Newspaper Activities for Students

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1 Newspaper Activities for Students

2 Newspaper Activities for Students Page 2 Higher Learning By the year 2010, millions of the jobs available in the United States will require more than a high school diploma. Not all will require fouryear college degrees. Some will require two-year degrees or training programs. Still, more education will be the rule of the future. Help Wanted ads of the newspaper usually list what kind of education or training is required. Find three careers that might interest you in the Help Wanted ads. Write out what kind of education or training each requires. Then write what colleges or programs could provide that training. LEARNING STANDARD: Acquiring information from multiple sources and then evaluating, organizing and communicating it in various contexts. Page 3 Comparing Salaries Going to college provides great opportunities for learning new things, meeting new people and having fun. It also will give you the opportunity to make more in salary as an adult. Search the newspaper Help Wanted ads and find examples of jobs open to people with a high school education and jobs that require education beyond high school. Compare starting salaries in a bar or line graph. Write a paragraph summarizing your findings. LEARNING STANDARDS: Presenting and organizing data in charts, graphs and tables; writing fluently for multiple purposes. Page 4 Your Interests Newspapers are a great way to learn about different jobs and careers and how they match your interests. Review the career connections on Page 4 of the Get on Track for College supplement alone or as a class. Then search the news and photos of the newspaper for examples of jobs that match the different categories. Follow up by searching the Help Wanted ads in the Classified section for more examples of jobs that match the categories. Write a paragraph describing which were easiest to find, and explain why. LEARNING STANDARDS: Generating questions about issues that affect students or topics about which they are curious; writing fluently for multiple purposes. Page 5 Job Opportunities Newspapers are a useful source of information about careers and job opportunities. That information can come in many forms. Look through today s paper and find one story, one photo and one display or classified ad dealing with jobs, work or careers. For each, write a sentence or short paragraph summarizing what the story, photo or ad tells you about careers, and how the information is useful. LEARNING STANDARD: Responding to a variety of written, visual and electronic texts by making connections to students personal lives and the lives of others. Page 6 College News Colleges and universities offer students many education choices. They also offer students and the community educational arts, music, culture and recreation opportunities. Find a story, photo or listing in the newspaper that involves a local college. Why is the college in the news? Write a paragraph describing the education benefits of the college event or program in the news. Then visit the college s Web site and learn more about what it has to offer students and the public. LEARNING STANDARDS: Acquiring information from written, visual and electronic texts; describing the culture and resources of regions; using technology tools to enhance learning.

3 Get on Track for College Page 7 Military Careers Military careers offer challenges and opportunities for specialized training. Look in today s newspaper and read an article about an activity involving one of the U.S. military forces. Discuss as a class what that force s mission is, what kind of training was required and how that training could be useful in a career after the military. LEARNING STANDARDS: Engaging peers in constructive conversation about issues or topics of interest; generating questions about issues that affect students or topics about which they are curious. Page 8 Testing SAT and ACT tests are required by many colleges and universities for students seeking admission. They are designed to measure students problemsolving and critical thinking skills, and to test ability in reading, writing, math and science. Many careers also use tests to measure the ability of people who want jobs, or require them of people seeking licenses to go into business. In the stories, photos and ads in the newspaper, find a career that requires testing of people seeking jobs or licenses. Or find an example online. Write a paragraph explaining why the testing is required and what it is set up to measure. LEARNING STANDARDS: Responding personally, analytically and critically to a variety of visual, written, oral and electronic texts; writing fluently for multiple purposes. Page 9 Volunteer Work Doing well in classes and on admission tests like the SATs and ACTs will help you get into college. But your academic record isn t the only thing colleges look at. Your activities outside class and even outside school can help you get attention from admissions departments. Volunteering in the community is one way to gain experiences that could help you get into college. In the newspaper, find organizations that would benefit from help by volunteers. Pick one that interests you and write out ways you could volunteer to help and what you would learn. Then write how this experience would make you a more interesting candidate for admission to a college. LEARNING STANDARDS: Responding to a variety of written, visual and electronic texts by making connections to students personal lives and the lives of others. Page 10 Take a Tour Touring a college campus can help you decide whether you would want to go there as a student. Touring businesses or other institutions also can teach you a lot about what they do and what they are like as a place to work. In the ads, stories and photos of the newspaper, find a college, business or institution you would like to know more about. Write out five things you would like to learn by taking a tour of the place, and why touring would be more effective than visiting a Web site. LEARNING STANDARDS: Generating questions about issues that affect students or topics about which they are curious. Page 11 Compare When choosing a college, it is helpful to create a comparison work sheet to compare the strengths and features of each place. Knowing how to create comparison work sheets can help you compare other things, too. You can create them to compare jobs, recreation activities or things you want to buy. In the ads in the newspaper, find an activity you would like to do or a kind of product you would like to buy. Create a comparison work sheet to compare items or activities. Write out what topics you would like to compare. Then use the newspaper, the Internet and other resources to find the information you need. LEARNING STANDARDS: Acquiring information from books, newspapers, data sets and other sources; organizing and presenting information in graphs, charts or graphic organizers.

