ESL Activities that Use Newspaper Articles – Part 1

Articles from a newspaper or magazine are a fantastic way to get ESL students to speak. They’re full of recent and interesting news. Here’s a list of three activities you can use to get started. Feel free to adapt them to your needs.


For this activity, choose several articles from a newspaper or magazine. Make sure they’re about recent news. Cut the headlines from the articles. Mix up the articles and headlines and place them in the center of a table or desk. Ask participants to match the articles with the headlines. Once all articles and headlines have been correctly matched, choose one of the articles and its headline and start up a conversation about the story of the article.


Tell students they’re going to be placing an ad in the newspaper to sell a house. Get them to agree on the characteristics of the house. Break students up into subgroups of two people and have them write up their ads. Go around the class and answer any questions students might have. After all students have finished, get them to pass their ads around the whole group so that every subgroup has the chance to read at least two or three ads from other students. Choose two or three of the better ads and go over them in front of the class. Explain why you chose the ads.


Pick out several advertisements from a magazine or newspaper. They could be about news and/or pertain to the selling of a product or service. Make copies of them and distribute one of each to every student. Go over each ad one by one with students and get them to analyze the meaning of each advertisement. Invite students to comment if they feel the advertisements were successful or not.


Here is a link to find all the latest news to use with your EFL/ESL classes. It contains links to the top 100 US Newspapers.

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