Creating a Newspaper By: Marrla Wilkinson Discipline: Language Arts Lesson: Creating a Newspaper: A Culminating Assessment for Newspaper/Media Unit Students: (1) Eighth Grade Classroom : 16 Students
Learning Environment:Harriet Tubman Young Women’s Academy • The Academy was opened three years ago in North Portland, and is funded under the umbrella of Jefferson High School. The Academy is a main feeder into the North Portland High School. • The Academy is a Math, Science, and Engineering focus school, and features small classes. • Current enrollment is 170 students. 41% are Caucasians, 38% are African Americans, 10.2% are Hispanic, and 5.2% are Multi-ethnic. • Most students are “blocked” together, and stay in grades 6-8 as a classroom unit with the same instructor as a tactic to create camaraderie in the school environment.
Purpose, Rationale and Goals • The purpose of this lesson is to assess students’ cumulative understanding of goals and objectives of the three week Newspaper/Media Unit. • Goals: Students will work in assigned groups to identify current events, community issues and compile information from interviews to create articles. Students will then peer edit articles and craft a newspaper using given templates. • Rationale: This lesson complies with Oregon State Standards and standards adapted by the Portland Public School District. This lesson ends a unit focusing on enrichment of media literacy of eighth grade Language Arts learners.
Curriculum Framing Questions • Essential Question: How can we read the newspaper critically and use it effectively? • Unit Questions- How do we use the newspaper to stay informed? How can we become media literate? • Lesson Questions- What are the different sections of the newspaper? What are the 5 W’s of an article and why are they important? How can we become involved in community events through the newspaper? What is the difference between fact and opinion? What is bias and how do we detect it? How do editorials differ from news? How do we use the classified ads effectively?
Oregon State Standards • 1. (EL.08.RE.02) Listen to, read, and understand a wide variety of informational and narrative text,including classic and contemporary literature, poetry, magazines, newspapers, reference, materials, and online information. • 2. (EL.08.RE.05) Match reading to purpose--location of information, full comprehension, andpersonal enjoyment • 3. (EL.08.RE.14) Read textbooks; biographical sketches; letters; diaries; directions; procedures;magazines; essays; primary source historical documents; editorials; news stories; periodicals;bus routes; catalogs; technical directions; consumer, workplace, and public documents.
Oregon State Standards • 4. (EL.08.RE.15) Synthesize information found in various parts of charts, tables, diagrams, glossaries, orrelated grade-level text to reach supported conclusions. • 5. (EL.08.RE.27) Synthesize and use information from a variety of consumer and public documentsto explain a situation or decision and to solve a problem. • 6. (EL.08.RE.25) Identify and analyze text that uses proposition (statement of argument) and supportpatterns (e.g., editorials).
Oregon State Standards • 7. (EL.08.WR.01) Use a variety of strategies to prepare for writing, such as brainstorming, makinglists, mapping, outlining, grouping related ideas, using graphic organizers, and taking notes. • 8. (EL.08.SL.12) Interpret and evaluate the various ways in which visual image-makers (e.g., graphicartists, illustrators, news photographers, film makers) communicate information and affectimpressions and opinions. • 9. (EL.08.SL.11) Evaluate the credibility of a speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material.
Oregon State Standards • 10. (EL.08.SL.11) Evaluate the credibility of a speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material. • 11. ( Portland Public School District Standard 8.5.2) Identify, restate, and/or summarize details and/or opinions presented ininformational and practical selections.
Learning Objectives • Students will work in small groups as “journalist teams” to create a class newspaper. • Students will write their own articles that demonstrate learning of article format and content. • Students will also provide other popular newspaper features, such as the comics and editorials, and focus on multicultural representation and fair (bias free) writing.
Context of Lesson in Larger Unit • This is a week long lesson in which students willcreate a class newspaper as an authentic, “hands on” culminating assessment of a larger unit. • The lesson follows a three week unit on understanding the newspaper as a popular and important source of media
Your New Job as a Journalist Congratulations! You have learned a lot about the newspaper in the last three weeks, and you have just landed a job as a journalist! Your new boss assigned you to a writing team, and gave your group a special assignment for the class newspaper. You better get started right away. The newspaper goes to press in exactly five days! Look on the next list for your team of fellow journalists, and then organize yourself into a group.
