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Play a game with the index
section of the newspaper. Read it with your child; or have the child read
it to you. Have your child locate each section as you call out the page numbers.
How are newspaper page numbers different than those in textbooks?
- Walk your child through
the entire newspaper. Discuss what kind of information can be found in the
- After reading news stories
have your child tell you the 5 Ws and H. (See glossary)
- See if your family
can predict the content of a newspaper story by only reading the headline.
- Find news articles,
pictures and advertisements in the newspaper that you think would tell about
life today. Imagine that you and your child are responsible for preparing
a scrapbook that you will give to your grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Include things that you have in your own home - or that are common in people's
- Ask your child to look
for the "jumps" or continuations of the stories on the newspaper's
front page. Have the child match the identifying subtitles and page numbers.
Make it a game to see how quickly your child is able to locate these continuations.
- Find a newspaper picture
that interests both of you. Tell your child, in story form, about what happened
in the picture. Stop occasionally and ask, "Then what do you think happened?"
Ask your child to make up a different story. Or talk about what might have
happened before or after the picture was taken.
- Look for a picture
of a person your child would recognize (the president, a famous athlete, a
rock star, a police officer, or fire fighter, etc). Talk together about what
these people do. You might ask: "Why is this person's picture in the
- Ask your child to choose
a picture of a famous athlete, movie star, politician or other person he or
she would like to meet. Ask, "What would you say to this person? What
do you think the person would say to you?" Discuss what makes them interesting
and why they became famous.
- Find a picture about
some natural phenomenon such as a storm, earthquake, or a volcanic eruption
and have your child write a paragraph explaining where such phenomenon is
apt to occur and what causes this event to happen.
- Ask your child to look
through the newspaper for pictures or stories about people from different
cultures or ethnic backgrounds. Compare your customs with theirs. Talk about
customs of other ethnic groups your family might enjoy.
- Look for pictures that
show people's facial expressions and emotions. Look at photos and advertisements.
Ask your child how each person feels. Then ask questions like, "What
makes you happy? What makes you sad?" Ask, "Why does this picture
make you feel that way?"
- Read the newspaper's
weather forecast. Look for pictures that illustrate different weather conditions.
Look at the forecast for tomorrow and help your child select appropriate clothes
to wear. Or use the weather map to learn more about weather in other places,
for example, "What is the weather like where Grandpa lives?"
- Find a story or picture
of a group of people who need help (for example, victims of a fire or flood,
the homeless, people in a hospital). Discuss reactions to these people and
their situations. Talk about ways your family might help by spending time,
sharing talents or even contributing money.
Read an article with your child about a person who has broken the law. "What
has the person done?" "What might happen to the person?" "Is
the law a good one?" "What could this person have done differently?"
- Read newspaper coverage
of a major news story and watch the same story presented on television. Talk
about the differences between reading newspapers and watching television news.
- Cut out some favorite
comics. Cut the captions off and ask your child to tell you a story about
the pictures. Ask questions like, "Did something like that ever happen
to you?" and "What do you think happens next?" Or cut the comic
strip into individual pictures and ask your child to put them in order, showing
what happened first, second and third.
- Look through the comics
and have your child choose a favorite character. Ask, "How are you like
this character? How are you different?"
- Read the TV listings
together. Help your child choose a program for the whole family to watch.
Ask, "Why did you choose this program? What show would you choose to
watch by yourself?" Look for ads about upcoming programs. Ask, "What
do you think that show will be about? Do you think it will be fun to watch?"
- Read a review of an
entertainment event or a report of a sports event that your family attended
or viewed. Are the reviewer's or the sports reporter's impressions the same
as yours? How do they differ? Why might they differ?
- If you can find a recipe
in the newspaper, prepare it together. Ask your child to help you read the
directions. Then serve it to family or friends.
- Look through your newspaper
for a review of a movie that would interest your child. Read and discuss it
together. Ask, "Does this sound like a movie would enjoy?" "Why
do you think you would like it?" "Have you seen any other movies
or television shows or read any books that sound similar?"
- Read and discuss reviews
of movies or other family entertainment offered in your area. Exchange ideas
on what would be good to see and why. Ask your son or daughter about television
shows and books that seem similar.
- Read and compare news
stories, editorials or newspaper columns that express different points of
view about international, national or local issues. Find out if your child
supports one of these views, if he or she feels strongly about and why
- Select an editorial
that treats a problem that may have some effect on your family. Determine
the opinion of the newspaper on the problem. Discuss the opinions of members
of the family on the issue. Do you and your child agree with the editorial
- Have your child cut
out coupons from the newspaper. Ask the child to sort the coupons into categories
- cleaning products, snacks, breakfast cereals and so on. Or the child might
sort the coupons according to size, color, value - or whether the child likes
the products mentioned. As you make out your shopping list, have your child
select the coupons you will need.
your child choose an object pictured in the newspaper and describe it to you.
See if you can correctly identify it based on your child's description. Switch
roles and repeat.
- Pretend your child
has money to spend at the grocery store. Have your child look at advertisements
and cut out prices for different foods:meats, fruits, vegetables and breads.
Help your child find at least two items in each group that your family might
enjoy. Together, total your "purchases." How much money did you
- Go through the advertisements
in the newspaper with your child, identifying slogans, pictures or key words
that attract attention and influence decisions to buy. Ask, "Are any
of the products advertised ones that we use at home?" "Are there
any that you think we should try?" "Why or why not?"
- Look through the classified
employment section with your child. Find jobs held by family, friends and
neighbors: teacher, secretary, construction worker, messenger, driver. Read
and talk about the kind of duties these positions require. Ask your child
to find a few positions he/she would enjoy. Ask why.
- Look through the classified
employment section together discuss possible jobs your adolescent might consider
in a few years. Look at the good and bad points of each job. What are the
working conditions? Talk about jobs and careers that interest your son or
daughter and what steps will have to be taken to get one of those jobs.
- Ask your son or daughter
to think about renting an apartment when old enough to live away from home.
Check rental listings in the classifieds. What will it take to make ends meet?