Since many of our families are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to post this week's assignment as quickly as possible. We are going to take two weeks to write an "in-depth" article; this week will be the preparation stage for what will eventually become your student's in-depth.
Today we talked about why it is important to reach beyond our personal experiences and write about things that might be unfamiliar to us and out of our comfort zone (it challenges us, we learn something new, we need to learn how to write about bigger issues).
Each student listed one thing that makes them angry, one thing that makes them happy, one thing they heard other students or adults discussing this week, one thing their family discussed this week, and one thing they don't understand.
We formed three teams that compiled individual answers into a central list. We then eliminated any topics that we did not think were right for our paper. Each student then chose one topic from their group's list and formed a broad question about that topic. From there, each student prepared a two - three sentence rationale for why this topic should be covered in our next issue, along with three sub-topics that will eventually help them develop their main story.
An important part of in-depth reporting is interviewing sources. Students wrote down at least three sources they could potentially interview regarding their topic.
Homework for next week is to type (or neatly write out) a proposal for their in-depth. It should include:
Next week we will share our questions with our groups for critique and discuss research and reporting.
We finished up the day with a mock interview session involving a fictitious spill in a chemistry lab in a theoretical middle school and played a round of J-Jargon Challenge. Good work, everyone!
Have a great Thanksgiving week!