The key to journalism is asking questions. Students care about what's going on in their school. Developing a classroom newspaper begins by asking students what they already know and what they'd like to learn more about. 

Generating Story Ideas

When creating a class newspaper, it’s important to keep your readers’ interests in mind. As you brainstorm and assign stories, you should always ask yourself these two simple questions:

  • What do students at my school want to read about?
  • What stories would grab and hold their attention?

Follow these easy steps and you’ll be fast on your way to creating a first-rate paper.

Step 1: Make a list of 10 hot topics at your school. When putting together your list, make sure to pick issues your fellow students care about the most.

Examples:

  • Cafeteria food quality
  • Gym class requirement
  • The honor code
  • The dress code
  • Class elections
  • The school play
  • The spelling bee
  • After school programs
  • Profiles on star teachers
  • Profiles on star students
  • Interview with principal

Step 2: Make a list of at least five hot topics in the news today. When putting together your list, you may want to look at the Scholastic Kids Press Corps homepage for ideas.

General examples:

  • Latest kid-friendly books or movies
  • Elections
  • Politics
  • Sports
  • International news
  • Weather news
  • National news
  • Heroes in the news

Step 3: Talk to your student reporters. Find out what their interests and strengths are. On a blackboard, make a roster of your student reporters’ names and their specialties.

Example:

Reporter's Name Interests/Specialties
Joe Sports
Jane School Lunch
Jason Weather
Jennifer Politics

Step 4: Now it's time to assign stories. Keep your reporters' interests and strengths in mind when choosing which ones to assign. Next to each name on your roster, assign a story from your lists of topics.

Example:

Reporter's Name Interests/Specialties
Joe Sports: Soccer tournament
Jane School Lunch: A day in the life of a cafeteria worker
Jason Weather: Hurricane Season
Jennifer Politics: Interview School Bd. Pres

Step 5: Give your reporters a firm deadline and stick to it.

Example:

All stories are due on my desk on October 1st by 2 p.m.