HOW TO TEACH THE PARTS OF A NEWSPAPER

Teach Your Students to Love the Daily News!

For some students, especially reluctant readers, glancing at the daily newspaper over their morning coffee might be the only reading they do as adults. Here are some tips on how you can help them be more critical readers, even if all they're doing is finding a movie showtime or looking for an apartment for rent.

NEWS

Generally the first section in any major daily newspaper, the news section is often split it several parts--national, state, and local or regional. There are many pertinent elements of the news section you can teach your students, such as:

  • Tell them to look for the 5Ws and the H in the lead paragraphs (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How)
  • Have them recognize that the paper is split into parts called "above the fold" and "below the fold," meaning stories that appear either above or below where the paper is naturally folded in half
  • Tell them that there should be no editorializing (opinion or commentary) in a hard news story. It should be all fact. Have them see if they can find opinion words in a straight news story

EDITORIAL

The editorial section of the paper is where writers are allowed to present their opinions and persuasive pieces of writing. They most often take the forms of:

  • Staff Editorials. These are pieces written by staff writers and published unsigned, signalling that they should be perceived as the collective opinion of the newspaper itself
  • Signed editorials. These pieces are written by individual reporters and published with a by-line. They are meant to be taken as the opinion of that individual reporter
  • Op-Ed (reflective) pieces. These stories--either reflective or persuasive--are meant to give insight, depth, or reflection on a specific issue or to outline the author's specific point-of-view
  • Letters to the editors. These are letters written by readers of the newspaper who feel compelled to comment on issues they've read in previous issues

In this section, you could ask your student to identify a writer's major thesis or claim, copy powerful pieces of supporting evidence, or analyze the author's use of rhetorical devices (is the writer appealing to our sense of logic, our sense of morality, or our emotions?). You could also have them write their own letters to the editor, while teaching proper business letter format. You could alo have them work with vocabulary and identify effective sentence structure.

FEATURES

Sometimes called "soft news," this section contains more light-hearted pieces intended to to entertain, inform, or instruct readers on things they will enjoy. Such pieces include:

  • Entertainment. These stories might concern how movie ticket prices are increasing, what movie studios are merging, or how the local symphony is doing financially
  • Human Interest. These are the "my pet dog got lost and found his way home from 200 miles away" and "People who met on MySpace match for bone marrow transplant" type stories. If someone has interesting coin collection or Civil War memorabilia, you'll find that story here
  • Movie, television, music, plays reviews. Staff writers give you a heads up on what to catch on the tube, at the local cinema, concert venue, or regional theater
  • Celebrity interviews. If a famous person has a new movie, CD, book, or television show to plug, chances are you'll be able to read an interview that star did in this section
  • Social column (parties, fund-raisers). In these columns, staff writers follow the local goings-on among the hoi polloi. They might cover the local hospital fund-raiser, the political $1,000/plate dinner, or new restaurant opening
  • This section also covers movie times, advice columns (Think Dear Abby), celebrity gossip, obituaries, and comic strips

In this section, students can write their own movie, music, or TV reviews, pull out interesting quotes from a celebrity interview, or write an article about a friend's hobby after conducting an interview. There are many opportunities in this section for the use of bubble charts, dialectecal journals (aka: T-charts), and other graphic organizers.

SPORTS

Although I am very poorly informed when it comes to sports, this will be some of your students' favorite section. This section includes:

  • Columns. Daily or weekly signed columns will appear that give reflection, insight, and depth to current sporting issues
  • News. Has your team just made a trade? Do you have a new coach. You'll read about it here
  • Features. Did a local town boy or girl make it to the big leagues? Did a player overcome great adversity to continue to play? These kinds of human interest stories can also be found here in sports
  • Box Scores. These are the little teeny boxes that list the scores and stats in the sports section. For some of your students, this is all they will care about

For this section, your students could use their math skills to analyze the box scores and statistics, even to predict the outcome of the season. They could write journal entries commenting on the current skill level of the hometown team. They could write a reaction to the columnist's critique of the pro quarterback. Finally, they could tackle (pun intended) a sports story of their own.

CLASSIFIED ADS

In some ways, this is the most fun section to teach. This section includes:

  • Big ads for local stores
  • Classified ads for items, services, roommates, and residential rental
  • Help wanted ads (jobs, etc.)

Personally, I have enjoyed looking at the ads with my student and talking about word choice, graphic placement, and audience. When I saw an ad that said "Prices Slashed!" I asked them why the writer chose the word "Slashed" and we talked about connotation (The prices weren't just lower or reduced or even "cut," they were slashed--implying an absolutely violent and . approach to price reduction. Furthermore, we like to play the "Who has the weirdest thing for sale?" game. Be careful, though, during one of these games one of my students found something for sale called a "marital swing." I mumbled something about backyard B-B-Ques and moved on. You can also ask them to look at the want ads and evaluate possible job opportunities and write journal entries about their future careers.

