Using newspapers as a learning tool

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Photo by Emily McIntosh Newspapers strewn across desks, students learn their lessons by reading and finding items in the newspaper. Through Newspapers in Education, Thayer and Mammoth Spring elementary schools receive The South Missourian News for teachers to use in their classes.

Passing a classroom full of kids going through newspapers, one would have thought they were working on a paper mache project. However, these students were actually reading the newspaper instead of tearing it apart. These students are learning through a Newspapers in Education project.

Teachers of third through sixth grades at local schools including Thayer and Mammoth Spring are taking advantage of newspapers to teach their students many subjects.

Kim Davis, a third grade teacher at Thayer Elementary, uses newspapers from The South Missourian News in the students' writing workshop. The students go through the newspaper to find examples of what they learn in their English and spelling classes. They find opinions and facts, their spelling words for the week, words they don't know and various other items they have learned.

"Kids really don't get to see the newspaper at home, so this is a good opportunity for them," Davis said.

Other classes at Thayer Elementary use the newspapers for other subjects such as social studies throughout the year.

Debbie Perryman, circulation manager or Areawide Media, the company that publishes The South Missourian News, said about 170 newspapers are distributed to both Thayer and Mammoth Spring elementary schools for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Perryman said a portion of the cost of the newspapers distributed to the schools is paid for through sponsorships and another portion is absorbed by the newspaper.

Mammoth Spring Elementary, grades four through six, use the newspapers for various lessons, as well.

Amy Smith's fourth grade class recently used their newspapers to find causes and effects in their language class. The students looked through all of the headlines to find what causes created what effects.

Other classes at Mammoth Spring use newspapers as teachers can find ways to use them in their lessons.

"Kids enjoy it and the parents," Elementary Principal Wade Powell said. "Written communication, that's the thing that's most important."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: