Writing the News Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 6 - 9

Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


In this lesson, students will write a news article for the school newspaper. The lesson begins with a discussion about freedom of speech and the important role it plays in journalism. Next, students will learn how to create news articles by developing 'lead paragraphs' and by using the 'inverted pyramid' model. Once this is done, they will be given time during class to select topics, conduct research, write their articles and proof read and peer edit their own and other's works.

Learning outcomes

Know: Students will learn the following essential domain knowledge:

  • Reading media: Elements of a news article
  • Consumer awareness: Markers of reliable news outlets and processes they use to provide reliable information
  • Making and remixing: How to write a news article in “inverted pyramid” structure 

Understand: Students will learn the following key concepts/big ideas:

  • Media are constructions: Media works were made many people who made choices that affect the final work
  • Media have social and political implications: News plays an important role in informing the public; whose voices are (or aren’t’) included in news stories influences audiences’ views
  • Each medium has a unique aesthetic form: Different media communicate in different ways

Do: Students will use tools to create a media work, understand how media makers’ choices and industry standards influence how works are made and experienced, and engage with issues of representation in news

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit