The Scoop on Current Events!

The Big Ideas of News

Elementary students may not be ready for some of the content in world news, but they can certainly arrive at some general understandings in engaging ways.  They can be encouraged to nurture their curiosity about the world around them, and they can learn:



  • We get our “news” in a variety of places and in different formats.
  • The “news” is not just politics or local happenings, but includes matters of science, the environment, the arts, sports, medicine, the economy, inventions, etc.
  • The news tells people what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen.
  • News providers make decisions about what is “important” (and thus featured).
  • There is a basic format to the news.
  • We read the news differently than we read other material.
  • The way news is reported can depend on point of view.
  • Images are an important, powerful part of the news.

To start your discussion of  “news,” make a concept map/graphic organizer of everything students know about “news” and guide the discussion to add many of the ideas above to the map. A simple map with News at the center and questions like these can get you started:

Where do we find it?
What is it about?
Who writes it?
When does news happen?
Who decides what is “news”?
How do we read the news?
Why do we read it?
What does news look like?

You can also underscore the five W +H words that help guide the writing of news:



IntroductionBig IdeasStructure & FormatAnalysis & Practice
Making it RealDigging DeeperKid-friendly News