Children love to role-play. They especially enjoy mimicking people in high-profile careers such as television or newspaper reporters. This role playing can actually be very beneficial. For example, role-playing being a news anchor in front of a camera can help some children overcome shyness, while children who love to write can sharpen skills and learn how to cover events while pretending to be newspaper reporters.
Teach Children Reporters the Basics First
Children who want to be reporters need to know the types of stories that they can write and what to include in the stories. Newspapers and television newscasts are a mix of hard news--the stories about important matters currently going on in your city, the country and the world--and soft news and features--interesting pieces that aren't time sensitive. Child reporters also need to learn that each story needs the "five Ws and the H"--who, what, where, when, why and how. After a child has written his story, he should proof it to make sure he has not left out any of these basic details.
Print Reporting at Schools
Some educational institutions have newspapers where students can write articles about activities that are occurring or will be happening at the school. Usually, at the younger grade levels, a teacher will help select news ideas for the student. For instance, students can interview staff members such as cafeteria hostesses and the librarian about why they like working at the school, what they like to do when they're not in school and describe daily job duties.
Broadcast Reporting in Schools
Elementary schools have the capability and equipment to create and broadcast a morning or afternoon show to classrooms. This is a good platform for children to play act as news anchors or meteorologists. The children can read from prepared scripts about the school’s lunch menus and any school functions or activities. Older classes can encourage students to write a news report to have featured on the broadcast as part of the show. To help children learn how to interview, have students ask staff members questions in front of the camera.
Some kids complain of being bored during the summer and other holiday periods. To break up the monotony and to also reinforce your children's writing skills, have them write newspaper-style reports about trips, activities or current events. You can also have your child videotape his reports. For instance, after returning from a vacation, have your child interview family members about their favorite parts and then have her write a story about what she learned.