A rich learning resource for students

A rich learning resource for students

Students reading Prajavani news paper during Prajavani Quiz Championship, at Senate Bhavan in Mysuru on Monday January 08, 2018.- PHOTO / IRSHAD MAHAMMAD

A newspaper is a ‘living text’ unlike textbooks that can easily become outdated. The daily newspaper offers countless opportunities for teaching and learning and merits a prominent place in the school curriculum.

Newspapers can prove to be rich resources. They help enhance writing and communication skills, improve reading habit, awareness of local, national and international issues. A good newspaper helps students become critical thinkers by synthesising information and improving logical reasoning. A creative teacher can make use of the newspaper in umpteen ways in the classroom as well as for assignments.

Analysis

Students can be engaged to discern different elements in a news story by identifying and classifying elements in a table. One column can be used to fill in headlines and the other for the five W’s — what happened, when the incident occurred, where it happened, who did it and why it happened. 

News stories and features cover every conceivable subject and this can be beneficial for all students. For example, students of criminology may analyse crime stories; news items on the economy can be of use to students of economics. History, social science and tourism students can find ready to use material in the supplement sections.

Newspapers have different sections like news, features, editorials, reviews, comics and advertisements. These sections employ different models of writing techniques that students can emulate based on the subject they are studying.

Games

While the contents of a newspaper can improve one's knowledge, the paper lends itself to different crafts and games that can be used to improve the motor skills of children.

News clippings can also be used in a variety of ways. Students can cut out news items that interest them and after writing the source, make photocopies of the same and distribute them to the class. Others can be invited to make observations or debate after going through the material. News clippings can be displayed in the class or campus bulletin boards, used as supporting material for assignments or projects or to document subject-wise files for future reference.

Newspapers provide excellent material for posters or collages. Students in groups can prepare a collage only with news clippings on topics like society, social problems, contradictions and women and children.

To sum up, it is important to cultivate the habit of reading a newspaper daily among children. Teachers and parents can, thus, be partners in education by enlivening a classroom and kindling enthusiasm for learning. 

(The writer is former dean of a college in Mangaluru)