KidsPost Page

KidsPost is the only section of the paper that is written especially for students in grades 2 through 7. Appearing in the paper Sunday through Thursday it is designed to give students summaries of important news happening locally, nationally and internationally. KidsPost also includes features on kids, animals, life at school and issues of particular interest to kids. It also features book reviews, contests and puzzles. Kids are frequently asked to write to KidsPost with their opinions on a variety of news events and issues. Not only are these often published in KidsPost, but they provide excellent current events writing exercises.

We want to help you as you encourage your students to develop the habit of reading daily. The lessons in this section are for use in language arts, social studies, science, math and other classes. They often cross disciplines. We hope that they will engage students in discussion and stimulate writing activities.

KidsPost is found at the back of the Style section Monday through Thursday. There is also a four-page pullout section found in the Sunday Style section (which is delivered on Saturday to subscribers). The content is aimed at 7- to 12-year-olds and is often created with classroom use in mind.

Because of its broad range of news topics, KidsPost supports language arts and current events through reading, writing and discussion. The Today’s News item can be compared and contrasted to the corresponding articles throughout the newspaper as well as the more subjective writing of columnists and the opinion and editorial pages. It is important for students to understand the difference between news reporting and editorial or opinion pieces.

Real-life applications can be made after reading feature stories, some of which aim to explain in kid-friendly terms stories students have seen on the television, internet or the front page. Students should be encouraged to share their opinions in writing letters to the editor. Whether they agree or disagree with an article, they can write in a way that supports their position. These are often published in KidsPost.

As they read KidsPost, students should compile a list of vocabulary words with which they are unfamiliar. (KidsPost often provides definitions and pronunciations for words that may be a stretch for some grade levels). Students can scan the page and try to draw conclusions from the artwork, graphics and photos that accompany the articles. Once familiar with the rest of the newspaper, students can categorize the articles according to the sections of the paper in which those articles could be found. For example, where would the weekly Score column appear if not in KidsPost?

The daily weather forecast can take students to the Metro section’s Weather page to compare the forecasts and to see how the nation’s weather is shaping up. KidsPost publishes weather drawings from children Monday through Thursday and this can be an art project.

KidsPost tries to offer something for every child every day. So a student who is not interested in the main story, may find useful (or fun) information in the Today’s News column or even in the fun fact shared daily by the KidsPost mascot, CHIP. KidsPost does occasional features in Spanish and English to benefit both native English speakers who are learning Spanish and children who are learning English as a second language. Those stories also highlight some aspect of Spanish culture. KidsPost is also marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a series of articles intended to offer a kids’-eye view of the conflict.

KidsPost offers interactive opportunities as outlined above as well as the hugely popular annual Poetry Contest conducted in April, National Poetry Month. To encourage kids to keep their reading skills up during the summer months, KidsPost offers a Summer Book Club that suggests books across a variety of age ranges. Feel free to contact KidsPost by sending an e-mail to The editors love to hear from teachers as to what works and doesn’t work in the classroom.

The Newspaper in Education Program provides online curriculum guides that include discussion questions activites and resources which teacher can easily incorporate into their classrooms. Many of the lessons are designed to be used with the KidsPost page.  Go to the search and type in "KidsPost."

Eugene Meyer, legendary publisher of The Washington Post, had what he called “Seven Principles for the Conduct of a Newspaper,” which he wrote in 1935. One of those principles was that what a newspaper prints “shall be fit reading for the young as well as the old.” Since it was first printed in April 2000, KidsPost has aimed to be not only fit reading but fun reading for what its editors think are the Post’s most important readers – its youngest ones.

Highlights of KidsPost

During the week

The Score: Fred Bowen’s sports column (every Thursday)

Birthdays of the Week: Wishing readers between the ages of 6 and 13 happy birthday (every Monday).

Ever Wonder: Answers kids questions about why things are in the world (from who invented bubblegum to why we belch). Send ideas to

Today’s News: A short story about something in the news of interest to kids (Monday-Thursday)

Weather: Weather forecast with drawing from local child. (Monday-Thursday)

Features: Interesting, informational stories for kids with photos, illustrations and graphics. These stories can range from interviews with authors to in-depth explanations of  big news stories to features about local kids doing amazing things.

C.H.I.P. KidsPost’s robot dog mascott offers a fun fact of the day. (Monday through Thursday).


The four-page Sunday KidsPost features:


Main feature story: Of interest to local kids, often with an interactive component involving writing or drawing contests.

To Read: Book reviews for kids, with age range suggestions.

To Do: A fun family activity.

Minipage: Puzzles and games from the syndicated MiniPage feature that appeals to younger readers.

Read a News Article


Today’s News, a summary of news stories, is provided periodically in the KidsPost page.

Although brief, the summaries give younger students experience in reading news and older students examples of concise writing.

For the Level 2 exercise, you may wish to review the “What is News?” list on page 8 in the introduction to the INSIDE Program.

For additional information on news writing, see “INSIDE Journalism: The News Story.”


1.  A news article is written in a specific order. The first paragraph is called the lede (lead). The lede usually summarizes the story. It provides the reader with the 5 W’s and one H – who, what, where, when, why and how of the story. The information in a news story is organized from most important to know to least important to know. This style of organizing information is called the inverted pyramid.

