First and foremost, I am just trying to get students to read. I am trying to get them to find out that there are interesting things in a newspaper. Because USA TODAYs articles are relatively short, I want students to be able to pull out the main idea of a story and elaborate on it so I know that they understand the entire article.
Sometimes Ill take words from an article that I think will interest the kids, and well use them as vocabulary words. Well talk about the article and how the words are used. When weve finished, I take the words and put them into a word find. Then I give my students the word find with the meanings of the words below, so that they not only find the word itself, but also can match it with its meaning.
I teach lower-level students, and they need to have the ability to stick with something that is hard for them so that they feel that they are accomplishing something. If it seems like every time theyre attempting something someone is always better than they are, theyre not always going to want to put forth an effort.
Children often think that learning is supposed to be this horrible experience, and its not. Its my responsibility as an educator to show students that education is supposed to be important, that its supposed to make our lives brighter, richer its supposed to add to our lives, not detract from them. Building a childs vocabulary and reading skills gives them greater access to the world, and it can be done using USA TODAY.
USA Today is different than using a textbook. You need to use different types of sources when reading. Most of the articles are short enough so that you can do a great deal with a particular article. Some of the longer articles can be used for newspaper article presentations where kids have to pull main ideas and fine tune, paraphrase, etc.