Newspapers as Teaching Tools





The Reasons for their Effectiveness:


  1. Newspapers are an adult medium that students of all ability levels can be proud to be seen reading.
  2. They deal in what's happening here and now, providing motivation for reading and discussion.
  3. They make learning fun.
  4. Newspapers are extremely flexible and adaptable to all curriculum areas and grade levels.
  5. Newspapers bridge the gap between the classroom and the "real" world.
  6. They build good reading habits that will last a lifetime.
  7. They can be cut, marked, clipped, pasted, filed, and recycled.
  8. Newspapers give everyone something to read -- news, sports, weather, editorials, and comics.
  9. They are a cost-effective way to educate.
  10. They contain practical vocabulary and the best models of clear, concise writing.






Ten Great Activities: Teaching With the Newspaper

By Linda Starr in Education World


Read and write for meaning. Remove the headlines from a number of news stories. Display the headline-less stories on a classroom bulletin board. Provide students with the headlines, and ask them to match each to one of the stories. As students replace the missing headlines, ask them to point out the words in the headlines that helped them find the correct story. Then distribute headlines from less prominent stories and ask students to choose one and write a news story to go with it. When the stories have been completed, provide each student with the story that originally accompanied the headline. Ask: How close was your story to the original? How effectively did the headline convey the meaning of the story? You might follow up this activity by asking students to write a headline for their favorite fairy tale.

Read a map. Arrange students into groups, and assign each group one international story in the news. Have students explore Maps in the News and choose a map related to their assigned story. Ask students to use the map to answer some or all of these questions:

  1. In what city did the story take place?
  2. What country is that city in?
  3. What is the capital of that country?
  4. What language is spoken there?
  5. What continent is the country part of?
  6. What countries or bodies of water border the country on the north, south, east, and west?
  7. What physical characteristics of the country might have contributed to the events in the story?
  8. What effect might the event or series of events have on the physical characteristics of the country?





Understand the media. Distribute advertisements cut from newspapers, and ask students to list the products in order, according to the appeal of the ads. Create a chart showing how students rated each product. Then distribute a list of the following propaganda techniques:

Samson had the right idea about advertising. He took two columns and brought down the house.

- Charleston Gazette.

Discuss each ad, and determine the propaganda technique(s) used. Ask: Which techniques were most effective? Which were least effective? What factors, such as gender, geographic location, or age, might have influenced the effectiveness of each technique? As a follow-up to the activity, you might ask students to design their own ads using one of the propaganda techniques studied.

Arrange in sequence. Cut up some popular comic strips, provide each student with one complete strip, and ask students to put the comics back in the correct order. Or arrange students into groups, provide each group with several cut-up strips from the same comic, and ask them to separate the panels into strips and arrange the strips in the correct order. Then introduce older students to a series of stories about an ongoing news event, and ask them to arrange the stories in the order in which they appeared. Encourage them to use the stories to create a news time line.




                 The Monarch of the Dailies




Expand your vocabulary. Assign each student a letter of the alphabet. Ask students to browse through the newspaper, find five unfamiliar words beginning with the assigned letter, and look up the definition of each. Then have each student create and illustrate a dictionary page containing the five words and their meanings. Combine the pages into a classroom dictionary. In a variation of this activity, you might ask students to look in the newspaper for any of the following:

Older students might look for examples of similes, metaphors, irony, hyperbole, and satire.

Explore geography. Ask each student to search the newspaper for stories that illustrate each of the five themes of geography -- location, place, human interaction and the environment, movement and communication, and regions. Display the stories on a classroom bulletin board labeled with the five geography themes.




Hunt for classified math. Ask students to use classified pages of the newspaper to do the following:

Sort and classify. Label each of seven shoe boxes with one of the following newspaper categories: News, Editorials, Features, Humor, Advertising, Sports, and Entertainment. Ask students to cut out the newspaper stories they read each day and put each one in the appropriately labeled shoe box. At the end of the week, have students skim as many of the stories as possible and write an adjective describing each on index cards attached to each box. You might suggest adjectives such as factual, sad, inspiring, opinionated, misleading, silly, serious, and biased. Discuss and compare the adjectives. What conclusions can students reach about each category based on those words?



