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Writing Newsletters!

Subject: Language Arts, Current Events, Arithmetic
Grade: 3-5

Brief Description

Students listen to the teacher read the book Deadline! by Gail Gibbons and learn about newspapers. The class brainstorms differences between newspapers and newsletters. The students are then asked to choose a favorite topic and create the front page of their own newsletter.

Objectives

  • learn how newspapers are written.
  • compare and contrast differences between newsletters and newspapers.
  • create a mini-newsletter on the topic of their choice.
  • research topics that interest them.

Keywords

newsletter, newspaper, journal writing, research

Materials Needed

  • book Deadline! by Gail Gibbons
  • scrap paper and finished copy paper
  • pencils, markers, library books for students' reference
  • computer program that allows students to create a page with a border
  • whiteboard/markers for putting up graphic organizer for comparing/contrasting newsletters and newspapers
  • back issues of different newsletters

Lesson Plan

Class One

  • Tell the students they are about to start a very creative and interesting end of the year project!
  • Introduce and read Gail Gibbons' book Deadline! to the class. Brainstorm differences between newsletters and newspapers.
  • Create a Venn diagram on white board using three different color markers. (Suggestion: Use a different color for each topic that when combined, create the third color for the Alike Column, for example, red/blue/purple).
  • Ask the class what they know about newspapers, such as, topics, quality of paper, cost, types of delivery, how news is obtained. Then ask the class what they know about newsletters. (They are usually surprised to learn that the quality of the paper is better, the delivery mode is usually through regular mail or e-mail, and the cost is higher per issue.) Most students know that newsletters usually are about a specific topic of interest to a specific part of the population.
  • End the first class by asking students to think about topics that interest them and select one they would like to tell others about. (Encourage students to suggest topics other than TV shows.)

Class Two

  • The students are now ready to create the first page of their own newsletter.
  • Provide paper, pencils and rulers for creating rough drafts.
  • Distribute back issues of various newsletters for students to examine.
  • Identify various items on the front page of newsletters such as letters to readers, special upcoming events, advertisements, and news about the topic they selected in Class One.
  • When students are ready they may choose a computer program that creates borders or create an original by hand.
  • Students have fun sharing their interests with classmates. This is a great project they can take home and add to when they are bored during the summer vacation. It's also a great way to encourage students to research topics that interest them while school is out!

Assessment

Students can identify differences between newsletters and newspapers. Students can create their own newsletter and research their topics in the library media center.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted by: Joanne Hughes, (jehughes1201@aol.com) McVey Elementary School, East Meadow, New York


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06/23/2000

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