Substitute Teacher Kit


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What's in the News? (Grades 7-8), Grammar

Introduction

When you substitute teach in a seventh- or eighth-grade class, you can make learning grammar fun by using a newspaper as the foundation for your lesson. Students will not only have an opportunity to review grammar skills, but will also learn about current issues and events. You can use the kit as the foundation for a week's worth of grammar activities, or you can choose just a few.

Classroom Management Tips

Icebreaker
Before class begins, select an interesting or timely newspaper story or editorial.

Make copies of the article and place one on each student's desk.
As students arrive, have them read the article.
After a few minutes, open a class discussion about the article. Encourage lively conversation, allowing students to interject their own ideas and opinions.
After a brief debate, ask students if they read the newspaper each day.
Remind students that the newspaper can be an exciting and thought-provoking source of information. Tell them that they can also use the newspaper to practice and review grammar skills, as they will be doing today.

Stress Reliever
If the class energy level rises too high, give your students an opportunity to relax and read a newspaper for pleasure.

Encourage them to select articles or features they find interesting.
They can look at advertisements, read advice columns, study editorials, solve puzzles, or skim the day's news.
After reading, students can share with the class what they have read.
Encourage them to tell why they selected the sections they did and what they learned.

Transition
If you have a few free minutes, you can challenge students to newspaper grammar searches, such as the following:

Copy a sentence and highlight its subject and predicate.
Find a sentence in the past perfect tense.
Find a sentence that has a subordinate clause. Find the subordinate conjunction.
Find a fact and an opinion in one article.


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