Journalist Teams Team One: Team Two: Team Three: Team Four: Lydia Tagen Heather Shawna Joelle Skye Paula Ashleigh Renee Tina Regina Shana Megan Samora Annie Leeza Please find your team members, get some refreshments, and go to your team’s assigned meeting area. This will be your meeting area all week, unless we are in the computer lab.
Team Assignments Team One: • (1)Current event with bias and one complimentary photo • (1) Current event without bias and one complimentary photo • (1)Current event that honors multi-cultural representation and one complimentary photo • Two text headings (one for the front page and one for the back page) • The weather section • Today in History section • Comic Strip
Team Assignments Team Two: • Editorial article and complimentary photo • Business article with multi-cultural representation and two complimentary photos • Horoscope for February • Community article and (3) complimentary photos • One large advertisement • (1) Small sports article with (1) complimentary photo • (3) Small classified ads
Team Assignments Team Three: • One large advertisement • One large International article with (2) complimentary photos • Advice Column • (3) Small sports articles with (2) complimentary photos • (3) Classified ads
Team Assignments Team Four: • Metro article with multi-cultural representation and (2) complimentary photos • One large ad • (1) large sports article with one complimentary photo • (1) small sports article • (3) small classified ads and one complimentary photo
Guidelines for Peer Editing Give compliments to your team member for the great things that they are doing. Give constructive criticism if you think they need to change anything. Look at grammar and punctuation, and lightly mark these corrections with a pencil, or point them out to your team member If they are already in a Word Document. Run a spell check. Be respectful of your team member’s work, and keep all of your comments positive. Do not “put down” anyone else’s work.
Writing a Newspaper Article • Remember to include the five W’s (who, what, when, where and why). • Content must be appropriate for school atmosphere (ask if you are not sure). • Look at articles in the Oregonian for formatting hints. • Use the handouts that Ms. Wilkinson held up at the beginning of class. • Ask Ms. Wilkinson for help if you are confused.
Almost Ready for Print! Congratulations for your hard work all week. We are almost ready for our newspaper to go to print. Please spend this class period doing the following: • Finish all the work you need to do for the newspaper and get it peer edited. • Email it to Ms. Wilkinson: her email is: email@example.com. • Peer edit your team members’ work. • Work on other make-up work, homework, or read quietly. You may go on the Portland Tribune website and do the brain teasers with a friend quietly.
Closure: What was the Process Like? • Take a moment to think about the last week that we spent in the computer lab. Consider these questions: • What was it like working in journalist teams? • What was easy and enjoyable about making a newspaper? • What was frustrating? • Prepare to share with the class.
Ongoing Assessment Throughout the five days of this lesson, I am always monitoring my students’ progress. I am looking at their articles for key components such as the five W’s. I also monitor how much help they need from me versus their ability to do it themselves. For example: are they able to determine what bias is, or do they need me to tell them? Can they write a bias free article? As I interact with each team and individual student and examine their work in progress, I am considering the lesson goal: Are the students able to demonstrate their learning over the last three weeks of this unit?
Attention to Literacy • This lesson promotes literacy by engaging students in the process of recalling previously learned information and demonstrating that new knowledge through writing. • Working in teams promotes literacy by encouraging students to put more care into a “group project” that is susceptible to peer review and editing. • Creation of a class newspaper inspires students to take care and pride in their writing for a final, authentic product that will be enjoyed by an actual audience.
Incorporation of Technology Students spend five days working in a computer lab with access to their own computers. Students assist instructor in uploading of work to newspaper templates. Students benefit from use of smart board to help assist them throughout the lesson. Students use software and internet to read, write and explore during the learning process.
Attention to Multiculturalism Students demonstrate their understanding that multicultural representation is crucial to a socially conscience newspaper. Students include subjects from diverse ethnic backgrounds to feature in many articles.
Differentiation and Pacing This lesson takes place over five days to accommodate slower-paced students, while allowing faster-paced students to keep learning if they finish early. T.A.G. students are given assignments to promote critical thinking, while E.L.L. and struggling readers are appointed tasks that will not overwhelm them. The instructor remains committed to evaluating ongoing progress of each student individually and offering support throughout the five day process.