Reading News Articles

I must say we are sometimes caught in an awkward role.

We are not the students’ school teachers nor their parents. We provide supplementary classes for primary school children who may need an extra boost in their studies.

However, I believe we have a greater responsibility than that. Besides helping students improve their academic studies, we want to educate the younger generation too.

That’s the reason why we spend time on weekends doing this thing we love.

So, I took upon myself to add value in my classes. I try to educate my students with weekly newspaper articles. This week, for my students from P1-6, I gave them articles (with varying difficulty) about the #MH17 incident.


1. It is important to keep abreast of the latest current affairs, no matter how old you are.
2. We don’t want our children to grow up to be apathetic adults.
3. It boosts their interest in English when we read about current issues. A parent told me her P1 daughter was happily reading the article after class.
4. It helps to improve their English. For my upper Primary students, they read articles from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal so they get to learn the good prose from the experts. The lower Primary students get a simpler version of the story but new vocabularies are introduced.
5. Understanding history is important. I gave a quick history class on the Soviet Union and why Ukraine and Russia are fighting. It may not be in detail but I want them to have a sense of what’s happening.
6. I want to help them get a head start for their GP at the ‘A’ Levels. It may be many years later before they take the exam but having general knowledge never hurts. In fact, it’s pretty impressive.
7. I want to teach them to be empathetic. This incident is so close to home and we must learn to feel for others and appreciate the good fortune we have.

The very unfortunate #MH17 incident may be a bit heavy for Primary school children but I think it’s essential for them to be aware of the biggest piece of news and one of the worst catastrophes this year. If your child is not in my class, do have a chat with them about the news too.