Play a current events game. Make a list of five categories that might be created using the newspaper, such as Countries, Weather Events, Mathematical Symbols, Movies, and Technology Terms. Ask students to search the newspaper for information related to each category and to write a question based on the information they find. (Remind students to make a note of the answers to their questions.) Arrange students into teams, and use the question-and-answer combinations to play a Jeopardy type of current events game.

Make papier-mâché. Finally, when you've done everything else you can think of with your newspaper, don't throw it away. Make papier- mâché! Here's how:







Other Suggestions

By Lisa Monda,


1) Using words in grocery ads, sports sections, or comics to teach alphabetizing; 2) Using news stories to teach grammar; 3) Having students make charts or collages of words dealing with the five senses; 4) Asking students to select a picture or photograph and to write their own stories; 5) Having students make a timeline for current events; 6) Having students write their own classified ads; 7) Discussing the key elements of a book or movie review; and 8) Asking students to design their own newspaper to report events happening in class or in school.





All Brooklyn All the Time







Early Newspapers


The earliest recorded effort to inform the public of the news was the Roman Acta Diurna  instituted by Julius Caesar and posted daily in public places. In China the first newspaper appeared in Beijing in the 8th cent. In several German cities manuscript newssheets were issued in the 15th cent. The invention and spread of the printing press (1430) was the major factor in the early development of the newspaper. The Venetian government posted the Notizie scritte in 1556, for which readers paid a small coin, the (gazetta).




Additional Resources:


News Central
Find more than 3500 links to U.S. and international newspapers. See also Paperboy.com.  

Online Library Science, Education and Technology Periodicals for Educators
From the Internet School Library Media Center.

Want to learn what's happening in Canada? Find out by reading Canadian newspapers. The above page offers newspapers every province and territory.

Canadian Newspapers
Another listing of links to Canadian newspapers.

Minnesota Newspapers Online
Links to all Minnesota newspapers that have online editions.

Minnesota Newspaper Directory
Links and contact information for all Minnesota newspapers, including those which do not have online editions.

Newspapers in Education Online
A lesson plan archive and weekly lessons for teaching with newspapers.

New York Times Learning Network
News summaries, a news quiz, daily lesson plans for teaching about current events, etc.




USA Today K-12 Education Online
Information for using USA Today and other newspapers in the classroom.

The interactive museum of news! See their Educational Materials (including curriculum packages, activity guides, and lesson plans) as well as the online exhibits (Holocaust: The Untold Story and Pulitzer Prize Photographs}.  

Old News
An archive of vintage newspaper articles! A great way to spice up a history lesson.



Using Newspapers in the Classroom
More ideas for using newspapers, this time from The Teacher's Desk. See also Using Newspapers in the Classroom: A Personal Experience and TP Guide to Teaching: Using Newspapers in the Classroom.  

Cruise the News
A lesson plan from the Educator's Reference Desk (formerly Ask ERIC) in which students
develop an awareness of the newspaper as a resource.

Newspaper Editorial Project
Another Educator's Reference Desk lesson plan for grades 7-12.

Read All About It! Ten Terrific Newspaper Lessons
From Education World.

Organization of  Newspaper and the Parts of  News Article
One more lesson plan for grades 3-8 from the above source.

Creating a Classroom Newspaper
Learn how to make your own banner, add text and images. or put your newspaper online. See also Classroom Newspaper.




Classroom Newsletter
A lesson plan for grades 5-12 in which students create a classroom newsletter. See also Read All About It!

Sophomore Scoop - A Classroom Newspaper
A 10th-grade lesson plan in which students produce a school newspaper.

Journalism Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans from the Educators Reference Desk (Formerly AskERIC). See also Journalism Lesson Plans from Lesson Plan Central.

High School Journalism.org - Teachers
This link will take you to their lesson plan archive. See their home page.  

