We started the Newspaper Project in June 2021 for our upper primary students. Our younger students were occupied with the Book In the Box project during the December and June holidays and I really wanted my P5 & P6 students to get into the habit of reading the newspapers on a regular basis. So, I started the Newspaper Project.
Students were required to read the newspaper at least twice a week. They were to only select articles that interested them and to cut them out or save the link. At the end of the holidays, they would present to the class the news articles that struck them. They could find these articles in the hardcopy newspapers or online. They had to summarise in their own words what the article was about and had to answer questions from me or other students.
Students presented their articles last week during lesson time. was really impressed by their presentations and enjoyed listening to all the different articles that they had chosen. Some of the students gave us interesting statistics and excellent opinions about what they had read.
All the P5 and P6 students had taken the time to read the news and discover what interests them. Some are attracted to articles about the environment, others to crime, and one has an interest in international news as she finds it important to know what is happening outside of our little island.
The P6 students had more varied articles. While most everyone had interesting articles to present, here are three that I would like to share on the blog.
Brian presented an interesting article on how and why more Singaporeans are choosing plant-based options for their meals.
Nicholas presented an article on how Covid 19 had inspired a slew of inventions, some useful and some just wacky.
Ariel, with an interest in international news, chose to present her article on a knife attack in Gaza.
At the end of every class presentation, I asked the students to set a weekly goal of sparing thirty minutes of their time to read a few newspaper articles. This goal is to help them maintain the benefits that they received from reading the news twice weekly until the next long school holiday arrives and the Newspaper project becomes part of their holiday homework once again.
So, what are the benefits of reading the newspapers?
Here are three main ways that reading the news on a regular basis can help an upper primary school student
Composition & Oral
How can your news article help you in your composition and oral components?
Newspaper articles can help generate more ideas for composition plots. From crime to unfortunate accidents, real life incidents can be a source of inspiration to students to come up with composition plots that are more descriptive and realistic. Ariel’s choice of article can inspire her to write a story about a knife attack in a realistc way.
Knowledge is power and the oral component is one way that students can display their knowledge of current events related to the oral theme. If the oral is based on healthy eating, Brian’s article is a good one to show the health trend in Singapore. If it is based on the pandemic or innovations, Nicholas’ article on covid inspired innovations can come in handy as an example.
Did you find that reading the newspaper articles on a regular basis helped build on your vocabulary?
Every student that I had asked this question during the Q&A time after the presentation had the same response. All of them agreed that there were words or technical terms that they could not understand in the newspaper articles initially. This prompted them to find the meaning of the words so that they could understand what they were reading better. They then had a list of vocabulary words which were consistently used in articles that interested them. They found knowing these words useful, especially when they read similar artcles.
Do you think that by familiarising yourself with the layout and structure of a news article, it can give you more confidence when you do the Cloze section of paper 2?
Every Cloze that appears in the PSLE is an extract of a newspaper article. Knowing the structure of a newspaper article can help a student struggling in this component, greatly. While we cannot predict what the cloze article will be about, familiarising oneself with the patterns of a news article, can help boost a student’s confidence in this section.
Have we convinced you on why reading news articles is important? Remember that finding a news article, doesn’t require money or much effort. You do not need to buy or even borrow a newspaper. Simply click on a link https://www.straitstimes.com/ or https://www.channelnewsasia.com/ and start reading away!