It's your choice
When we make The Guardian Foundation available to you online, we use cookies and similar technologies to help us to do this.
Some are necessary to help our website work properly and can't be switched off, and some are optional but support The Guardian Foundation and your experience in other ways.
You can find out more in our privacy policy and cookie policy, and manage the choices available to you at any time by going to Manage Cookies at the bottom of any page.
Are you happy to accept cookies?
To manage your cookie choices now, including how to opt out where our partners rely on legitimate interests to use your information, click on Manage my cookies.

Happy News Project

Classroom learning sequence

The lessons in this learning sequence are designed for 9- to 11-year-olds, so you may wish to adapt some of the activities if you are running this project with younger pupils. If you are setting this as a home learning project, try our child-led Making your own news activities.

1. News and wellbeing

Begin the project with a focus on wellbeing - see our PSHE lesson on managing feelings to explore how news can affect emotions and identify different strategies for managing wellbeing: focusing on happy news is one of these!

2. Roles in a newsroom

Try out a range of journalism duties in our lesson on how news is produced. Pupils can have a go at different roles from reporter to subeditor, and practise the skills needed ahead of producing their own reports.

3. Newsworthy or not

Explore how journalists choose which news stories to report in our newsworthy news lesson, preparing pupils for selecting their own stories.

4. Find a story

Allow time for pupils to search for and discuss potential happy news stories, remembering what makes a newsworthy story. Once teams have decided on one to report, hold a news conference where each team shares their chosen story with the rest of the newsroom, justifying how it will help to spread joy and why it is newsworthy for their audience.

5. Fact or opinion

Help pupils learn the skills to spot rumour, opinion and speculation in our fact and opinion lesson. Try the ‘Rumour Has It’ activity which also provides the opportunity for pupils to practise their summarising skills - essential for reporting news.

6. Let the research commence

Each team must now find the key facts and interesting details about their chosen happy news story. See our planning a news story lesson for tips and planning templates to help with research.

7. Time to interview

Where possible, help pupils to conduct real interviews: if they are reporting a local story, who could they interview to find out more? Remember interviews can be held over the phone or via a video call. They could also interview each other, their families or school staff to gather different views about the story. Watch this video for interviewing tips from Guardian reporter, Rachel Hall. Before conducting interviews, you might also like to practise interviewing techniques with our reporting resource. 

8. Explore language and structure

Have a look at our lessons on the language and structure of news reports to help your pupils develop a formal and concise tone and an effective structure for putting their reports together. Your pupils might like to play our Headline Generator Game to learn about effective headline writing. Watch this video from Guardian subeditor Suzanne Warr for tips on how to write brilliant headlines!

9. Get reporting

Each team is now ready to write and/or rehearse and record their report. You might like to use our front page template for written reports or our script template for audio or video reports. Remember that subeditors have a crucial role here in editing and proofreading the finished product, and picture editors must choose images carefully. See our lesson on subediting and publishing a finished report for further tips and activity ideas.

10. Share your stories

Finally, spread the joy and share the happy news stories with your audience!

Send us your happy news stories - we celebrate pupils' work by publishing it on our website.

Registered charity: 1153865