#9 Happy News!

Now, more than ever, the endless stream of negative news can really have an impact on our state of mind. While the current challenges facing the world are undeniable, they aren’t the only stories out there. Whether it’s a local school donating equipment to hospitals, children painting rainbows of hope in their windows or your whole street #clappingforcarers to show their appreciation of the NHS, we are all trying to do our bit to help raise morale and spread positivity.

I have always been a huge advocate of positive thinking and when Emily Coxhead introduced The Happy News, I was among the first to sign up! I just loved that The Happy News was full of positive stories, not a single shred of negativity in sight. It was such a refreshing change and reading it always puts me in a great mood and restores my faith in humanity!

Despite everything, around the world ordinary citizens, children, teachers, neighbours and businesses are doing everything they can to make the world a better place. And these types of happy news stories are exactly what the world needs to hear right now!

Positivity is infectious. Focusing on the things that bring us joy isn’t just good for your mental health, it’ll also encourage others to spread kindness and happiness too! So, have a really close look around and think about all of those little acts of kindness that are taking place in your home, on your street and in the world around you… It’s time to write some HAPPY NEWS!

Activities

1) Keep an eye out for some happy news

Take a look at what is happening in the world around you – what lovely, kind, heart-warming things have you seen or experienced lately? If you can, take a photo or make a note about it. Think about the 5 Ws – Who? What? Where? When? Why? Make sure you record the key information you’ll need to write this experience up as a news story.

2) Look at some other happy news sources

I’m sure there will be LOTS of happy moments and acts of kindness that you’ll be able to share as our communities come together in this difficult time, but you may also find it useful to look for further inspiration from the news outlets that are already sharing the joy of good news! Try reading a few of the happy news articles from BBC Uplifting Stories and The Happy Newspaper, or watching some videos on Newsround’s Happy News and Some Good News with John Krasinski* (please double-check *YouTube content prior to showing children).

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3) Make a checklist

Make a simple checklist of all the things that you think makes a really good happy news story. What do all the best news stories have in common? Do they include photographs? Interviews? What type of information can you see? What do you notice about the language? Was it formal or informal? How did it look on the page? What were the catchy headlines that grabbed your attention? Why? Remember to use your checklist to make sure you include all the key features of really good news when you write your own. This handy News Writing page from The Guardian and The Observer is a useful tool for identifying the 5Ws and the structure of a news report.

4) Write your own Happy News!

Decide which happy news stories bring you the most joy and choose to include these in your own writing. There are a number of options for this creative writing task, or you may choose to do all three! Most importantly, remember to spread happiness by sharing all of those wonderful moments of joy with others!

Option 1 – Keep a How to be Happy Scrapbook: Follow Jo as she creates a scrapbook to help record ways to be happy and shares tips to overcome stress and worry. Then create your own! You can add photos and write about what makes you happy every day. This is a brilliant way to focus on the positive things each day and to find gratitude in all the ‘little things’. You can then share your Happy Scrapbook with others too!

Option 2 – Create your own Happy Newspaper: Emily Coxhead’s Happy Newspaper pack includes fun activities, designs to colour in and facts from The Happy Newspaper to spread positivity. It also includes a newpaper template like the one pictured above (page 8) for you to print out and create your own Happy Newspaper! Older children may choose to use this template as a front page and then write out more detailed articles on the pages that follow!

I also made some additional happy newspaper templates for those who might like to write in a little more detail. You could add these together, along with some of the pages from the activity pack, to form a whole newspaper full of marvellous news!

Option 3 – Write a script and record your own Good News Radio or TV show: Write yourself a script sharing all of the fantastic happy news and then record a video or audio news bulletin to share with others! You could dress up smart and become a news anchor, you could create your own logo or jingle for your news too! Once you’ve recorded your news, could your parents send your Happy News to other relatives and friends to make them smile? It could be recorded on an iPad or phone camera. We’d love to see and hear your child’s news so don’t forget to…

Share and Connect!

We’d love to see your happy news, videos and photos! You can either comment in the box below or post a photo on social media (you can find me on Facebook and Twitter) using the hashtag #literacywithmissp

Happy Writing!

Miss P x

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