Teachers can get newspaper activities online

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The HSPA Foundation’s annual Newspaper in Education tabloid for teachers has a Web focus this year.

A four-page publication refers teachers to websites where they can download dozens of classroom activities that use the newspaper as a textbook.

The activities, available at www.hspafoundation.org and www.indianareads.org, are sorted by category and grade level for easy access by teachers. Indiana Academic Standards in English, social studies and other subjects for kindergarten through Grade 12 are included with the worksheets.

“Each activity targets a specific grade cluster but offers adaptations for all grade levels,” said Karen T. Braeckel, HSPA Foundation director. “All activities are matched to specific state standards to make lesson planning easier for teachers.”

In the past, Newspaper in Education activities have been printed in an annual NIE tab, making for a larger publication. Putting the activities online offers cost-savings for HSPA Foundation and Indiana State Reading Association, which split printing fees.

“The cost of producing the Newspaper in Education tab and mailing it to all ISRA members and other professional organizations became prohibitive,” Braeckel said. “Now teachers can go directly to the HSPA Foundation or the ISRA websites and download the materials.”

This year’s four-page tab packs in plenty of information teachers can use.

The First Amendment is a focus, as are ways students benefit when they learn about their rights to free speech, press, religion and assembly from an early age, Braeckel said.

Organizers hope the Web-accessible activities encourage the use of newspapers in classrooms.

“Newspapers are the only textbooks that are updated daily,” Braeckel said. “Our country and our students benefit when the next generation learns about the First Amendment.”

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