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Analyse the Techniques Used to Write Newspaper Headlines

In this worksheet, students look at the different techniques used to create newspaper headlines.

'Analyse the Techniques Used to Write Newspaper Headlines' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Identify Text Meaning

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Creating a good headline is very important when you are writing a newspaper report. The headline needs to grab the reader's attention. If the headline is boring then nobody will bother to read the rest of the article!

 

 

In this activity you can look at the different techniques used to create effective newspaper headlines.

Newspaper headlines are usually quite short and they are not written in complete sentences. Four or five words are often enough to grab the reader's attention.

 

Which of the headlines below would be the best one for a report about a man who was rescued from a river by his pet dog?

Yesterday a Pet Dog Saved His Owner.

Brave Dog Saves Owner!

Pet Labrador Saved Owner after He Fell into a River and Was Swept Away

Newspaper headlines often make use of word-play techniques such as rhyme or alliteration (words beginning with the same sound). Which technique is used in the following headline?

 

Spiders scare schoolchildren!

rhyme

alliteration

Does this headline use rhyme or alliteration?

 

More cheese, please!

rhyme

alliteration

Headlines often use puns to attract readers. A pun is a type of word play using two words that sound alike, or a word that can mean more than one thing. Look at the following headline:

 

Witch pupil will win the Halloween competition?

The correct spelling of the first word is 'which', but this is a pun because many people dress up as witches for Halloween.

 

Which of the following headlines contains a pun?

Traffic Chaos After Lorry Crash

Marmalade Lorry Crashes on Motorway

Traffic Jam After Marmalade Lorry Crashes

This headline also contains a pun. Which word has more than one meaning?

 

Local bunny rabbit has hare-raising experience!

local

bunny

hare

raising

Not all newspapers use word play or puns in their headlines.

You may have heard the words tabloids and broadsheets. Tabloid newspapers include the Sun, the Mirror and the Daily Mail, and these ones tend to use snappy or funny headlines. Broadsheet newspapers include the Times and the Daily Telegraph, and these tend to have more serious headlines. They are called broadsheets because they are printed on bigger sheets of paper than the tabloids.

 

Read the following headlines and decide whether you think they come from a tabloid newspaper or a broadsheet.

 tabloidbroadsheet
Bank of England to Raise Interest Rates by Half a Percent
Clever Cow Uses Computer!
US President to Meet Leader of Iran
Egg-citing Times for Chicken Farmers
  • Question 1

Newspaper headlines are usually quite short and they are not written in complete sentences. Four or five words are often enough to grab the reader's attention.

 

Which of the headlines below would be the best one for a report about a man who was rescued from a river by his pet dog?

CORRECT ANSWER
Brave Dog Saves Owner!
EDDIE SAYS
The headline does not need to give a lot of detail about what happened. The details are included later in the story.
  • Question 2

Newspaper headlines often make use of word-play techniques such as rhyme or alliteration (words beginning with the same sound). Which technique is used in the following headline?

 

Spiders scare schoolchildren!

CORRECT ANSWER
alliteration
EDDIE SAYS
All the words begin with the 's' sound. This alliteration helps to grab the attention of the reader.
  • Question 3

Does this headline use rhyme or alliteration?

 

More cheese, please!

CORRECT ANSWER
rhyme
EDDIE SAYS
The words 'cheese' and 'please' rhyme with each other. Remember that it is the sound that matters, not the way that the words are spelt.
  • Question 4

Headlines often use puns to attract readers. A pun is a type of word play using two words that sound alike, or a word that can mean more than one thing. Look at the following headline:

 

Witch pupil will win the Halloween competition?

The correct spelling of the first word is 'which', but this is a pun because many people dress up as witches for Halloween.

 

Which of the following headlines contains a pun?

CORRECT ANSWER
Traffic Jam After Marmalade Lorry Crashes
EDDIE SAYS
There is a pun on the word 'jam'. The lorry was carrying marmalade, which is similar to jam, and it caused a traffic jam when it crashed.
  • Question 5

This headline also contains a pun. Which word has more than one meaning?

 

Local bunny rabbit has hare-raising experience!

CORRECT ANSWER
hare
EDDIE SAYS
The pun is on the word 'hare'. A 'hair-raising experience' is something frightening, and a hare is a similar animal to a rabbit.
  • Question 6

Not all newspapers use word play or puns in their headlines.

You may have heard the words tabloids and broadsheets. Tabloid newspapers include the Sun, the Mirror and the Daily Mail, and these ones tend to use snappy or funny headlines. Broadsheet newspapers include the Times and the Daily Telegraph, and these tend to have more serious headlines. They are called broadsheets because they are printed on bigger sheets of paper than the tabloids.

 

Read the following headlines and decide whether you think they come from a tabloid newspaper or a broadsheet.

CORRECT ANSWER
 tabloidbroadsheet
Bank of England to Raise Interest Rates by Half a Percent
Clever Cow Uses Computer!
US President to Meet Leader of Iran
Egg-citing Times for Chicken Farmers
EDDIE SAYS
The headlines in broadsheet newspapers tend to give more information about what will be contained in the report.
---- OR ----

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