September 14th, 2022

Middle School Resource: Classroom Idea: Newspapers in Math Education

Middle School Resource

Classroom Idea: Newspapers in Math Education


A leading newspaper stated that the majority of the information it contains is in the form of advertisements. To investigate this, distribute copies of the local newspaper to student groups. Have the students reach a consensus on their definition of “news” and on general headings to be used to categorize newspaper content, e.g., sports, entertainment. Using transparent grid sheets as overlays, students can estimate the total area of a newspaper page, excluding margins, and determine the area of each category of their assigned pages. Students then express the area of the article in relation to the area of the page as a fraction and decimal. The class then records all findings. The total area of each of the categories is computed. These totals are compared to the total number of pages. On the basis of this data, students decide how much of the newspaper is really news.

Related NY State Academic Standards: 5.NF.3, 6.RP.3.c, 6.G.1, and more!

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