|Title||A Newspaper Project: It’s News to Me!|
|Creator:||Brown, Deb Austin firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Source:||2009 TLI Staff PBL Plans|
|Project Idea:||News is everywhere—scrolling, crawling, and broadcasting on television, internet, radio, and newspaper. It is a 24/7 phenomenon. In keeping with 21st century learning and the mission of preparing today’s learners for the world of work—students will be given the challenge to develop, write, and publish a 21st century globally-themed newspaper. Students will skim and scan media sources for story ideas; they will generate questions and apply strategies for gathering, compiling, and recording the news. They will create written news stories for the purpose of communicating the news to the school community—and will publish their stories in a globally-themed school newspaper. The target audience will be the extended school community—all the while focusing on topics that are of interest locally, nationally, and internationally. Ideas will come from a variety of information sources—but ultimately will become stories decided upon and written by students. During the project they will work to investigate, compile, write, and publish the newspaper that will be made available to the community in electronic as well as paper formats. An electronic version of the newspaper will be uploaded to the school website. Hardcopies of the newspaper will be printed and distributed to all school students, parents, employees, and business partners. Also, copies will be taken to area restaurants and businesses for distribution to the general public—completing the real-world application of the content standards and learning objectives.|
A kickoff assembly for fourth grade students will be held. The business editor from the local newspaper will attend to help launch the project. This reporter/editor will talk with students about his life as a press member. He will bring his backpack of interesting items and will show students all of the tools that a reporter uses in his job. He will answer questions that the students might have about writing and reporting the news. At the end of the entry event, he will give each student a reporter’s notebook and pen to aid them in taking notes during the project. Much excitement will be generated by his real-life tools of the trade, stories, and experiences.
|Content Standards & Objectives:||
The list of what students will know and be able to do by the end of the project is important and relevant to their school work now as it will be later on in the 21st century world of work.
How to skim and scan informational texts
How to draw conclusions
The difference between fact and opinion
How to write paragraphs/news stories/editorial opinion pieces
Editing and revision skills
How to use word processing software for writing news stories and editorial opinion pieces
How to use technology to create photographs/maps/charts/graphs/tables that support news stories
How to use publishing software templates for publishing a newspaper
How to collaborate and work well with others
Newspaper vocabulary terms
Conduct research and take notes from media sources
Generate questions in order to clarify information
Write news stories
Use digital cameras to take pictures that support news stories
Create maps/charts/graphs/tables to support news stories
Write editorial opinion pieces
Work and collaborate as a team
Use newspaper background information to further understanding
Use word processing and publishing technology to publish a newspaper
Work as a team to write, edit, and publish a school newspaper
|Driving Question:||How can we communicate the local, national, and global news to our school community?|
|Assessment and Reflection:||
|Map The Product:||
The final product of the project is the school newspaper that will be researched, written, and published by the students. From the brainstorming of ideas to the publication and distribution of the newspaper, the responsibility will belong to the students. The teacher will act as project designer, sage, and guide. Immersing students in this real world 21st century job situation is an authentic way to get them ready for the world of work. Work will be done individually—as well as in teams of two and four. Writing teams will have two members, while editorial teams will consist of four student members. Each week during the project, the entire newspaper team will meet to have discussions, to collaborate, to listen to students share updates on their progress, to address any problems or concerns, to brainstorm ideas as a team, to solve problems, and to chart direction for the project.
Students will research, write, edit, revise, support, and publish their news stories and editorial opinion pieces—while learning, practicing, and mastering West Virginia’s 21st century content standards, learning objectives, learning skills, and technology tools. Mastery is expected of all students on all skills—and progress will be assessed incrementally as well as at the end of the project. The project performance objectives listed here indicate what students will know and be able to do by the end of the project. Assessment by teacher and the students themselves will be ongoing during the project and documented with the use of student self-evaluation checklists and teacher observation checklists. Discussions and reflections will be ongoing throughout the project and will be valuable in adjusting the project for students so that all students have the differentiated instruction that they need. The final product assessment will be conducted at the end of the project by using the project evaluation rubric, which assesses content standards and objectives, learning skills, and use of technology tools. After final project discussions, evaluations, and reflections have taken place—students will distribute their 21st century globally-themed newspaper to the extended school community and will upload the electronic version to the school’s website. A sample newspaper is attached (Community Ink).
Product: Publication of a 21st century globally-themed school newspaper
|Manage the Process:||
Prior to the start of the project, students will have direct instruction on use of word processing software to sharpen the word processing skills that they learned the previous school year. Direct instruction and practice will take place on Robert Marzano’s note-taking strategies so that students can efficiently take notes in their roles as newspaper reporters. Extra teaching and practice will be given on editing and revision skills for sentences, paragraphs, and stories. Students will also spend time reading, studying, and discussing actual newspapers for a four week period prior to the project start date.
After the entry event when the project begins, a newspaper team meeting will set the stage for the research of ideas for news stories. Brainstorming of ideas of where to look and how to gather information will lead the way to research ideas and the assessment of news sources for credibility. Students will be given the graphic organizer so that they may keep track of their news sources and rate them for credibility. This information will be given high priority when news stories are finally written by reporters and reviewed by the editorial team. Special instruction will be given on copyright laws and newspaper ethics.
Editorial meetings will be the place to best differentiate instruction. When students are paired and teamed for the project, stories will be assigned so that talents and skills are well-placed in each group. Within a team of four students assigned a news story to cover, one student would be a strong writer, another student adept at organizing information into bulleted ideas, yet another student skilled at graphic publishing skills, and a fourth student talented in interview techniques. This team would work together, leading with their skills and talents—yet learning the CSOs from the teacher and from the other members of his team.
Students will be given their reporter’s materials at the start of the project, with the charge that they save everything until the project’s end. Weekly team meetings will provide time and opportunity for reviewing reporter notes and folders—and for making editorial decisions about the direction of the project.
Because there are three fourth grade classes at our school, there are over 70 fourth grade students participating in this project. I divide the responsibilities up according to the three classes. The first class of 24 students will do the newspaper project the first six-weeks, the second class will take responsibility for the school newspaper the second six-weeks period, and the third fourth grade class will take on the project the third six-week period. Rotating the classes with the publication of each newspaper gives every student a fair chance at participation and helps the teacher give each student the attention he needs and deserves.
Suggested Project Timeline
Pre-project Newspaper subscription to the local newspaper
The newspaper will be read and studied by students prior to the launch of the project.
Week 1 Direct instruction for content and skill
Brainstorming of ideas
Charting direction/project timeline/assignment of deadlines
Week 2 Team meetings
Organizational board set-up
Week 3 Team meetings
First draft of stories
Week 4 Team meetings
Edits and revisions of news stories
Final story drafts
Week 5 Team meetings
Visual aids/photographs to support stories
Publishing of stories
Week 6 Team meetings
After the newspaper has been published, the newspaper team will sit down with the teacher to look at and discuss the final product. A discussion will be held about each section of the newspaper: name of newspaper, headlines, news stories, pictures, visual aids, and editorial opinion pieces. Strengths and weaknesses will be discussed, using the Three Compliments and One Suggestion strategy.
Students will address these discussion questions:
What have we learned from this experience?
What did we do well?
What could we do better next time?
Did we do a good job of communicating the local, national, and international news to our school community?
|Resource Files Uploaded||
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