Enquirer-type Newspapers Have Many Uses

Russ Osantowski Carter Elementary
5740 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago IL 60637
(312) 535-0860


This lesson is for 2-12th grades. Using this high interest reading
students will learn about animals, including humans and their care and feeding,
photography and how to make false photos, critical thinking skills, weighing of
evidence skills, research skills, the journalism techniques, citation exactness,
increased judgment and scientific method skills, especially making conclusions.

Materials Needed:

Several Enquirer-type newspapers, especially the Star, Sun, and Weekly
World. Try to read until you find at least one interesting article for the
lesson you wish to teach. Some of these papers have 99% of their articles
about movie stars only. Try for those that have a wide variety of articles.


Photocopy 6 copies of each article that you like. Assign groups of 2, 3 or
4 students to each article. They must read it and report on it for several
integrated (interdisciplinary) purposes. For example, an article and picture
about the (or a) Loch Ness monster being hoisted aboard a Navy ship may convince
some students that this prehistoric animal does exist and that our government
doesn't want us to know about it. A journalism assignment might be for one
student to write out and report on the answers to the journalistic questions of
"Who, What, Why, When, Where and How" as stated in the article. A research
assignment might be to have a student make comparisons as to the features of
dinosaurs as compared to the features shown in the photographs. Another
research assignment might be to compare and graph the number of sightings over
the last 500 years and to create graphs as to the population density so as to
properly weigh the sightings. This could lead to a comparison of time spent in
or near the lake (loch is the Scottish word for lake). Another research project
could be on the invention of the submarine (by a teacher) for use by the United
States Navy, who rejected the invention several times before finally accepting
Another assignment could be to look at the article and to write down the
reasons other investigators gave to show how the witnesses were misreading what
they saw due to light and cloud shadows on the lake, or mistaking a wave going
over a log, etc.
As to the human animal their are many interesting articles, that bear more
scientific inquiry to negate them or to expand them or to verify that their
basic content accomplished what its author claimed in the title. For example in
a recent article about possibly being a shopaholic, which was claimed to being
addicted to alcohol or drugs or nicotine, if a person answers 4 out of 8
questions in the quiz given, the person should seek professional help before
they make things worse by causing their own bankruptcy. An assignment could be
to talk to and interview with written notes the school counselor as to whether
this article seemed sociologically and psychologically sound and why or why not.
If the counselor is a potential shopaholic, then have the school nurse or the
school social worker interviewed.
The possibilities are endless. These short articles have such high reader
interest, even your reluctant readers will finish them and give a report with
high enthusiasm.
Now, feel guilt-free to indulge your urge to buy these magazines. They are
to help your students read and more importantly to think clearer, and in a more
scientific manner - to weigh probabilities and possibilities and to discuss
future courses of action and additional study. Also, they are good for some
humor too.

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