- Develop language, literacy, social, and motor skills
- Learn about the different parts of a newspaper, types of information found in a newspaper and how writing is developed for a newspaper
- Create a class newspaper
- Whiteboard or chart paper and markers
- Several copies of a local newspaper that will appeal to children (one that includes sports, comics, photographs, and advertisements)
- White drawing paper
- Markers, crayons, and pencils
- Alphabet stamps (upper- and lowercase letters) and pads
- Bookbinding materials (stapler, hole punch, and binder rings or string)
Step 1: Introduce the activity with a discussion to find out what children already know about newspapers. Ask them: Why do people read newspapers? What type of information is found in a newspaper? Create a language experience chart to record their comments.
Step 2: Divide the class into small groups and give each group a copy of the same newspaper. Hold up a newspaper and discuss the different parts of a newspaper with them. Show them the front page and have them locate the name of the newspaper and the date. Discuss the concept of a "headline" and ask them to notice how many headlines and articles appear on each page.
Step 3: Ask questions to help them understand why newspapers are important. Did the information in the newspaper happen recently or did it happen a long time ago? How do the headlines differ from advertisements? Talk to them about the types of jobs people have who help make the newspaper including reporters, editors, photographers, and printers.
Step 4: Now, invite children to work together to create a classroom newspaper. Invite them to think of a name for their newspaper. Ask them to think about the different types of information that they can report on like school events, class birthdays, a new classmate, or a new baby. Some children may want to create comic, book review, sports, or movie pages. Assist them in choosing sections that they will be responsible for writing or drawing.
Step 5: Meet with children in small groups to assist them in planning their sections and gathering their information. Children may need to refer to local newspapers or Internet sites to gather some of their information (for instance, about weather or children's films or television programs). Some children may need assistance in developing and conducting interviews to obtain newsworthy information. Children can use drawings or photography to depict current events such as a great block-building project, new staff member, or new baby in a classmate's family.
Step 6: Provide children with art and writing materials to develop their newspaper. Assist them in developing the layout for their newspaper and work with them to edit their final articles or advertisements. Have the "printers" make enough copies for each child in the classroom. Deliver the paper during group time and invite everyone to read together.
Make a Comic Strip
Choose a few comic strips to share with the class. Make enough copies of the comics for each child. Engage children in a discussion about comics and encourage them to notice how the dialogue is written and how the action changes in each frame. Now, invite the class to create their own, comic strip. They can create a comic about a fictional character or they can feature themselves, family members, or friends.
Visit a Publisher
Plan a class trip to a local newspaper to meet the people associated with the production of a newspaper. The trip can be planned prior to or during the development of the children's class newspaper. Children can plan their questions, take photographs, and develop a book or display to document their trip.