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A Better Class of Journal-ists


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  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts
  • Mathematics
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  • Social Studies
    Current Events, History (U.S.)


K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

On a weekly basis, students add two newspaper articles to their Current Events Journals, write a brief statement about the main idea of each article, and write a reflective statement on the importance of the news story.


Students will
  • skim newspapers for news articles that fit defined guidelines,
  • cut out two articles each week and write a brief description of the main idea for each,
  • reflect on the importance of the news story and write a statement demonstrating that reflection,
  • develop time management skills by planning work on this project so it is completed in full at the end of each quarter.


current events, newspaper, reflect, writing, journal, time management, main idea, critical thinking

Materials Needed

  • access to the daily newspaper (Alternative: access to online news sources or news magazines)
  • a notebook to hold news clippings and reflections

Lesson Plan

Explain to students that, in this activity, they are responsible for keeping a Current Events Journal. On a weekly basis, they will collect two articles of interest from newspapers and keep a notebook of the articles they find. For each article, tell students they also will provide a reflection of 25-50 words that includes a statement of the main idea of the news story and the student's reaction to the importance of the news story.

Notes about this project:

  • The project makes a great homework assignment because it provides opportunities for parents to work with students and to discuss news events with them. The project equates to 30 minutes of homework twice a week.
  • If students do not have access to a daily newspaper, they can use news magazines or online newspapers as their sources of information.
  • Students should have complete freedom to select news stories, however articles may focus on a specific subject area.
Having students hand in their Current Events Journals at the end of each quarter will help them learn the importance of keeping up with long-term assignments.


Each entry will be scored equally. If there are nine weeks in a quarter, for example, students should have 18 news clippings in their Current Events Journals. Assign each entry a value of 5.5 points -- for a total possible score of 100.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards


SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics Return to the Newspapers lesson plan page.

Education World®
Copyright © 2010 Education World

Originally published 03/22/2002
Last updated 06/02/2010