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7-day mini-unit: multi-genre writing to form a class newspaper

Lesson Plans:

In order to successfully compose a newspaper article, students should first recognize

that newspaper articles fall under multiple genres; there is argument writing in newspapers,

narrative writing, and information/expository writing too. To get students to realize that a

newspaper is a multi-genre publication, we will open day 1 with a class discussion in which we

brainstorm various examples of each of the 3 major writing genres that can be found in

newspapers (i.e. Informational writing: ads, the weather report, obituaries, a report on the high

school softball game last week; Narrative writing: an article about a Vietnam war veteran, an

auto-biographical column, etc., Argument: an article about who should win the upcoming

election and why). Note: Due to the lack of writing involved in ads and weather reports, students

will not be able to choose these for their assignment; however, they can be given the choice to

do so for extra credit if they wish.

After brainstorming together as a class, students will be split into groups to rotate

through the different stations for each genre to refresh their memory on how to effectively

compose writing in that specific genre. The next day, day 2, these stations will include

newspapers in which students should work together to identify newspaper articles that fall under

that stations genre, cut them out, and glue them to the poster that signifies their station. At the

conclusion of day 2, students should know what genre they want to write in to compose their

newspaper article.

Also important is for students to be able to identify the structure of a newspaper article,

so on day 3, there will be a mini lesson on the inverted pyramid structure of an article.

Students will be expected to fill in an individual inverted pyramid structure pertaining to the

article they will be writing to help begin their planning process. From there, students will break

into groups based on the genre of writing they chose: narrative, argument, or
informational/expository. At each station, the groups will work together to fill out a template that

pertains to their genre of writing and share at the end of class.

For the community-building aspect of this mini-unit, students will be required to interview

at least one person in the community as part of their article research. On Day 4, students will

take 10-20 minutes to contact their interviewee(s) and set up an appointment time, face-to-face,

via phone, email, skype, etc. Interviews should be complete when they submit their rough drafts

3 days later. After setting up their appointments, there will be a handout give to students with

reporting tips on it. From there, students should partner up and conduct mock interviews like

they will do for their article, sharing with their partner what their story is on, and helping each

other create appropriate questions to ask their interviewee. Utilizing the inverted pyramid

structure, students should then create a rough draft outline of their intro paragraph to their


On Day 5, students should work diligently on their rough drafts, composing, researching,

etc. On Day 6, students will bring in their rough drafts and participate in peer-editing circles as

well as one-on-one teacher conferences.

On the final day, day 7, everyone should bring in finished copies of their articles and

share their work, vote on a class newspaper name, and create the compiled newspaper to

publish for the school. Remind students that they may submit their articles to the local

newspaper to be published if they so wish.

Sequenced/Scaffolded Activities:

Monday Tuesday Wednesd Thursday Friday Monday Tuesday


Day 1: Day 2: Day 3: Day 4: Day 5: Day 6: Day 7:

-Class -Large -Discuss - - -Bring in -Bring in

discussion groups: how to Individual:Conta Individua rough finished
about Genre write an ct interviewee & l: drafts copies of
newspaper Stations article set up Research articles
s: different w/ appointment for rough -small
names, newspap - drafts groups:Pe -class:
purposes, er article Individual -class: er and Combine
modes of examples work: Reporting tips *complete teacher and
accessing Inverted rough editing format
them, etc. - pyramid -Partners: draft & workshops into a
- discuss Individua activity Mock interviews interview class
various l: over the newspap
genres of Students -Large or - weekend er
writing in choose small Individual:Practi
newspaper genre of groups: ce intro -class:
s article Divide paragraphs to vote on
they want students articles newspap
-come up to write into er
with groups title
examples based on
of types of their
articles in writing
each genre genre

- Large -Partners
groups: or small
intro to groups:
genre Genre
stations templates