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Home > Blog > Guest Post & Giveaway: Breaking News in the Classroom / Nick Sheridan

Guest Post & Giveaway: Breaking News in the Classroom / Nick Sheridan

We’re delighted to welcome to the blog BBC journalist Nick Sheridan, whose new book Breaking News is out now.


Breaking News aims to help children to navigate the news. It’s never been easier to access the news; TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and endlessly buzzing on to the screens in our pockets. But with more and more news available, it’s hard to know what to trust. Where do stories come from? What’s real news and what’s fake? And what role does social media play in all of this?


Insightful, hands-on, essential and reassuring, Breaking News will help children to navigate the peaks and pitfalls of our modern day news cycle, through laugh-out-loud text, amusing illustration and interactive activities. This is a great choice of book for schools as not only does it explain how news is made, how to spot fake news and what to do if you are feeling overwhelmed but also has lots of practical and fun things that children aged 8 to 12 can do to make their own news stories.


Nick visited our blog this week to explain how to use the book as a classroom resource. Look out for a book giveaway at the end of the post, too…


Guest Post

from Nick Sheridan, author of Breaking News (available here)




Alright, settle down please!


Almost my entire family are teachers – and this has taught me a very important lesson in life: there is no such thing as a book that will make the job easy.


There is no resource that will fulfil the specific needs of every child, or indeed every teacher, or indeed tick every box demanded by the curriculum.


However, I do believe that there are resources that can make teaching particular topics easier. Easier to engage a classroom. Easier to elicit responses from pupils. Easier to encourage independent learning, co-operation within smaller groups and group discussions. Easier to teach.


BREAKING NEWS is a book that is meant to be used in a classroom. It’s a book that’s meant to become dog-eared, annotated and photocopied. It’s designed to be a trusty companion that can be referred to over and over again throughout the academic year – a prism through which students can be encouraged to evaluate and critically analyse the news and current affairs of the day.


COVID-19, the climate crisis, social injustice, poverty, immigration and many other topics demand the attention of young people today – and often it can fall to educators to grapple with the difficult subject matter and make it palatable and relatable to children. Writing BREAKING NEWS, I wanted to put my shoulder to the wheel in that effort.


I spent two years as a reporter and presenter on Ireland’s version of Newsround – “news2day”. For two years I visited four schools a week, discussing current events with pupils and their teachers – packaging up difficult and challenging topics in a way that would engage young people and enthuse them about finding out more. The resources and activities within BREAKING NEWS are inspired by the experiences I had in that role – they are fun, they can be easily adapted to suit different lessons and I’m convinced they achieve positive learning outcomes amongst young people.


Fake news is, obviously, a growing area of concern when it comes to children’s media consumption. But what is often forgotten about, in my opinion, is bad news: news that is true, and is also not very nice. Building and nurturing a healthy pattern for evaluating and understanding upsetting news stories is, in my view, absolutely vital in the modern classroom. And it is here that I also think BREAKING NEWS can be a valuable tool in the teacher’s arsenal. Again, it will not make teaching these topics easy – but through some simple techniques, designed to be taught in a classroom setting, teachers will hopefully feel less alone in the effort to climb this mountain with the students.


This is not a po-faced book, I should hasten to add. This is a resource that teachers should allow themselves to have fun with in the classroom. It can be used as a resource on a rainy Monday morning teaching English, or on a sunny Friday afternoon teaching drama. Make up silly scenarios, give prizes for the funniest fake news story the pupils can write, watch news bloopers – have fun with the book. The more battered and bruised the book is at the end of a school year, the happier I’ll be. News isn’t just read – it’s lived by the people who make it. And it’s my sincere wish that any person, young or old, who reads this book will be inspired to find a place for themselves in the story.


Good luck, and thank you!


Breaking News is available to order from Amazon or




***Book Giveaway***


Thanks to the publishers at Simon & Schuster, we have TEN copies of breaking News to give away.

To enter, follow @booksfortopics on Twitter and RT the giveaway tweet between 8pm Monday 24th January and 11.59 23rd Jan.




Many thanks to Nick for sharing this guest blog post with us.


Breaking News is available to order from Amazon or



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