Tag Archives: newspapers

Tips for Reading Non-Fiction

Children love to ask questions about the world. Why is the sky blue? How does water turn into ice? Where does electricity come from? The best way for children to find their answers is by reading various forms of non-fiction!


Children will not only learn more about the world; they’ll develop special skills.

In non-fiction, children are exposed to informational text –the same text used in school exams and applications. Early exposure to non-fiction better prepares children for the type of reading and writing they will face in everyday life. Children also learn to understand how language is organized, a skill that will be visible in their own written work! In addition, the many new and rich technical vocabulary children encounter in non-fiction will enhance their speech.


So make sure to keep non-fiction in your child’s life! These tips will help children ease into the process.

skimming0011. Skim the Text

Skimming text before reading can relieve a lot of the pressure a child may face. Glancing at headlines, chapter titles, maps, images, or graphs, allows children to gather clues about what they are going to read and what they can expect. This will better prepare them for the actual text.


Question Mark2. Ask Questions

Have children ask themselves questions before they read the text. This will increase a child’s curiosity about the topic of the reading. Having the questions in a child’s mind as he or she reads will also keep him or her focused on the words and their context.


kid-reading3. Read Aloud

Children should get in the habit of reading out loud. This helps children avoid distractions because they will be paying extra attention to the words. Reading aloud will also help develop a child’s speech skills.


teacher&2kids4. Talk About the Text

When a child is done reading a non-fiction text, talk about it! Discuss something new that they have learned, whether their personal questions were answered, and what they would like to read about next!


With these tips, your children will be ready to tackle any non-fiction texts!


By Gilmarie Brioso

Upset by the News?

Unfortunately, tragedies occur often and your child may be upset by the news. That is okay! Stories in the news can make a child feel sad, angry, or scared. No matter what they are feeling, let your child know that feelings are okay!


The reason a story is in the news is because it is unusual. The events in the news do not happen very often. So, if a story is upsetting, remember children that it is very unlikely that it can happen near them.


The News-O-Matic team has talked to experts about these upsetting feelings. The experts shared the following tips:

Talk to your parents. Tell them if you are worried or upset. Ask them any questions you may have. Moms and dads have a special way to make you feel better.

Talk to your friends. You may learn that other people your age have the same feelings.

Talk to your teachers. Your teacher may want to talk about the story in a class. A class discussion may also help your classmates.

Draw a picture. You can use the drawing tool in the News Room. You can also use pencil and paper. Drawing a picture can help you let go of upset feelings.

Write a story. Write about how you feel. Write any questions you may have. You can keep your story private, or you can read it to someone.

Get the facts. Wrong information can spread upset feelings. News-O-Matic will always tell you the facts of a news story. Ask an adult if you want to know more facts.

Play or exercise. Playing can help you calm down. Go for a run or ride a bike. Blow bubbles.

Read some good news. Read a happy story or a book you love. Balance an upsetting news article with a happy story.

Do something to help! People often work together to help after a tragedy. Tap the “Act” button in an article or ask an adult to see how you can help.




All of the tips were given by News-O-Matic’s child psychologist, Phyllis Ohr. 

News-O-Matic Article of the Week: The 100th Tour de France

The kids have voted! Here’s one of their favorite News-O-Matic articles from last week!


The 100th Tour de France (published in News-O-Matic on Friday, July 5, 2013)
The world famous bike race continues across France.


The Tour de France is the most famous bicycle race in the world. Its name means “Tour of France,” and cyclists ride thousands of miles across the country to compete in the grueling contest.

The riders in this year’s Tour de France its 100th racestarted on June 29 on the French island of Corsica. They have already traveled many hundreds of miles and are now racing across the south part of the country. Throughout the next two weeks, each cyclist must climb mountains and pedal through the French countryside if he wants to have a chance at finishing first in Paris.

The winner from 2012, Bradley Wiggins from Great Britain, isn’t racing this year because he’s hurt. Through the sixth stage of the race (out of 21 stages), Daryl Impey is in the lead. Whoever is in first place gets to wear a special yellow jersey. Impey is the first cyclist from South Africa to ever wear the yellow jersey!

There are 14 days to go, and the course leader changes a lot. Who will win this year? Check back with News-O-Matic to find out!

By Jesse Jarnow


cyclists: bike riders
grueling: hard; tiring
jersey: shirt

Fact: The racers have to ride through two mountain ranges in France: the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Act: Have your own bike race in a park. But like the racers in France, wear a helmet and be careful!


Geography Fun Fact: The famous French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica.


As of the time of the publication of this blog, Christopher Froome from Great Britain is currently ahead in the race.

P4K Recommends: Tips for Reading the Newspaper

Some children find newspapers difficult to read. There is just so much going on! Young readers may wonder: Where do I start? What do I read? How do I know what is important? How long will this take? Overwhelmed, kids often put the newspaper down and walk away forever.

Children shouldn’t shy away from current events. Newspapers help kids become informed citizens and lifelong readers. These simple steps will help any child become a newspaper lover!


Step 1: Skim the Headlines

A headline is the sentence or phrase at the top of an article in a newspaper. It – along with the sub headline – will help kids know a little more about the article.

If a headline intrigues a child, have him or her read the first paragraph or whole article. Make sure they know the story may continue on the inside pages of a printed newspaper.

Step 2: Look at the Pictures

Most articles are accompanied by images. If a child does not understand the headline, have them look at the picture. Photographs tell a story and can give your child many clues to the contents of the article.

Step 3: Pick and Choose

Let children know they do not have to read the entire newspaper! When first reading the newspaper, they can read the stories they find most interesting. As time goes on, you can encourage them to try unfamiliar topics.

Step 4: Ask Questions and Share Ideas

Sometimes a child needs more to feel engaged and stimulated. Ask questions about what they read or share your own thoughts on a news topic.

Step 5: Repeat!

Repeat these steps until your child has read an entire newspaper edition.

These steps are applicable to both print and digital newspapers.

Newspapers on the iPad



By Gilmarie Brioso