Social Studies 5: Reporting 101
Today we'll learn about the five W's and how and how they're important to reporters. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
Where did you put the remote??
When did I tell you to be home from school? [Boy walks in through front door and Mom shouts]
Why would you eat three tubs of ice cream in one sitting?
And how in the world did you get your head stuck in the railing?"
But the 5Ws and 1H aren't just good for parenting – they're Reporting 101.
Newspaper articles can be written to inform, persuade, or entertain – but our focus today
is on informational writing. [Coop discussing informational writing]
When a journalist is writing an article in order to educate and inform the reader, they're
writing “informational writing.”
Which means that they’ll always start with the same six questions.
First comes who, as in “Who is the story about?” [Man giving speech outside of Congress]
Is it a politician? A citizen? Your kooky aunt Mabel?
Informational articles are often about people and their actions, so knowing who we're talking
about is pretty important. Next comes what. “What happened in this
Did the politician pass a bill? Did a citizen find something weird in their hamburger? Did [Politician holding a bill and people raise their arms]
Aunt Mabel add a tenth cat to her collection?
If a story was a sandwich, “what” would be the meat. You gotta know what happened.
Next comes where. This one asks where the story takes place.
Where did the politican's bill get passed? Where did they buy the hamburger with a fake
eyeball in it? Where the heck is Mabel going to find space for that darn cat? [Cat sat on a bed and Mabel wonders where to find space]
Where is super important. The reader needs to know if the sinkhole is on the other side
of the world… or in their backyard. After that comes when. [Man falls into sink hole]
Whether you're trying to figure out when the bill comes into effect, when the fake eyeball
could have found its way into the hamburger, or when Mabel found time to buy a new cat [Mabel driving a car]
between taking care of the nine other cats, people need to know if the story is recent
Who cares if the lottery happened a year ago? We want to know about the one that’s about
to happen and is about to make us billionaires! Next up is “why?” This one is super important,
because it's when the writer explains why something is important to the reader.
Why did the bill get passed and why does it affect everyone? Why did the fake eyeball [A hamburger and a plate of fake eyeballs]
end up there? And why does Mabel need all of those cats, anyway?
So those are our five Ws, which leaves us with our 1H, “How.”
“How” is kind of a catch-all question that allows the writer to cover any other [Coop discussing how]
important details they might have missed.
How did any of this happen? How might it happen to you? How in the world isn't there a law
preventing women named Mabel from owning more than a set number of cats? [Mabel holding a cat and politician holds up a bill]
How allows the reader to go into detail and explain things further, and we all love details…
…almost as much as Mabel loves cats.
So there you have it – the 5Ws and 1H to reporting!
Now if you'll excuse us, we have some kitty litter to change. What a clawful situation. [Kitty litter in a bathroom and Mabel walks in]