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Writer’s Journal by Newspapers in Education Program


English Language Arts (2005), English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core)

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade


Printed with permission from the Newspaper Association of America, taken from the 2003 NiE Week teaching guide From Writers to Readers. Activity written by Dr. Sherrye Dee Garret, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

Materials Needed

Newspaper, scissors and glue sticks, Writer Journal notebook, pens/pencils

Additional Note

For more information regarding the Newspapers in Education program at The Buffalo News, please contact:

Cindy Sterner
Education Services Manager
The Buffalo News in Education
PO Box 100
Buffalo, NY 14240
(716) 849-3477


As a writer, you need to collect ideas for future writing. Sometimes you will jot down an idea, a quote, a funny experience or a personal observation. Another valuable source of writing ideas is the newspaper. Read the newspaper every day to find items that capture your attention, make you think or make you smile. Cut them out and put them in a Writer's Journal. When you need a writing idea, look through your journal.

Here are some ideas to get you started on the newspaper items in your journal. Clip and save a newspaper story, photo, ad or comic strip that:

  • Reminds you of an experience you've had
  • Reminds you of someone you know
  • Describes something you'd like to do
  • Describes someone you'd like to meet
  • Makes you laugh
  • Makes you think
  • Makes you sad
  • Makes you see a problem in a new light
  • Has an unusual headline
  • Has a comic strip character you'd like to meet

Think some more.

Collect stories that demonstrate unusually effective writing – a good opinion column, a powerful description of an exciting event, an unusually touching description of an individual. You may find a columnist whose writing you enjoy or a particular news writer whose style you like.

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