Lesson Plan

News in the Classroom

Read, Summarize and Think about the News
Kathy V.
Technology coordinator
Edmonton AB, Canada
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

Summarize a non-fiction text

Reflect on the big idea or issue an article raises

Respond critically with own opinion about an issue 

English Language Arts
Grades 7 – 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Choose an interesting article to share with the class, one that most students in your room would be interested in (you know them best).  Have everyone read it - partner read, shared read, etc. so everyone is familiar with the article.

2 Direct Instruction

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Teach students how to break an article apart, thinking about the features of an article.  Using padlet, or bubbl.us determine what the big idea is or main issue the article addresses is. Students can add their ideas using those tools displayed on the SMART board.  Have students think about the 5W's, what are the questions this article answers, what are more questions you may have after reading the article.  (Each of these can be the middle bubble in the graphic organizer).  Then have students share their opinions about where they stand with regard to the issue or idea the article raised.

3 Guided and Independent Practice

$1.99 per newspaper; $54.99 per year
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Students will now choose an article that interests them.  They will read the article independently. Newslea can adjust the reading level to support all learners but for the more struggling students you can use News2you.  Then have students disect the article the same way you did in class. They can use padlet or bubbl.us to organize their thoughts and ideas.  Answering the following questions: What was the article's main idea or issue, Who is impacted?, What is the impact?, Where does this occur?, When did this happen?, Why does the author think it happened?

Then students need to think about what they believe in regard to the issue presented - do they agree or disagree? Does the article raise other concerns or issues that need to be addressed?

4 Wrap Up

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Have students record all of the thinking they did on thier padlet, they can choose different ways to present what they discovered about the article.  One neat activity would be to take a photo that captures the article's main idea, then using thinglink, they can create small links to the different ideas they uncovered in their investigation, answering the 5 W's and the article's main idea.  They can then share with the whole class, or simply small groups.  I would have students complete this kind of assignment several times over the term so they become more familiar with this kind of writing and thinking.  I used this as a biweekly homework assignment once everyone was familiar with the process.  It is interesting to find out what articles students are interested in.