Chicago & MichiganItaly ParisSpainKey West CubaAmerican West

Lessons 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Newspaper Reporting and Writing

Grades: 6-8

Subject: Language Arts/Social Studies/Technology/Math

Estimated Time of Completion: two-three weeks

I. Summary
II. Objectives
III. Materials Needed
IV. Procedure
V. Classroom Assessment
VI. Extensions and Adaptations
VII. Relevant Standards

I. Summary

Hemingway's first job was as a reporter. Students will be teamed to author a newspaper about Hemingway's life, especially his interests and travels. This project begins by leading students through discovery to identify the many characteristics of a newspaper and culminates with the creating of a published document. Students will examine advertisements, explore ways to inform, locate pictures of Hemingway, have fun with sports articles, and follow directions to create a finished project - a newspaper. Students will strengthen their technology skills, exercise creativity, practice research skills, and examine newspapers while, at the same time, reinforce or expand new knowledge about Ernest Hemingway. Finally, groups will share their newspapers with others in the class and school.

II. Objectives

* Students will examine in detail different parts of a newspaper and recognize general characteristics of newspapers
* Students will demonstrate understanding of the basic principles related to creating a newspaper by creating a class newspaper
* Students will create text and graphics using various hardware and software for final project
* Students will understand and correctly use and identify this newspaper terminology: direct quote, headline, column, human interest story, feature, story, byline, and editorial
* Students will understand their tasks, roles, and responsibilities in this endeavor
* Students will utilize the Internet to gain a better understanding of this man
* Students will develop an appreciation of the newspaper and its writings
* Students will be able to work in the software and use the template for a newspaper

III. Materials Needed

* A copy of the Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventures, a television, and a VCR
* Computers with Internet access for research, word processing, and printing
* Any available reference material from which students might benefit
* Any word processing software program that will allow students to author a newspaper.
* Pencil and paper
* Copies of local newspapers that groups can share

IV. Procedure

1. The teacher will hold up a local newspaper for students to see and ask how many students read it daily. The teacher might inquire as to some local or world current events recently spotlighted. Other questions, such as why one reads a newspaper or how much it costs might follow. Students will then be asked about the parts of a newspaper. Students will brainstorm as they list newspaper parts such as the headlines, sports, classified ads, and obituaries. The teacher may have papers of different sizes or from different days and will ask students to compare and contrast those newspapers and their offerings. Some may have life sections, business sections, or entertainment sections that other papers do not.

2. Newspaper reporters must be sure to cover facts. They use the "5 Ws" to help them. Have students list the five: who, what, where, when, and why. Students working in groups will then read a real newspaper. Students will identify parts of a newspaper, characteristics of newspapers, and become familiar with terminology used in the newspaper business. Students will then read an individual newspaper article and locate those five items. Later students will write informative stories of Hemingway that include those five items.

3. The students will be grouped for their roles. Groups should consist of 3-4 students. Inform students of their roles and responsibilities in creating a newspaper. Students are told that everyone shares in the work. One person may have the final decision over certain sections, but it is a group newspaper and it takes everyone helping everyone. Explain about careers like the newspaper that are dependent upon others such as operating room teams, pilots that depend upon airway controllers, and assembly lines in factories. Group students and assign a responsibility:

Photography Editor - Your group will need a photographer. This person will be responsible for finding pictures for your newspaper. (Others may help but remember the photographer has the final say.)

Research Editor - This person or group of persons oversees all the research.

Managing Editor- They see that deadlines are met and that everyone knows and does his/her job in this project. This person will help proof everything written. They will also be responsible for researching and writing up the weather.

Publisher/Editor - This person is responsible for the layout of the newspaper. They have final say with fonts and paragraphing. They need to be able to work closely with the photographer and reporter.

Lawyer/Editor - (This job is optional, but someone needs to be looking out for copyright laws and correctly citing sources and securing permissions for graphic use, etc.) This person also keeps everyone on task and is the only one that can ask the teacher questions.

4. Together, the first job of this newspaper team is to name their newspaper.

5. Some students might require some suggestions for newspaper topics: places that Hemingway visited, people he met, books or topics he wrote, his prizes for literature, sports he liked, his views on war, his family and friends, favorite foods, and world events when Hemingway was writing (see the list of film clips below to get started). The teacher can elaborate on some of these issues and provide enough information to motivate students to research an area of interest.

6. Students are now ready to begin researching for their reporting. They will research using suggested Web site (see below), the video of Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventures, and this Web site. If time doesn't allow for viewing all episodes groups of students will be encouraged and allowed to view those Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventures segments that relate to their reporting.

Such as:
Tape 1, 10:00 - Running of the Bulls in Spain
Tape 1, 10:06 - Bullfighting
Tape 1, 10:26 - Hemingway visits Africa, and
Tape 2, 10:00 - His Birthplace
Tape 2, 10:25 - Hemingway goes to Italy
Tape 2, 10:37 - Hemingway in Paris
Tape 3, 10:00 - Hemingway in Key West, Florida
Tape 3, 10:20 - Traveling back to Africa is not a success
Tape 3, 10:36 - Hemingway in Venice
Tape 4, 10:00 - Hemingway arrives in Cuba
Tape 4, 10:37 - Notice and imagine Hemingway writing as a cowboy.
Tape 4, 10:44 - Hemingway's last home

Students will find these suggested Web sites about the news helpful: (News) (A middle school online newspaper) (The Toronto Star and Hemingway)

If your local paper has a Web site, it would be great to introduce students to the site.

Students will find these suggested web sites and the PBS Hemingway Web site helpful for both information and gathering pictures: (Lots of links) (Great information about Hemingway)

Note: Students may find the montage of pictures featuring Hemingway in a certain place found on the PBS Web site especially helpful.

