Newspaper report – The Diamond Theft
3 July 2008
Poster 1 is presented as a newspaper report about the theft of a diamond. It displays typical newspaper features and illustrates the report style of writing. The same news story is also presented as a television news broadcast in On-screen resource 1
Shared learning and teaching
- Discuss what makes ‘news’. Who reads a newspaper or watches the news in the children’s families? What sorts of events are reported in them? Share ideas about why news is interesting, and what makes people want to read it. List features of newspapers that children read.
- Introduce the poster, listing features – eg, headlines, sub-headings, columns, photographs and captions.
- Use the headline to predict the content of the story.
- Invite children to read paragraphs, emphasising use of context for decoding unfamiliar words.
- Analyse the story under headings of Who? What? When? Why? and Where? Ask the children to make notes on the activity sheet as you share ideas.
Children should be aware of the layout of different types of text, including newspapers, and may have discussed the purpose of news reports. They will find previous experience of drama to retell stories useful, and they should be familiar with word processing.
Responding to the text
- Discuss which aspects of the story make it interesting to the public.
- Investigate ways in which the journalist keeps the reader’s interest through use of descriptive vocabulary.
- Discuss how background information and the inclusion of quotes helps to bring the story to life.
- Hotseat the characters to find out more about their feelings. Include police officers, security and household staff, as well as Jasper and Serena.
- Allow the children to question you in role as Chief Superintendent Campbell. Use the role to direct the drama by explaining your suspicions and how you will investigate them.
- Introduce some clues, perhaps pointing specifically to a member of staff. Children could collaborate in this. Invite the children to work in groups, as expert forensic detectives, to develop their own ideas about how the theft was committed and who was involved.
Key learning outcomes:
- To use drama to explore stories, creating roles to show different viewpoints;
- To identify and use the organisational and stylistic features of newspaper writing;
- To use own ideas to write convincing and informative non-fiction texts;
- To develop speed and accuracy when typing.
Group and independent activities
- A story like this could be followed up by a report on the arrest and the recovery of the diamond. In groups, ask the children to decide how and where the jewel is found, and who is arrested.
- Improvise and perform a short role play showing the discovery of the diamond and the arrest of the thief.
- Use clean copies of the activity sheet to prepare a news report concerning the recovery of the diamond.
- Use a word-processing package to draft and edit the news report, using appropriate organisational features to structure it.
- Produce a live news report for television, reporting the solving of the case, with quotes from those involved.
- Share the news reports and evaluate them according to success criteria for written reports.
- Watch the television broadcast version of the news item using On-screen resource 1. Compare the two versions and discuss their similarities and differences.
- Compare this news story with some real newspaper stories. Consider layout, choice of photographs, writing style and choice of subject matter.
- If possible, compare other real news items in written and broadcast formats. Discuss the merits of each, and which the children think are more useful.