How to Use Old Magazines for Interesting Activities in Your Classroom

Old magazines are incredibly effective tools for great exercises. Since they are packed with colored pictures and letters, such visuals are engaging especially for elementary pupils. If you’re wondering how to use old magazines for interesting activities in your classroom, read on. Everyone will love you, promise.

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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How to Use Old Magazines for Interesting Activities in Your Classroom

1) Reading Nook 

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Encourage reading habits

Create a lovely bin or magazine tray and place a number of magazines in your reading nook. The new graphics and illustrations will catch the attention of kids as they are quite different from their storybooks. This is one reason why kids will find the idea engaging. They’ll enjoy turning through them again and time again.

Regardless of how the pages get crumpled, the goal is what students can learn out of flipping and reading in between. Reality-wise, 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) Famous People Discovery 

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) New Words Scouting 

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 happening in your life? It’s time to start 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 for future conversation topics.

girl reading magazine and hand holding page

4) Informational Sessions 

Free vector graphics of Check markObjective: Develop speaking skills

Despite that those magazines are old, one thing remains constant: the significance of informational reading. Ask students to skim through and select the article topic that appeals to them most. Facilitating sessions like this is a practice where both teachers and students share views on a specific topic.

Touching past pieces of information aids pupils in making connections between old and new knowledge. Not only this helps students learn from articles and illustrations 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 to stay on top. Use the power of lovely magazines to thrill their imaginations and be creative in other situations beyond just art papers.

Your students will appreciate the old mag idea as we all get by out of these rough times. Create envelopes, decors, and coasters that you can laminate, or utilize colored pages as gift wrappers.  Your class will be more adept at survival and will gain the skills necessary to make a long fruitful artistic career.

magazine topics6) Creating 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.

You can also write a list of headlines from featured articles and let them choose. If they’re working in groups, each batch then makes an oral summary of the article that they have to report to the rest of the class.

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

Even though old magazines are way past of previous — 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.

Classroom activities that utilize old magazines sharpen their thinking skills and give them the necessary confidence to express themselves better.