Daily News Enhances Students’ Discussion Skills

Anne Johnson‑Oliss

Breaking News Alert!

Breaking News is an exciting feature of our weekly online newspaper, News‑2‑You®. News-2-You helps students with diverse needs connect with events of the day, week, month and year through news and current events articles. Breaking News articles keep subscribers up to date on interesting and necessary world, sports and entertainment news.

Both News‑2‑You weekly editions and Breaking News stories support reading standards for informational text. The Breaking News articles are shorter than the weekly newspaper editions and are presented in two versions. This format allows students to use informational text to enhance their skills in understanding the main idea, as well as in retelling and summarizing.

What are the practical implications of using Breaking News in the classroom each day?

More Informational Text

Breaking stories from world, sports and entertainment news give students a variety of interesting informational content to read, share and discuss. Readers can comment about topics or decide to learn more and seek more information.

More Structure

Using instructional routines in the classroom gives structure to interactions and guidance to activities. Simply choose times in the daily schedule to check for Breaking News articles. Use scripted phrases like, “It’s time for Breaking News!” Or, you can say:

  • “Let’s see what’s happening in world news today.”
  • “Let’s read about what’s happening in sports news today.”
  • “Let’s check out what’s new in entertainment news today.”

More Scripted Language and Instructional Routine

After choosing a Breaking News article to read:

  • Announce the title aloud or ask what it is.
  • Open the article to the Advanced version first so that all students have access to the richest vocabulary and reading experience before shifting to instructional levels.
  • Announce the title again.
  • Ask a scripted question such as, “What do we know about ___________?”
  • Use wait time and stay silent as the students think about a response.
  • Engage in discussion about the responses.

If there’s uncertainty or if students have questions, let them go unanswered until the article is read aloud. Finding the answers to their questions within the article’s informational text can be a fun and rewarding experience for your students. They will gain a clear understanding of the main idea in the article and will be able to join in conversations about it both in the classroom and at home.

About the Author

Anne Johnson-Oliss has spent more than 20 years in the special education field as a teacher, supervisor, sales and marketing professional and business leader. In addition to teaching at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Anne has authored five books and is an experienced presenter at national and international forums. She earned a Master of Education degree from Wright State and holds several certifications in education and business.