I’m so excited to share lifeschooling tips for using the newspaper printable!
“Extra, extra! Read all about it!” There’s something fun and nostalgic about watching an old black and white movie with scenes of a newsboy shouting out this line. It brings to mind one of my favorite movies, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, where the newspapers (bad and good) played an important role in the outcome of Smith’s dilemma.
Newspaper: Out with the Old, In with the New
The days of the newspaper are not quite what they used to be, with the source of daily news having been dependent on a printing press, giant reams of paper, and lots of newsboys to get the story out on the streets; but fortunately, this industry has evolved with the times.
Today, we can get our news within seconds and wherever we happen to have a phone. One of our favorite sources of news is God’s World News. I know I can trust them to always point us back to our true source of hope and security, Jesus Christ. Korban and I often turn on the Top Story segment at breakfast time and watch together while we eat. Being the good homeschoolers we are, though, we decided we would like to take the learning a step further. So, I created this fun newspaper printable and thought I’d share it with you!
Lifeschooling Tips for Using the Newspaper Printable
Before you begin, it might be good for your child to have a basic understanding of the role of a journalist. You can read this short article on Britannica Kids to help them get an overview of their “job” as a journalist. (If your child shows an interest in journalism, take notice at the fact that experience is often valued over a college degree.)
I would also recommend learning how a newspaper is divided. You can pull out a real newspaper for a visual reference as you read this Newspaper Sections and Terms article. Here’s another article that is helpful for understanding the difference between volume and issue for a newspaper.
Next, decide how you want to use this printable. There are two main ways:
1. Retell the News
Use it in relation to the news stories by letting them retell the stories in their own words and drawings. This allows you to see how much of the information they retained. You can also have them print out and paste pictures from the online stories if they don’t enjoy drawing.
Be sure to ask plenty of questions when going over their work. Did they enjoy the news stories? How did they feel about them? Do they see God’s hand at work in the current events discussed?
You can use the “Interacting with the News” page of the printable to help you dig deeper into questions like these and encourage critical thinking skills and biblical discernment. Some questions may be more difficult for a younger child to answer, but it’s always good to occasionally throw out some deeper questions for them to chew on, and children will sometimes surprise us with their ability to think beyond their years.
2. Make their own News
Once they have interacted with the news for a while, they will start to intuitively understand some of the basic concepts of good reporting without even having been taught. This is lifeschooling! Natural learning through real-life experiences.
From this point, you can use the printable to encourage them to report their own news. You can show them how reporting often answers these standard questions: “who, what, when, where, why, and how” and then teach them to ask the same questions and find relevant stories in the home or neighborhood.
More Tips for Using the Newspaper Printable
Back in my high school days, I was on the school newspaper staff and was required to take a journalism class. One of the main questions we had to always learn to ask in relation to the “five Ws” was, “So what?” The reader will always be asking that question in their mind: “So what? How does this apply to me?” If there is no relevance or interest in the story, then you can answer all five of those Ws and it still is not going to make someone want to read your story.
A couple of great resources for learning more about reporting:
- Teach Your Kids About Journalism – Here’s a fantastic list of many resources for teaching your child more about this topic. I decided just to link to this blog post rather than reinvent the wheel!
- Kids Wanna Know: Why Get Into Journalism?
- How to be a Christian in the Mainstream News Media
Resources for Encouraging the Reporter in Your Child
You may find that your child truly loves the experience of being a reporter. Great! You’ve found one of their interests (at least for this season) that you can nurture and help take to the next level. One exciting way to encourage this interest is to help them enter for an opportunity to become a kid reporter. Here are several different options:
- IndyKids – A free newspaper by kids, for kids. Any child can send an article in for possible publication!
- TIME for Kids
- Sports Illustrated Kids
- Scholastic Kids Press
However they use this printable, it will give them plenty of opportunity for a fun lifeschooling experience and chance to explore their potential gifts. And perhaps you may even hear them roaming your house yelling “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”
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