Close Menu

The Speed of News: The Six Big Questions

Show details +

This activity introduces the five W’s and one H that every story should answer.

GRADE LEVEL: Elementary school

TIME: Less than 30 minutes

MATERIALS: The Six Big Questions worksheet (download), pencils, scissors, glue/tape

PREPARE: Print copies of the worksheet, one per student.


Placing images behind a login wall allows us to negotiate lower copyright costs and ensures that we keep all NewseumED resources free for the education community.

Sign in for full access.

Don’t have premium access? It’s free. All you have to do is register.


Overview PDF DOC
Worksheets PDF DOC
Extensions PDF DOC
Full Packet PDF DOC

To request a large print or Braille version, call 202.292.6650.


  1. Divide students into small groups.
  2. Tell them: When reporters set out to cover a story, they must gather some of the basic information of every event. They use the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why) and one H (how) questions that you may be familiar with. In this activity, you will analyze a story to see how the reporter did at answering the basic questions.
  3. Have students work individually, circling the places in the story where the six questions are answered. Then have them compare their results within their small group, come to a consensus and cut up the story to fit the worksheet.
  4. Note: There may be more than one answer to a question. For example, Barack Obama is the obvious and crucial “who” in the election story, but John McCain is another “who” in the story.


+ More


Have each group share their worksheet and explain their selections. Ask:

  • Did the reporter do a good job communicating the basic details of the event?
  • Did he leave anything unanswered? What?
  • Did he add unnecessary details? Which?
+ More

Find more activities

We’ve narrowed down your choices based on this activity. To see more options, browse all activities.

Other activities like this one

EDTools like this one

EDClasses & Training related to this activity

  • Newseum Learning Center

    Fighting Fake News — Educators Workshop

    Arm your students with the skills they need to strike a balance between cynic and sucker as they navigate a media landscape where real and fake sometimes look all too similar.

    This class is for:

    • Educators
  • Newseum Learning Center

    Who's Afraid of Fake News? Responding to Misleading Media

    Even if your students can spot fake news, what should they do about it? Explore the real consequences of this phenomenon and how you can help your students shape the reach and impact of fake news. (In beta testing for 2017-2018 school year.)

    This class is for:

    • Educators

EDClasses & Training

Request a class or workshop to get personalized instruction from Newseum Education staff.


Dive into specially curated collections of primary sources and lessons on civil rights, women's suffrage and more.


Respond to breaking news and find new ways to teach standard topics with tips from NewseumED staff.

  • The primary and secondary resources are totally awesome!”

    Hassan Mims Social Studies, Grades 9-12
  • The Newseum is a unique experience. It connects real world events to the heart of each individual.”

    Jane Peterson English, Grade 8
  • All the content from NewseumED is high quality and fully accessible for my students. That makes it invaluable!”

    Shay Taylor Education Technology Specialist, Grades 9-12 and college