Saturday, February 20, 2016

Teaching Grammar Using Newspaper (Communicative Grammar Teaching)

Newspaper Activity
TOPIC:  Newspaper  making
LEVEL:  secondary
Time: One month
Target language (grammar and vocabulary):
Understanding the Grammar Beyond the News Headlines
Skill in focus:
Writing_ News Report
Secondary skill focus:
Speaking- Presentation
Lesson objectives :
1.     By the end of the project students understand Grammar rules focused in New Headlines and are able to write the news headlines.
2.     By the end of the project students comprehend the layout and design of newspapers and able to make a newspaper of their own.

Teaching Grammar Communivatively

Preliminary considerations:                                                          
What vocabulary/grammar/information/skills do your students already know in relation to today’s lesson? 
•        Ss will already have studied and be familiar with the following:
·       Design and layout of news reports
·       Poster or advertisement making skill

•        Ss will have recently reviewed how the news paper and its items are organized and presented to readers.

Rule to be Observed
Identifies similar news heading
Use present simple tense for past events
1.Parliament confirms new stray dog policy
2.Lion escapes zoo

Leave out auxiliary verbs
1. Temperatures rising as climate changes (temperatures are rising)

Use infinitives for future events
1 Parliament to decide new policy tomorrow
2. President to visit France for further talks.

Leave out articles (a, an, the)
1.Prime Minister hikes Alps for charity (The Prime Minister hiked the Alps)
2.Man releases rabid dog in park (A man released a rabid dog in a park)

Leave out “to say”
Mr. Jones: “They’re not taking my house!”

Replace conjunctions with punctuation
1.Police arrest serial killer – close case on abductions
2.Fire in bakery: hundreds dead

Use figures for numbers

1.9 dead in glue catastrophe
2.7 days to Christmas – shoppers go mad

I have given an old news papers to every group and ask them to prepare news of their own based on activities in their village or school.
I selected this activity because it provides an opportunity for the students to explore the following:
Ø Identifies how the news is organized in a newspaper.
Ø Checks the lay-out of newspaper.
Ø How news in reported i.e. news reporting.
Ø Checks the advertisements
Ø Observes the different news heading.
Ø Content relevant images
Ø Observers the cartoons.
Ø  Observes the  T.V guides
Ø Entertainment pages
Ø  Reads the stories
Ø Solves the puzzles.
Ø Observes the lay-out of each page.
And many more………….

Pre Task: Conducted a brainstorming activity to observe the newspaper and its components, lay-out and design.
Language focus: Look out the news headlines they are incomplete sentences full of action words without helping verbs
Ask the students to select each one a page and observe the components of the page so that the task can be completed collaboratively.
Complete the following Table (Grammar beyond News headings) observing the news paper given to you: Presentation (Grammar focus)
During Task:
Practice :( Grammar focus)
Ask the students to make full length sentences of news headlines with in group.
Production: (Grammar focus-Table supports to finish this activity)
They exchange their news headings with other group (full length sentences) and prepare news heading
Every student in the group should complete one activity all together they have to complete one page; their page must include the following items:
Ø Lay-out (student-1)
Ø Design ( student-2)
Ø 3 or 4 news items ( each student in  group completes one news item)
Ø One advertisement (student-3)
Peer Assessment:
They assess their peers work based on the following rubrics:
Rubrics for News paper Preparation:

Contents of Newspaper
Color and Patterns
Enhance readability
Support the readability
Detract from readability
Creativity enhances the information
Balanced and adequate white spaces
Not balanced and inadequate  white spaces
Graphics and Photos
All graphics are engaging and enhancing the text
Graphics enhance the text
Graphics don’t enhance the text
Titles and sub titles
All text is clear and readable
All text is clear and readable change in size and color enhances the understanding
Frequent change in size and color distracts the understanding
Well written organized, clear and easy to follow
Adequately organized and easy to follow
Poorly  written, not clear and hard to understand
Quality of Information
Description is clear and concise
Description is mostly clear and could be little more concise.
Description in unclear, incomplete and not concise
Grammar (News headlines)
Check  the following
 if it is 100%
Put trick mark
If it 50%
If it is 25%
Use present simple tense for past events

Leave out auxiliary verbs

Use infinitives for future events

Leave out articles (a, an, the)

Leave out “to say”

Replace conjunctions with punctuation

Use figures for numbers

Language focus:
Collect the entire news heading and write them on small slips
  • Pass out one of the headlines to each student. Give them a few minutes to think about the meaning of each headline.
  • Ask students to read their headlines aloud and give an explanation of what they think the article in question concerns.
  • As a class, brainstorm on possible structural meanings behind the "strange" grammar found in headlines

Post Task: After completing the task they have to go for presentation as it should be presented like news reporting in T.V channel.
They should begin like, this is vinay from BBC today’s headlines are……………..

It works well because students are aware of the grammar behind the news headlines with the help of table supplied and they are able to use them in their own news heading and found the real use of language in social context, got an experience of writing newspaper reports, putting proper headings, organization of information, designing of paper and its lay-out etc.