Students identify an event that happened during a war or a veteran who received a medal for his or her actions during a war. Then they choose a format and write a news article about their subject.
- Inform students that several different types of news articles appear in newspapers and magazines: a) Straight news articles report on breaking news or current events. b) Background pieces analyze what's behind breaking news to give readers more perspective on current events. c) Investigative reports go even deeper, usually digging up secrets someone is trying to hide. d) Features focus on people, introducing the public to ordinary people who do extraordinary things. e) And opinion pieces, or editorials, are a means for journalists to express their personal opinions.
- Discuss the merits of each type of news article. Then ask students which format is used in the article about World War II veteran Calvin Graham. (feature) Why? (It's not breaking news. It didn't dig up any secrets. It doesn't express an opinion. It tells about an ordinary person who did an extraordinary thing.)
- Instruct students to identify an event that happened during a war or a veteran who received a medal for his or her actions during a war. Have them then select a style of news article that is appropriate for their subject. Give students time to investigate their topic and write a detailed news report.
Invite students to share their news articles with the class. Instruct them to identify the type of news article they wrote and explain why they chose that format to report on their subject.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
As a class, select a topic for a news article. Then have the class vote to decide which type of news article students want to write. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group conduct research to learn more about the topic. Rejoin as a class to share information. Work together to write a detailed news article on the selected topic.
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to select a topic for its news article. If necessary, provide suggestions. Then tell students to choose the type of article they'd like to write. Remind the class that whichever format they choose, the content must be based on facts. Give students time to investigate their topics and write their articles.
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct each pair to select a topic for its news article. Then tell students to choose the type of article they'd like to write. Give students time to investigate their topics and write their articles. As they write, remind them to develop their topics with facts, definitions and concrete details about the subject. Encourage them to include quotes from sources involved in the story.
Instruct each student to select a topic and format for a news article. Then have students investigate their subjects and write their articles. As they write, tell students to develop their topics with facts, definitions and concrete details. Encourage them to include several quotes from sources involved in the story. As an added challenge, have students find appropriate photos to accompany their articles.