Bright Ideas Lesson Plans
The third graders dragged themselves off the sweltering basketball court and into the large cool, hallway. The sweat that poured off their faces made them look like they joined the swim team! But it was Olympics Week, and the newspapers were just packed with stories and highlights. And, oh, the pictures! The non-English speaking students pointed excitedly at the pictures of the athletes, then imitated the pose or the facial expression. One student asked if he could read aloud a story about the area residents who were lucky enough to get to go to Athens.
The students didn´t even have to open the newspaper. The front page gave the latest summaries in 3-inch high letters. I asked the students to try to guess what the story would reveal, just from the headlines and the picture. Some romantic and creative stories were shared, and then we read the article to see how close our guesses were.
The newspaper activities also helped satisfy my personal goal of inclusion of my handicapped student. My goal (the words "Ippy Dippy"* will ring a bell with all educators) was to present activities able to be accomplished by mobile and limited mobility students. Our newspaper activities certainly put everyone on a level playing field.
The students were taught how to put the newspaper back together and fold it to carry under their arm. Every day, nearly every student would ask if they might take their newspaper home. One time, I asked what they do with the papers at home. The answers ranged from "show my mom" to "cut out the pictures" to "read the comics."
Fifteen minutes of Olympics-spotting in the newspapers at the end of a 40-minute Physical Education class was just what we needed to cool off from the brutal August sun. Little did the students know they were satisfying a request from higher up to include reading in all curricular areas.
Holly Hill Elementary School