What's in the News? Sub Kit (Grades 7-8)

Use this substitute teacher kit for grades 7-8 that helps teach grammar by having students use a newspaper.
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Grammar Hunt
Materials: newspapers, What's In the News? Activities
Give pairs of students a newspaper or a section of a newspaper.

Tell students they will be using the newspaper for a grammar scavenger hunt.
Pass out the What's In the News? Activities and read the rules.
Review the grammatical elements in the chart and provide examples. You may wish to have students use their grammar textbooks as references.
Have pairs search for about 20 minutes. Be sure to assist students when necessary.
At the end of the hunt, have pairs total their points. If possible, provide a small reward for the winners.
Encourage students to share the examples of each grammatical element they found.
You may wish to provide additional rewards for teams that found especially difficult or unique examples.

The Proofers
Materials: newspapers, highlighting pens
Tell students that the newspaper is carefully proofread before it is printed. Explain, however, that even the best proofreaders occasionally make mistakes.

Give each student one or more articles, preferably ones that have grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.
Instruct students to proofread their articles, asking questions such as:
   – Do all sentences have a subject and a verb?
   – Do all subjects and verbs agree?
   – Are possessives used correctly?
   – Is there an antecedent for every pronoun?
   – Are there any unnecessary or confusing shifts in tense?
   – Are all words spelled correctly?
   – Are all sentences punctuated properly?
Have students gather in groups to decide how to correct the mistakes.

Materials: newspapers
If your students need practice diagramming sentences, direct their attention to the front page of a newspaper.

Select the lead sentence in one of the stories.
Write the sentence on the board, and model diagramming as appropriate.
Have students gather in pairs and select their own sentences from the newspaper to diagram.
If necessary, use appropriate pages in a grammar textbook to review diagramming.
Walk around the class, guiding and prompting students as needed.

Mixed-Up Articles
Materials: newspapers
Invite students to play Mixed-Up Articles, a variation of the popular fill-in-the-part-of-speech game.

Ask each student to copy the first two paragraphs of a newspaper article on a sheet of lined paper. Be sure they are using pencils.
Have students erase a word from each sentence and draw a write-on line in its place. Then have them write the part of speech of the erased word below the write-on line. Encourage students to erase words that represent a variety of parts of speech.
Ask students to work in pairs. The first student should read the missing parts of speech and ask the other student to provide words.
Once the words are inserted, the first student should read it aloud. Students can then switch places.
Encourage students to share their funniest mixed-up articles with the class.
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