How to Implement the News Article Analysis Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom
Utilize this teaching method to help learners identify and analyze the key characteristics of the three most common types of news articles: straight news, feature, and opinion. This method helps learners develop their news literacy and critical thinking skills, and it can be used with any article that fits into one of these categories.
It may be an excellent idea to review the characteristics of the three major types of news articles before asking learners to answer the guiding questions below.
- Straight News Article: Straight news articles provide essential information to readers on current events. They usually follow an inverted pyramid format.
- Feature Article: Feature articles cover a topic or person in more depth. They also offer writers more freedom to utilize storytelling strategies or literary devices, and they are often supplemented by visual aids such as photos or illustrations.
- Opinion Article: Unlike the other two areas, which strive to be non-biased, opinion articles allow the writer to take a stance on a particular issue or debate. They are often written by someone outside the field of journalism but an expert on the topic. You may also want to share examples of each type of news article with learners. In small groups, ask learners to identify the category of each piece. Then facilitate a class discussion on how they made their decisions. The questions below provide a format for learners to analyze the key features of each type of news article. You can select which questions learners must answer based on the article you assign.
- What type of news piece is this? What features help you identify it?
- What info does the headline embody? If there are any graphics or illustrations, what information do they give?
- What are the key concepts in the article?
- What is the tone of the article? How do the sentence format, ideas, and writing style add to the sound?
- What kinds of evidence does the author give in the article? In what ways does the evidence support the author’s conclusions?
- How effective is the author’s use of supporting evidence?
Feature Article Questions:
- Describe the setting of the article?
- What details does the author use to describe the setting, storyline, or other themes of the article?
- Do you notice any graphics? How do these visuals enhance the storyline or the author’s point of view?
Opinion Article Questions:
- Who is the author of the article? Is the author credible?
- What are the central contentions of the article?
- Are there any weaknesses in the author’s argument?
- What counter-arguments would you offer to some of the author’s central claims?
What’s Next? Questions:
Use this checklist to help learners determine the significance and perspective of the article. Learners must ask the following questions:
- What questions does this article raise?
- Where can we go to get answers or more information?
- Where can we go to get the other side of the argument?