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Newspaper layout KS3 – Boost understanding of non-fiction writing

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Lesson plan PDF with activity ideas

Key Stage



Years 7-9


Encouraging students to analyse the presentation of newspaper articles can help them make leaps of understanding about non-fiction writing. I used this newspaper layout KS3 lesson with a mixed-ability Year 7 class studying the non fiction unit in preparation for the summer reading exam.

Teaching non-fiction can be tricky. Students easily slip into description rather than analysis. Developing a range of activities for this lesson allowed me to engage and stretch students of all abilities.

It involves a lot of independent thinking, combined with paired and group work. This makes learning dynamic and less teacher-led.

Students need to take ownership of the task. This leads to structured discussions, enabling the more able ones to formulate detailed analysis with technical accuracy. At the same time, lower ability students can engage with the task and work collaboratively. This boosts their confidence overall.

Newspaper layout KS3 lesson

Students find studying language in media interesting. The focus of this lesson is not to simply identify, but to infer and deduce from the text to show how the target audience is addressed.

Young people tend to be familiar with the technical terms but not always able to understand fully how they affect meaning, so they tend to describe generally, hence the aim of this lesson is to explore meaning.

The lesson aims to look closely at a newspaper article. Ask students to identify language and presentational features that support meaning in non-fiction text. Learning strategies include visual, auditory, paired, class discussion and individual written tasks.

This unit is cross-curricular – you’ll teach students technicalities of media language, which makes a direct link to media studies and advertising. Equally, this could be useful for design when focusing on page layout using software such as InDesign.

Priya Rudhun-Imrith is head of English at All Saints Secondary School, Dagenham. She has many years of teaching experience in English and Media Studies. Browse more free KS3 English reading and writing lesson plans and KS2 newspaper report resources.

Newspaper layout KS3 lesson plan
Newspaper layout KS3 – Boost understanding of non-fiction writing

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