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Reading Non-fiction: Analysing a News Article 1

In this worksheet, students answer questions about a news article they have read to show their understanding.

'Reading Non-fiction: Analysing a News Article 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Reading

Curriculum subtopic:  Read in Different Ways for Different Purposes

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

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?

 

 

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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.

 

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Now answer the questions about the article. You can refer back to it at any time by pressing the 'Help' button.

Describe the author's night-time experience as narrated in the first paragraph.

How does the author let us know that she considers herself lucky?

What does the author's comparison of her own experience with the reality of being homeless tell us about a homeless person's night's sleep?


What does the author do to continue the description in the second paragraph? What does this comparison continue to do?

What do we learn in the third paragraph?

What do we learn in the fourth paragraph?

What does the fifth paragraph tell us about the attitude of others towards the homeless?

What happened after the author's walk?

In the final paragraph, how does the author link to the beginning of the article?

What attitudes towards the homeless do we find in the article? You should comment on both the author's and other people's attitudes.

  • Question 1

Describe the author's night-time experience as narrated in the first paragraph.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The author spent the night sleeping rough on the streets (one mark)

The worst thing that happened was that it rained heavily at 4.00 a.m., making the blanket soggy and uncomfortable (two marks)

  • Question 2

How does the author let us know that she considers herself lucky?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
She compares only being rained on favourably to all the other things that can happen to a homeless person sleeping at night (one mark)

These include "muggings, rats, being moved on, someone stealing your precious blanket" (one mark)

  • Question 3

What does the author's comparison of her own experience with the reality of being homeless tell us about a homeless person's night's sleep?


CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
She builds a picture of all the unpleasant disturbances that might occur when sleeping rough (one mark)

This allows us to visualise what it is like to have this experience (one mark)

  • Question 4

What does the author do to continue the description in the second paragraph? What does this comparison continue to do?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The first sentence uses the word "Moreover" to continue the ideas of the previous paragraph (one mark) This is called a linking sentence (one mark)

She continues to explain why she was lucky: it wasn't cold and she slept in a much nicer spot than most homeless people (one mark)

This comparison continues to build a picture of the experience of others sleeping rough (one mark)

  • Question 5

What do we learn in the third paragraph?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
We learn why the author was sleeping rough (one mark) She was taking part in a sponsored sleep-out event for a homelessness charity called 'Street Fighters' in London (one mark)

We are told that the charity provides an outreach service for the homeless, which includes a soup club, breakfast club, buddying group and an in-depth counselling project for those who are most isolated (two marks)

  • Question 6

What do we learn in the fourth paragraph?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
We learn that the event took place to publicise the plight of the homeless in London (one mark)

The charity's director Olive Sands is quoted as stating a rough estimate of numbers as between 350 and 500 but that these figures cannot be accurately confirmed (one mark)

  • Question 7

What does the fifth paragraph tell us about the attitude of others towards the homeless?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
It suggests that local people are very hostile towards the homeless (one mark) by describing how a soup kitchen was forced to close following complaints that had been preceded by a period when dirty water had been thrown out into the street (one mark)
  • Question 8

What happened after the author's walk?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The people involved in the walk were given soup from a soup kitchen (one mark) then left to find somewhere to sleep outside (one mark)
  • Question 9

In the final paragraph, how does the author link to the beginning of the article?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The author links the conclusion of the article with the introduction by referring again to the rain she experienced at 4.00 a.m. (one mark)

The author tells us again that she felt fortunate compared to people who have to sleep on the street every night (one mark)

  • Question 10

What attitudes towards the homeless do we find in the article? You should comment on both the author's and other people's attitudes.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The author is sympathetic to homeless people (one mark)

Some people are hostile towards homeless people (one mark) whilst others, such as the charity workers ,can be sympathetic and try to help the them (one mark)

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