Newspaper Review Unit
This unit is suitable for grades 7-11. I used it with a group of grade 10
basic students. These are students who have trouble with math and require
extra attention on reading and basic facts.
- To review many different mathematical skills
- To work on a unit that connects with the "real world"
- To improve reading for information skills
- Either a special section of a paper, an article, a pamphlet or
a Web site.
Many important events have special sections devoted to them. I used a section
of the Toronto Star put out to celebrate the opening of our Skydome stadium.
(I called the paper the day it came out and they gladly gave me enough copies
for my class of 20 students. This meant that each student had a real paper to
read instead of a photocopy.)
- A set of questions made up for the section or other source.
It took me about an hour to write 50 questions on the section. I helped the
students by organizing the questions by page; i.e., they knew that a certain
question referred to page 4 or page 6. The answers were either in the Skydome
special section or could be worked out using it.
We spent a week working on the set of questions I devised. Some involved only
looking up the answer, while others required them to use mathematical skills
they had learned.
Here are some examples:
- What is the lowest price for a seat in Skydome?
- How many hotel rooms overlook the field?
- Season ticket sales for Argo games is 27 000 so far. This is an
increase of 50% over last season. How many season tickets were sold last
- How long does the roof take to open manually? by computer?
- What is the degree of slope of the upper seats? Use a protractor
and illustrate this slope.
- How many pages are in this section? How large are they? If the
Star has a circulation of approximately 600 000, how many square metres of
newsprint were needed to print just this section?
Evaluation and Assessment
The students worked at the questions in pairs each day and were expected to
hand in the completed assignment of 50 questions by the end of the week. Most
found it very challenging since they have trouble reading for information, but
they were enthusiastic and on task throughout.
I graded this as a project worth 25 marks out of a term total of 300 marks.
They were marked as follows:10-class work (on task, working well with partner,
trying before asking for help), 5-completion of questions, 5-correct answers,
It was very strange to be in a classroom with 20 students reading the paper
for a week, but it provided many opportunities for discussion. We certainly
learned a lot about Skydome but also about newsprint, lights, artificial turf,
hot dogs....and of course Math!
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18 July 1995