Fun with Newspaper Headlines

by Lynne Hand

Instructions to the English teacher

Newspaper headlines are another fun way to promote discussion and develop reading skills. They often use a play on words along with idioms or puns that at first glance has little to do with the article. Obviously you have to use your discretion as to what stories to use.

Here are three ways I have used them in the classroom:-

Cut out some obscure headlines and write a summary of each of the stories. Hand out or write out the headlines and the summaries. Ask the students to match the headline to the story. You can expand this by then reading the original newspaper article in class.

Get the students to read a short article without a headline.  Discuss the story going over any tricky vocabulary and then ask the students to write a headline - this can be done in groups. Discuss their headlines and then compare them with the ones that are in the newspaper.

Hand out some headlines to the students (again group work is ideal). Ask the students to think up a story that would fit the headline. Discuss their stories going over any problems that arise and then compare them with the ones that are in the newspaper.

Source of headlines and stories:-

The Sun is a tabloid newspaper - so not to be taken too seriously, but they have lots of headlines that are truly obscure.

Headline = Way to glow | Summary = Jennifer Aniston looks really lovely at an awards ceremony.

The Guardian is a more serious newspaper, but still can't resist the occasional pun. For example:-

Headline = Boys don't cry | Summary = An alarming number of men suffer mental health problems, but most are too 'macho' to seek help,

We regularly feature some more weird and wonderful English headlines in the English in Use section.

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