Activity Overview

The Lions of Little Rock takes place in Little Rock, Arkansas during the height of racism in the South and the Civil Rights Movement. Imagine what the headlines looked like back in 1958? In this activity, students will create a newspaper front page describing events that occurred in the novel. Students could also make up a story that they think might occur in Little Rock and write about that. Some important events students could choose from include: Liz having to leave school because she wasn’t white, Red throwing dynamite into Betty Jean’s house, teachers getting fired because of the groups they belong to, the KKK in the town, and so much more.

For additional templates to include in this assignment, check out our Newspaper Poster and Newspaper Worksheet templates!

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create the front page of a newspaper, The Little Rock News!, and describe an event from the book, The Lions of Little Rock. You may also write about an event you imagine might happen in Little Rock.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify an event from The Lions of Little Rock or make one up.
  3. Write a captivating headline.
  4. Add appropriate characters, items and scenes to create at least one appealing picture on the front page that helps illustrate your event.
  5. Write a description of the story in the text boxes.
  6. Save and exit when you're done.


  1. Headline.
  2. Picture(s)
  3. Minimum one paragraph to describe the event.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/3] Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/1] Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/3] Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/3] Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Newspaper Front Page
Students will re-tell key events from the story using a Newspaper front page as a template. They will add a catchy headline, create images and write descriptions for each to imitate the look of the front page of a newspaper highlighting the key events of the story.
7 Points
4 Points
1 Points
Headline and Descriptions
Students include a catchy headline for the front page as well as detailed descriptions for each event illustrated that explain what happened in a minimum of 3-5 sentences.
The headline and/or the descriptions for the events can be understood but it is somewhat unclear or too brief.
The front page is missing either the headline or descriptions of each of the events depicted.
The illustrations represent the events using appropriate scenes, characters and items. It is clear the student took time and care in creating the illustrations.
The illustrations partially relate to the events but they are difficult to understand or appear rushed.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the key events of the story.
Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation
Final product is free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
Final product contains up to three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar that do not alter the meaning of the text.
Final product contains more than three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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