Q:

My child reads the newspaper with me on weekends. How can I make it more interesting? - Newspaper Reader

A:

You can expect your children's teachers to be using the newspaper in their classrooms as a teaching tool. If your children also work with the newspaper at home, it definitely increases the likelihood that they will pick up the newspaper-reading habit, especially if your family has fun with an activity.

Most children enjoy scavenger hunts, so this is a good way to get your children to browse through a paper while they search for the winning items. Each family member can use a paper from a different day in the week as they search for the following items, or ones on a list that you have created:

  • Something funny (besides a comic strip)
  • Proper noun in a headline
  • Picture of someone you would like to meet
  • Word that describes yourself
  • City in the United States you would like to visit
  • Story that mentions a city in your state
  • Description of a job in the classified ads that would be a good fit for someone in the family
  • Picture of a smiling person
  • Weather report
  • First letter of your first name in a capital letter
  • Number equal to your age plus 15
  • TV show at 7:00 you would like to watch
  • Abbreviation
  • Movie that stars an animal or young child

You can easily make another scavenger hunt by asking every family member to contribute five items to be found in the paper.

Read comic strips with your children, and talk about the point the cartoonist is trying to make. Do this activity casually while your children are reading the comics, and they won't realize they are learning more about identifying the main idea. Be sure to talk about popular strips with political and social messages with your older children. They need to realize that comic strips are about more than just humor.

Regular newspaper reading is a great way to build vocabulary. Get your family in the habit of discussing with each other unfamiliar words they read in the paper. Everyone can try to figure out what the word means by how it is used in a story.