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Improve Child's Reading with Newspaper

Nile Stanley Picture Volume 1 Number 6 February, 2007

Dr. Stanley's "Improve Child's Reading with Newspaper" and the Reading Calendar are a monthly feature of the Department of Childhood Education, University of North Florida, 4567 Saint Johns Bluff Road, South, Jacksonville, FL 32224, nstanley@unf.edu, 904-620-1849.

by Nile Stanley, Ph.D.
Chair, Childhood Education

(PDF version)

"Owners responsible for biting canines!"

"Safe driver hits 1 million!"

"Be sure to eat right before surgery!"

"Jerk injures neck, wins award!"

Now that I have caught your attention with some headline bloopers that actually appeared in newspapers across the country...

Parents -- helping your children develop a love for reading and learning may be the most important way to help them succeed in school. Since reading is the most basic skill for students -- and is the foundation for all future learning -- it needs to be reinforced often at home.

The skills connected with a newspaper are functional because children learn to gain information about a wide variety of subjects-news, sports, weather, editorials, business, television, crossword puzzles, local events, store sales, recipes and so forth. The newspaper has something for almost anyone.

This month's reading calendar offers simple, enjoyable activities to compliment the school's program and strengthen your children's reading skills. The newspaper, inexpensive and readily available can be used with all grade levels. Young children can use the newspaper to develop letter and sound recognition by identifying words and pictures that begin with certain sounds. Kids can enlarge their speaking vocabularies by making up their own stories about pictures and comics.

Parents can read interesting news stories aloud to children and they in turn can answer questions. Older children can practice adult like skills with the newspaper by locating information and studying current events.

The Reading Calendar also chronicles important historical figures and events to encourage children to develop cultural literacy--- knowledge about our nation's heritage and history.

Children must learn a common frame of reference. Reading is more a "bringing" of the meaning to the printed page than taking it away.

That is, the more children already know about a topic, the easier it is for them to understand what they read and hear. For example, children studying American History will read with greater understanding if they are already familiar with "Lincoln," "Malcolm X," or "Remember the Alamo."

Parents should encourage children to sharpen reference skills by using world almanac and/or encyclopedia.

Online Children's and Teachers' News and Information Sources:

Scholastic News: http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/

Time for Kids: http://www.timeforkids.com

Weekly Reader: http://www.weeklyreader.com/

Newspapers in Education: http://nieonline.com/

News Worldwide : http://library.uncg.edu/news/

Newspaper literacy lessons from Education World: http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/strategy/strategy017.shtml

Create Your Own Newspaper: http://crayon.net/ 


See this month's associated Reading Calendar (pdf)

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