Common Core Standards, Informational Texts, Key Ideas and Details:
2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
Online editions of many local, national, and world newspapers are a great place to find resources for teaching students to analyze informational texts for central ideas and how they are shaped. In fact, many newspapers now dedicate an entire section to providing teachers with ways to use the news in the classroom and some even offer alignment to standards. A quick Google search will help you find your local newspaper’s NEI (newspapers in education) section. If your local paper doesn’t have a specific focus for lesson planning, many of the most popular national newspapers do. Among them, The New York Times has an impressive collection of resources for using their newspaper in the classroom as does USA Today.
In the Classroom
Use online newspapers as an opportunity for students to collaborate in their discussion about the central ideas in articles and editorials. Encourage them to express their own opinions in contrast and comparison to those they discover in the news. One simple way to do this is to create a Google Document and have students share their ideas with you and each other by editing that document with their own paragraph responses to assigned articles. Better yet, consider setting up a classroom blog at Edublogs and have students post their responses on your blog. I’ve included a list of links below to a few newspapers that offer lesson plans and other ways to integrate the news into your curriculum.
Whatever use you find for online newspaper is education, it is a good idea to focus on collaboration and problem-solving as a way to integrate technology effectively.
PBS News Hour
Wall Street Journal