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Activity

Read All About It: Neighborhood News

 

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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.
Activity Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

 

What You Need

  • Sample newspapers, in print and online
  • Computer and Internet access (optional)
  • Paper, notebooks, and writing instruments (pens and pencils)

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Here's What To Do

  1. 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.
  2. Find some newspapers that can be shared with the children.
  3. 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?
  4. After talking together, share a newspaper with the group.
  5. 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.
  6. Explain that many reporters write their stories to answer the "5W" questions: who (person), what (thing), where (place), when (time), and why (reason).
  7. Using some of the collected newspapers, look for answers to the 5W questions.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. It will probably take a few days to complete the neighborhood newspaper.
  12. Once the newspaper is completed, make copies to pass around to neighbors - hot off the presses!

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More Ideas To Try

  • 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?

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