Computer Skills Curriculum
Telecomputing Lesson Plan

Title: Compu-News

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan English Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Information Skills 1.2, 2.1; Computer Skills: (Gr. 5) 1.2

Grade: 5
Competency 1.2: Identify computers as tools for accessing current information.

Measure 1.2.1: Describe the advantages of obtaining news by telecomputing from a computer accessible news service vs. from a daily newspaper.

Materials Needed: A copy of Compu-News Announcement Sheet for each student.

Time: One class session and one homework assignment.

Terms: Telecomputing
Glossary of Telecomputing Terms
Grade 5 Glossary



  • 1. Explain to the class that there are businesses today that provide news online. This means that people can use their own computer to access over telephone lines current news from these online services.
  • 2. Ask the class how many of them receive a daily or weekly newspaper. Ask the class the following questions to get them thinking about newspapers.
    • What kind of news is reported in their newspaper?
    • What sections of the newspaper do they read?
    • What sections do other members of their family read?
  • 3. Hand out a copy of the Compu-News Announcement Sheet to each student in the class. Explain that this is an announcement of a fictitious online news service.
  • 4. Divide the class into groups of three or four. Assign each group to look over the features of the Compu-News service and then write down as many as they can of advantages that this type of service has over newspapers.
  • 5. After about 15 or 20 minutes, have a member of each group report on their decisions. Keep a running list of advantages on the board and discuss similarities from each group.


For homework, assign each student to write a letter to a newspaper company explaining why they should consider offering an online version of the newpaper.

Extended Activity:

Many daily newspapers have Internet e-mail. If you find that your local paper has such a service and that you have access, have your students type their letters into a computer using a word processing program, and then e-mail them to the newspaper directly.