Reading Lesson Plan
Date: November 14, 1996
Proficiency Level: Advanced
Age Level: Adults
Estimated Time of Lesson: 60 minutes
Teaching Point/Objectives: (What students will be able to do at
the end of the lesson)
- The students will examine in detail different parts of a newspaper.
- The students will understand previously discussed terminology through
their examination of a newspaper.
- The students will recognize general characteristics of a newspaper.
- Local newspapers (one for every two people)
- Scavenger hunt worksheet (one for every
Pre-Assessment/Warm-up (10 minutes):
Review following terms from previous day's lesson:
Introduce newspaper to students.
Presentation (45 minutes):
Pair Work (35 minutes):
Divide class into pairs. Pass out newspapers and worksheets. Introduce
scavenger hunt. Each pair will answer as many questions as possible in 30
minutes. The pair who completes the most answers will receive a prize (this
can be adjusted to fit needs and/or personalities in class). Throughout the
scavenger hunt, the teacher will circulate and answer questions. Activity
will be a student-centered one.
Class Work (10 minutes):
Ask pairs to return to their seat and congratulate the winners. Ask for
general comments about activity. Discuss the following questions:
Who is the newspaper's target audience?
What issues are important to the newspaper's target audience?
How would this newspaper be different if it were for a large city (i.e. New
York or Los Angeles)? How would this newspaper's format change if it were a
national newspaper (i.e. USA Today)?
Conclusion and Homework Assignment (5 minutes):
- Students will write a journal entry about their experience with the
newspaper. Ideas to consider in their writing:
Do newspapers from your own country differ from the one you examined? In
- How much news from your own country does the paper you examine cover?
- How much American news do papers from your country cover?
- What did you like about the newspaper you examined? What didn't you
The teacher will have to contact a local newspaper ahead of time to get
enough papers for the class. (Often papers will give classes extra copies
of the previous day's newspaper.). If it isn't possible to get enough
copies, various things can be done:
1. Divide the class into larger groups.
2. Divide the newspapers into sections and have each group
review a part of the paper.
3. Use different newspapers; in the class discussion, have
groups discuss the differences they saw in the different papers.
Self-Evaluation: (Note strengths and weaknesses. Use back of page
My original lesson plan was pretty vague. I didn't consider how I would
make it work in the classroom. My group suggested that the activity being a
paired scavenger hunt. I think this is positive for a couple reasons: 1) It
makes it more fun for the students. 2) Because the activity is a game, the
students won't feel intimidated by the number of questions. However as
participants in a contest, the students will try to get as much done as
possible. 3) By working in pairs, the students will also feel less
I think the activity itself is good though--especially as the second day of
a longer unit. The students will learn terminology, etc. on the first day
of the unit. This activity will give them a general overview of a
newspaper, as well as an incentive to really examine a newspaper in detail.
Later lessons will discuss individual aspects (for example, want-ads,
editorials, etc.) In greater detail.
Use a copy of an English newspaper and answer the following questions. If
the question is not
applicable (for example, if the type of article asked about in the question
does not appear on that
day). write "NA."
1. How many sections are there in the newspaper?
How many total pages are there?
2. What is on the front page of each section?
3. What is the most important news story? Where is it? How many
columns does it take?
What percentage of the page does it take up? Does it have a photo?
4. What is the second most important news story? Where is it? How
many columns does it take? What percentage of the page does it take up?
Does it have a photo?
5. How many news articles are there on the front page? How many of
them are domestic news? international news?
6. Where is the index? What page do you find news articles on?
business news? sports news?
7. On what page do you find TV and radio schedules? What else do you
see on that page?
8. On what page(s) do you find comics? How many are there?
9. On what page(s) do you find classified ads? How many are there?
What are they about?
10. On what page(s) do you find letters to the editor? How many are
there? What are they about?
11. Where do you find international news articles? domestic news
articles? How many of each are there?
12. What are the three largest headlines, in order of size?
13. Find three articles with bylines. Who wrote the articles?
14. Find three articles with datelines outside of the US. Where did
the articles come from? What were the dates? Headline Place Date
15. Find leads with the following information:
a. what, who, where, and when
b. what, who, where, and why
c. what, who, where, and how
16. Find a direct and an indirect quote.
17. How many feature stories are there? Choose five feature articles,
and fill out the following chart.
Headline Topic Author(s)
18. How many sports news or sports feature stories are there? Choose
four sports stories and fill out the following chart. Headline News or
Sports Feature U.S. or International
19. Where can you find an editorial? What is the topic? Is the topic
of local, national, or international interest? What is the editor's
position on that issue?
20. Fill out the chart below with information about the columns that
appear in the paper.
Column Topic Author Page
21. List the articles on the business page. How many of these are
22. How many pages of classified ads do you find? What types of
classified ads are there?
23. Choose one advice column. What subject is the advice column
about? What is the advice given?
24. What else do you find in this newspaper?
25. Look for examples of headlines with the following
characteristics, and fill in the chart with the page number, the headline,
and the headline rewritten as a regular sentence. Characteristic Page
Headline Rewritten Headline
"and" omitted and replaced with a comma
a "be" verb omitted
a pronoun omitted
an article omitted
a simple present tense verb that refers to a past event
an -ing form of the verb
"to" and a verb
an abbreviation with an apostrophe
an abbreviation with a period
three other abbreviations