Extra, Extra!

Project Overview

Software Type: Word Processing/Page Layout

The example project created in this Lesson Accelerator addresses ISTE Standards Performance Indicators for middle grades as used in a(n) Language Arts curriculum. It could also be used with older learners or adapted for lower grades. See the section on Extending and Adapting at the bottom of this page for ideas on how to use this same project for different subjects, grades, and skill levels.

Project Launchers

Lesson Accelerator Project Launcher pages contain video tutorials that show you, step-by-step, how to create this project using specific software applications, as well as a movie showing you what the finished project looks like. They also provide a download of all the example files used in the project, so you can recreate it.

When you've reviewed all the information on this page and would like to go to a Project Launcher, click the application name below that corresponds to the one you'd like to use for the project.


Students will be using the page layout and graphics tools available in a word processing application to create a classroom newsletter that can be used repeatedly to publish class news. They will then learn how to modify the template for each edition of the newsletter, adding article text and clip art to share current class happenings.


To provide students with the opportunity to use software tools for recording and publishing information about events taking place in their classroom.


The student will be able to:

  • Create a new word processing document.
  • Add and format graphic text.
  • Use software tools to add graphic elements to their document.
  • Add and format clip art.
  • Create a template document.
  • Modify the template to contain current text and graphics.

Preparation and Skill Mastery

Students should have mastered basic computer skills, such as the use of input devices (mouse, keyboard, etc.), opening and closing applications, and saving documents to a personal folder or directory.

If students will be preparing their own articles for the newsletter, it would be helpful for them to prepare the newsletter text in a separate document, prior to beginning this project.


  • A computer with word processing software installed.
  • Access to the example articles in the downloadable resource packet, or their own article text for inclusion in the newsletter.
  • A printer (optional).

Task List

The tasks to be completed for this project include:

  • Creating a new word processing document and changing the page setup.
  • Adding graphic text, graphic elements, and formatting that will remain the same from newsletter to newsletter.
  • Saving the template document.
  • Modifying the template to contain current news events and clip art.
  • Saving and printing their finished newsletter.


Assessment can be based on the following:

  • Was the student able to create a newsletter template containing text and graphic elements that will not change from one edition of the newsletter to the next?
  • Was the student able to modify the template to contain current news articles and graphics?
  • A couple of different rubrics are included in the Project Activity Guide (included in the downloadable resource packet) that can be used for assessing the final project.

Extending or Adapting

Here are some possible ways that this lesson plan might be extended or adapted for different timeframes, grade levels, and skill/ability levels:

  • The example project demonstrates how to create and modify a word processing template that will be used for a classroom newsletter. The project could be easily adapted for creating a report or presentation template that could then be used for presenting information about a specific topic.
  • The amount of information required for the final project can be modified or adapted to fit student ability. For example, younger students might create a newsletter that contains simpler text and more graphic elements.
  • Students can work cooperatively to create the newsletter. Individual group members can each be assigned the responsibility for writing an article about a classroom or school event for the newsletter.

What's in a Project?

Each project provides:

  • Project activity guide
  • Copy of the completed project
  • All the resources needed to recreate the example project
  • Step-by-step tutorial movies that walk students through the project
  • Assessment rubric