6 Great Ways to Use Old Magazines in the Classroom

Recycling old magazines is a profound way to reduce waste. Since they are packed with colored pictures and letters, such visuals are engaging especially for elementary pupils. Here are 6 great ways to use old magazines in the classroom. Trust me, your students will be asking for more.

colored magazines

Since schools are using a range of resources, both high-tech and low-tech; reusing old magazines, newspapers, and periodicals will help students acquire knowledge.

By their very nature, magazines cover a variety of subjects to pique the interest of readers of all ages in an entertaining and engaging fashion. Plus, it offers self-contained learning units that are less intimidating and simpler to understand than the traditional base textbook.


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6 Great Ways to Use Old Magazines in the Classroom

1) It Makes an Engaging Reading Nook 

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Encourage reading habits

Place a unique magazine tray and place a number of magazines on it. The classic graphics and illustrations will catch the attention of kids as they are quite different from their storybooks. Before you realize it, they’re already turning through pages again and time again. You’ve just engaged them!

Regardless of how the pages get crumpled, the goal is what students can learn out of flipping and reading in between. Even we adults can get attracted to reading old mags and periodicals, right? So if it’s good for us, then it is perfect for kids, too.

man in black shorts and black nike soccer ball on green grass field during daytime

2) Students Will Discover More Famous People 

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Increase knowledge of the wider world

Celebrities are not limited to action stars or superheroes but world leaders and personalities. Teens will love this exercise. The objective is to get to know people and their celebrity photos if there are any.

Talk about what these personalities have contributed to humanity. You can even make comparisons using images. If you have photos of the world’s richest man then make it to the story of the day – how he came to be, and the lessons that can be learned from them. Sports celebrities are perfect to motivate learners. Challenge the opinions of your pupils.


3) They Get to Learn New Words 

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Advance vocabulary skills

Even high school students adore flipping pages out of magazines. Grab the opportunity and train them to search for a particular sentence they believe is impactful. For example, “What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you? What do you think is living in a true world? An extraordinary man. The police detective is a young woman. 

Have everybody prepare their word selections and then ask them to tell the class why they chose them. Speaking in front of the class develops speaking skills. This helps you see what types of topics your class is interested in.

girl reading magazine and hand holding page

4) Old Magazines Offer Informational Sessions 

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Develop speaking skills

Even if some journals seem outdated, reading for information still has importance. Students would examine the articles with curiosity and select the one that piqued their attention. By moderating sessions like this one, educators and students can exchange ideas on an old important topic.

Touching past pieces of information aids pupils in making connections between old and new knowledge. Not only this helps students learn from articles of various interests, but also helps them understand and retain things that are part of life.


5) Fun Art Activities

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Cultivate self-expression

Many learners have real creative talents that only need to be reinforced at a young age. Beyond just the typical art papers, use the power of lovely magazines to thrill their imaginations. Your class will appreciate the old mag idea, particularly at these tough times.

Creating a gift bag out of an old magazine means you don’t have to buy gift bags. Why not switch from gift wrappers to colored mag pages? It’s a gorgeous idea! Create envelopes, decors, and coasters that you can laminate. Your class will be more adept at survival and will gain the skills necessary to make a long fruitful artistic career.

magazine topics6) Helps with Creative Writing

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Polish up Communication

All forms of writing help learners communicate better, orally or in writing itself. Cut out a compelling picture from a magazine and glue it to a piece of paper. You can guide them by crafting your own opinion paragraph about the picture that they can choose to agree or disagree with.

They can select from a selection of headlines from prominent stories. If they are working in groups, each batch must then present an oral summary of the article to the class as a whole.

Introduce found poetry. Let students get and copy words and phrases from the magazines and create new verses, passages, and poems out of all of their finds. Display their work in the classroom and let them be proud of their poetic masterpieces.


Why Use Old Magazines in the Classroom?

  • Magazines in general possess high-interest and engaging content
  • Unlike traditional books, mags offer shorter chunks of information
  • Students can practice reading informational texts and articles
  • Students practice close reading and focus on text structures and text features
  • Expand vocabulary and communication skills
  • Students will learn to talk and write about informational or current events
  • Magazines come as a textbook supplement
  • They support media literacy and worldwide knowledge
  • This medium offer differentiated reading levels


Here are other ideas to make activities for learning with magazines before you recycle them. Watch this video.


In Essence

Old magazines are obviously past and previous, but they still carry content that remains as helpful as the dated ones. The only difference is that old means past.

Many adults recall reading print copies of National Geographic, LIFE, or Time magazines as children while at home, in school, or in doctor’s offices. Few K-12 students today have that experience because digital devices are so common and paper subscriptions have been steadily declining. However, we can’t deny how this medium continues to contribute to students’ performance.

Are you ready to involve old magazines and their contents into your classroom activities? Do it now!