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Language Arts - Journalism

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Keywords: News Article Format, Writing, Journalism
Subject(s): Writing, Technology, English/Language Arts, Journalism
Grade 7
School: Kane Area Middle School, Kane, PA
Planned By: Jeannine Kloss
Original Author: Jeannine Kloss, Kane
1. Share online newspapers via SMART Board to stimulate background knowledge of news articles.


2.Prompt discussion: What do you notice about the format of the news articles in all three papers? How do you think the information for each article was obtained?

3. Stimulate five Ws recall. Use the following site to display a five Ws chart to reinforce their responses.

4.As an example, show students how to answer the five Ws by using the popular rhyme, Jack and Jill. Write these responses on the board.

Who? Jack and Jill
What? Fell down and broke crown
Where? On a hill
When? Sometime in the past
Why? Trying to fetch water

5. Explain how news articles are written in an inverted pyramid format with the most important information at the top of the article.

Five Ws
3 other details
1 final detail

Use this site to share the inverted pyramid diagram on the SMART Board.

6.Use the following site to read Bad Fall Injures Children, which uses the five Ws recorded earlier regarding Jack and Jill. Point out five Ws and pyramid format.

7.Students will choose an article from an online newspaper and compare it to the inverted pyramid format.

8. Student will fill out a Newspaper Article Format form, which outlines the inverted pyramid format. See link below for form.

9.Once form is completed, students will share results with a partner. Did the article follow the inverted pyramid format? If not, how was it different?

10. Students will select a Mother Goose nursery rhyme from a web link provided.

11. Using a Newspaper Article Format form, students will locate the five Ws and other details. See link below for form.

12.Once the form is complete, students will use the information gathered to write an article about their selected nursery rhyme. The inverted pyramid format must be applied in writing the article.

13. Finished articles will be shared with the class.

Ideas and materials for this lesson plan were adopted from the following online lessons:


Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students could write news articles from other content areas to be printed in a class newsletter. Example: What's Happening in Science 7?
Print weekly or monthly newsletters. Have students post a podcast on the teacher's site, which delivers the news in audio.
Materials: English/Language Arts