Newspapers in the Classroom

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If you have students who love to write stories, draw pictures and organize information, why not create a classroom newspaper?

By Andrea Mulder-Slater

Newspapers are fun way to keep track of events at your school – specifically in your classroom – and creating one from scratch will help your students understand how real newspapers are put together.

Read on and before you know it, your classroom will be all abuzz with ideas, charts, letters, articles and pictures.

First of all, decide who is going to work on what section of the newspaper. Why not assign or have students choose a specific theme? For example, one group could handle the Sports section. Another could take care of the Arts and yet another group could concentrate on The Great Outdoors, Weather and even Classifieds. All students should have some say as to which News Stories will be included.

You could center your newspaper around a special holiday – like Martin Luther King Day or even Valentine’s Day. Articles that deal with a specific event are called features.

Next, before you begin any work, its a good idea to have a look at a few different examples. Collect some from home, or find them at your local or school library. As you are reading through your newspapers, take note of what sections you see. How long are the articles? How many photos are there? Are any illustrations or drawings included on the pages? Keep a notebook of what parts of the newspaper appeal to you the most (crosswords, quizzes, opinion pieces, columns, interviews, jokes, etc.) These are the areas you will concentrate on in your classroom newspaper.

Keep track of your ideas by separating them into sections, much the same as a real paper is in sections. Do you want a sports section? An arts page? A science column? These are the things you need to decide. If the newspapers you have are old and no longer being used by anyone, cut some of your favorite sections and pictures out. They will come in very handy later on.

One really wonderful way to decide what kind of feeling your newspaper will have, is to carry out a survey, either in the classroom proper or the entire school. Questions you could ask include, What do you like reading about? Do you prefer pictures or stories? and What do you like best in the newspapers you read?

When you are set with your ideas, you will have to think about the next steps which include actually putting the newspaper together and distributing it to your readers.

Decisions to be made include:

  • How many pages will your newspaper have?
  • Who will write the articles?
  • Who will draw the pictures and/or take the photos?
  • How many articles, news stories, crosswords etc. will the newspaper have?

Helpful Resources:

American Press Institute – Creating a Classroom Newspaper

Make a Classroom Newspaper

How Newspapers Work

Newspapers in Education.

On your marks, get set, get a newspaper together…