Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Newspaper Knowledge

Vicky Nichols
Bay District Schools


The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with a local newspaper and to teach them to interpret the written information for their own use.


The student locates, organizes, and interprets written information for a variety of purposes, including classroom research, collaborative decision making, and performing a school or real-world task.


-A set of local newspapers
-Pencils or pens
-Copies for each student of the worksheet, Assessment for Newspaper Knowledge, found in the associated file.


Look at the paper prior to the lesson since the newspaper changes every day! Some questions can be adjusted or the teacher may want students to realize the information is not there.


1. Hand out newspapers to students. Allow 5 minutes for them to glance through the papers.

2. Initiate a discussion by asking questions such as:
What is the name of the paper?
Is there an index or table of contents?
What kinds of news are found in this paper? (local, state, national)
Where are the want ads and what kinds of information do they contain?
What is the purpose of an editorial page and where is it?
Does this newspaper have a weather forecast?
Make sure that students realize that the paper has a specific format and uses it consistently.

3. Distribute the -Assessment for Newspaper Knowledge- worksheet found in the associated file and give students time to complete it.


Use the situations listed in associated file to determine students' ability to locate and interpret written information for real world tasks. Students should be able to find at least 70% of the information with little or no help after the class discussion. Students who are having difficulty need feedback and/or review on how the newspaper is structured or how to read for specfic information.

Web Links

If the local paper is online, this would be a good time to show the location on the Internet to students.
The Panama City News Herald

Attached Files

"Assessment for Newspaper Knowledge" activity.     File Extension: pdf

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