What to do with this activity?
With your child, have a look at all the newspapers in your local shop. What sort of things do people want to read about? What do the headlines say about the same event in different newspapers? These days we need to understand how news is made and who makes it. As a writing project, your child will learn a lot about news production by doing it themselves - by making a local newspaper. For instance they will learn to ask questions like:
1) How some happenings are considered "news" while other events get ignored.
2) Whether their account is one-sided - for instance of a sports game.
3) Whether the headline really describes the content or is misleading.
Your newspaper might include family news, news from their classroom, sports club, or local community. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as some A4 sheets of paper stapled together. They might like to aim it at a specific person - a relative or friend, or someone who lives abroad perhaps.
First think of a name. Let your child know that lots of newspapers have words like "times" or "post" in the title. So if you live in "Seaview" estate for example, you can call your newspaper "The Seaview Times". Enjoy the project and make your child aware of newspapers and other news sources.
Writing is like a muscle – the more your child practices it the stronger their writing ability will become. You child is also more likely to write about things they like or are interested in – writing is a way to express yourself and using writing in this way can be more meaningful to a child.
Decide on a writing project you could work on either together or with you standing by to help. This could be writing or sending an email to a family member or friend living away or your child writing about one of their interests. List key messages you want to write about, who else might read it and then begin work on the piece. Have a dictionary at the ready and use the spell checker if working on a computer.
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