Erin O'Donnell
  This is the second lesson in a three-part unit consisting of: (1) Understanding the news (2) Writing an article for a class newsletter (3) Proofreading and revising articles for a class newsletter

  Adult basic education, Critical thinking, Employability, Job skills, Listening skills, Problem solving, Reading comprehension, Vocabulary development, Writing skills

Learner Level:
  ABE to post high school

Time Frame:
  1 hour

Learner Grouping:
  Small group

  An adult learning center


  Frankfort/Franklin County Community Education

Type of Program:

Student Population Served:
  Basic skills (grade levels 5-8.9)

Writing an article for a class newsletter

Learners choose a topic about which to write for a class newsletter. In order to prepare for the article, they must choose the type of article they will write (hard news, features, announcements, and opinions/personal reflections) and make a list of the 5 Ws and 1 H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. If an interview is involved, the learner formulates possible questions. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:
To be able to write a news story that reflects knowledge of the various types of news stories.

Primary Skill:
Convey ideas in writing

Secondary Skills:
Communication, Observe critically

Learner Needs & Goals:
Students need to improve their writing for work. They also need to identify types of writing to fully understand the news in newspapers and company newsletters.

Learning Activity Description:
1. Write the following titles on a flip chart or chalkboard: Type of Writing, Purpose, Audience, and Format. Distribute a handout that has the following information:

  • Type of writing: GED essay
  • Purpose: To pass the test
  • Audience: Test Scorers
  • Format: Essay of about 250 words

2. Have the learners discuss why it is important to determine type of writing, purpose, audience, and format. Provide an example of a resume, a cover letter, a GED essay, or other type of writing. Discuss one with the class and have them fill in the type of writing, purpose, audience, and format together. Supply more examples and have learners complete the handout individually. After they have finished, discuss their answers in the whole group.

3. Have the class discuss the purpose of the newsletter. Some examples of purpose could be to keep learners informed about activities or personalities at your learning center. The audience could be students, teachers, and administrators. It is already established that your format is a newsletter but you could discuss other specifics such as the length and number of columns.

4. Next, have learners brainstorm stories for the newsletter. Have a flip chart available in order to write the subject of the story, the type of article, and the name of the writer.

5. After the assignments are made, discuss how to gather facts. Ask students to list on paper the 5 Ws and 1 H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Ask them to fill in what they already know and leave blank what they do not. This will serve as a guide. Ask them to make a list of people and other sources they will need to complete the assignments. If learners are planning to conduct interviews, suggest that they have some questions prepared before they start. Set a deadline for the first draft, the revision and final copy.

Materials and Resources:
A chalk board


Monitor the activity to evaluate whether:

  • Learners can identify purpose, audience, and format
  • Learners can identify and categorize articles for their own newsletter
  • Learners can identify what they need to know to complete their assignment

For hard news, spend more time on the list of 5Ws and 1H and where to pursue this information. For features, spend more time on questions they will want to ask during an interview.


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