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Breaking News: Writing for the Fairy Tale Gazette

Subject: Language Arts

Grade: 5th

Lesson Objective: 

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to write a news article using creative writing skills.

Common Core Standards:

RL.5.6 "Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described."

W.5.1.B "Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details."

W.5.2.B "Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic."

Materials Needed:

  • Lined Paper
  • Pencils
  • Plain paper and Crayons (if you choose to have students color pictures to match the article)

Lesson Starter: 

Have your students read fairytale stories such as Cinderella, Robin Hood, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc. You can read these stories as a class or individually.

Once students have had a chance to read one or two fairytale stories, they will need to pick one story for their project.

Main Lesson/Activity

Lesson Intro

Introduce the concept of writing a news article while explaining to the students how it differs from other types of writing.


  • Welcome to creative writing class! Creative writing is a fun and exciting way to express your thoughts and ideas.
  • You will learn about different types of writing, such as poetry, short stories, and more.
  • We'll also explore different ways to use your imagination and express yourself through writing. I'm excited to see what you come up with!
  • In today's lesson, we'll learn about creative writing and use our skills to write a news column based on famous fairy tales. Once done, we will combine your work into a class piece called the Fairy Tale Gazette.

Teaching Key Elements

Proceed to teach your students the key elements of creative writing, such as:

  • Imagery: Using vivid and descriptive language to create mental images for the reader.
  • Dialogue: Using conversation between characters to advance the plot and establish relationships.
  • Setting: Creating a vivid and believable environment where the story takes place.
  • Conflict: Creating a problem or struggle that the protagonist (main character) must overcome.
  • Characterization: Establishing the personalities, motivations, and traits of the characters.
  • Point of view: Choosing a perspective from which to tell the story.
  • Structure: Choosing a pattern to arrange the story's elements.
  • Theme: Establishing a unifying idea or message explored throughout the story. (Such as bravery, kindness, etc.)

Make sure to discuss each topic with relevant examples of each element. Pull from famous fairy tales to drive the point home. 

Read & Choose Fairy Tales

As mentioned in the Section Starter above, you should have been reading various fairy tales with your students. For this assignment, they must choose one fairy tale to write into a news article. 

Have your students make a fairy tale selection and identify the story's critical elements.

News Brainstorm Session

Once your students have the framework of their fairy tales written down, they can begin to brainstorm their news articles. They will pull bits and pieces from their key elements to create their news piece. 

Students will need to identify the following:

(As an example, we chose the story of Peter Pan to cover for our news article.)

  • Who did the story happen to? Wendy, Michael, John Darling.
  • Where did the story take place? Darling home; London, England.
  • When did the story happen? At night.
  • What took place? The Darling children met Peter Pan. 
  • Why did the event happen? Peter Pan listened to stories told in the Darling home.


Once students have outlined their news article, they can begin to write it with a catchy title. For our Peter Pan example, we may begin our news article with the following:

  • Title: Stalker Seen Entering Darling Nursery Window
  • Article: Late Wednesday night, neighbors of the Darling family saw an unknown person entering the 3rd story window into the Darling children's nursery. The witness claims she saw a boy wearing all green enter the Darling residence, followed by a bright, sparkling light. 

Ideas for fairy tale stories may include:

  • A mysterious girl was seen fleeing from a party; the only evidence is her forgotten shoe (Cinderella)
  • Pale young woman in a coma from suspected poisoning (Snow White)
  • Wolf arrested for destroying two houses (straw, sticks) and breaking and entering (bricks) (3 Little Pigs)
  • Brothers go head-to-head against bridge troll (3 Billy Goats Gruff)

Peer Review

Ask the students to provide constructive feedback to each other by switching work.

Once the articles are edited, have the students submit them for final review and "publication."


With the students, put the articles together in a newspaper format.

Written by Violet Akoth
Education World Contributor
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