During my block experience, my first lesson plan was created around a magazine article. My mentor teacher uses Scope magazines frequently throughout her units as supplementary reading material.
I hadn’t thought much about using magazines in the classroom before this experience. But why shouldn’t we use magazines? They’re a wonderful nonfiction text written in a very unique style and often supplemented with visual media. While Scope is written specifically to be used within a classroom, other magazines would serve as excellent nonfiction texts as well. Some popular, school appropriate magazines include:
- People Magazine
- Times Magazine
- Sports Illustrated
- National Geographic
- Reader’s Digest
What are some magazine that you have read? Are you subscribed to any magazines now? Have you ever considered using them in your future classrooms?
Non Fiction in the Common Core
Common core has placed a large emphasis on using informational texts in reading. The purpose of a magazine is to inform, entertain, and persuade. This makes magazines a perfect printed material to use in the classroom. Magazines are an great way to teach students how to recognize and read publishing features such as captions, headers, illustrations, bold words, timelines, word boxes, footnotes, etc.
They are also a great resource to use in order to analyze the author’s choice of style and information. You could create a whole unit on writing a magazine article and analyzing all of the pieces that go into creating an effective story.
Scholastic goes into much more detail on using magazines in the classroom in this article.
Have you ever considered using classroom magazines in your classrooms? What are the benefits or drawbacks of using magazines versus newspapers?
Drawing Students In
When talking to students about non fiction literature, many students will immediately think essays and boring biographies or maybe long text book passages. Students are probably familiar with newspapers and magazines, but they may not realize that they are informative nonfiction texts.
Magazines use current events and vivid images to entice readers into picking up a copy. Even the covers use bright lettering and strong images that draw the eye to them.
These same factors will likely make a student more engaged with the text as they read. We as teachers can make connections between what we are reading and current events to make the content more meaningful for our students.
What makes you choose which magazine to read? This is something we should consider when choosing magazines for our students.
Finding Magazines for the Classroom
One of the great things about using magazines in the classroom is how easy it is to get your hands on them. You can make photo copies of magazines you bring from home, ask community business to give you their old copies when they are done with them, or get discounts on bulk orders of magazines, especially for classroom magazines. Magazines can also be incorporated into your classroom library so students can read them independently.