4 Newspaper Activities for Students Page 12 Loans & Interest Paying for college is a challenge for most families. But there are many kinds of financial aid, and many ways to learn more about college finances. Newspapers and their Web site archives offer a variety of stories on college loans, grants and jobs that can pay college expenses. Newspapers also contain regular listings and stories about the cost of taking out loans for college. Find information about loans in the newspaper this week. Make a list of interest rates and requirements. Then do additional research on the Internet to gather more information about the loan companies and offers listed in the paper. Finish by doing an Internet search for college loan or college financial aid to learn even more. LEARNING STANDARD: Acquiring information from multiple sources and then organizing and evaluating it; using a variety of electronic technologies to assist in accessing and managing information; designing and conducting simple investigations. Page 13 Web Search Web sites are an invaluable resource for learning about colleges or training programs after high school. With family or friends, brainstorm a list of colleges or programs that might interest you. Then search the Internet for the Web sites for these colleges or programs. Pick one Web site that interests you and design an ad for the newspaper highlighting the features that would make it useful for a student looking for information about that school. LEARNING STANDARDS: Using a variety of electronic technologies to assist in accessing and managing information; viewing strategically and representing creatively. Page 14 College Essays The college essay is an important part of any application to college or a program of higher learning. An essay is your chance to let admissions officers get to know you. Don t just repeat what they can read in your transcript or resume about courses, grades or scores. Tell them about yourself so they feel they know you as a person: What excites or motivates you, what you are passionate about, what you learned from an experience. As with many things, the more essays you write, the better you ll be at it. Practice with the newspaper by finding a story about an issue that interests you or an activity you have strong feelings about. Write down the first five things that come into your head that would tell someone how you feel. Pick one of those ideas and write the beginning of a personal essay about it. LEARNING STANDARDS: Responding to a variety of written, visual and electronic texts by making connections to students personal lives and the lives of others; writing fluently for multiple purposes. Page 15 Writing Essays Many people have trouble getting started when asked to write a personal essay. Here are two tips. First, remember that people are interested in what you have to say, so say it confidently. Second, don t think of writing an essay as writing. Pretend you have called a friend on your cell phone and he/she asked you about your essay topic. Write down the first four or five things you would say in a phone conversation. These often will be the things most important or interesting to you. And that is how you should start an essay: By stating something that is important or interesting to you. Practice this by reading a story from today s newspaper. Pretend you are calling a friend to tell him/her about the story. Write down the first five things you would say. That could be the start of an essay! LEARNING STANDARD: Reading and writing fluently, speaking confidently, listening and interacting appropriately, viewing critically and representing creatively.

5 Get on Track for College Page 16 Community Work Assistance for college expenses can come from scholarships, grants, loans or work-study opportunities. Scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back; loans do. Work-study programs give students an opportunity to earn money to help pay college costs. The Federal Work-Study program encourages community service work and work related to your field of study. With the newspaper, find an organization or issue in the community that interests you. Write a letter of introduction explaining why you would be a good candidate for a community service job involving this organization or issue. LEARNING STANDARD: Focusing on meaning and communication while listening, speaking, viewing, reading and writing in personal, social, occupational and civic contexts. Page 17 Student Aid Financial aid for college comes from four main sources: the federal government, state governments, colleges and private scholarships. Students may get aid from some, or even all, of the sources they apply to. In the newspaper, find a story about a government or private program that offers financial assistance for college or for other reasons. Write a paragraph summarizing what the program offers, who is eligible and how much assistance is available. Then go online and find a program that offers assistance specifically for college. Again, write out what the program offers, who is eligible and how much assistance is available. LEARNING STANDARDS: Acquiring information from written, visual and electronic sources and then evaluating, organizing and communicating it; using a variety of electronic technologies to assist in accessing and managing information; writing fluently for multiple purposes. Page 18 Timelines For students interested in applying to college, timelines are important. Timelines help you keep track of what you should be doing and when you should be doing it. They make sure you don t miss important deadlines. And they help you make sure you do the things you need to do in each grade to stay on track. Creating useful timelines is a skill you can practice with the newspaper. Find an activity in the news for which you have to prepare in advance, or in several steps. Write a timeline of things you would need to do to be successful at this activity. LEARNING STANDARD: Acquiring information from books, maps, newspapers, data sets and other sources; organizing and presenting the information in graphs, charts and timelines. Page 19 Summer Activities Summer activities and jobs can be important in the process of applying to college. They can give you experiences that make you more attractive to colleges and, of course, they give you the opportunity to make money. Think about what students might do during the summer that might help them get into college. Search the newspaper for jobs and activities students could try on summer vacation. Pick three and write a paragraph for each explaining how it could help in the effort to get into college. LEARNING STANDARDS: Generating questions about issues that affect students or topics about which they are curious; writing fluently for multiple purposes. Page 20 Guidance Questions Guidance counselors play an important part in the process of applying to college. To benefit most from their assistance, students should ask lots of questions. Before you meet with a counselor, make a list of things you want to know or learn about getting into college. With family or friends, talk about the things that are most important to you in making a choice about college or higher learning. Write a short editorial for the newspaper outlining five questions students should ask their guidance counselor when meeting about college. Or display your questions in the form of a public service newspaper ad for students and their families. LEARNING STANDARD: Reading and writing fluently, speaking confidently, listening and interacting appropriately, viewing knowledgeably and representing creatively.

