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How-To

This page contains useful information for elementary school-age student journalists.

Tip Sheets

Parts of a Newspaper
Newspapers are designed to make it easy for readers to get information and quickly decide if they want to read an article.

What is News & Where to Find It
What makes something newsworthy, and some ideas for places and ways to gather news of interest to our students

Steps to Writing an Article
Seven steps to writing an article, plus tips for writing specific kinds of articles, like news, features, reviews, and editorials

Use these forms (optional) to help you plan and structure your article:
Otter Tales Article Template
Otter Tales Article Planning Worksheet

Interviewing
All about interviewing – how to find the right person to talk to and what to ask them.

Intro to News Writing
Tips on passive vs. active language, the 5 Ws, and the Inverted Pyramid structure for news stories

From Interview to Article
A recipe for turning your questions and answers into an article

Writing Leads
The lead (aka lede) hooks the reader and sets the tone for the story.

Ways to Build Your Journalism Skills Over the Summer
Three tips to help sharpen your reporting and writing skills over summer break.


Artwork Guidelines & Templates

Intro for Illustrators: Tips & Tricks for Cartoonists & Artists
10 tips on getting ideas for your comics and illustrations, drawing them so they look nice and photocopy well, and turning them into finished illustrations for our paper.  Plus, the steps in producing a comic, and 4 books you can check out from the library for more information.

Tips for Cartoonists
Tips to help you plan, draw, and revise your cartoon so it looks its best in the newspaper.

Guidelines for submitting art and photos

Comic templates and guidelines (all formats)

Comic template – 1-panel vertical

Comic template – 1-panel horizontal

Comic template – 3-panel

Useful free fonts for cartoonists: Carr Balloons | WebLetterer | Komika Display | Digital Strip


News Sources for Kids


Other Publication Opportunities for Kids


Recommended Reading:

Non-fiction books about journalists

Books about fictional journalists

Coming soon: Books about being a journalist

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