Reading Non-fiction: News Articles
In an English exam you may need to read and answer questions on a news article. We are going to look at an article and then practise analysis of its contents in this worksheet.
Read the article until you feel that you have fully understood it.
The article is about an event. While you are reading think about the following pieces of information about the event:
- What happened?
- Where did it happen?
- Who is involved?
- Why did it happen?
- What did people think about it?
- What is the author's attitude to the topic?
Life on the Streets
Caption: A journalist spends a night sleeping on the street in London to support the homeless charity Street Fighters.
After sleeping rough overnight with a blanket, I thought that I was lucky. The worst thing that happened was discovering after a downpour at 4.00 a.m. that a soggy blanket does not keep you warm. However, when I compared this with all the other possible homeless sleepover disturbances that could have happened – muggings, rats, being moved on, someone stealing your precious blanket - I realised that I’d got off lightly. Simple rain was tolerable.
Moreover, it wasn’t cold that night. As I went to sleep sometime after 12 a.m. I was glad to be sleeping on a relatively comfy bench in a park in the centre of London. It felt safe compared to shop doorways or cramped telephone boxes, the usual places that homeless people are forced to choose at night in a UK city.
100 people had volunteered to sleep outside for the night in August to fundraise for the London-based charity Street Fighters. The charity works amongst the homeless providing a soup kitchen, breakfast club, buddying group and an in-depth counselling project for those most alienated or whom the system has failed.
Street Fighters held the event to promote appreciation of the plight of the homeless in London. CEO Olive Sands estimates the number aided by the charity at around 350 to 500, although in a large city the true quantity of citizens sleeping rough cannot be known.
We gathered at Hyde Park around 11p.m. On a near midnight walk through the city centre Olive showed us places most familiar to those sleeping rough. One where Street Fighters once provided soup kitchen facilities, near a large railway station, had to be abandoned after locals complaints forced its closure following a campaign of throwing dirty water out onto the street.
After a rough sleeper’s midnight feast of hot chicken soup from a soup kitchen we were left to find our own way to settle down for a night’s sleep in the middle of the capital city of England.
The worst moment of my rough sleepover was the downpour at 4 a.m. However, I only spent one night under a soggy blanket. All the participants fully realised that our experience was nothing compared to that of the hundreds of people forced to spend every night on the streets.
Now answer the questions about the article. You can refer back to it at any time by pressing the 'Help' button.