The Newspaper Project

A Project by Second and Third Grade Students in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Length of project: 9 weeks
Teachers:  Karen Schellert Wilson

Phase One—Beginning the Project

The opening activity with the children began with the teacher sharing her personal story of being in the newspaper. She brought newspaper clippings for the children to see and asked if the children had ever been in the newspaper. The children shared their stories. They thought of all the people they knew who had worked for a newspaper or had delivered newspapers. The children brainstormed thoughts about the topic. A topic web was made which was then used to record the development of the project throughout the nine weeks. With the help of the teacher the children brainstormed words and happenings with newspapers. The children then thought of activities through which they could represent and share what they knew about newspapers. The students made a list of things they knew about a newspaper and a list of questions they would like to answer.

Phase Two—Developing the Project

In the second phase of the project the children brought in and worked with copies of a variety of local and community newspapers. They looked through them to find out what types of information are included in newspapers. The children developed interview questions to ask a sports reporter from the Popular Press. The reporter helped the children write an article and the next day the reporter's editor came to the classroom and edited the piece for them. In doing so he explained how much redrafting is involved in being a journalist. The class invited a number of other experts to visit the classroom: printer, paper carrier, writer, etc. They made a field visit to the Popular Press building and Visions Media Center. Children used a variety of representations to record and share their learning. They developed a complex Venn diagram comparing the Popular Press with the Morning Star News.

Phase Three—Concluding the Project

In the third phase of the project, the teacher helped the children put their work together in their own class newspaper. The School Chronicle included their reports, drawings, diagrams, stories, and poems. The children edited each other's work, designed the layout of the paper, and published and sold it. They also developed a photo album with pictures and captions to tell the highlights of their project.

Comments

In the display, observers may wish to note the comments by the children in the photo album which they put together to assist them in remembering the project. The variety of technical language which these children acquired through the study of the newspaper may also interest viewers.

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Project Summaries

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