No time for the newspaper? Think again

Today I’m sharing a wonderful article by Vicki Whiting from Kid Scoop News.  She wrote the article for Sonoma News.com.

No time for the newspaper? Think again

By Vicki Whiting/Kid Scoop News

Jun 18, 2013 – 11:43 AM
Vicki Whiting
Vicki Whiting

Reading the newspaper with your child promotes reading skills, a connection to the community and some quality time of togetherness.

All too often, busy parents tell me that they don’t subscribe to the newspaper because they don’t have time to read it. My response is to let them know that having a newspaper in the home is important for their children’s success in school. Children who come from homes rich with printed materials – newspapers, magazines, books – perform better on achievement tests.

A 2001 study by Dan Sullivan at the University of Minnesota showed that when students read a newspaper once a week or more, they score higher on achievement tests. The report on this study, “Measuring Success,” can be downloaded at americanpressinstitute.org/docs/Foundation/Research/measuresuccess.pdf.

An American Press Institute study from 2007 showed that newspapers play a role in encouraging young people to get involved with their communities. To read this report, go to njpa.org/NIE/CivicReaders.pdf.

The new common core standards emphasize non-fiction reading, so finding ways to foster newspaper reading is critical in the change to the new standards.

My experience as a teacher and a parent makes it clear that reading the newspaper with your child can be an enjoyable time to talk, share and boost academic skills. Here are a few activities to try:

Language Arts

• Choose a headline in the newspaper and rewrite it so it has the opposite meaning.

• Look at a photo in the newspaper. Talk about what you think happened before that picture was taken and what happened after the photo was taken. Read the article or caption that goes with the photo and discuss whether or not you changed your mind about the before and after.

• Read a newspaper article aloud. Have your child clap his or her hands each time you read an adjective. Repeat with an advertisement. Which has more adjectives?

Math

• Study the pictures in the newspaper. Count how many men are in the pictures, how many women, how many children, how many animals, how many cars. Create a graph to show the results.

• On the front page of the newspaper circle all of the numbers you can find. Create a math problem with some of the numbers.

• Measure the sides of three pictures. Calculate the area of each picture.

Each week on Kid Scoop, we offer one or more fun activities that use the newspaper as a learning resource. Look for the Extra! Extra! and Beyond Kid Scoop sections of the page and launch a time to have fun, read and promote a lifelong habit of civic connection.

Social Studies

With your child, read the paper each week to identify the names of the city council members and the mayor. Keep track of each time they are mentioned and what they are saying or doing. Together come up with a definition of the jobs these elected officials do for our community.

I started the Kid Scoop newspaper 25 years ago with the express purpose of getting kids excited about news and newspapers. Ultimately, involved citizens are newspaper readers and I wanted to get children started on this citizenship path early on. The extra-added benefit I discovered is that when kids read the local newspaper, they also get more excited about reading and their academic achievement grows.

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