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Title Bears' House Vandalized, Witnesses say Blonde Girl Spotted Fleeing from the Scene!
OverviewThe students will approach a familiar story (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) from the perspective of a newspaper reporter. Children will learn and apply the 5 W's + 1 H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How).
Subject(s) Language Arts
Social Studies
Grade 3
Grade 4
Suggested Time 45 Minutes
Materials5 W's, headline, interview, lead, news story, reporter
Objectives Students will be able to:
  1. read news stories for information about the 5 W's + 1H.
  2. understand simple newspaper vocabulary.
  3. conduct a simple interview and make point form notes to record the results.
  4. create their own news story lead.
Materials- one or two sample newspaper clippings
- story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears
- white board or flip chart and markers
- paper and pencil
On-Line ResourcesPrintable on-line version of the story

Printable template for point form notes ("jot notes")

Printable template for news story lead color or B&W

Off-Line ResourcesJan Brett's: Goldilocks and the Three Bears
PreparationSearch through newspapers for one or two simple articles that children will enjoy. Examples might be human interest stories or sports stories. Make sure the sample follows the traditional 'Inverted Pyramid' -- the 5 W's + 1 H should be answered within the first 2 paragraphs of the story. Prepare bulletin board or table display.
MotivationPresent a Bulletin Board or Table display. Include a picture or book of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the words Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why? and How? prominently displayed, newspaper clippings and the headline (title) of our lesson plan ("Bears' House Vandalized...")

Begin the class discussion with a brainstorming session. Ask the children 'What is a newspaper?', 'Why do people read them?', 'What types of things are written in them?', 'Who writes news stories?' Note their answers on the board.

Explain to the children, that a news story is written by a reporter. The reporter interviews people and observes events to answer the questions Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Reporters call these questions the 5 W's + 1 H and try to include them in each news story.

Show the children a sample newspaper clipping. Point out the headline. Ask the children what the headline does? Does it capture their attention? Does it answer any of the 5 W's + 1H questions? Read the first paragraph. How many of the 5 W's + 1H do you know now? Continue through the article a paragraph at a time until all of the 5 W's + 1H questions are answered.

Write Who:, What:, When:, Where:, Why:, and How on the board. Beside each, write the answer to the question from your sample clipping and where in the news story you found the answer (headline, paragraph 1, paragraph 2). Explain to the children that the first two paragraphs of a newspaper article are called the 'Lead'. Reporters try to answer all 5 W's + 1H within the lead.

OPTIONAL: Read a fairly short version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to the children to refresh their memory of the story.
ActivityHave the children form pairs. Point out our headline (Bears' House Vandalized...). In each pair, one of the children should act as the reporter and the other should act as a bear. The reporter should interview the bear to discover the answer to each of the 5 W's + 1 H and record the answers in point form. Then the children should switch roles so each has a chance to be the reporter.
(Printable template for point form notes ("jot notes"))

Once all of the children have their point form answers recorded, have them return to their desks. Ask the children to complete their job as reporters for your class and write the lead to go with the headline. Remind them that the lead should be written in complete sentences with no more than 2 paragraphs.
(Printable template for news story lead color or B&W)
ConclusionRecreate the point sheet on the board and have the class fill in the answers to the 6 important questions.


Chose a few students to read their news story leads out loud in front of the class.
Short ExtensionHave the students imagine they are a police officer reading the interview with the three bears. Provide suggestions for the bears as to what they should do next? How should they prevent these events from happening in the future?
Home Work ExtensionRepeat the process with another fairy tale, for example "Little Red Riding Hood". Have the children invent their own headline this time.
Next Day ExtensionIn a news story, the 5 W's + 1 H should be answered right away - either in the headline or in the first two paragraphs of the article. Reporters call this the 'Inverted Pyramid'

Examine an 'Encyclopedia Brown' mystery story. When are the 5W's + 1H answered in this story? How is this different from a news story? Why is it different? Would it be a good mystery story if the 5 W's and 1 H were answered in the first two paragraphs?

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