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Lesson 3

Managing feelings about the news (PSHE education)

Journalist training school background:
Journalists must be aware that the news can affect people’s feelings and that their writing can make people feel strong emotions. They must also understand the importance of respecting people’s personal information

NewsWise values

This lesson focuses on the NewsWise value: fair.

Learning objective

To consider the impact of news stories on feelings and emotions.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe how news stories can affect people’s feelings.

  • Suggest ways to manage emotional responses when interacting with the news.

  • Recognise why it is not appropriate to share personal (private) information as news.

  • Explain how to report concerns, ask for support or advice in relation to news stories.


Starter/baseline assessment

  • How do I feel about the news? Display the Line of continuum labels around the classroom (strongly agree, agree, neither agree/disagree, disagree, strongly disagree). Pupils stand near the response they feel most accurately reflects their opinion about the viewpoints below, justifying their ideas. How far do you agree/disagree with the following statements?

  1. Reading/watching/hearing the news makes people feel depressed

  2. Mostly, the news makes the world seem like a bad place

  3. News has the power to make people feel positive and uplifted

  4. News should be about everyday people’s lives

  5. It is ok to share news about people without asking them first

Learning activity

  • Display different feelings vocabulary (eg excited, worried, angry, upset, devastated, shocked, pleased). In pairs or small groups pupils discuss the types of news stories that might generate these feelings. How can news stories affect feelings? Which type of news stories can affect feelings the most?

  • Pupils read the Scenarios and infer how the characters are feeling from reading the stories (use the vocabulary list from activity 1). Why can news stories affect feelings? Does everyone react the same to the same news story? Why might people react differently? (eg Dina loves the band so it gives her stronger positive feelings than someone who has never seen the band).

  • Pupils reflect on the following question: If someone is feeling upset or worried about a news story they have come across, what should they do? (Pupils can use the Next steps resource to suggest what will help or hinder).

  • Read Nav’s story with pupils. Was it fair to share this information about Nav in a news story? What effect has this had on Nav/others (including on their feelings)? What should the news group have done instead? What should Nav do now? What’s the difference between a personal story and a public news story?


  • Write a class ‘code of conduct’ to be responsible news reporters, including things like: ‘we will consider how the story we report will affect people’s feelings’; ‘we will not share personal stories’; ‘we will seek people’s permission before writing about them’; or ‘our stories will seek to empower people and not upset them’.

Questions for assessment

  • How can the news affect people?  

  • What are some ways people can manage worries that can arise when we interact with the news?  

  • Who can we talk to about the news? 

  • Why is it important that we ask for consent before sharing someone’s news?

Core knowledge and skills

  • New stories can cause an emotional response – both story content and the way that the news is delivered can affect how someone feels on a daily basis, as well as over a longer period of time.

  • People react differently to news stories.

  • Paying attention to or noticing feelings caused by news stories and practising strategies for managing supports our mental health and wellbeing.

  • It is important to expose ourselves to a wide range of news – balancing positive stories with those which are more negative.  Sometimes it seems that bad news stories get more coverage – only interacting with these could cause people to feel downhearted or as though the world is only a sad and scary place.

  • Feeling confident and able to distance ourselves from the news is just as important as being able to interact with it.  

  • Personal news should not be shared without permission (consent) from the people involved. If it is, there can be negative consequences for the people involved.

  • Knowing how to access help and support for ourselves and others is one strategy that will help us safely interact with the news.  Talking to parents, teachers about any concerns that arise from news stories is really important. 

Extension opportunities

  • Pupils imagine Nav has sent their concerns to an advice page. Pupils write back with some help and advice for managing the situation.

  • When exploring news stories through the rest of this project (and beyond) take time to stop and consider how it might affect feelings, own and others. Remind pupils there is no one right way to feel or to manage those feelings but reiterate the importance of talking to a trusted adult if stories scare, concern or worry them.


Curriculum links

PSHE education

Health & wellbeing: 

  • everyday things that affect feelings and the importance of expressing feelings; 

  • strategies to respond to feelings, including intense or conflicting feelings;

  • how to manage and respond to feelings appropriately and proportionately in different situations. 

More lessons
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