Acquainting Children with the Newspaper

Question: How can we use the newspaper to improve our children's reading skills? - Newspaper Reader

Answer: Newspaper comics are a good place to start working on reading skills, and you and your children can have fun working with them. Cut a comic strip into frames and have your young children put the pictures in the correct order to teach sequencing skills. Select two frames from a comic strip and have your children tell you three ways they are alike and three ways they are different to hone their ability to pay attention to detail.

Look at a comic strip with your older children and ask what will happen next. This will help them get in the good habit of thinking ahead while reading. Be sure to have them check the comic strip for several days to find out if they correctly anticipated what would happen.

Both younger and older readers can enjoy newspaper scavenger hunts while improving their ability to skim and scan material. Have them look through the newspaper to find 10 pictures, stories or specific information that you have chosen.

Share age-appropriate news stories with your children. Then talk about the who, what, when, where and why of the story. This will really improve their reading-comprehension skills. To improve their ability to draw inferences, have them read headlines of several stories and then predict what the content will be before reading them.

Use editorials and front-page stories to help older children learn the important reading skill of distinguishing between fact and opinion. Unfortunately, many children think that anything that is printed is fact.

Newspapers are an adult medium. Children are proud to be seen reading newspapers. Not only can newspapers be used to improve the skills mentioned above, they can also help children learn to identify the main idea of a paragraph, develop better critical-thinking skills and recognize important details. Plus, reading the newspaper can motivate children to read other material.