Lesson Plan

A Collaborative School Newspaper

Creating a school newspaper via technological collaboration
Chad S.
Technology coordinator
Perris High School
Perris, CA
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
Objectives

In this project students will:

  1. Analyze various elements of a newspaper by researching other online newspapers and blogs.
  2. Evaluate various elements of a newspaper and use Google Forms to decide upon the elements that should be included in their online newspaper.
  3. Create a basic outline of their online school newspaper using mural.ly.
  4. Form student teams using Gantter that will be in charge of a specific section of the online newspaper.
  5. Design the basic layout of the online newspaper using Google Sites.
  6. Collect information regarding their specific portion of the newspaper and write articles.
  7. Publish their articles in the online newspaper and embed multimedia.
Subjects
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 8 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Google Drive
Free, Paid
  1. In pre-determined groups, students compile a collection of online newspapers and blogs. Using a Shared Google document, students keep track of their research by posting links to various websites and adding comments. Teacher also leaves comments on each Google doc.
  2. Teacher creates a Google Form with pre-determined choices to allow students to decide upon the elements that should be included in their online newspaper. Google form results are published by the teacher and presented to students. Teacher opens roundtable discussion describing each newspaper element chosen by the class (e.g. Op-Ed section, Sports Column, Clubs, Man on the Street, etc...).

2 Direct Instruction

Mural.ly
Free, Free to Try, Paid

Using mural.ly, student teams create outlines in tree map form, showing how the newspaper will be organized. The outline should be divided by pages and is initially set up by the teacher using his/her own mural.ly account. Teacher sends invitations to student groups who collaborate on the mural.ly in order to decide on the content-specific layout for each page of the newspaper. The teacher is able to leave feedback on the collaborative mural.ly to offer suggestions and guide completion.

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Conversing

Students form teams using Gantter. Team names and roles are pre-determined by the teacher and listed on Gantter. The teacher provides a description of each team’s roles and responsibilities. Each student team will be in charge of a specific section of the online newspaper and will work together to further divide labor in order to complete their section. Duties, timelines, and division of labor is all organized and tracked on Gantter. Teacher will use Gantter to send out reminders of deadlines to student teams.

4 Independent Practice

Student teams design the basic layout of the online newspaper using Google Sites. Headings, color schemes, logos, headers, footers, and content blocks are developed. Teacher uses comments on Google Sites to guide creation of the newspaper.
Student teams collect information regarding their specific portion of the newspaper and write articles. Articles are written on shared Google docs and are also shared with the teacher who can offer comments and suggestions on articles as they are written.

5 Wrap-Up

The newspaper is published and advertised. Assessment criteria is based on a rubric that measures the performance of each student group.

rubric