This is a lesson plan I originally devised to go with the Straightforward Intermediate textbook, lesson 8A on newspapers. I thought it would be good to bring in some realia, so I bought an English newspaper and came up with this activity sheet for my student. I think it works well as a stand-alone activity. And of course it could be adapted to work with a news website like Google News or CNN.
- To introduce students to an English-language newspaper and conventions of Western press
- To give them authentic reading material
- To build confidence and encourage students to start reading English language news or material
- To introduce headline English and the structure of an article
- To practice skimming versus scanning
- Newspaper Worksheet
- A newspaper or newspapers in English
You will need an English language newspaper. Or several. Or access to an Internet news source. For a one-on-one lesson, you can just use one paper. For classes with more than one student, you could do a lot of other good stuff like jigsaw reading or giving each student a different section to work with. They then report back to the class and end up teaching each other.
You will need to adapt the worksheet to how you are structuring the lesson and you will also need to adapt Part III: The Scavenger Hunt to the particular news source you are using. The idea is to have students find articles or features of the newspaper so that has to be changed based on the information in the newspaper you are using.
I like to handle this lesson as a task with minimal interference from the teacher. Give the students the worksheet and the newspaper and have them go at it. Be available for questions and to guide them. Alternatively you could have them do each task one at a time and then check in with the class.
When having students read an article, it can be useful to do it as a jigsaw reading where each student reads a different article, or even a different part of the same article and explain what they have read to each other. This can promote authentic interaction because students will ask questions and need clarification. For smaller classes, you might have your own copy of the paper and skim the articles the students pick so you can ask comprehension questions.
With my one intermediate student, this lesson took one and a half hours. I assigned Part VII as homework.
More Newspaper Activities
I just found this lesson plan on newspapers from ELT Experiences. It has some great activities for working with headlines and a matching exercise where students try to put together a story, a picture and a headline. Very good for lower-level students.Liked this post? Check out some of my books on