4th Grade - Almanacs, Newspapers And Periodicals

Research and Technology
Almanacs, newspapers and periodicals
Understand the organization of almanacs, newspapers, and periodicals and how to use those print materials. (research - technology)
The ability to identify the structure and organization of various print media, including almanacs, newspapers, and periodicals.

Sample Problems


What is journalism? (the field of journalists, or writers that gather and report news for media)


What is media? (newspapers, magazines, television, radio, etc.)


What is an almanac? (an annually published book of data on a subject – e.g. sports almanac; a year’s calendar with astronomical, event, and anniversary information & dates; a practical “how-to” guidebook on a subject – e.g. a home wine maker’ s almanac)


What is a newspaper? (printed news & current events, with features and advertisements)


What is a periodical? (a magazine or journal published at regular intervals)

Learning Tips


If you can, purchase a Guinness Book of World Records. If that is not possible, browse the ones available at your local library. Think of them as time capsules. They are great ways to look into the past, compare it with the present, and predict the future. Highlight or write down the most interesting details you find to share with others.


Several newspaper and magazine companies also publish almanacs. Obtain copies of a pair, or find them online, and compare the two different media types from the same source. What are the similarities and differences? What are their purposes? Some examples: New York Times & New York Times Almanac, TIME magazine & TIME Almanac with Information Please, Wall Street Journal & Wall Street Journal Almanac, etc.


Gather two or more newspapers from different sources. They can be old or new – it does not matter. Make lists showing the order or organization of the sections. Are they more alike or different? Are there common structures for all newspapers? For example:

Los Angeles Times

Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Front page news






Front page news

Local news (Arkansas)















Make a self collage using clippings from newspapers and periodicals. It can be as small or large as you want. Only use clippings of things you like, or people & words that inspire you, etc. Be creative!


Explore Highlights for Kids online and if possible, compare it with a print copy. Online at http://www.highlightskids.com/default.asp. It is a monthly periodical. What elements does each form of the media keep from month-to-month?

Extra Help Problems


What is a journal? (a printed periodical from an organization or group)


What is organization? (a clear, distinct order)


What is structure? (an arrangement or makeup of something; its basic foundation)


How do you use almanacs? (to find specific historical facts, details, and dates of significant events, people, places, etc.)


How do you use newspapers? (to find out about current events)


How do you use periodicals? (to satisfy particular interests, to learn about concepts, subjects, topics, etc.)


What kinds of almanacs are there? (weather, sports, politics, how-to do or make things, etc.)


What kinds of newspapers are there? (local, regional, national, international; daily, weekly)


What kinds of periodicals are there? (weekly, monthly, quarterly)


What are some examples of almanacs? (Guinness Book of World Records, Farmers’ Almanac, The World Almanac, etc.)


What are some examples of newspapers? (The Onion, Sacramento Bee, New York Times, The Boston Globe, etc.)


What are some examples of periodicals? (Highlights for Kids, Christian Science Monitor, Economist, National Geographic, Time, People Weekly, Readers Digest, Sports Illustrated, Vogue, etc.)


How can you distinguish scholarly periodicals? (


If you wanted to find the weather report for today, what resource would you use? (newspaper)


If you wanted to find the weather report for this same day last year, what resource would you use? (almanac)


If you wanted to read about a particular subject, what resource would you use? (periodical)


Do all newspapers have the same order? (no)


Do all newspapers have the same parts, or components? (no)


Is there a general structure most newspapers follow? (yes)


What is that general structure most newspapers follow? (news on the front page, opinions and features on the inside, sports on the back page)


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