Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Teacher.org Staff
Lesson Plan Team

Students will read an article from a newspaper, magazine, or other similar content, identify main idea, and create a headline for the story.

Grade Level: 6th Grade

Subject: English/Language Arts

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

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Common Core Alignment

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1 - Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2 - Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

Objectives & Outcomes

The students will be able to read content from various sources and identify the main idea.

Materials Needed

Two articles taken from Internet, magazine, newspaper, or other sources for each student in the classroom.

Prepare ahead of time:  Number each article.  Remove the headline from each article.  

2 – 5” x 8” index cards for each student or similar size paper, colored marker, scratch paper

Teacher will need:  Three or four short, interesting articles for reading aloud.


Opening to Lesson

  • Read aloud a short interesting article from any source to the students.  
  • Ask students what they thought was the main idea of the article.
  • Instruct students to create a catchy headline for the article using scratch paper.
  • Reread the article.
  • Call on students to share the headline they created.
  • Clarify the main idea.
  • Repeat for a second article. (optional)

Body of Lesson


  • Teacher will demonstrate how each student will be given two articles to read.
  • Using one of the articles read aloud, the teacher will write the main idea of the article on one side of the 5” x 8” index card.
  • The teacher will then write a catchy headline on the other side large enough for all to see.
  • Include name and article number on the card.

Guided Practice

  • Distribute two index cards to each student
  • Distribute two articles to each student
  • Instruct each student to read the article and write the main idea on one side of the card.
  • Include the article number and student’s name.
  • On the other side of the card, using a marker the student will create a catchy and creative headline.
  • Repeat for second article.
  • Ask for volunteers to read the created headlines.  Choose some of them to read their article aloud.

Independent Practice

  • Students receive several paragraphs or articles on a worksheet.  Write the main idea for each article or multiple choice answers.  Create a headline for each or multiple choice answers.
  • For homework, give each student another article without a headline.  Assign them to read and write the main idea and a creative headline.
  • The teacher will collect the completed pages.  This will be used as an assessment.


At the end of the guided practice of in-class assessment, discuss with students the different types of headlines media uses such as sensational headlines, factual headlines, etc.  Discuss why they use them, such as to catch a reader’s attention, to sell papers, etc.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Short pieces of writings for students to read and identify the main ideas, multiple choice format; additional articles to create headlines; define main idea.

Modification & Differentiation

Students may work in pairs.  Use word processing program to create headlines with different fonts, sizes, colors, etc., print results.  Distribute additional articles instead of two.  Have students share articles with other students to create different headlines.  Students write an article about an event in their life and give to another student to read, write the main idea, and create a headline.

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