Children Love Newspapers

Beth Pinyerd

“Newspaper in Education Week” is this week, March 6 through 10. “The Observer” is “for local people, by local people” which includes children.

Newspapers are truly a “golden egg” of resources and tools to be used in the early childhood classroom as well as by families who have children. 

As a classroom observer, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Opelika City Schools Pre-K Center to delightfully be an adopted “Grandma” to one of the students. The students brought me pure joy as we read together, “Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me” by Eric Carle. 

While in the classroom, the director, Jolene Clark, brought in the newspaper, The Observer, to their teacher, Ms. Richards. She explained to the children that a newspaper shows the news and happenings all around them. The students loved looking at the pictures in the newspaper. She also introduced me as “Classroom Observer.”

I would like to share a few tips on how families and the classroom can use the newspaper to enhance cognitive and developmental skills in children.

Newspapers offer many lessons in language, reading, math, social studies and science.

In the early childhood classroom, we have centers set up that include art, books, blocks, home living center, puzzles and a newspaper center, which includes a table set up with newspaper pages, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, construction paper, stickers, stamps and more. At home, families can have a designated newspaper container or basket with supplies and newspapers to work with. 

I have used the newspaper to cut out different letters of the alphabet for children to identify, cut out and glue on construction paper or cards. Whole words can be cut from the newspaper along with pictures. These can be glued on index cards to be used as sight words in the classroom, home or even when traveling to keep young children occupied.

Children love to look at the pictures in newspapers. Their favorite pictures can be used to write language experience stories to share with their class or families. Children love to read their own stories by showing pictures. Don’t forget the comics section page. Children love to express what they see in their favorite cartoons. 

Newspapers are full of numbers for math lessons. Children can do a “Search a Number” in the newspapers. They can go through the pages pointing, saying and circling the numbers. The grocery store pamphlets, advertising circulars and coupons offer many math lessons. 

Children love to pretend to sell foods in the home living center as a grocery store. Foods and costs can be cut out of the newspaper to put in a pretend store to sell. Include a pretend cashier and pretend customers as part of the role-playing activity. Teachers and parents can oversee this role-playing while young children learn how to count money from newspaper grocery circulars. Children can learn that coupons in the newspapers save money on food. 

Families with young children can have coupon clipping get-togethers as children learn what the items are by pictures and how much each item costs. 

Ann Cipperly shares recipes in The Observer. Different recipes can be measurement lessons using different ingredients in the kitchen. 

Newspapers cover whole communities in Lee County. From a social studies view, children can learn about community functions such as city meetings, community helpers and what they do, citizens contributing to the community, school events, city programs, sports events and state happenings. Adults can glean from our newspaper and share with children what is going on in a way they can understand. The newspaper offers a way for children to learn to appreciate where they live. 

The newspaper comes with magazines such as LIVE Lee, which offers another valuable resource for children to learn about the different happenings in our community. Pictures of homes can be cut out of the real estate magazine to show that Lee County has city life and rural life and that people live in different kinds of homes such as apartments, mobile homes, wooden homes, brick homes and more. 

From the science point of view, weather and seasonal events are covered in the newspaper and can be used to teach children. We see pictures of different animals in the newspaper such as household pets, wild animals in nearby woods, insects, zoo animals and more. These pictures provide valuable resources for the early childhood classroom, as well as for families with children. 

For life lessons, columnists offer many subjects to ponder and share with children on their level. I still remember as a young child how my mother, who was a teacher, would sit down with me and share our local newspaper from cover to cover in a way my young mind could understand. Those lessons she shared with me from our local community newspaper truly stuck in my heart in appreciation of where I live in Lee County, a place for the young and the old. Thank you Observer for continuing to share a newspaper “for local people, by the local people.”

Classroom Observer

Beth Pinyerd 


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