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Reading comprehension and analysis: the top U.S. news stories of 2008.

There are many ways teachers can use this issue's top-news feature in the classroom. This suggested lesson plan comes from Lisa Arce, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grade students at Selden Middle School in Centereach, New York.


Students will review some of the major events of 2008 by engaging in a series of activities, which will reinforce summarizing, sequencing, reading comprehension, writing, and analysis skills.


Skim "The Top U.S. News Stories of 2008" (pp. 3-5) to find the following information:

* 3 negative events, what they are and why

* 2 positive events, what they are and why

* 1 new vocabulary word that you learned while skimming the article.


Have students choose three mini assignments from the choice board at right. Every student must choose the assignment in the middle box. The other two assignments must come from boxes that form a straight line (vertically or horizontally) with the central box, as in tic-tac-toe. Students can work on these assignments in pairs or individually, in class or at home.


Teachers will issue "exit tickets" that require students to answer the following question: Name one topic that was newsworthy in 2008, and make one prediction relating to that topic for 2009.

Using item #3,         Using item #4,        Using item #5,
"Olympic Games,"       "Wars," create a      "Mother Nature's
create a graphic       list of successes     Fury," create
organizer that         and remaining         a causes-and-
asks and answers       challenges in Iraq.   results list.
these basic news-
story questions
(who, what, when,
where, and why).

Using item #4,         Summarize             Using item
"Wars," create         Election 2008 in a    #3 , "Olympic
a two-column           short paragraph,      Games," and other
chart with the         noting the winners    information ation you
Iraq and               and losers for the    can find, create
Afghanistan. Take      presidential and      a score card
notes in bullet        vice-presidential     showing the top
form, summarizing      slots.                five countries in
main points                                  medals earned.
relating to each.

Using item #2,         Using item #2,        Using item #5,
"A Slumping Slumping   "A Slumping           "Mother Nature's
Economy," write        Economy," and         Fury," make a
a paragraph in         other sources,        bulleted list of
which you describe     create a chronology   the devastation
a personal             of key economic       caused by
connection to the      events that took      Hurricane Ike.
poor economic          place in 2008.        Entitle your list
times.                                       "The Devastation
                                             of Ike."
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Author:Arce, Lisa
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 5, 2009
Previous Article:Got a nose for news? Gathering and reporting information.
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