7. Front page news (the class could view tape 3, 10:35 for some incorrect headlines) needs to be accurate and informative. Lead students to choose an appropriate and informative frontpage article. Lead students to understand that headlines are placed in the order of importance with the largest headlines and those at the top of the page as the most important.

8. Have students visit the web and choose graphics that will accent their stories. They may also use draw programs and/or pencil and paper drawings that can be scanned and entered into their newspaper. Students will find the Hemingway links above as a good resource for pictures.

9. Students can choose a particular sport in which they and Hemingway share an interest. (These are sprinkled throughout Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure; however, if time only permits one clip then tape 2, 10:39 offers a brief glimpse into Hemingway and his love of sports.) Hemingway enjoyed many types of sports including bullfighting, running, duck hunting, game hunting, cycling, tennis, ping-pong, baseball, and horseracing. Students will include a sports article in their newspaper.

10. Weather information will be included in the newspaper. Have students find the correct weather of an area at a web site that may be included in their newspaper and is Hemingway related. Students can find this information on a Web site such as

11. Human-interest stories are not news. They are often some of the uplifting and/or engaging stories found in a newspaper. Students will write a human-interest story about Hemingway, or a friend or acquaintance of Hemingway's. This could include a person from The Lost Generation. Information can be found on the PBS Hemingway Web site that will be helpful to students wishing to include a friend's story. Students can do a story on people that may have been of general interest to Hemingway. If Hemingway were alive today he would enjoy a discussion with a bullfighter, an ambulance driver, a Red Cross worker, or a military person. If students know of a person that does do this work, they may include a story of this type.

12. Optional for student newspaper: advice column (as if Hemingway would answer in his writing style), letters to the editor (could be from the Humane Society against animal cruelty), political cartoons, obituary (possibly Hemingway's or a friend's), or classified ads. A student might advertise the Hemingway room that is for sale in Paris. (See tape 2, 10:40-10:42) This studio was one of Hemingway's first apartments when he arrived in Paris. In the poorer side of town, this apartment is now is for sale with the asking price between $160,000 and $180,000 U.S. dollars.

13. Newspaper timeline: The first day is for class discussion, and deciding roles and responsibilities. The second and third day, students will researching, writing, and editing. Students will proof, edit, gather pictures, and polish. The fourth day, students print and bind. Everyone should be finished by the end of the fifth day.

14. Students will then have copies made in the office and distribute those to other members in the class or in the school. The library should definitely have a copy.

V. Classroom Assessment

This project will culminate with a finished document. However, leading up to this finished product, a teacher may want to check periodically for basic understanding.

* Correctly labeling newspaper parts
* Identifying how to note detail and arrange those in a lead story
* How to use the hardware and software to place graphics on the page
* Proofing and editing the text

IV. Classroom Assessment (Rubric for Completed Newspaper Project)
* Layout/ Design
* Project is unattractive or inappropriate. Text is difficult to read.
* Backgrounds and graphics are distracting.
* Project appears busy or boring. Text may be difficult to read.
* Backgrounds and graphics are somewhat distracting.
* The project is eye-catching and attractive. Text is easy to read. The backgrounds are subtle and appropriate.
* Project is creatively designed with text in tables. Graphics and backgrounds enhance the page.
* Information
* Information is poorly written, inaccurate, or incomplete.
* Some information is provided, but is limited or inaccurate.
* Information is well written and interesting to read.
* Information is accurate and complete, is creatively written, and is cleverly presented.
* Newspaper
* Technique of 5 W's
* The newspaper follows the 5 W's technique.
* Technique is weak or not appropriate on this page.
* Has chosen technique to adequately use, but with more thought it could be improved.
* Has interesting use of a technique. It adds to the credibility or the project.
* Title/Headlines/Graphics
* No graphics or pictures. Title may be missing. No headlines or inappropriate ones.
* Some graphics or pictures. These are inappropriate. Title may be missing or poor. No headlines or inappropriate ones.
* Title and headlines are correct, but could be improved with some thought of placement or font.
* Title is correct. Titles and headlines are attractive and well written. Both titles and headlines add something to the project.
* Graphics chosen wisely.
* Following Classroom Guidelines
*Students are often out of their area without permission and are disruptive to the class.
* Students occasionally leave area without permission.
* Students stay in their area and talk quietly to their own partner only.
* Students are always on task, stay in their own area, and work quietly. Students followed project directions and classroom directions.

Score 1 2 3 4

Note: For those teachers that have to use letter grades, you can easily convert the score or an average of the total score to a letter grade. 1="D" 2="C" 3="B" 4="A".

VI. Extensions and Adaptations

* Students may want to include much more in their created newspaper. Student's opinions of Hemingway, critiques of his books and stories, book reports of Hemingway's stories that they have read, interviews from others giving their reaction to Hemingway and/or his stories, timelines, and/or travel interests to certain places may be included.
* Students may want to do a newspaper a week covering many different authors of "The Lost Generation."
* Students can write a journal entry about their experience(s) as they worked on the newspaper.
* Students can bring in a newspaper and share a current event or a headline with the class.
* Students may explore newspaper jargon: transcripts, debriefing, UPI, AP, column, column byline, headlines. See this website:
* Compare and contrast a traditional paper to an online paper.
* Arrange for a field trip to the local newspaper office or arrange for a reporter to come and speak to the students.
* Move the printed newspaper to an online newspaper.

VII. Relevant National Standards

From McREL

Language Arts
* Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process
* Gathers and uses information for research purposes
* Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the reading process
* Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of literary texts
* Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of informational texts

* Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs
* Understands the relationships among science, technology, society, and the individual
* Understands the nature of technological design

* Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographic tools and technologies
* Knows the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment
* Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
* Understands the concept of regions
* Understands that culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions