Saturday, March 5

Newspaper Mini-Unit

Alright, y'all. So, earlier this month my Firsties and I did a little newspaper mini-unit.  To be honest, I wasn't at all sure how it was going to go down, but they LOVED it.  So, I thought I would share. Hope it helps you!!!!!!!!!! 

We began our unit as I begin all of my units- with a KWL chart.  And let me tell you, the kids cracked me up with their "prior knowledge" about newspapers.  For example, did you know that, "Newspapers can tell you there are cool pants you can buy at Old Navy?????"  Direct quote. HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

After making our KWL chart, we dove into all things newspapers. Manufacturing, sections, writing headlines, newspaper funding, jobs at newspapers, ads, etc. and so forth.

Here are some of the activities I used:


So, I'm always astounded by the sheer number of people it takes to publish a newspaper. And, the talent it takes to fill all of the jobs at a paper is soooooo diverse. So, the kiddos and I spent some time talking about the various jobs available at a paper (editor, journalist, sports writers\, cartoonist, etc.)  Then, after talking a bit about each job and the talents that would be required, I had the kids apply for a job at the newspaper. They had to list the job they were applying for and give reasons why they would be good at it. Of course all of my boys wanted to be Sports Writers. Go figure....

Hire Me, Mr. Editor!
(Click the picture preview to download)


Throughout out unit we spent a lot of time talking about the diversity of information that's present in a newspaper. The kids were amazed to learn that papers give so much information about so many topics- sales, world events, sports, etc.  And, they thought it was FABULOUS that the newspaper also has games! Ha!!!!!

After surveying all of the information you can find in the newspaper, we discussed how editors organize all of the articles in the newspaper into sections by topic. To give the kiddos practice "being an editor" I made this reading center.  Kids read the headlines, and decide which section of the paper the article would be found in.

Hot Off the Press Headlines
(Click the picture preview to download)


The culminating activity for our unit was writing our own newspapers of course so we used this activity to practice writing headlines before writing the headlines for our own stories.

Extra, Extra! Read All About It!
I Can Write Headlines!
 (Click the picture preview to download)

At the end of our Newspaper Unit, we were privileged enough to tour our local newspaper's press building, The Kansas City. It was FABULOUS!  If you have a newspaper in town, you should DEFINITELY take a field trip to tour their presses. It is so worth it and the best part is that most newspapers offer the tour for FREE. Pure Awesomeness.


To prepare my kiddos for the Kansas City Star tour, we spent a couple of days discussing how newspapers are put together. First we talked about modern-day publishing which uses computers and publishing software to layout a newspaper. Then, we discussed how newspapers were put together BEFORE the advent of computers (Of course the fact that computers didn't used to be EVERYWHERE is totally unfathomable to my kids.
They. make. me. feel. old.)

When we talked about old-fashioned type setting, the kids learned about how Type Setters used to lay out entire newspapers by hand using font molds and frames. CRAZ-I-NESS, right?  And that's not even the craziest part!!!!! All of the stories had to be laid out BACKWARDS in a MIRROR IMAGE.  I get overwhelmed just thinking about it. Thank heavens for modern-day technology, huh?

In an effort to give my kiddos a little old-fashioned type-setting fun (ha!), I had the kids time themselves stamping a sentence backwards. They LOVED this. And, it took them FOREVER. Then we compared how long it took them to stamp the sentence backwards with how long it took me to type the sentence on the computer. No contest.
Newspaper Type Setting
 (Click the picture preview to download)


And, what newspaper mini-unit wouldn't be complete without the kids making their our own newspapers??? Here's the newspaper we made as a class before the students each made their own paper.

Each newspaper the kids made included a feature story about our trip to the Star, an editorial about a topic of their choice (one little boy wrote about the quality of the school cafeteria's chicken poppers- HA!!!!!!) and coverage of the Super Bowl. Each kiddo also had to draw one ad, one comic, and report about the weather.

Then, after the kids finished their newspapers, we had a publishing party and the kids read one another their "hot off the press" papers. 
SO cute.

Hop you have a WONDERFUL Saturday, everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Thiessen


Jodi said...

This is great! Everything is too cute and I LOVE the quote about Old Navy pant. Kids are hilarious :)


Jenn Bates said...

WOW, this is impressive! I love the type-setting idea!

Ms. Morgart said...

I love this idea! You are so clever :)
Curls and a Smile

Mrs. Perry said...


Jena Snowden said...

This is wonderful! We are doing "Media Madness" right now and this is perfect. Thanks so much for sharing.


Gladys said...

Very cute! We will be learning about the media soon...and this is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

Once Upon a Time in First Grade

Jonelle Bell said...

I love these!!
A Place Called Kindergarten

Kayela said...

I have just fallen in love with your blog! LOVE! Where do you get all your cute clipart from?

Pinks My Ink said...

I bow to you!!!!!


Ms.M said...

OMG. This I wonderful I love this. Great job.

Ms. M

Angie said...

Wow! What a great unit! Like a previous poster said...we are about to start a media unit and I did not have any ideas on how to teach that to my little ones. Your ideas are awesome! Do you have a download for the class newsletter? I'd love to use it too!

Teach said...

I am so giving this a cute???? It would be fun to have the class help with the class newsletter as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

Newspaper Clasiifed Ads said...
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Charlotte said...

Love it! Do you have the file that you used for the actual newspaper? I'd love to have that too :)