Building News Literacy
Lessons for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Elementary and Middle Schools
by Tom Bober
January 2021, 160pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7515-1
$45, £34, 39€, A61
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7516-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Makes the case for teaching news literacy to upper-elementary and middle school students.

Every upper-elementary and middle school educator can teach news literacy and connected literacies, including text, visual, graphic, and video literacy, using this book.

This book suggests that news literacy is made up of several other literacies and skills that must not only be explored across the subject areas, but also connected to students’ real-world consuming and sharing habits. A series of lessons, some using technology, lay a foundation for building these multiple literacies and skills. While not meant to be a complete program, the lessons provide a holistic experience and are adaptable to personalize students’ learning.

The author melds strategies for finding and making meaning from information, the multiple literacies that young consumers of news must be familiar with to navigate news and other information, and the digital skills necessary to navigate today’s news options. Whether students encounter news in the firewall-protected classroom or pushed out to them on their phones, the series of lessons encourage them to give pause and ask important questions as they move beyond simply consuming to become critical readers of the news.


  • Understand what news literacy is, how it connects to other literacies, and the need for teaching news literacy in upper-elementary and middle school grades
  • Reflect on areas of instruction, learning objectives, and pedagogical approaches to teaching news literacy
  • Be able to implement and adapt targeted lessons focused on learning objectives that build news literacy and other connected literacies in a variety of upper-elementary and middle school learning environments
Tom Bober is a school librarian, 2018 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, former Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress, blogger of the Picture Books and Primary Sources posts for the American Association of School Librarian's Knowledge Quest blog, and author of Elementary Educator's Guide to Primary Sources: Strategies for Teaching. He works with students and educators to promote the use of historical documents in student learning.


"Practical and user-friendly, with lesson ideas that are ready to implement."—School Library Journal, April 1, 2021

"School librarians and teachers will appreciate this logical and easy-to-implement guide to incorporating news literacy into research and inquiry."—Booklist Online, May 21, 2021
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