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Activity Overview

The events of To Kill a Mockingbird would have made the news, and likely some would have been front page in local or county newspapers. For this assignment, students can select any major event in the novel, such as the trial or even the death of Tom Robinson, and create the front page of a newspaper that features this story. They should use evidence from the text, as well as quotes if necessary, to support their news story.

Students should be sure to include illustrations of scenes or portraits to accompany their headlines much like a real newspaper. They may also want to include advertisements or news from Alabama around that time period in order to set the events of the novel into the context of the time.

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 set during or just after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment."
  2. Create a title for your newspaper and a catchy headline for the main story.
  3. Use appropriate scenes, characters and items to create "photographs" for your article.
  4. Include captions for "photographs".
  5. Write the accompanying text for the main story, and any other articles on the front page.
    • You may need to delete the placeholder lines and add new Textables.

Lesson Plan Reference


(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.

How To Write a Headline For the News


Choose an Appropriate Scene

Students should pick a scene that they can actually see coming up in a newspaper. They can also select news based on the importance of events and analyze the public opinion and interest in these events.


Restate the Main Idea

The main point of the news piece should be condensed into the headline. Concentrate on the article's most crucial topic or moment.


Utilize Simple and Clear Language

Pick terms that a large audience may easily understand and that are clear. Eliminate jargon and unnecessarily technical terms. Students should also keep in mind the audience that will be reading the newspaper and their background. Such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” was based in the 1930s so it is important to first research the interests, educational and cultural background of people from that time.


Evoke Interest or Curiosity

Create a headline that piques readers' interests or fires their curiosity so they will want to read the article to discover more. It is important to remind students here that the headline should not state a lie or deceive readers as it can give off a bad impression.


Keep it Short

Headlines must be brief, usually 5–10 words. Longer headlines risk overwhelming readers and losing their impact. Teachers can help the students by giving examples of headlines from other newspapers and analyzing what kind of vocabulary and wordplay has been used.

Frequently Asked Questions About To Kill a Mockingbird Newspaper Project

What is the idea behind the newspaper project for the novel?

The "To Kill a Mockingbird" newspaper project is an educational exercise in which students produce a newspaper that closely resembles one from the time period of the book in terms of both style and substance. By presenting them in a journalistic style, this project enables students to interact closely with the novel's ideas, characters, and historical settings.

What objectives does the newspaper initiative have?

The project's objectives can include developing a deeper comprehension of the themes, characters, and historical background of the book, enhancing students' writing and research abilities, and promoting creativity in the way the material is presented in a newspaper format.

What research methods can students use for the newspaper project?

Students can conduct research by reading the book again, dissecting pertinent portions, and looking up important historical information from the time the story is set. To assure historical accuracy, they can also locate books, photographs, and ads from that time period. Teachers can provide the students with old newspapers for them to analyze and differentiate between the news from two different time periods.

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