What are the activity types offered?

Engage Printables are produced weekly during term time and include multi-level comprehensions, quizzes, vocabulary puzzles and fortnightly debates based on the week’s latest news stories by First News. Created in three reading levels for KS2 and KS3, Engage Printables deliver fully prepared lesson content. Please see further details explained below for each activity, including the learning undertaken and the range of levels offered.


News reports are ideal for short, focused comprehension or discussion activities. Like authors, journalists play with language, so news ‘stories’ are rich nuggets of text to investigate. Engaging, thought-provoking stories from the newspaper are selected for the news comprehension activities, helping children unpack and understand the often complex ideas and events in a news story.

Builds topical knowledge and understanding of the wider world outside the classroom: linking to other subjects across the curriculum Enhances reading comprehension skills: developing vocabulary in context; identifying facts and opinions; explaining and summarising information; inferring ideas and finding evidence; identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning; identifying themes; understanding writer’s intent


LOWER KS2: Four Stories
Four stories are selected from the week’s newspaper and simplified for Lower KS2 readers. There is a set of questions for each story to enable discussion, ensure understanding and to develop personal ideas and opinions.

UPPER KS2: Look Closer
The set of in-depth discussion questions scaffold pupils’ understanding and encourage deeper thinking. Answers are intended to provide a quick reference guide: Suggestions are given for the ‘Expected response’ or ’Starting point’ that pupils could give. The ‘Development’ then gives more in-depth ideas that students can work towards as they develop their reading comprehension skills towards the end of Year 6.

KS3: Article Analysis
Questions are divided into four sections: A) Find and explain the facts; B) Deduce and infer information; C) Analyse the writing and D) Writing Task. Answers are intended to provide a quick reference guide: Suggestions are given for a starting point for responses that students would be expected to give at the start of KS3. Further suggestions then give fuller, more developed responses that students will work towards by the end of KS3, in preparation for the non-fiction elements of GCSE English language.


The quizzes focus children to find educationally interesting information from different sections of the week’s newspaper. Pupils will also develop their understanding of the traditions and structure of a newspaper as they identify in which section they are most likely to find the answer to the quiz question. These work well as timed activities with pupils competing to complete the quiz in the fastest time, or to beat their own time from the previous week. A copy of First News is needed to complete the quizzes.

LEARNING UNDERTAKEN: Builds topical knowledge and understanding of the wider world outside the classroom Develops scanning skills to retrieve information Develops understanding of newspaper traditions, for example, newspaper report sections and the role of a lead paragraph in a news report


Mystery News
Study and discuss the four images from the newspaper to identify key vocabulary. Predict what the story might be, then hunt for it in the newspaper to find out the real story. Whole page landscape images are also provided for interactive whiteboards.

UPPER KS2: News & Pictures
Ten questions and eight pictures each week. Pupils use their knowledge of newspaper sections and scanning skills to locate the relevant topical information quickly. Answers provided.

KS3: In the Know
A challenging quiz featuring regular sections: words, pictures, places, people, objects and statistics. Ensures pupils read copies of the newspaper thoroughly, from cover to cover! Answers provided.


The news puzzles are glossary building activities to develop pupils’ vocabulary and aid their understanding of the news stories. Stories are selected from different sections of the newspaper. Key words and phrases from the article are then explored either as definitions in crossword clues or in missing word and matching-meaning puzzles.

Builds topical knowledge and understanding of the wider world outside the classroom Develops understanding of tricky and subject-specific vocabulary in the context of a topical news story


: News Puzzle (orange)
A simplified version of a story from the week’s newspaper is provided for Lower Key Stage 2 readers. The crossword clues provide definitions of eight words in the news story, which pupils identify to complete the puzzle.

UPPER KS2: News Puzzle (green)
Eight words or phrases from a news article are analysed to develop pupils’ vocabulary and understanding of the story.

KS3: News Puzzle (blue)
A challenging puzzle looking at the definition of words and specialist vocabulary in stories in the news


News is one of the greatest igniters of debate among children and adults alike. Being able to express one’s voice and listen to those of others is an essential skill at every stage of our lives. Schools across the UK have built a culture of communication by using First News Education’s debate topics as a basis for teaching oracy through classroom discussion, to successfully develop essential speech and communication skills. When pupils have access to reliable facts and context, they are given a platform to understand an issue in-depth, build their points of view and appreciate different perspectives from fellow pupils.

Develops: Understanding of global issues Confidence in expressing views and forming reasoned, informed opinions In-depth understanding of a topic and personal opinions Skills of listening to, appreciating and respecting other points of view.


KS3: In Engage Printables, the News Debate is only provided as a Level 3 resource on a fortnightly basis.