Using only words that appear in Newsline (on the left-hand side of the front page of today’s paper), write a short poem entitled, America. Practice reading your poem with expression. Then, recite it for peers.
Find the loudest page in today’s paper. Then, find the quietest. Defend your choices in writing. Finally, share how you defined “loud” and “quiet” with a peer. Were your definitions similar or different?
Locate a headline in today’s paper that, when read by itself, could be a statement about your life. (You may delete one word from the headline or add one word to it.) In writing, explain what the statement says about you.
Develop a list of the “Top 10 News Items” in today’s paper. Rank the events in order from most to least important. Compare your list with peers’. What stories did many students feel were important? Why is this?
Consider the colors used for the headings of the four sections: News -blue; Money green; Sports red; Life purple. Why do you think those particular colors were chosen? With a partner, develop one serious and one humorous reason for each color scheme.
Turn to the Life section in today’s paper and read a book, record, movie or other review. Then, write your own review of an artistic work. Give the work a rating (from one to four stars) and support your evaluation with facts, quotes and details.
Look at the front page of USA TODAY. What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? What information is easy to find? Hard to find? Do you like the colors, the fonts, the size of the headlines, the size of the graphs, etc.? List the changes you would make to the front page. Then, draw your new design.
Evaluation (or judging) is a high-level thinking skill. Choose what you consider to be the best photo in each section of today’s paper. Then, briefly explain in writing why you selected each picture. Give at least three reasons for each of your choices.
Take a sheet of paper and make two columns. One should be headed “women” and the other, “men.” Using today’s Sports section, count how many stories are about male athletes and how many about female athletes. Discuss your findings with a partner. Did they surprise you?
Turn to the TV listings on the back of the Life section. Identify five shows that are educational and five that are probably not. Explain the rationale for each of your choices. Then, answer this question in writing: What would you do if you couldn’t watch TV for a month?
Make five predictions about people or items (stories, photos, maps, etc.) that will be in the paper today. Then, flip through the paper and see how many of your predictions were on target. Finally, make five predictions for tomorrow’s paper, based on the stories in today’s edition
Define the word conflict. Why do conflicts arise? How are they resolved? See how many references to different conflicts — verbal, legal, physical, etc. — you can find in today’s paper. Identify the causes of the conflicts. Are any of them similar? Then, discuss possible solutions for each one.
Why is being curious an important and admirable characteristic? Flip through today’s paper and identify interesting headlines and pictures — ones that pique your curiosity. Then, write down 10 questions about the items you found. Begin each with “I wonder . . .” Where could you look for the answers to your questions?
Find six items in today’s newspaper that could be in a story together. Cut each of the items out and arrange them in an order that tells a tale. Then, paste the items on paper and write a story beneath them. Create an interesting title for your work.
A stereotype is a conventional, often oversimplified opinion — i.e., a belief that one example is representative of a whole group. For example, for many years, blacks were stereotyped in literature and film as maids, butlers and other servant-like characters. Peruse today’s editorial pages, and find examples of stereotypes in letters sent in by readers.
The term diversity means a range or assortment of different things. For example, a diverse music collection might include rock, pop, jazz and country albums. Read through USA TODAY, and identify examples of diversity in business, entertainment, politics, etc.
Scan USA TODAY and list all the different jobs and careers that are shown in pictures or mentioned in articles. Then, select the three jobs on your list that you find most interesting. Explain the duties of each of those jobs.
Ask a partner to read aloud the details from a graph in USA TODAY without letting you see it. Then, do the same for your partner. Next, create a graph that shows the details you heard; make the parts of the graph proportional to the measures of the things being compared. Finally, compare your graph to the one in the paper.
USA TODAY has four sections — News, Money, Sports and Life. (On Fridays, there is also a travel section.) Imagine that you are the publisher of the paper, and you have decided to introduce a brand new section. Decide what the name of the section would be and what kind of stories it would contain. Then, write three headlines that might appear in the new section.
What makes someone a hero? What makes a person an idol? Find a story in today’s paper about an individual taking heroic action in the face of hardship or danger. Then, locate an article about an idol. In writing, explain the difference between heroes and idols.
With a partner, flip through today’s paper and make a list of any jobs or careers that are mentioned. Then, create a career-related crossword puzzle with clues that focus on the duties or functions of particular jobs. As you create the puzzle, ask your partner which jobs sound exciting to him or her.
Imagine that USA TODAY is preparing a special issue dedicated to someone you admire. Write three headlines for the front page of this special edition. Then, list the stories that might be found in each of the paper’s four sections.
The newspaper is a good place to see how the four core subjects are applied in real life. Write the following headings on a piece of paper: math, science, English, social studies. Then, find examples of each subject in USA TODAY. List these under the appropriate heading.
Flip through today’s paper and select any photo or article. Next, challenge a partner to guess which photo or story you chose by playing the game “20 Questions.” Then, switch roles and play again. Which queries eliminated the most pages? Finally, choose new items from the paper and play another round. This time, attempt to ask no more than five questions.
With a partner, invent a game that involves the newspaper. (Make sure you can play the game with any edition of the paper.) Give your activity a name, and explain its rules in writing. Then, trade with another pair and try their game.
Discuss the meaning of the saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Then, find two articles in today’s paper that support the statement and two that refute it. Read one of the latter articles aloud, and ask a partner to prove that fiction is stranger than truth by retelling the story creatively.
Imagine that you are placing information about the year 2004 into a time capsule. With a partner, discuss headlines, photos and articles in today’s paper. Then, decide which events should be included in a summary for the time capsule. Compare your ideas with another pair’s.
Discuss the definition of the word “trends.”. Then, flip through today’s paper and see if you can identify three current trends. Finally, write an acrostic poem based on the word “trends” — i.e., the first line of the poem should start with a “t,” the second with an “r,” etc.
Using photos and text from today’s paper, create a collage entitled, “Diversity.” Select pictures that are related to diversity in some way. Then, create phrases or sentences about diversity by cutting out words from headlines. Paste the photos and words on paper or cardboard.
Flip through today’s paper and clip out five ads that appeal to you. Then, decide which one is the most convincing, second most convincing and so on. In writing, explain your rankings and briefly describe the elements of an effective advertisement.
Discuss the word competition and its role in politics, business, entertainment, sports, etc. Then, locate one article related to competition in each of the four sections (News, Money, Sports and Life). Which stories describe healthy competition? Unhealthy competition?
Ethics are the set of moral principles that a person uses to evaluate what is right and wrong, good and bad, etc. In business, ethics refers to the code of professional standards (fairness and duty to the profession and the general public). Choose a business leader featured in today’s paper, and describe his or her “ethics.”