Lesson Plans

Junior Lesson Plan #1

Note: We recommend that you print this page for offline reference.

Exploring the five Ws of news

Grades 3 to 6

Language Arts, Current Affairs

This lesson plan is designed to have students become familiar with reading news article and understanding how news stories are developed. Teachers can use SchoolNet News Network’s website (http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/) with this lesson to help students understand more about news writing and to interact with students and teachers throughout Canada.


  • Copies of short articles from your local newspaper



1. Start the lesson by discussing with students the five simple questions reporters answer when they write a story -- known as "The Five W's". The answers to those questions are the basis for every story.

  • Who? (Who is involved? Who did what? To who? Who is affected?)
  • What? (What happened?)
  • When? (When did it happen? In what order did events take place?)
  • Where? (Where did this happen? Did the location change?)
  • Why? (Why did it happen? What caused it?)

. Provide students with copies of a news story from your local paper. Read and talk about what's going on in the story with the class.

3. Then, ask your students to find each of the five W’s in the story. They can write them down on the attached worksheet. Do this exercise with your students several times.

4. Once your students are familiar with the Five W's, try this exercise. Give half the class a copy of one news story and another story to the other group of students. Ask them to identify the who, where, when, what, and why of the story and write them down on the attached worksheet.

5. Have the students switch those lists with someone on the other side of the class. Invite the students to write the opening lines of a story, using the information listed on the sheet they received from their classmate.

6. WRAP-UP/HOMEWORK: Once students are finished writing, compare them to the original stories and those of their classmates. Did everyone come up with similar stories?



Students will be evaluated on in-class participation, their understanding of the 5W’s of News and their written story.




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