Newspapers and Reading/Writing


Journalism and books

Josh Stearns explains the educational value of newspapers in the home and lists children’s books on newspapers and media, in his story, “What Do Kids’ Books Teach Us About the Future of Journalism?”

Here’s a favorite quote of mine from his story, “The kids see an interesting picture or headline that captures their attention. It sparks conversation, makes them curious about their community and the world around us. We’ll often go from discussing an article in the paper, to looking up something on YouTube and reading more about it online. So I’m not opposed to screens in any way, but I do appreciate the serendipity and spontaneity the physical paper provides.”

To read more of Stearns’ story, visit:


Real life stories and reviews

An NIE colleague shared a video about a 5-year-old boy who loves to read. He likes animal stories, so he and his mother wrote and illustrated their own book about a family dog, paying tribute to a deceased pet.

The boy also reviews children’s books. Newspapers offer reviews; simple *, **, *** and **** stars show in a glance whether the reviewer rates the play, film, work of music, book or other art as poor, fair, good or excellent. Newspapers publish longer reviews too, in which the reviewers explain what they consider the strengths and weaknesses of a play, film, work of music, book or other art.

Newspapers also encourage storytelling, publishing stories about what matters in individuals’ lives and the life of the community.  Many stories and ads deal with pets and pet care. News stories, told in print and online editions, take the form of photos, text, video, comics, advertising, obituaries and more.

To find out more about a “Book Crazy Boy, 5, a Budding Literary Critic” who cannot explain why he loves books so much, view this video:


Poetry and song

News and information inspire poets! So look for ways to use news to inspire poems and songs. The NC Press Foundation offers poetry lessons, reprinted with permission and developed by Bermuda’s Newspaper in Education program: /poetry-and-news/

The lesson on Haiku (#13) recommends using weather news, but any news report can be used as the basis for haiku. Different types of songs, not just ballads (# 7) can be written to summarize and reflect on news stories. Anyone who encourages writing poetry or music should adapt the lessons, matching the types of poetry and song with news content and the skills and interests of the individuals writing the poems. Some poems are easier to write. For example, acoustics are easier to write than ballads

A recent news story described the work of Dr. Greg Johnson. A report on climate change inspired Dr. Johnson to write haikus. His haikus offer main ideas from the lengthy report, “The Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group, a Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report.”

When you visit the website below, cited in the news story, review information at  end of the site. You will find that “any views expressed in the haikus belong to Dr. Johnson.” The site provides alternative ways to download the haikus for “personal or education use.” You’ll read too that, “in no instance may the work be republished for profit.”

To view the illustrated haikus, visit

OR use the shortened web address provided in the news story:


Prepared on January 22, 2014