The daily newspaper provides a wealth of information and, assuming that they are not completely supplanted by on-line news sources at some point in the future, will offer an informative, thoughtful, even entertaining way to find out what's going on in the world for years to come.

With the aforementioned tips, then, you can help your students learn to appreciate what a newspaper does and how it does it.

Comments 54 comments

In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

These are great ideas. You must be a wonderful teacher... they are rare in these days, to say the least. I have always hated the newspaper, but by reading this Hub, you make it sound fun! lol I do love to read however, and with the internet I have actually become quite "up to date" on the news. Thanks for your ideas, they are great!


dtricarico profile image

dtricarico 8 years ago Author

Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. I do feel that there is something for everyone in the newspaper, although it does tend to leave your fingertips more black than the Internet :)


via 7 years ago

great!


shadrach 7 years ago

thanks....this is very useful for me because i learn to love a newspaper because the newspaper tells what's happening in our country.....


fatty 7 years ago

wow.............................


sacha 7 years ago

thanks.its a big help for my assignment.

your totally awesome.


sean 7 years ago

thanks def. will use in my classes


acer 7 years ago

pangit mo


sha-sha 7 years ago

thanks my grade is 95


ava 7 years ago

thank u po


jay gannaban 7 years ago

this is indeed great. it helped me a lot in teaching my students develop the passion in reading newspapers


jordan 6 years ago

this web page has been so helpful to me, so thankyou. we have an english exam on partly on newspapers. as our teacher is sick our relief teacher has taught us nothing, i now have a fair idea.


dave 6 years ago

it has been a good help in my assigment


itisha srivastava 6 years ago

very nice article it helps me in solving my problem thanks a lot


MsLowrie profile image

MsLowrie 6 years ago from The Mountains of Virginia

My father was an editor for the Miami News. Sports is the only section that I tend to shove aside and forget about.


Dianne 6 years ago

tNx poh!!!!!!!!!

:-)


joshua 6 years ago

awawasdasdasdas


janepaet 6 years ago

thanks a lot,.....

for me as a student

newspaper is very useful...

god bless

love,jane


jamil verbo 6 years ago

thaks a lot ............ for me as a studen....


marnylirr 6 years ago

what is this :p


carmela manalo  5 years ago

sana high grades noooooooooo

avb;


jan eero  5 years ago

its very hard to find the things i want to know about the news paper you have to look first in many papers until you find this


lorrie 5 years ago

its cool idea for teacher?

]


Tempest lindsey 5 years ago

its cool dowg


charson 5 years ago

love it

jejeje......


dimpz 5 years ago

i think your a great teacher...


graciana83 5 years ago

thank you so much for this information, you helped me a lot :)your students must enjoy your class so much with such a good teacher like you :)


bonna ramirez 5 years ago

this helps me a lot in my teaching parts of NEWSPAPER.

thanks for sharing..awesome


AJ 5 years ago

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAAHHHAAHHAH


kimberly! 5 years ago

This one is very useful! it helps me on how to discuss the parts of a Newspaper as well as its importance on my upcoming demonstration. :))) God bless!


bob 5 years ago

ilike it


lyn 5 years ago

Which newspaper station do you think is important?What section that should be deleted in the newspaper? Is it Entertainment?Just curious...


Ynah 5 years ago

Thank you for the article! Very informative and practical. I'm a prospective teacher and your ideas are fascinating! Please write more! :D


allen 5 years ago

Thanks a lot this helps me a lot in my teaching class


xjaguar 4 years ago

thank you very much... this helped a lot..


allian 4 years ago

hello I am a student and my teacher give me ah homework of parts of the newspaper and I have to recort and paste in a page of my my folder but I don`t undestand anyone


angelic angel 4 years ago

thankz a lot!!!^-*


jamiesweeney profile image

jamiesweeney 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Wonderful hub!


JEID 4 years ago

THANKS FOR SOME INFO...


Biruk Anley 4 years ago

nice post, thank u so much. i am a vivid newspapers reader, and always i try to get some new about them. u helped me a lot, thank u again.


kksjwn d 4 years ago

id o not no anyhting about this


CHARMAINE OCHOA 4 years ago

THANK YOU......


DADDY IS SLEEPING 4 years ago

this is awezome


isang 4 years ago

hahahah


barnabas olero 4 years ago

am an aspiring journalism and communication student and was assigned to research on parts of a news paper.a've found thiz useful .thanx.


nica 4 years ago

nice


tesa 4 years ago

sooo ... not helpful!!!


??????????ha??????????? 4 years ago

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????what are you saying???????????????????????


lilly 3 years ago

you are crazy go do something.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


jee 3 years ago

Shea hay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(^_^)?


jesiekabredonia 3 years ago

T.T Ang hirap !!!!!!!!!!!


sam 3 years ago

wala naman yung hinahanap ko dito eh!!!!!!!!!!!


aprilynn jagunos 3 years ago

dakong tabang sa akoa sa pagbuhat ug project sa english


Raghava 2 years ago

Thanks, for such useful information

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