Time Capsule Lesson Plan
A lesson plan for upper elementary grades.







Points of View in the News
A middle-grade lesson plan.

Writing a Newspaper Article
A lesson plan fro grades 6-9. See also Newspaper Article - Viewing and Representing.

Be the Press: Local Interviews, National News
A lesson plan in which students learn how to research and write a newspaper article.

WebQuest: Yellow Joutnalism
See also Media Law WebQuest and Newspaper webQuest.

Resources for Student Journalists
See also Resources for Journalism Students.    

Yahoo Directory: Individual School Newspapers

See also Online Classroom Newspapers.



USA Today

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Minneapolis Star Tribune

St. Paul Pioneer Planet

Saint Cloud Times

Chicago Tribune



Chicago Sun-Times

New York Times

Washington Post

Los Angeles Times

Times of London

The Irish News











Newspaper Slogans



Derived from the Gaelic phrase slugh gairm, meaning "battle cry," slogans sum up the benefits of a product in a few words.




What's My Line?




   "116 Years In the Town Too Tough To Die"

"No Tombstone is Complete Without Its Epitaph"

  -  -Tombstone Epitaph (Arizona)



"For the Cause That Lacks Assistance; 'Gainst the Wrong That Needs Resistence; For the Future in the Distance; And the Good That I Can Do"

-Sunday Advocate


"As Waikato as it Gets"

- Waikato Times


"If You Don't Want It Printed,  Don't Let It Happen"

--The Aspen Daily News (Colorado)




"Covers Dixie Like The Dew"

--The Atlanta Journal (Georgia)







"Before you make up your mind, Open It"

-Irish Independent



"The Homepage of Paradise"

-Palm Beach Post


"Give Light and the People Will Find Their Way"

--New Mexico State Tribune 


"Every Issue Every Issue"

-Christchurch Press


"Daily Diary of the American Dream"

-Wall Street Journal



"From Carrier Pigeons to Twitter: Timely News is Still the Goal"

-River Heights Tribune







"Read a Best Seller Every Day"

 --London Daily  Telegraph



"The Oldest Newspaper in the United States - Founded 1771"

- Philadelphia Inquirer






"One City. One Address"

-Sawyer County Record




"Everything in Baltimore Revolves Around the Sun"

--Baltimore Sun



"It's a Newstand in a Newspaper"

-Sydney Sun-Herald




"Credible, Compelling, Complete"

-Atlanta Journal-Constitution








"The Tyrant's Foe, the People's Friend"

--The Alabama Intelligencer



"Liked by Many, Cussed by Some, Read by Them All" 

-Blackshear Times (Georgia)






"If You Would Avoid Criticism, Say Nothing, Do Nothing and Be Nothing"

          --Perry Daily Journal (Oklahoma)



"It's Got the Coast Written All Over It"

-Sacramento Bee



"What's In It For You?"

- Victoria Salient


"Knowledge Makes You Much More Charming"

-China Times


"The Best News You Get All Day"

-Des Moines Register



"World's Greatest Newspaper"

-Chicago Tribune






"Without or with offense to friends or foes, we sketch your world exactly as it goes"  

--Abilene Reporter-News (Texas)



"The Only Sacred Cow is Medium Rare with Fries"

"Going Where No Dog Has Gone Before - And Without a Leash"

-Putnum Pit


"It Still Screams"

-The Mountain Eagle


"Equip Yourself"

-Glasgow Herald


"It Bores In"

-The Gimlet








"Reach For a Better Standard"

-London Evening Standard



"Seriously Westcoast Since 1912"

-Vancouver Sun



"The Only Newspaper You Can Open Up in a High Wind or On a Horse"

-The Sage


"It's Thinking Time"



"The Lively One With a Mind of Its Own"

-New Orleans States-Item




"We Know Where You Live"

-Detroit News







"Delivered to a Doorstep Near You"

-Oakland Press

"Always Worth Looking Into"

-Janesville Gazette



"You won't see a newspaper like THIS every day...just once a week"

-Julesburg Advocate









"The Pulse of Paradise"

--Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Hawaii)



"Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”

- Indianapolis Star



"Where the West Begins"

-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“There is nothing so powerful as truth.”
  -New Hampshire Union Leader


"More Than Just Scores and We Mean It"

-Flint Journal


"It All Unfolds Here"

-Calgary Herald

"Wake Up to What's Up

-Longview Daily News







"Here Shall the Press, the People's Rights Maintain, Unaw'd By Influence and Unbrib'd By Gain"

-West Tennessean



"Have You Ever Wished You Were Better Informed?"

