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Wiki Comment: The News and You

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Keywords: writing process, six traits of writing, presentation, technology, collaboration, writing, digital citizenship, media literacy
Subject(s): Information Skills, Geography, Technology, Social Skills, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, History
Grades 5 through 8
School: Nespelem Elementary School, Nespelem, WA
Planned By: Sheri Edwards
Original Author: Sheri Edwards, Nespelem
How can we help our students connect to the news of the world and write concisely about the news and the connections?

Create a wiki page with directions and the Google News gadget with the news links for students to read.

Directions to students:


A page for writing clear and cohesive comments that connect YOU to the news.


1. Choose a news item from the Google news gadget on the wiki page.

2. Read it with a focus on what you already know, and of a connection to your world (your own, your family, your community).

3. Add a comment about your connection and a question for others on your grade's "News and You" page.

Each grade level will link to their own News and You page.

Your writing should be clear, concise, correct.
Your comment should connect some fact to your world.
Your question should ask others to think about the idea or the connection.

Any response to the news and to others' questions will be clear, concise, correct, and follow our rules of wiki etiquette.

Remember not to use personal information in your response.

Example Response:

Each News and You page provides a sample for students:
Shee says:

I read about Tropical Storm Fay in Florida. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gW7Ur7I6YEcSo4_KU3maMkK9JQ1wD92LGVPG0
reminded me of the tornado we had here. People said it wasn't a tornado, but you can still see the torn off trees on the highway by our town store. Remember how the powwow tent tore apart? Maybe it wasn't a tornado, just like Fay wasn't a hurricane, but it still caused damage and fear. And we still talk about it. Does your family remember it?

Students read and respond to each comment. The comments will provide more ideas for writing prompts for discussion and writing for further application of our writing process/trait learning. The lesson provides the opportunity to connect to the world and to each other following appropriate and responsible communication expectations.

After several responses, discussions and feedback would include:

Discuss connections: how close are we to the rest of the world?
Discuss questions: how did the question ask others to think/connect? What questions received responses? Why do you think so?
Discuss writing: Which responses are easy to read? Which responses provide the most information with the least words?
Discuss citizenship: How did the responses encourage others? How did the responses show respect?

My student page: http://whatelse.pbwiki.com/The-News-and-You-Directions
Wiki Etiquette:

Students collaborate on news stories based on their connections on new wiki pages. (journalism, reporting)
Links: Google News Gadget
Materials: Web Page
Other Items: 1 WIKI page (pbwiki, wiki-spaces, wetpaint), $Free each
Student access to wiki on Internet