Journalism Lemonade - A Summer Activity To Inspire Little Citizens
After what feels like a never-ending winter, green is now everywhere, and we’re starting to believe summer may indeed happen this year.
We love summer. We love reading with our kids in our laps under a shady tree. We love too that summer is the time of year when nights are a little longer, the weekends a bit more leisurely, and we have time to plan a few fun activities that enhance our little lions' brains and hearts.
This year, with the noise of the world's challenges in our ears, we feel especially motivated to help our children become thoughtful global and local citizens. We want our children to know how to truly listen, be willing to hear out others and understand many perspectives. We also want them to find their voice and use it for kindness, love, and empathy.
Throughout the summer months, we’ll share some activities we’ve tried with our own little lions to enhance their understanding of the world and their ability to shape it.
Our first activity teaches little lions about the importance of knowing their community, about journalism, asking thoughtful questions, and staying true to facts when presenting the story back to the audience. Your lions will set up a lemonade stand, but instead of selling the lemonade for money, they'll ask their neighbors questions in exchange for some refreshing lemonade. Then, they’ll put together a newspaper and/or a news broadcast to share their story.
Journalism Lemonade Stand
Summer Activity #1
Ideal Age: 4-15
Goal: Children learn to write and ask questions while earning more about their community and enhancing their own empathy and understanding of the world, one person at a time.
Why Your Little Lions Will Love It: Lemonade stands and summer are the best. Kids love to learn and understand people and the world.
Step 1: Announce The Activity With Much Fan Fare
“You are going to be journalists!!! And run a lemonade stand!!”
Step 2: Introduce Journalism To Your Little Lions
Pick out and read several books from the library about journalists and their role in the civil right’s movement, the women’s suffragist movement, famous journalists and/or in any topics that interest your little lions.
Talk about the importance of journalism in enhancing our understanding of the world. Ask:“Why is it important to know what’s happening in our neighborhood? Our city? Our country? The world?”
Talk about bias. Talk about the difference between fact and feelings. Explain that we all have opinions and feelings and how those biases can influence how we see facts. Ask: “As a journalist how will you try to report facts and not your opinion?”
Step 3: Create Questions
Work with your little lions on a theme that excites them (e.g., climate change, sports, art, dinosaurs, music, books, digging holes, etc.)
Together, decide what you want to ask people about the theme. Start with a big list and narrow it down to the best 5 questions. Write the 5 questions on the top of a large sheet of paper with lots of room for answers.
Step 4: Set Up Your Journalism Lemonade Stand
Create a large sign that says something like "Journalists in Training! Answer a Question, Get a Glass of Lemonade"
Make a lot of delicious lemonade & put it in a container. Put out a lot of glasses for purchased lemonade.
Bring the questions + a place for the money and some change.
Set up your lemonade stand in a high pedestrian traffic area of your community
Step 5: Ask The Hard Questions
Little lions ask one question of each customer. If customers don’t want to answer, ask for 75 cents instead for the lemonade
If they can, little lions should write down the responses to the questions, or you can help them if they need assistance.
Step 6: Tell The News
Help little lions who are fluent and/or interested writers, write a newspaper or article about the lemonade stand and what they learned.
For early writers, or as a bonus to more experienced writers, take out your phone or video camera for the little lion to become a news reporter. They can report on the lemonade stand and what they learned.
Step 7: Follow Up Questions
Spend sometime debriefing with your little lion. Ask questions about what they learned and if they’d like to continue working in journalism. Encourage them to keep asking questions and making neighborhood newspapers or videos to share what they learn.
*We'd love to see your lemonade stands in action! Be sure to post them on social media and tag us.