Times of London





"Impartial, Informative, Insightful"

-Georgia Messenger


"Local news means the world to us"

- The Morning Bulletin


"Good Paper, Good Ink, Good Work and Prompt Delivery"

-Osceola Times


"She Flies With Her Own Wings

- Oregon Journal

"Fresh Daily"

-The Advertiser






Independent. In-depth. Indispensable

-Omaha World Herald




"The Paper With PerSunality"

-Calgary Sun


"Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire"

- Denver Post



"The News. You have our word on it"

-National Post



"Life. Captured Daily"

-The Sacramento Bee

"If You Don't Get It, You Don't Get It"

-The Washington Post


"Winner of Seven Pulitzer Prizes"

-The Oregonian

"Independent But Not Neutral"

-Colebrook News and Sentinel

Oklahoma's Greatest Newspaper / Reliability, Character, Enterprise

--Tulsa Daily World



Patroness of Peace, Commerce, and the Liberal Arts

-Daily Minerva

The Newspaper of Distinction
-The Dallas Morning News

The West's Oldest Newspaper...Founded 1849
--The (Santa Fe) New Mexican







-Atlanta Journal Constitution



"Get in Touch With Every Issue"

-The Post and Courier

"It shines for all"

                                 -New York Sun









A Messy Birth for the New York World Journal Tribune

A Newsman Views The Newest Paper


By Stan Fischler

September 22, 1966

After a lengthy courtship, the Journal-American, World Telegram and Sun, and Herald-Tribune finally joined their presses in journalistic marriage last April. Out of these newsprint nuptials a child was born last week. The parents named it the World Journal Tribune.

It's a curious-looking child; well developed around the top yet editorially weak-kneed and somewhat blemished in the area of typeface. It bears a strong resemblance -- mostly for the better -- to at least one of its parents, the World Telegram and Sun, while betraying features of the others.

"There's no doubt that it's a hybrid," said Melvin Mencher, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, "and any biologist will tell you that hybrids aren't as strong and vigorous as the parents. I'm afraid the World Journal Tribune will not go down as a landmark in American journalism."


The first known crossword puzzle appeared in The World in New York City on Sunday December 21, 1913.


Like hundreds of other newspaper pros, Professor Mencher viewed the merger of Hearst, Whitney, and Scripps-Howard interests with the giddy curiosity of a lab researcher experimenting with genes. Would the World Journal Tribune be a totally new entity? Would it be outrageously sensational like the old Journal-American, or would it display the subdued class of the Herald-Tribune?

The most obvious clue hit me between the eyes during a drive to the new paper's old plant at 125 Barclay Street near Washington Market on opening night. As I cruised along the West Side Highway, approaching the dip to Battery Park, I noticed the 30-foot red neon sign glittering on the roof of the World Journal Tribune building, blatantly proclaiming: "WORLD-TELEGRAM."

Inside the building the presses were spewing out 900,000 copies of a newspaper that even fooled Irving Katz, a partner in New Look Cleaners on First Avenue, and a man who doesn't fool easily. "Hey, how do you like the World Telegram?" Irving asked when I brought him a copy of the paper.





I corrected him. "It's NOT the World-Telegram anymore, Irving. It's the World Journal Tribune."

"Listen," said Irving, "I'm still calling Sandy Koufax's team the BROOKLYN Dodgers."