Select lede paragraphs from Today’s News. Make a chart:

Article 1                                   Article 2







Read the lede to find the who, what, where, when, why and how of the story. Record the information in the correct column. If this information is not found in the lede, can students find it later in the article? If so, record the information in the correct column and place the paragraph number in parentheses at the end (#).

If there is a blank in the chart, why do students think this information is not included?


2.  One quality that makes news, news is proximity. Keep track of the news articles in KidsPost for a week. How many of the stories take place in your state or the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area?

Locate where the events take place on a map. Approximately how many miles from your school did each event take place?

If the event did not take place near students’ homes and school, is it still interesting to them?  What other quality makes it newsworthy and of interest to readers?

Go through the criteria for determining what is news. Which do students think apply?


3.  Read Today’s News. What questions do students still have about the situation, event or persons involved? Find and read the article on the same topic in The Washington Post.

•What new information is provided in the longer article?

•Are their questions answered?

•Do students have new questions?

Make a list of these questions. Ask students to read The Post for follow-up articles on the same topic. How many of their questions are answered in two weeks?


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Reading/English Language Arts, Students will read critically to evaluate informational text [newspapers, articles, editorials, commentary]. Analyze the text and its information for reliability.


English, Grade 10, Writing, The student will critique professional and peer writing.

Washington, D.C.

Reading/English Language Arts, Grade 5, Language for Research and Inquiry, The student summarizes and critiques two or more local newspaper articles dealing with the same topic or issue.

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Performing a Task

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, finding the main idea, identifying, drawing conclusions, evaluating

Make Use of the Small Stuff


Ears, found in the upper corners of a front page, provide additional information. Acquaint students with ears. Have students locate the front page and the ears in each section of The Washington Post. What kind of information is found in the ears of each section?

Now turn to the KidsPost page. Do ears exist? If they do exist, what information is found in the left ear of the KidsPost page? What is in the right ear?

The student-drawn weather illustration and weather forecast appear above the fold on the KidsPost page. For the Level 2 activity help students to distinguish the weather prediction for the current day from the one for the next day.


1.  When states appear in the right ear or in a KidsPost article, use the graphic as an opportunity to teach geography. Have a large map of the United States posted in the room and individual maps for students. Help students to turn the image in KidsPost until they see its similarity to the state on the map. Name it. Students could color the state.

What is the name of its capital? Locate the capital city on the map. Draw a star on their maps where the capital is located.

After identifying the state, students should identify contiguous states and countries. What are the main products of the state and area? Who are the leaders, past and present?

This activity could be modified when countries appear in the right ear or on the KidsPost page.

Extension: Read the front page and DIGEST in the MAIN NEWS section. Are there any stories from this state in these pages?


2.  How accurate is the weather forecast? Collect the weather art and forecasts of a week. Also collect the WEATHER page found in the METRO section for the same days plus one. Have students record the predicted high and low temperatures and weather condition for Monday found on the KidsPost page. Then read Tuesday’s WEATHER page

for the actual temperature high and low. This information is found under “Official Weather Data” and is given for Reagan National, Dulles and BWI airports. Students will need to determine which airport is closest to their school.

Continue recording the temperatures and weather conditions, both forecast and actual, for a week. Discuss with students what conditions existed to influence temperatures.

Have students compare data. How accurate were the forecasts for their neighborhood? Have students graph results.

Have students prepare a Washington Area Forecast based on the data collected and other information found on the WEATHER page.

Extension: Have students draw a picture to illustrate one of the weather conditions. Weather abbreviations are:

s — Sunny

pc — Partly Cloudy

c — Cloudy

r — Rain

sh — Showers

t — Thunderstorms

sf — Snow Flurries

sn — Snow

i — Ice

Submit pictures to KidsPost for the weather ear. Mail entry to KidsPost, The Washington Post, 1150 15th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071.


3.  On Monday in “Birthdays of the Week,” readers get an overview of birthdays that make this week special for some local KidsPost readers. These are presented in date of birth order. Revise the list to be in chronological order.

Teachers may post “Birthdays of the Week” on the bulletin board. If a student in the class is celebrating a birthday that week, add his or her photograph and a ribbon to connect to the correct location in the column.

Create a birthday card for someone having a birthday this week in your class or in your school (office, cafeteria and custodial staffs). Write a four-line rhyming message for inside the card.

Extension: Do students know any celebrities, well known or historic personalities who are celebrating birthdays this week? You could create a timeline that students will develop throughout the school year. Take time to update it on a weekly or monthly basis.

Create a timeline of the 1900s.  Either have each student produce an illustrated timeline or divide the class into decade groups.

First place the birth date of well-known personalities, literary or historic figures on the timeline. Read about the individuals and place an event from each life on the timeline.

For example, “Mountain climber Edmund Hillary (1919)” is listed on July 20. For a second item on the timeline, students could identify May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal become first human beings to conquer Mount Everest-Chomolungma, the highest place on earth.


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Mathematics, Students will collect, organize, display, analyze, or interpret data to make decisions or predictions.


Science, Interrelations in Earth/Space Systems, The student will investigate and understand how weather conditions and phenomena occur and can be predicted.

Washington, D.C.

Mathematics, Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability, The student collects, organizes, represents, evaluates and interprets data; makes predictions based on data.

Fundamental Skill:

Reinforce Interacting

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Following directions, locating information, categorizing, predicting outcomes, analyzing, drawing conclusions, developing visual imagery