Lesson Title: What's in the News? Summarizing a Novel Using the 5 W's
Curriculum Area: English Language Arts
Technology Strand: Keyboard Util./Desktop Pub./Word Processing
Grade Level: 8
Essential Question: How can I use the 5 W's to summarize events from a novel?
A Activity Summary Students will use important events from a novel to create a 2-page newspaper. They will use the 5 W's (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to write news articles about each event.
Prior to this lesson:
1. Student will complete the reading of individual novels in literature circles, independently, or as a whole class.
2. Students will also choose the 6 or 7 most important events from their novels and create a list of details about the events using the 5 W's.
C Curriculum English
2.01 Analyze and evaluate informational materials that are read, heard, and/or viewed by:
  • summarizing information.
  • determining the importance of information.
  • making connections to related topics/information.
  • monitoring comprehension.
  • drawing inferences.
  • generating questions.
  • extending ideas.
  • T Technology Keyboard Util./Desktop Pub./Word Processing
    3.05 Select and use WP/DTP features/functions to develop, edit/revise, and publish documents/assignments.  
    Activating Strategies
    5 W's Dice Game
    Prior to class:
    1. Prepare 5 W's dice. Blank dice can be found at craft or educational stores.
    2. You should prepare one for each group.
    3. Write one of the following words on each of the six sides of every die: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.
    1. First, divide students into small groups. If students have been working in literature circles, allow them to work in their literature circle groups.
    2. Next, give each group a news article and a 5W's die.
    3. Each group will read their article. Short articles should be provided so this activity only takes a few minutes.
    4. Next, each student should take turns rolling the 5 W's die and asking questions from the article to identify facts from their news story. (Ex. If a student rolls Who?, they might ask "Who is the article mainly about?" or "Who did 'the action' in the article?")
    5. The articles used should be chosen by the teacher prior to class. The same article may be used for all groups or each group may be given different articles. The articles selected should be short but interesting.
    6. Next the teacher will lead the class in identifying the 5 W's and H from a story event which the class has previously studied.
    7. Using these details, the teacher will lead the class in writing a short article on the overhead or board. Students will be asked to add a headline and by-line to the article.
    8. This will serve as an example of the articles the students will write for their newspapers.
    9. If time, each group may choose one event from their story and identify the 5 W's and H about this event. This information will be used to create their first news article.
    10. This may also be completed the day before in preparation for the lesson.
    Technology Vocabulary:
    Detailed Technology Instructions:
    Cognitive Teaching Strategies
    To engage student learning through analysis and synthesis of information
    Using this strategy, students will take on the role of a newspaper reporter. They will then create a 2-page newspaper for a designated audience. This activity requires students to analyze important events from a novel and synthesize the information by reconstructing it as a news article.
    Introduce the lesson by explaining the RAFT acronym and how the students will use them:
    R- Role of the writer: Students will take on the role of a newspaper columnist.
    A- Audience: Students will write article which would interest their peers.
    F- Format: Students will create a 2-page newspaper using the inverted pyramid format(Important details first).
    T- Topic: Students will use several interesting events from the novels they read in literature circles over the past weeks.
    1. Pass out a copy of the Reporter Task Card to each student. 2. Students will use Internet Explorer to open the Printing Press template at the following ReadWriteThink web link: RWT Printing Press
    3. Students will choose the page format of their first and second pages from the available templates.
    4. They will need to come up with and enter a newspaper title, then begin entering their news stories.
    5. Students will use a previously created list of events from their novel to write news stories on four to six events. The stories will be short and include the 5 W's and H.
    6. Students will print their newspapers for future presentation.
    7. Students will share their newspapers with classmates on another day during a "coffee house" reading session.
    Summary Strategies
    1. Have students THINK about how the presentation of the events from their novels changed from novel to news article. Was all of the same information shared? Was the audience different? How did the new type of presentation make the story seem different? How did identifying the 5W's help you write a news article about the event? These questions may be posed to them on an overhead projector or on paper. Students should jot down ideas on paper. Guiding questions may be placed on an overhead projector for students to consider.
    2. Next, have students PAIR with a seat-partner and talk about their answers. 3. Finally, ask several students to SHARE their ideas with the class.
    Click for directions on how to download files on a Windows computer. 
    5 W's Dice
    Current short news articles from a local newspaper
    Reporter Task Card.doc
    5 W&H worksheet.doc
    The Inverted Pyramid.doc
    ReadWriteThink Printing Press template at the following link:
    RWT Printing Press  
    Re-teaching and Enrichment Activities
    Coffee House
    As a follow-up to this activity, I would hold a coffee house in my classroom where students would drink "coffee" or an appropriate substitute as they read newspapers created by their classmates. This activity will allow students to share their product and to be introduced to new novels which may peak their interest in reading the book themselves.

    The concept for this lesson plan was submitted by 
    Cheryl  Gaines
    Allen Jay Middle, Data last modified: 3/10/2006