Down at the World Journal Tribune's plant they didn't know what to call their new product. At least one reporter mistakenly wrote "World Journal Telegram" under his byline three different times. Alumni of the three folded papers were thrown together in the brightly-lit city room like second cousins at an Italian christening. "Everybody seems clannish and suspicious," said Mike Pearl, who survived the sinking of the Mirror and Journal-American. "The Tely people think the Journal people think the Tely people are taking over. But it'll square away -- if the paper doesn't fold. In the meantime, I don't know who I'm supposed to be taking orders from." Pearl is a graduate of the Hearst's turbulent city rooms, the kind that would make the city room of "Front Page" seem like a sanitarium by comparison. "There's no tempo in this new place," he said. "I'm used to Eddie Mahar (the bellicose former J-A city editor) yelling all the time. Over here there's no tension; they're all nice guys."





Neat white signs with red lettering -- Features, Sports, Entertainment, Schools -- directed newcomers like Pearl to their respective departments as if the city room was a super market.

Don Vandergrift, an emigrant from the Journal-American's South Street factory, sat on a desk underneath a sign, Rewrite Reporters. Don worked in the grimy old J-A city room for so many years the fresh blue and white paint of his new office still inspired awe. "This is a fine place, very impressive," said Vandergrift. "The only problem is everybody's still learning everybody else's name."




Pearl pulled open his desk and dropped a hunk of copy paper in a drawer. "You can tell by the way the people dress which paper they're from," he said. "The Trib people wear Brooks Brothers clothes, Journal people are sporty dressers. When you can't place a guy as definitely Trib or definitely J-A, you know he's from the Tely -- they've got no personality. The J-A people have personality; they're much louder."

Mountains of unemptied brown cartons sat atop green filing cabinets around the perimeter of the room. A tall, handsome reporter who resembles the late Jimmy Dean and who once worked for the old Journal, walked past an editor's desk. The editor crisply tapped his pen on the glass desk-covering. "Young man," he demanded, "I don't care which of the three papers you came from...and now it doesn't make a difference...I want to give you an assignment."

The young man politely, but firmly, replied. "It does make a difference. Now I'm with the Associated Press."

..The highly touted Sunday paper proved a disappointment. It had the personality of the Sunday Journal American, partially because of the color comics and pocket size TV guide and partially because of make-up and confusion. Even Clay Felker's New York Magazine failed to measure up to standards, both as to size and quality. And, of course, the triple schizophrenia prevailed wherever you turned, adding further confusion. William Randolph Hearst, Jr.'s column rubbed shoulders with Art Buchwald. Dick Schaap was face to face with William Buckley, Jr. And staring at them all from across the page were Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, while former World-Telegram by-lines dotted the rest of the paper.

The batting order reminds me of the Boston Red Sox of the late '40s. They were so top-heavy with talent -- Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, Vern Stevens, Dom DiMaggio, to name a few -- seasoned observers would concede the pennant to them before the season started. Yet, they invariably finished second or third.

...New York has a big, fat, new paper that looks like a winner. A landmark in American journalism? Maybe not. But it has the creative New York magazine and it has Breslin, Felker, Schaap, and Buchwald and a few other newspaper guys who aren't too well-known but have big talent -- like Boccardi, Sal Gerage, Stan Bair, Phil Leff, and Harold Harris.

A bum lay-out? Yes. World-Tely - oriented? Yes. Nowhere politically? Yes. But nobody pretended it would be a totally new paper. And, after all, it is being printed on the old World-Tely presses. So my answer to the critics is that they're being too critical, too premature in their criticism and, in some cases, too sour-grapish.

I know I like the new paper. In fact, I like it enough to want to write for it and return the severance pay the Journal-American gave me when I voluntarily retired last June.

That's $6,000 worth of liking it.

(The W-J-T folded, May, 1967)
















The headline "Found on the Great White Way" appeared in the February 3, 1902, edition of the New York Evening Telegram.
The journalistic sobriquet was inspired by the millions of lights on theater marquees and billboard advertisements that illuminate the area, especially around Times Square.




World's Worst Newspaper Slogan?

"Strong Stuff. Weekly"

- Financial Times of Canada