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Newspaper for Inner City School


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Keywords: Multilingual, Newspaper
Subject(s): Writing, Technology, Reading, English/Language Arts, Journalism
Grade K
Original Author: Norma Colton, Montreal
The student body of our inner city school is composed of 275 children ranging in age from 5 to 12. Although the school program is bilingual, with students spending alternate days in English and French programs, the makeup of the student body is multi-cultural (six languages are spoken in the school halls and on the playground) and several students have little or no command of either of the languages of instruction. An additional challenge is our learning disabled children.

EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

- to improve fluency in English and French (reading, writing, editing, listening,speaking, interviewing)
- to increase meaningful linguistic interaction among children of different agesand backgrounds in a project where all are included
- to celebrate the cultural diversity of the student body
- to undertake a project which would draw on a wide range of skills so that each child will be involved in some way, thereby increasing students’ self- esteem while their skills are developed and mastered
-to put different types of technology in the hands of all children, including those lacking resources at home due to financial considerations

PROJECT: School Newspaper

A school newspaper will, in turn, allow all students a forum in which they can contribute and share. Depending on the time of year, curriculum themes, and the level of preparation needed for different kinds of articles, the content of the newspaper will vary from issue to issue, including but not being limited to:
- reporting of school events
- presentation of class projects
- interviews with students, and by students, about personal experiences, interests, background, and culturally-related issues

Each teacher who commits to a submission for an issue will be free to highlight a special project or event, or arrange for students to pursue independent projects. All newspaper content will be enhanced by accompanying photographs, which will increase the immediacy and impact of the text, especially for emerging readers and second-language learners. The personal nature of the material will provide the students with a strong motivation to participate in different aspects of the production as well as to read it post-production.
Depending on an individual’s skill and interest, over the course of the project each student will be able to take on some aspect of production either independently or in a group setting:
- developing student body awareness and interest in a school newspaper
- discussing and negotiating newspaper content
- planning, designing, and carrying out an interview
- gathering, organizing, and presenting various kinds of information
- word-processing, chart preparation, and text editing
- assisting with translation of an article if it is intended to be presented in both French and English
- operating a digital camera, troubleshooting and improving image quality
- attending events and choosing appropriate subjects for digital recording atsuitable moments
- manipulating digital images
- arranging page layouts
- printing and distribution of newspaper hardcopy
- reading newspapers to other (younger) children who cannot read

MATERIAL RESOURCES

Digital cameras – to record the necessary photos for the newspaper
Software: The Tool Factory Workshop – for editing the digital images,word processing the text and for layout.
Workbooks – to promote camera use by both students and staff, so that the cameras become an ongoing tool in the service of the curriculum
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Digital SLR, Word Processor, Timeline
Other Items: 3 Mamory Sticks, $150 each, total of $450.00
1 Paper, $150 each, total of $150.00
1 Bus Trip, $200 each, total of $200.00