In Adam Winkler’s high school English class at Glynn Academy, the students learn to write by example.
A couple of days each week, Winkler hands out copies of The News to his students. He asks them each to read an article and to take note of the writing techniques and structural elements illustrated in each article.
Winkler has participated for several years in the Newspapers in Education program offered by The News, through which Glynn County teachers are given free copies of The News to use however they see fit in the classroom.
“We get the papers on Tuesday and Thursday,” Winkler said. “We use the newspaper to reinforce the lesson we are going over.”
Winkler teaches a reading program called Read 180, and he said the weekly lessons include how to write with colorful details, how to structure an essay and how to string together sequences of events.
And Winkler has found that newspaper articles provide a perfect example for each of these topics.
“We use the newspapers for summarizing our writing,” said Emily Barr, a student in Winkler’s class. “It helps me with the framing of the subject and with writing details.”
When Winkler asks the students to summarize an article in the newspaper, he provides them with an outline that breaks down the writing structure.
“The newspaper articles help us see how to frame our writing,” said Glynn Academy student Inaya Khabir. “It’s improved my writing because it shows me what the writing format is supposed to look like.”
Winkler said the newspaper always includes a story to interest every student, even those who don’t enjoy reading.
“The News has such a such a wide range of stories,” he said. “A lot of the reluctant readers … will read the sports section because they want to keep up with their friends.”
Plus, a newspaper is a bit lighter to carry home than the textbook.
“They always have homework — to read something,” he said. “It’s great.”
The good news for teachers is that there is always an opportunity to begin using newspapers in the classroom. All it takes is a phone call to The News at 265-8320 ext. 356. Summer Whitten would be happy to sign up teachers to get their newspapers twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.