This is made somewhat more difficult by the fact that -- being a 21st century kid -- Katie is almost 11 years old and has never actually read a newspaper, to the best of my knowledge. She doesn't even read the Sunday funnies. This may help explain why print publishing is in such trouble.
So when Katie got home from school today, we went out on the back porch so I could throw the ball for Ruby the Dog. I then presented Katie with a copy of the Chicago Tribune from a few days ago and pointed her to the coverage of the Mexico City earthquake on the front page. "The reason," I said, "that you're having trouble with this assignment is that you have no idea what a newspaper article is like. So read this one and then we'll talk about it."
This was followed by several minutes of reading and an explanation of what a "lede" is, how not to bury it, and how the level of detail increases as you read down the article.
Katie assures me that she is now prepared to finish this assignment. I will be interested to see the result. :)
In other news, I went to Home Depot to pick up parts to repair my closet shelf only to discover that the store that I went to did not actually have shelf supports in other than the handy 12-pack. I guess I need to try a different store.