21st Century Integration Model


Title: Read All About It
Subject: Language Arts
Grade Level: 6 through 8
See the LetterPop Newsletter Project,
an example of student project.

Lesson Summary

In this original lesson by the New York Times Learning Network, students are asked to analyze the order of facts and details in a breaking news story as well as the common characteristics of a lead paragraph. Students will be asked to use this understanding to create a lead paragraph and breaking news story with a partner, covering an important local event. Within LetterPop they will then choose templates, headlines, images and captions that fit their local breaking news. Their final product will be shared with the class.

Original Lesson Plan

Original Objectives

Students will predict what facts and details they expect to appear in a breaking news story about the earthquake in Seattle. Students will sequence these facts and details into an order that reflects the "inverted pyramid" writing style of most to least important news. Students will assemble in pairs, from an envelope in which the story has been cut into paragraphs, the likely sequence of "Northwest Begins Recovery a Day After Powerful Quake." Students will compare their assembled stories to the published story to examine and discuss how journalists construct a breaking news piece. Students will write their own "breaking news" lead paragraphs from a story on television news that has not yet been in the papers.

21st Century Skills Integration Objective(s)

Students will collaborate in producing an online newsletter. Students will demonstrate ICT literacy skills for capturing and uploading images to illustrate their news stories.

Procedure

  1. Before Lesson: Introduce students to LetterPop and its features. Students will need access to an email account in order to complete this assignment.
  2. During Lesson: Separate students into groups of two, or use the groups from earlier in the lesson.
  3. Students will choose which of their lead paragraphs to use, then finish writing a hard news story, making sure to cover the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" and to move from most to least important information.
  4. Students then create their LetterPop account.
  5. In LetterPop, they will choose the template they wish to use for their newsletter.
  6. Students will take or find an image which supports their news article, save it to their computer, and upload it to LetterPop using the Browse button.
  7. Students will place their image appropriately in their newsletter and caption it.
  8. Students will create an appropriate title for their article. When they have edited and proofread their news article and caption, they will print it and at teacher's discretion, publish it in LetterPop.

Assessment

See the Read All About It rubric.