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Activity Sheets KS2 & KS3

Available every Friday during term time, Activity Sheets are printable comprehensions, quizzes, vocabulary puzzles and debates based on the week’s news stories in First News.

Created in three reading levels for KS2 to KS3, our literacy worksheets deliver fully prepared lesson content every week, with the flexibility to assign the most suitable level for whole classes or groups of pupils, supporting you in developing children’s skills in the most applicable way to achieve the best results.

Like the iHub, they encourage children to delve into the detail of news stories and develop their skills around evaluating information and forming reasoned responses.

First News Newspaper with Activity Sheets

ABOUT ACTIVITY SHEETS

COMPREHENSIONS

News reports are ideal for short, focused comprehension or discussion activities. Like authors, journalists play with language, so news ‘stories’ are rich nuggets of text to investigate. Engaging, thought-provoking stories from the newspaper are selected for the news comprehension activities, helping children unpack and understand the often complex ideas and events in a news story.

LEARNING UNDERTAKEN:

  • Builds topical knowledge and understanding of the wider world outside the classroom: linking to other subjects across the curriculum
  • Enhances reading comprehension skills: developing vocabulary in context; identifying facts and opinions; explaining and summarising information; inferring ideas and finding evidence; identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning; identifying themes; understanding writer’s intent

Four stories are selected from the week’s newspaper and simplified for Lower KS2 readers. There is a set of questions for each story to enable discussion, ensure understanding and to develop personal ideas and opinions.

The set of in-depth discussion questions scaffold pupils’ understanding and encourage deeper thinking. Answers are intended to provide a quick reference guide: Suggestions are given for the ‘Expected response’ or ’Starting point’ that pupils could give. The ‘Development’ then gives more in-depth ideas that students can work towards as they develop their reading comprehension skills towards the end of Year 6.

Questions are divided into four sections: A) Find and explain the facts; B) Deduce and infer information; C) Analyse the writing and D) Writing Task. Answers are intended to provide a quick reference guide: Suggestions are given for a starting point for responses that students would be expected to give at the start of KS3. Further suggestions then give fuller, more developed responses that students will work towards by the end of KS3, in preparation for the non-fiction elements of GCSE English language.

PUZZLES

The news puzzles are glossary building activities to develop pupils’ vocabulary and aid their understanding of the news stories. Stories are selected from different sections of the newspaper. Key words and phrases from the article are then explored either as definitions in crossword clues or in missing word and matching-meaning puzzles.

LEARNING UNDERTAKEN:

  • Builds topical knowledge and understanding of the wider world outside the classroom
  • Develops understanding of tricky and subject-specific vocabulary in the context of a topical news story
A simplified version of a story from the week’s newspaper is provided for Lower Key Stage 2 readers. The crossword clues provide definitions of eight words in the news story, which pupils identify to complete the puzzle.

Eight words or phrases from a news article are analysed to develop pupils’ vocabulary and understanding of the story.

A challenging puzzle looking at the definition of words and specialist vocabulary in stories in the news.

QUIZZES

The quizzes focus children to find educationally interesting information from different sections of the week’s newspaper. Pupils will also develop their understanding of the traditions and structure of a newspaper as they identify in which section they are most likely to find the answer to the quiz question. These work well as timed activities with pupils competing to complete the quiz in the fastest time, or to beat their own time from the previous week. A copy of First News is needed to complete the quizzes.

LEARNING UNDERTAKEN:

  • Builds topical knowledge and understanding of the wider world outside the classroom
  • Develops scanning skills to retrieve information
  • Develops understanding of newspaper traditions, for example, newspaper report sections and the role of a lead paragraph in a news report

Study and discuss the four images from the newspaper to identify key vocabulary. Predict what the story might be, then hunt for it in the newspaper to find out the real story. Whole page landscape images are also provided for interactive whiteboards.

Ten questions and eight pictures each week. Pupils use their knowledge of newspaper sections and scanning skills to locate the relevant topical information quickly. Answers provided.

A challenging quiz featuring regular sections: words, pictures, places, people, objects and statistics. Ensures pupils read copies of the newspaper thoroughly, from cover to cover! Answers provided.

DEBATES

Schools across the UK have built a culture of communication by using First News Education’s debate topics as a basis for teaching oracy through classroom discussion, to successfully develop essential speech and communication skills. When pupils have access to reliable facts and context, they are given a platform to understand an issue in-depth, build their points of view and appreciate different perspectives from fellow pupils.

LEARNING UNDERTAKEN

  • Understanding of global issues
  • Confidence in expressing views and forming reasoned, informed opinions In-depth understanding of a topic and personal opinions
  • Skills of listening to, appreciating and respecting other points of view 


Within Activity Sheets, the News Debate is provided as a Level 3 resource on a fortnightly basis.

Within the iHub, the background information is differentiated for Level 1, 2 and 3 readers, with all pupils voting in the same poll. Debate poll results are given both for your school and all schools in the iHub. Debate comments can be read only by pupils within your school, and can be moderated by the teacher.

“I’ve seen so many positives from using the newspaper and reading activities during our Guided Reading sessions, particularly with reluctant readers who enjoyed being able to be in control of what, and where, they started reading the newspaper from.

The stories became great conversation starters and really supported the children in developing their justification and opinion-giving skills”

-Teacher and Reading Leader, Aldersbrook Primary School, London

Prefer to use an online, interactive tool?

The iHub is the most efficient way to engage pupils with interactive comprehensions, vocab puzzles, polls and debates, tailored to each pupil based on the reading level you assign them. With the flexibility to either automate or customise assignments for school or homework, and instant marking on multiple-choice questions the iHub is an invaluable, time-saving tool.

Prefer to use an online, interactive tool?

The iHub is the most efficient way to engage pupils with interactive comprehensions, vocab puzzles, polls and debates, tailored to each pupil based on the reading level you assign them. With the flexibility to either automate or customise assignments for school or homework, and instant marking on multiple-choice questions the iHub is an invaluable, time-saving tool.

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