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Read All About It: Neighborhood News
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Activity Time||An hour to explore and talk about newspapers, and then several more times together to create the paper.|
- Sample newspapers, in print and online
- Computer and Internet access (optional)
- Paper, notebooks, and writing instruments (pens and pencils)
- Gather a group of children together for a neighborhood project. The children can be the same or similar ages or older children working with younger children.
- Find some newspapers that can be shared with the children.
- Ask them questions to find out how much they already know about newspapers and the news they contain.
- What is news?
- Do you know people who read the newspaper? Do you read the newspaper?
- What can you find in a newspaper?
- Who write the stories in the newspaper? Where do they get the stories they write?
- After talking together, share a newspaper with the group.
- Show some sections of the newspaper and talk about what they are and why they are included:
- Front page - tells the name of the newspaper, where it is from, the date it was published, how much it costs, etc.
- On each page there is a headline, which tells the title of a story in bold type and usually larger than the other writing. There is also a line called a byline that tells who wrote the story or feature.
- News section - events are reported.
- Weather section - documents weather conditions locally and around the country.
- Sports section - reports scores and team information locally and around the country.
- Comics section - collection of comics, cartoons, and sometimes jokes.
- Television guide - lists shows, times and stations.
- Explain that many reporters write their stories to answer the "5W" questions: who (person), what (thing), where (place), when (time), and why (reason).
- Using some of the collected newspapers, look for answers to the 5W questions.
- Now that everyone has spent time looking at and learning about newspapers, share with the group of children that they will be making a newspaper about their neighborhood.
- Talk about the kinds of things they could include in their newspaper:
- A sports article about a kickball game in the park.
- An interview with a neighbor who was in the military.
- Comics drawn by group members.
- Write a review of a local play or performance.
- An announcement about a block party.
- Once decisions have been made about what to include, get writing! The neighborhood newspaper can be handwritten or typed using a document template or the ReadWriteThink Printing Press. Pictures can be added, too - they can be drawings or photographs.
- It will probably take a few days to complete the neighborhood newspaper.
- Once the newspaper is completed, make copies to pass around to neighbors - hot off the presses!
- Have a scavenger hunt using the newspaper. Look for specific things in the newspaper: an advertisement for tires, a grocery circular, a sports team named after an animal, a weather forecast for rain, etc.
- Collect several newspapers that can be cut up. Create a new newspaper by cutting and pasting articles and pictures. They can also make new headlines for articles.
- Compare a print newspaper with an online newspaper. How are they the same? How are they different? Why do you think so?