Abbreviations and Acronyms in Newspapers

Suggested Grades



Students will learn about and understand the purpose and meaning of common abbreviations and acronyms by examining them in newspapers.


a variety of newspapers
acronym/abbreviation dictionaries (can find this on-line at web site below).
chart paper


  • Ask students to skim throught the newspaper and find acronyms and abbreviations (a good place to look is in the classifieds), and write them down on a piece of paper.
  • Right beside the acronym or abbreviation have students write down what they think the acronym or abbreviation stands for.
  • After they have finished looking through their newspapers, have students get into groups of three or four and share their lists. As a group, have them find out whether their guesses for the acronyms and abbreviations were correct by comparing them with each other, looking at the guides at the beginning of the classifieds/newspapers, and/or looking through acronym/abbreviation dictionaries.
  • Get together as a class and write down all of the abbreviations and acronyms and their definitions that were found on a class chart. Display for future reference.
  • Extension: Copy some classified ads and have students try to decipher them on their own.