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Lesson Plan #:AELP-LIT0013
Submitted By: Kelly Armenta
Endorsed By: Dr. Mengelsdorf, University of Texas at El Paso Date: 1994

Grade Level(s): 10


  • Language Arts/Literature
  • Language arts/Journalism
  • Language Arts/Writing (composition)


The assignment will be to write a newspaper article about people or events in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Students will need to have a headline, a lead, and know the who, what, where, when, why and how of the event.

Background Information:

This is a good exercise to work on toward the end of the book. Most of the action has already occurred and there are a lot of choices to write about. You can discuss the different types of articles, including tabloid writing, straight news, obituaries or playbills.


This assignment will help students better understand specific events in the story.


As a result of working on this lesson, students will:

1. Better understand specific events in the story.

2. Better understand the process of newspaper article writing.

3. Develop classroom skills from working with others and reading aloud.


  • To Kill a Mockingbird book
  • paper
  • pens
  • pencils
  • colors and markers

Activities and Procedures:

  • Discuss the types and elements of any news article. Types include tabloid, obituary, straight news and many others. Make sure to discuss the lead of a story and headlines .
  • Pick a specific event from the novel to do an example article for the class. As a class, answer the following questions concerning that event. Who was involved?
    What happened? To whom did it happen?
    Where did it happen?
    When did it happen?
    Why did it happen?
    How did it happen?
  • Using the answers to the questions create a lead and headline for the event. You can create a quick example of an article for the class or they can do it out loud.
  • Assign for a newspaper article to be written on an event occurring in the book. Be specific as to the types that are acceptable and which elements you will require. If time allows, a picture or visual may also be included with the article. This part of the project can be done alone or with partners.
  • Assessment:

    Students should read their articles aloud to the rest of the class. Assessment can come from their understanding of the event as well as whether or not they answered all the questions. Inclusion of a lead, headline and visual can also be a part of the final assessment.

    Additional Activity:

    Once the articles are complete, they can be typed up on the computer and graphics added. These can be put together on a large piece of newsprint or butcher paper to make a class newspaper.