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Newspaper Maker

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By Helen Watts — Editor, Literacy Time PLUS

This interactive text provides an exciting and engaging scaffolding tool for creating the front page of a newspaper. A new film star, BMX bikes and a stunt man’s accident provide the context for the stories.

To use the resource the children must first choose which of three newspapers to write for and then use the materials provided to construct stories in which the readers of their paper would be most interested. Notes, pictures, quotes and a choice of headlines are provided, but the children must choose which to use/which to leave out to write the best, succinct article. Betty Scoop, the editor, is always on hand to provide instructions and advice.


Shared teaching and learning

Before using the resource

Choose a story about a celebrity or a film and, from a range of newspapers, collect and compare the headlines, pictures and captions used. Discuss who the story might be aimed at in different papers, identifying what makes them different.

Previous learning

Make sure the children have: explored a range of newspapers and magazines, looked at headlines, the use of pictures and text in different layouts and how different papers emphasis different aspects of a story; an understanding of the technical language used, such as headline, byline.

Sharing the OSR

  • Once you have entered the resource, click on Betty Scoop to hear the instructions for the challenge. Choose one newspaper to use as a model.
  • Now revisit the instructions, share reading the instructions for the lead story – turning off/down the voice of Betty Scoop.
  • Read together the notes for story A, B and C. Discuss the most appropriate lead story for your chosen newspaper.
  • Ask the children to discuss in pairs:
    • which facts would be most important for the readers of your chosen paper;
    • which quotes would be most interesting or would convey the most useful facts;
    • which picture best compliments the facts they would use;
    • the headline that suits this story in this paper. Will they use one of the suggested headlines or think up one of their own?

Shared writing

  • Model how to turn the notes into sentences. Challenge the children to use the same notes to make very long sentences and then very short sentences. Discuss how you will manage to write the article, when you have limited space.
  • Model writing the article, expanding on some facts and not others. Challenge the children to change the article, expanding different facts. Compare the articles.

Key learning outcomes:

  • To sustain conversation, giving reasons for choices;
  • To identify main points, make notes and shape material;
  • To identify how texts are organised;
  • To explore how different texts appeal to readers;
  • To compose sentences using adjectives, verbs and nouns for precision, clarity and impact;
  • To take different roles – eg reporter, scribe.

Guided and group activities

  • Ask the children to work in pairs to write the other two shorter reports for the same paper.
  • In guided writing, write the lead story for another paper. Focus on appropriate aspects to support children to achieve their targets – for example, word order, the use of connectives, punctuation or cohesion.
  • Set up a company for each newspaper. Produce the front page for each and sell (use role-play money) the papers to a partner class.
  • Set a role play scenario for another event, or use a real event from the school or local community. Give the children the junior reporter prompt sheet below and ask them to collect the facts about the event, in note form (as in the on-screen resource) ready to write up a report. Use these to make further front pages.


Compare the front pages you have made using the on-screen resource:

  • Look at those made for the same paper, discussing their effectiveness for the audience.
  • Look at those written for the three different papers and discuss what devices have been used that would appeal to their audience.


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  4. Naruto >:)
    on 15 March 2012


    I want to have a site where I can make a newspaper online but then print it and I’ve been looking for a while. I know what to write about but I just need something like that, please consider it

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  6. kitty312
    on 26 October 2011


    this will totally help me out! :) lol omg

  7. bailey
    on 8 October 2010

    is it

    is it free to sighn up?

  8. Cherry
    on 30 April 2010


    This information really helped me write a newspaper


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