From Serendip
IIT Workshop
Student Projects
by Monique Carter

For my secondgraders, I thought a newspaper unit would not only give them experience with newspapers, but will also provide them with the practice in writing that they need. However, to secondgraders, the thought of creating an entire newspaper on one's own seemed RATHER DAUNTING. Therefore, my introduction to the newspaper unit began with comics. Using comics was a fun and somewhat sneaky way for students to begin to notice the newspaper. Using comics that were at their level were most successful. However, when I introduced what I believed to be an extremely easy political comic to this group of highly intellectual students,I heard many of these students say "Ms. Carter, I just don't GET it!". Some comics I used with my students include:

Calvin and Hobbs

Family Circus


Next,in order to grab the attention of the boys in the classroom, I decided to give a lesson on the basic elemets of a sports story. One boy in particular, who is the sports guru of our class helped me with a lot of the terms and language involved in sports. In doing this, he became the star of the show.

Other articles my second graders learned about are the "feature story" and the typical "news story". As with the other forms of news writing, we first investigated the basic elements of these type of articles. We then used newspapers to find the key elements within the story.

There are a number of websites that aid in the development of a newspaper unit. Some websites I found to be particularly helpful in developing this newspaper unit are listed below. Some are mainly for teachers and others can be for both the teacher and student.



  • Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association-This website is a great resourse in which the teacher can access general information about newspapers and how this trade organization helps to support and represent Pennsylvania newspapers. From this website, one can also connect to a number of sites that directly
  • Newspaper Association of America Foundation -This is one of the links from the Pennsylvania Nespaper Publisher's Association and I found it to be great in terms of integrating nespapers in the curriculum. Although I do not have it, I heard from a number of teachers that the booklet "Press Ahead" can be especially helpful in creating a class newspaper and in assessing students'writing.



  • Yahooligans -This is a great website that was created just for kids. On this site, I normally type in a subject and just like any other web search, and it gives me a number of results that are just for kids. I use this web site every time I teach a new unit for new ideas.
  • Kid News -Excellent website for examples of various types of news articles. All the articles featured on this site is written by students. The topics are cute and the articles are is pleasurable to peruse the hundreds of articles they have listed here.