Students obtain newspapers from around the country for a specific date and compare how those newspapers handle the major news stories on that date. (Graphic organizer work sheet included.)
newspaper, business letter, current events, Venn diagram, compare, contrast, point of view, editorial, classified, consumer, cost of living, letter writing
Lesson PlanComplete this activity in two parts. First, help your students determine the date for which they would like to collect newspapers from around the country. That date might coincide with a recent national or international event -- for example, the president's State of the Union address, a violent earthquake, a meeting of world leaders, or a decisive battle in a war. (Remind students to order the paper for the date following the actual event if that's when the event would be reported.) Have each student write a simple business letter to the circulation manager of a different newspaper requesting a copy of that newspaper for the specified date. The following Web sites provide resources for locating newspaper addresses. These resources are intended for teacher use only.
Complete the second part of the lesson when all the newspapers have arrived. Students can work in pairs, in small groups, or as a class.
Begin by having students study the front page of the paper. Ask: How much of the front page relates to the main news story? Are photos included? Is the article from a wire service or was it written by a local reporter? Does the article include unique local or national quote sources? What other news stories appear on the front page? Are those stories covered on the front page of other papers as well? How much of the front page covers stories of local, national, and international importance?
Discuss similarities and differences between the day's news coverage. Encourage students to dig deeper into the newspapers to determine how much total space is devoted to different news stories (students could use rulers to measure "inches" of copy); to discover what topics are discussed on editorial pages; to find out how many front page news articles include photographs; and so on.
AssessmentStudents will be evaluated based on a Venn diagram illustrating at least three similarities and differences in the way two newspapers handled a major news story and on an essay summarizing those similarities and differences.
Lesson Plan SourceEducation World
LANGUAGE ARTS: English LANGUAGE ARTS: English
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