In the News - Level 4 Sample Unit
Activity 1: Thinking about issues
Predicting from headlines
Teachers present students with headlines related to local issues and ask them to predict what the associated article will be about?
Students predict and record ideas under the headings: What, Where, When, Who, Why, How.
Predicting from pictures
The following questions could be selected from a lucky dip to stimulate discussion about pictures on a local issue:
- What might have happened before/after the picture was taken?
- What might be beyond the picture that is relevant?
- What does it remind you of? How does it make you feel?
The class collects local newspaper articles on local issues. Students work in small groups to discuss:
- What sorts of issues are commonly represented in newspapers?
- Are there issues they know of that are not represented in newspapers?
- What style of language is used in these articles?
- How are headlines used to attract the reader?
- What is the perspective of the writer?
- What is the perspective of people interviewed?
- Who would you ask if you wanted other perspectives?
Students form six groups and are allocate one coloured thinking hat each. Each group considers the issues in one article – from the perspective of their thinking hat only. Each group then chooses a representative to record their ideas and present them to the whole class. After each presentation, students from other (coloured thinking hat) groups can add ideas.
Students stand along a line (marked ‘Agree’ at one end and ‘Disagree’ at the other) and respond to statements made by their teacher about the issues; for example, ‘Pollution in our local creek is an important local issue.’ This activity can be repeated later (see Activity 6) to see if opinions change after student research has been completed.