paragraph about what is happening in the picture.

6. Look through the classified ad section of the newspaper and find the Lost and Found column. Draw a picture of an item listed.

More Fun Stuff

1. We often describe people by comparing them to animals. We might say that someone is sly as a fox, a silly goose, slow as a snail or busy as a beaver. Working in small groups, write as many of these animal sayings as you can think of. Then, have each person in the group find one person in the newspaper that you think is showing one of the animal characteristics you have described.

2. The news is often about troubles in the world. But, there are often good news stories as well. Look in the newspaper and find a story about good news. What makes the news good? Does the story have any impact on your life? Write a brief summary of good news and share it with the class.

3. Read through the Sports pages in the newspaper and find an article about a game or event. Suppose you are a fan of the losing team. Write a paragraph about the game and include thoughts about how it feels to lose a game, to watch a team lose, why your team lost and how the loss affects your team. What lessons can you learn from losing?

4. As a class, interview the head of the school cafeteria to find out what guidelines are used in preparing healthy foods for lunch. Write a story based on the interview.

5. Use the sports section of the newspaper and find an article that predicts the outcome of a sporting event. Make your own prediction and list examples, such as past record, player ability, etc., that supports your predictions. Is your prediction the same as the prediction in the newspaper? Why or why not?

6. Pretend you are a television weather person. Find the weather information in the newspaper and turn it into a report for today's newscast. Act out your report in front of your class. If you have a VCR, tape your performance.

7. Clip out newspaper ads for businesses that are affected by different types of weather. Look through the extended weather forecast. Based on that forecast, what kind of sales can these businesses expect for the next few days?



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