Computer Skills Curriculum

Word Processing Lesson Plan

Title: Newspaper Activity: Social Needs

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts: 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.1; Computer Skills: 2.3; Information Skills 1.4, 1.5; Social Studies (Gr. 4) 7.2

Grade: 4

Competency 2.3: Use a word processing program to enter a paragraph into the computer and print it.

Measure 2.3.1: Given a writing prompt, compose a paragraph. Using word processing software, enter and edit it, then save and print it.

Materials Needed: Local newspapers, scissors, writing materials, computer, printer with paper, word processing software, chart paper and markers (or computer with LCD palette, overhead projector, and word processing program).

Time: Two to three class periods, 30-40 minutes each.

Terms:word processing, file, print, save, retrieve, edit,




  • Discuss the concept of social needs (i.e., religious activities, family activities) with the students.
  • Identify ways that people meet their social needs in NC (e.g., NC State Fair).
  • Develop categories of social needs and post list of social needs on chart paper or bulletin board.


  • Divide class into cooperative learning groups of 3-4 persons.
  • Have students look for listings of NC cultural activities in the newspaper and cut out articles, in their groups.
  • Have each student choose an event and write a descriptive paragraph about the event. Tell students: Now that you have chosen a cultural activity, write an explanation of how this event might meet social needs of some members of our community. Be sure to describe how this need fits with the categories that were identified earlier and posted on chart paper (or bulletin board).
  • Instruct students to enter a draft of their paragraphs into the computer, save them, and then print a copy.
  • Have students edit and revise their paragraphs, in their cooperative learning groups.
  • Have students enter revisions, save them, and then print a copy of the revised paragraph.

    Follow-up Activity:

  • Have students illustrate their work using computer programs or by hand.
  • Provide an opportunity for individual students to share their illustrations with their classmates. (You may wish to have a few students share each day.)


  • Students make a computer poster or advertisement for their favorite NC cultural event. Students share their favorite NC cultural event and how that event meets a social need for them (example, the NC State Fair).
  • Students use computer software to help create a chart of NC cultural activities listed in the newspaper for a week. Students discuss their findings in class in small groups.
  • Students describe their work on this activity in a class computer journal.


Prompt students to individually choose an event (performance/cultural activity) and to describe how this event meets the social needs of some community members. Using word processing software and a computer, each student enters a draft of a paragraph from the writing prompt (How does this event meet a social need?). Each student edits, saves, and then prints the paragraph.