A great way to engage students and empower their voice is through providing them with spaces where they can publish and share their creations and document their learning experiences.
Creating a classroom website or blog is one way towards this goal but is not the only one. Another equally engaging task is by creating a classroom newspaper.
There are tons of free pre-designed newspaper templates that you can easily edit and customize to create your own newspaper. No graphic design, HTML code, or any technical knowledge is required.
Simply select the newspaper template you like, edit its layout, insert your content, and download or share the final product with others. There are also simple and easy to use tools to create a classroom newspaper from scratch.
Below is a collection of very good resources where you can access ready-made templates to use to create newspapers for your class. You can even involve students in the creation process. Divide them into groups and let them come up with design ideas as well as content suggestions.
Newspapers, as Reading Rockets stated, “can be used to enhance skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, math, social studies and science. Critical thinking is the natural outgrowth of using a newspaper to learn.
Unlike textbooks, which are several years outdated by the time they get into students’ hands, the newspaper comes alive with information. The newspaper expands the curriculum with an unlimited amount of information to use as background for learning activities.”
Resources where you can find ready-made newspaper templates are:
Flipsnack is a platform that offers a wide variety of editable newspaper templates that you can use in various educational activities. The School section in Flipsnack contains a number of practical pre-made newspaper templates to use with your students.
Some of the titles I found really intriguing include: Elementary School Newspaper template, Students Online Newspaper template, Modern Classroom Newspaper template, and Classic Newspaper template.
Each newspaper comes with a short description about the template, info about size dimensions, and a ‘Use this template’ button to edit the template. When you click on the button, the template opens in Flipsnack editor where you can customize the template the way you want.
You can add text, shapes, pages, layers, uploads, and a wide variety of interactive features. Click preview on the top of the screen to see how your newspapers looks like before you download or publish them.
You have various download options including PDF for Web, PNG, JPG, and PDF for Print. You can also publish your newspaper and control its visibility. For instance, you can make it public, unlisted, password locked, or private.
To be able to edit and download newspaper templates on Flipsnack you need to have a premium subscription. There are three main types of premium subscriptions in the site: Starter ($14/month), Professional (35$/month), and Business ($79/month). Flipsnack provides a special educational plan and is also available as a mobile app for iOS and Android.
2- Adobe Cloud Express
Adobe Cloud Express provides a wide range of free professionally designed newspaper templates that you can use in your teaching. Simply select a template from the library and click to open it in Creative Cloud Express editor where you can edit it the way you want.
You can add icons, photos, logos, personalized fonts, change backgrounds, add animations, colors and many more. You can also invite other teachers or students to collaborate on editing newspapers. Once done, click on download to save it in PNG, JPG or PDF format.
You can also share it online on social media websites, via email or using a unique generated link.
Adobe Cloud Express editor offers two plans: a free plan which offers the following features:
- ‘Thousands of unique templates, design assets, and Adobe Fonts.
- A limited collection of royalty-free Adobe Stock free collection photos.
- Basic editing and photo effects including remove background and animate.
- Create on both web and mobile.
- 2GB of storage.’
The premium plan which costs $9.99 offers all the features in the free plan plus several other extra features (e.g., add your branding, logo, fonts, over 20.000 licensed Adobe fonts, 160 million royalty-free Adobe Stock collection photos, 100 GB of storage, and more).
3- Canva Newspaper templates
Canva’s library features a number of beautiful newspaper and newsletter templates that you can edit and customize to your educational needs. Most of these templates contain only one or two pages but you can use Canva’s editor to add more pages.
The editor also enables you to insert images, icons, shapes, arrows, text, GIFs, and several other multimedia materials to your templates. Once your newspaper template is ready, click download it in different formats including PDF, JPG, PNG, and more.
Canva also offers the possibility to invite collaborators to edit your template. To do so, click on Share from the top bar, type in the name of your collaborator, and select ‘Share a link to edit’. Other sharing options provided by Canva include: sharing directly to social media sites (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), saving to Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive, and many more.
4- Microsoft Education templates
Microsoft education offers a huge library of customizable templates to use in various educational tasks. There are templates to create newspapers, newsletters, cards, flyers, brochures, timelines, resumes, cover letters, and many more.
One particular newspaper template that stood out to me is this premium traditional newspaper which is “fully formatted for quick and easy changes. Its familiar layout that follows traditional newspaper formatting, with columns, headlines, bylines, captions, and more, makes this newspaper article template easy to navigate for any reader. This Word newspaper template prints on tabloid-sized paper.”
5- Newspaper Templates from Teachers Pay Teachers
The newspaper templates section in TPT features a large collection of templates designed specifically for use in educational settings. You can browse through the collection and apply search filters to locate specific newspaper templates.
For instance, you can filter your newspaper template search by grade, CCSS, subjects, price, resource types, and format (e.g., PDF, Image, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc). When you find the template you are interested in click to open a page where you can read more about it,. To search for free templates, use the Price filter and select free.
5 Handy Google Docs Templates for Creating Classroom Newspapers (EdTech and mLearning)
How to make Newspaper Design in MS Word (YouTube video )
This is how to make a newspaper on Google Docs (YouTube video )
How to design your own newspaper in Flipsnack (Youtube video)
A teacher’s guide to using newspapers to enhance language arts skills (Reading Rockets)
Using newspapers in the classroom (Cambridge University)