6 Newspaper Activities for Students Page 21 Following Directions Following directions is an important skill when filling out college applications. You need to make sure you give colleges what they need and avoid giving things they don t want or won t consider. Applying for jobs also requires that people follow directions. Find a Help Wanted or employment ad in the newspaper. Write out what people need to do to apply for the job and in what order. Then go to the Internet Web site of the company advertising the job and get more details on what is required. LEARNING STANDARD: Responding to a variety of written, visual and electronic texts by making connections to students personal lives and the lives of others; using technology tools to enhance learning Page 22 Recommendations Letters of recommendation are an important part of an application to college. People who write these letters can help colleges learn what kind of person a student is, how he or she works or gets along with others and what special talents or interests he/she has. Students can help those they ask for letters by providing a summary of activities, accomplishments and topics of interest. Practice making such a summary by finding a newsmaker who interests you in the newspaper. Pretend this person is asking someone for a letter of recommendation. With the newspaper and other resources, make a list of activities, accomplishments and personality traits that might be included in a letter of recommendation. LEARNING STANDARDS: Employing multiple strategies to construct meaning while reading, viewing or creating texts; examples include summarizing, predicting and generating questions. Page 23 Self-Discipline After students send in their college applications in the fall of their senior year, they may feel tempted to slack off. This senioritis can cause problems, because many colleges now check to see if applicants stay committed to doing their best in class right through senior year. This can be particularly important if students are waitlisted at schools they want to attend, or even if they are accepted at schools they like. Some schools have rescinded admission to students who have slacked off. Doing your best all the way through senior year requires self-discipline. So do many careers. Find a career that requires self-discipline in the newspaper. Write a summary of why self-discipline is important in this career and how people maintain it. LEARNING STANDARD: Identifying and explaining how individuals demonstrate good character and personal virtue; acquiring information from multiple sources and then evaluating, organizing and communicating it. Page 24 Listen Well When students and parents sit down to talk about college, it is important that both sides listen carefully to what the other is saying. Applying to college is stressful for both parents and students, and both benefit when they hear and respect each other s concerns. With your family, talk about the listening skills that make conversations effective and useful. Then find a profession in the newspaper for which listening skills are important. Write a paragraph explaining why good listening skills are important to this profession. LEARNING STANDARDS: Reading and writing fluently, speaking confidently, listening and interacting appropriately; responding to written, visual and electronic texts by making connections to students personal lives and the lives of others.

7 Career ABCs Where you apply to college is connected to what kind of career you think you might like. Here s an activity that can be fun and help you learn about possible careers. In pairs or teams, use the newspaper to search the Help Wanted ads, news stories and photos for a job that begins with the letter A. Then search and find one that begins with B, one with C and so on. Keep going until you get to the letter Z. Repeat the activity several times with different editions of the newspaper and try to find different job names and titles. Pick a job that interests you from your list and research it at the library, or online. A. B. N. O. A CT I V IT C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. P. Q. R. S. T. U. V. W. X. Y. Z. Y S H EE T LEARNING STANDARDS: Acquiring information from multiple sources and then evaluating, organizing and communicating it; using technology resources for problem-solving, self-directed learning and extended learning activities.

8 Future Careers A CT I V IT When choosing a college major, you will want to think about what careers will be available in the future. Reading the newspaper regularly can give you a good idea about the important and successful businesses in your area. This will give you clues about what future careers will be popular. Find a story about a local business or industry in today s newspaper. List three reasons the business is making news today. Then list three kinds of jobs people could have if they went to work for this business. Finish by writing a complete sentence stating which of the jobs you would be most interested in having, and why. Reasons this business is making news: Y S H EE Jobs people could get with this business: Job I would be most interested in having: T LEARNING STANDARDS: Using written visual and electronic texts to identify and research issues of importance that confront adolescents, their community, their nation and the world; writing fluently for multiple purposes.

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