My students love when I bring breaking news stories and current events into my classroom. Here is an example using an article from the New York Times about the Texas State Fair icon Big Tex.
For this lesson, I had students read the article together in their table groups and highlight word referents used in place of his name "Big Tex." Then they brainstormed additional adjectives and nouns that could be used as a replacement. After they had time in their groups, I had them share ideas and I charted them for all to use in their writing.
Depending on your grade level, this activity can be done as a whole group, in small groups, or individually! Add a response to text activity, where students write 3-5 new facts that they learned from their reading while incorporating their new vocabulary.