Monday, March 9, 2009

Middle School/High School Topic: Newspapers

10-second review: A series of questions and projects about reading newspapers. Published in May of 1975, even more relevant today when newspapers are going into bankruptcy. The Philadelphia Inquirer and the West Chester Daily Local News are two of the latest to go into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Title: “The Newspaper: Medium Rare.” RE Dehnke and AW Ely. English Journal (May 1975), 39-45. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Some examples of the kinds of questions based on those suggested in the article:

Compare the appearance of newspapers today and ten years ago.
Compare the appearance of a local paper with the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Compare a piece of literature [“Auto Wreck” by Karl Shapiro] with the same topic in the newspaper.

Have the students complete a written survey:
1. How often do you read a newspaper? Daily_____ Once or Twice a Week _____ Never _____.

2.Turn the pages of your newspaper. What sections would you read, at least in part? World News_____. Local News _____. Business News _____. Reports of Accidents and Disasters _____. The Newspaper’s Editorial _____. Op-ED Page Columns _____. Letters to the Editor _____. The Comics _____. Sports _____. Dear Abby (or something similar) _____. Astrology _____. Word games like crossword puzzles _____.

Finally: How does reading the print edition of the newspaper differ from reading the paper online?

Comment: Sign up for a class set of newspapers. In the first ten minutes of class, have students read their newspapers. This is important! Newspapers are dying. We need to make the newspaper a habit for a new generation of readers. RayS.

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