To Contact This Program
Ft Worth I.S.D.‚ 21st Century CLC - Forest Oak M.S.
Sue Matkin and Debbie Hamer
100 North University Drive‚ Suite 232NE
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Middle school students wrote‚ edited‚ and designed our school newspaper. The newspaper was then mass-produced and distributed to all students and faculty in the school as well as placed in various businesses in the community. Contents of the paper included articles‚ staff interviews‚ surveys‚ and weather reports.
Number of Students Involved in This Activity: 50
Range of Student Ages: Seventh to eighth grade
Duration of Activity: All school year
Relevant Contextual or Demographic Information: We are predominantly low-income and minority.
What is the academic content of this activity?
The newspaper allowed students to work in all subject areas. Students read books in order to write book reviews and research articles. Students used technology for the creation of the paper‚ digital photography‚ and research. Therefore‚ students learned how to use digital cameras and software‚ Microsoft Publisher‚ the Internet‚ and online resources. Students worked with science in the weather section and math in the survey section to tally results and produce graphs to display results. Students worked with English skills in the editing and writing of the paper.
How does this activity create strong relationships?
Students interviewed various staff members at Forest Oak to write articles about them so students learned more about the adults around them. The other students read the paper to learn more about the adults in the building. Students also interviewed other students. Newspaper staff had their pictures published in the newspaper beside their article to help with self-esteem. Parents read the newspaper as well and were able to see their children's accomplishments.
What opportunities are there for authentic decision making?
Students had to decide each week on an edition theme and what articles were needed for that week. Then they had to decide who would write each article and what the survey-of-the-week would be. After the survey results were gathered‚ students had to decide what kind of graph would best represent the results. Finally‚ students had to decide where to place articles in the newspaper and what kind of pictures were needed to go with each article.
What student leadership opportunities are there?
Student who normally might not have the self-esteem to become leaders had the opportunity to become part of the newspaper staff and in effect become the "voice" of Forest Oak.