Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Mr.Bubble's News

Nancy Hecht
Orange County Schools


This activity is a fun way to learn about and compare magazines and newspapers. The student records the information using bubble and double bubble thinking maps.


The student understands the distinguishing features of nonfiction texts (for example, biography, reference materials, magazines, newspapers).


-Newspapers (at least 2 different titles per group)
-Magazines (at least 4 different titles per group)
-Bubble Map and Double Bubble Map templates (See Associated File)
-White board and markers
-Overhead with transparencies and markers


1. Gather materials for activity.
2. Display Bubble Map and Double Bubble Map templates. (See Associated File)
3. For information and samples of bubble and double bubble maps, review Websites on thinking maps. (See Weblinks)


NOTE: This lesson instructs and assesses on distinguishing features of two nonfiction items (magazines and newspapers) only. Students have already been instructed and have mastered the use of a single bubble map. They have been introduced to a double bubble map. (See Weblinks section for sites about thinking maps and how they are used.)

1. Hold up a sample magazine and newspaper and ask students to identify the type of nonfiction text each represents.

2. Ask students to briefly discuss features in each type of text. (Features might include: monthly, daily, weekly, current, advertisements, photos, departments, sections, editorials, factual articles, paper cover, book format, stapled, headlines, letters to the editor, etc.)

3. Divide students into groups of 3 or 4.

4. Distribute paper, pencils, 2 newspapers and 4 magazines to each group.

5. Review directions for completing bubble maps.

6. Ask students to browse through magazines and newspapers to identify characteristics of each type of text.

7. Instruct students to create, as a group, two bubble maps (one for magazines and one for newspapers). Each map should include at least 5 features for that text.

8. Allow 10-15 minutes for students to browse through publications and create two bubble maps.

9. Observe students working in groups as they create the bubble maps.

10. Return to large group setting.

11. Share and discuss bubble map information from each group.

12. Construct magazine and newspaper bubble maps on white board and/or overhead as students share their answers.

13. Review a double bubble map with class.

14. Distribute paper and pencil to each student.

15. Ask each student to create a double bubble map with at least 3 similarities and 3 differences, comparing newspapers and magazines using the previously discussed features.


NOTE: This lesson instructs and assesses on distinguishing features of magazines and newspapers only.

Monitor progress as the students create bubble maps in small groups. Observe students during class discussion. Use double bubble map to formatively assess the students’ ability to distinguish between magazines and newspapers. The attached file contains Mr. Bubble's News Double Bubble Checklist with criteria for assessment.

Web Links

Web supplement for Mr. Bubble’s News
Thinking Maps

Web supplement for Mr. Bubble’s News
Thinking Maps

This site gives descriptions and explanations of thinking maps with samples and related links.
Thinking Maps

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.