Newspaper headlines KS2 – Exploring stories with drama

What's included?

12-page PDF

Key Stage



Years 3-6


This newspaper headlines KS2 unit uses drama to explore the stories behind newspaper headlines.

It focuses on creating story, looking at pivotal moments, exploring character and feelings, reporting, representing and recording news items.

The scheme is presented as one long unit but can easily be divided into shorter lessons.

Drama methods include freezes, improvisation, interviews, hotseating and presentations. The scheme is also great for prompting further creative writing activities.

Newspaper headlines KS2 learning objectives

  • Investigate responses to the text (headline)
  • Present ideas and performances stimulated by the text
  • Explore the same incident from a range of perspectives
  • Understand the concept of writing for a specific purpose
  • Devise, write and perform a television news programme.

Choosing headlines to work with

In searching for newspaper headlines to use as a basis for drama, think about finding a selection which includes some headlines that have an obvious meaning and some that are ambiguous.

The aim is to have something to meet the varying needs of pupils, according to their age, ability and how much drama experience they have had. All children want to ‘get the answers right’, and this approach ensures that even the most hesitant or reluctant can feel they are doing this.

Bear in mind how you want pupils to respond to your chosen headlines. Think about how comfortable you feel about allowing the drama to take its own direction. If you feel happier with a more controlled, structured lesson, use headlines which are unambiguous – such as “Man dies after fall”.

If you want to explore a particular issue, for example fox hunting or the closure of a local service, then this will govern the choice of headline. For example, you might choose something like, “Huntsmen in battle over rescued fox”.

However, if you feel happy allowing pupils to devise their own stories and dictate the direction of the drama themselves, then a headline which is open to several interpretations will do the trick – such as “Tragic End”.

Alison Chaplin is a drama teacher and writer living in the North West. She has over 30 years of experience in youth theatre and drama teaching. Visit

Newspaper headlines KS2 resources
Newspaper headlines KS2 – Exploring stories with drama

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