Using ICT to Create a Newspaper – lesson plan

QCA Unit ICT at KS 3, Unit 3: Using ICT to Create a Newspaper.
Year Group Year 7 Number in class 30
Time for lesson 1 hour No. of computers 15


1.1a Using a range of ICT tools in a purposeful way to tackle questions, solve problems and create ideas and solutions of value.

1.1b Exploring and using new ICT tools as they become available.

1.1.c Applying ICT learning in a range of contexts ad in other areas of learning, work and life.

2.1a Consider systematically the information needed to solve a problem, complete a task or answer a question, and explore how it will be used.

2.1c Collect and enter quantitative and qualitative information, checking its accuracy.

2.2c Test predictions and discover patterns and relationships, exploring, evaluating and developing models by changing their rules and values.

2.2d Design information systems and suggest improvements to existing systems.

2.2e Use ICT to make things happen by planning, testing and modifying a sequence of instructions, recognising where a group of instructions needs repeating, and automating frequently used processes by constructing efficient procedures that are fit for purpose.

Aims/Learning Outcomes:

All:. Learn methods of data capture.

Learn that images can be saved in a variety of file types.

Learn that the choice of file type should be based on the resources available and

the intended use.

Produce the composite parts of a hard copy/online newspaper, using the necessary text, image and graphic programmes, import, integrate and synchronise data in the appropriate manner.

Most: As above, and design more advanced features of newspapers.

Resources: PowerPoint, a selection of suitably edited hard copy newspapers, internet connection. Software template from MS Word or

The class will need to be split into four teams, who will be further divided to work in pairs on particular sections of the project.

Differentiation: By learning outcome, and differentiated tasks activities. Group work at different levels where the tasks are simplified/extended in terms of content and/or language for specific groups. Those in lower ability Literacy groups to have support.

Introduction: explain to the whole class that they are going to design and publish a newspaper. Look at some examples of hard copy newspapers and some age-appropriate online examples.

Key points for discussion.

What is the function of newspapers? Why are they produced? Are they a public service, or are they produced for profit? Should they, for example, inform, educate, entertain? Look at the examples provided and compile a class list of all of the functions carried out by a typical newspaper, i.e.,

News reports, i.e. crime, business, politics etc: predominantly factual, they will inform, educate, and entertain.

Editorials: part fact, part opinion, they will inform, educate, and entertain.

Advertisements: they will inform and persuade.

Information sections, i.e. weather, travel, currency etc: factual, they will inform.

Main Activities: ask each pair to make a list of the features they have found in a hard copy or online newspaper. Draw the class back together and compile a class list.

Get the class to work in their four groups and decide which features they would like to include in their newspaper. In each group, apportion responsibility for producing particular parts to each pair. Emphasise the point that each component will need to be well adapted to its target audience. Each group should be given a username and be given its own permissions and directories. Text and graphics should be saved in individual files for compilation later.

Formatting: explain that most newspapers have a recognisable house style comprising particular fonts, sizes, layouts, colours etc. Discuss the types of language appropriate for different types of text, i.e. headlines, subtitles and paragraph headings.

Picture quality: explain how picture quality is pixel contingent.

Use a flow diagram to complete a critical path of sequential activities required to complete a newspaper. Compare the completed versions across the class and agree a master template.

Introduce the desktop publishing programme which will be used to create the newspaper template.

3. Plenary: View the completed or part-completed newspaper flowcharts. Ask each pair to feedback their experiences of using the hardware/software. Ask each group to summarise their understanding of the form, function and design of newspapers.

Relevant NC Level Descriptors.

For assessment purposes, successful completion of this lesson will enable pupils to achieve the following aspects of the ICT National Curriculum Level Descriptors.

Level 3.

Pupils use ICT to save information and to find and use appropriate stored information, following straightforward lines of enquiry. They use ICT to generate, develop, organise and present their work. This requirement will be met by the use of appropriate software to use and adapt newspaper design templates.

They share and exchange their ideas with others. They use sequences of instructions to…achieve specific outcomes. This requirement will be met through working in pairs and in group/class discussions about best practice in respect of the newspaper design process.

They make appropriate choices when using ICT based models or simulations to help them find things out and solve problems. They describe their use of ICT and its use outside school. This will be achieved through the appropriate choice of newspaper template, and through discussion of school-based ICT work during homework tasks.

Level 4.

Pupils add to, amend and combine different forms of information from a variety of sources. They use ICT to present information in different forms and show they are aware of the intended audience and the need for quality in their presentations. This requirement will be met by achievement of this lesson’s objectives, i.e. the integration of text, image and graphics in a newspaper design.

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