2006-2007 Featured Teachers
One of the most important strategies for achieving our academic goals at Mobile High School is The Telegram’s Newspaper In Education Program. The NIE program supports teachers as they use newspapers to teach students to read, analyze information, and develop critical thinking skills, Unlike conventional textbooks, The Telegram is exciting and topical, filled with here and now issues that students are keenly interested in. The Telegram can bridge the gap for students between the classroom and the real world outside. It contains history as it happens, reported as completely and as objectively as is humanly possible.
The Telegram is a living textbook as fresh and as relevant as each day’s news. Students in all our of curriculum areas from grades seven to twelve eagerly read, clip, discuss and critique what they find inside each daily edition. The Telegram touches on nearly every subject in some way each day. Each edition can be used to enliven virtually every aspect of the curriculum at any grade level. Every student can find something they enjoy in the paper from the comics and entertainment to sports and classified.
World History and World Geography students scan national and international stories for content and commentary which helps them develop the ability to analyse, evaluate and apply information. Our business and economic education classes explore the financial sections, the classified and the business news for structure, content and meaning. Our science students discover science in the newspaper through the use of photos, vocabulary and the many stories outlining technological advances. The Telegram is a wealth of information for Language Arts teachers. Students can examine the construction, themes and the objectives of each and every story.
Last year, our grade 7 teachers used the serialized story "Ghost from the Past: The Mystery of Latham House" in our Gr. 7 Language classes, because it fit in so well with the unit "Mystery and Wonder". Kids who had never read the newspaper before suddenly couldn't wait for each Tuesday to see what was going to happen at Latham House. Many of them predicted each week what they thought would happen next, and then waited to see if they were right. It was a great resource, and we are anxious to read this year's story.
The Telegram has become an integral part of school curriculum at Mobile High School. Our teachers are continually attempting to find creative ways to capture student imaginations and inspire them to learn. Daily use of The Telegram has proven to be a successful strategy for meeting that goal.
The Telegram is used with the Special Services Department to facilitate alternate programs for individuals with special needs. Our Special Services Department has started a carrier program whereby one of the students, Joey Geange, carries the newspapers to each of the classes each day. In doing so, he will practice calendar skills when sorting the paper, as well as demonstrating appropriate social skills such as making eye contact and greeting people. Our Special Services Department also uses NIE for various other tasks in the classroom setting. The students will listen to the articles being read as well as use the articles to increase their site vocabulary. Students will label the various categories and pick articles of interest from these. Cutting skills will then be utilized as students take articles from The Telegram and post them in a personal journal to be read at their leisure. Stories will also be written using these articles as a starting point.
NIE is used in Social Studies and English classes to help reinforce critical thinking strategies, while at the same time bringing the broader world home. We are able to discuss what is going on and analyze events in the community, province, country and the world. This provides the students with an opportunity to connect current events from the various levels, decide how it affects them, and as a result they are more able to have an informed opinion. In Junior and Senior High classes, students are encouraged to analyze and to think critically. This process is often aided by Editorials, Cartoon Strips, creative and effective advertising, the reporting of current news stories, Obituaries and common interest stories. The students also learn about the various sections of the newspaper, where to find certain information and some of the specialized language contained within. Maybe best of all, we get a Newfoundland and Labrador perspective on issues and concerns which are genuine to the people of this province.
In the History Department, the newspaper provides daily, current and up-to-date material to reinforce curriculum outcomes. Whether an obituary on the life of a famous Newfoundlander or Canadian, an editorial on a current event, a letter-to-the-editor arguing for or against an opinion, or a front page information text, the newspaper offers it all. The only thing lacking is the time to read every article of interest, every day!
The Primary and Elementary teachers have also been using newspapers in their classrooms in a variety of ways. Some classes are reading Julie and the Lost Fairy Tale published in Tuesday’s edition. Each chapter is discussed using the questions provided and predictions are made concerning what might happen in next week’s edition. The students are enjoying the story and are eager for the next chapter to be delivered to their door.
Some teachers and students are checking the daily newspaper for sunrise and sunset times while studying the changing seasons and how the length of each day varies. While charting this information they can see the gradual increasing/shortening of daylight hours. Math skills are also being used in this activity when calculating the time.
Newspaper articles are also used by teachers in a variety of ways. Random captions from the newspaper are given to students and they have to write their own paragraph to suit the caption. Other teachers have their students study the characteristics of a newspaper report. Headlines and the format are examined, followed by the students creating their own newspaper report. During Nutrition/Healthy Living Week, students scanned the paper for articles promoting healthy living.
The newspapers are also used for visual literacy activities. Some students are asked to find advertisements that catch their attention. Then they have to tell whether they would have bought the product as a result of the ad and why. Also they have to include what makes a good or bad advertisement. For another activity, some students choose their favorite cartoon. Then with all captions removed, they have to write their own caption to match each panel of the cartoon.
The newspapers are quickly becoming a very essential part of our school. Even the previously read newspapers are useful. They are recycled for crafts such as paper mache. We are very appreciative for such a valuable resource and would like to extend our thanks to The Telegram.
In the English Language Art classrooms students learn the features of the newspaper. They investigate what types and components of information they can find within the pages of The Telegram. Students read the various articles and share and/or debate those that appeal to them. The opinions of the reporters and editorials are also used to generate class discussions either in small or large group settings. How to create news leads; types of essays and styles of writing; the format of news articles and reading for pleasure are also explored through this great classroom resource.
In addition, editorial cartoons are evaluated as to their effectiveness at delivering its political, historical and/or social message. This activity is undertaken in both English Language Arts and Social Studies classes.
Many students at St. Paul’s Junior High are involved in the Arts and Sport Programs outside of the school setting. The local news featured in The Telegram is a great source for students to share and/or read about the accomplishments of their classmates and other members of the school community.
a) Writing 2203 - Students view The Telegram every class for unusual stories or pictures that could be a stimulus for writing. They cut out these selections and place them in a scrapbook where they keep them. Throughout the year they must use at least four of these items from The Telegram as a basis for an essay, short story, poem, visual or dramatic script.
b) All English Courses - Research papers are a required component of all English courses. Students must use a variety of sources from which to gather information and document. The Telegram is one of those required sources. It is an excellent source for current events, controversial issues or local issues.
c) All English Courses - Students must write editorials and newspaper articles as part of the English curriculum and The Telegram is used as a teaching tool to model journalistic styles of writing.
2. Career Planning
a) Students have been following the featured occupations carried by The Telegram recently, hearing from real Newfoundlanders about their career choices and their daily work routine.
b) Students have been using the Business section to follow economic activity in the province. What’s hot? Are there any trends for the future?
3. Enterprise Education
a) Students have been introduced to the stock market. How do you read a stock report? What can you extrapolate from these reports for the long term?
b) What businesses/occupations are hot right now? In Newfoundland and Labrador, in Canada?
4. Canadian Law
a) Students are following current legal cases for their Journal activity, e.g., Robert Pickton, the same-sex marriage debate, etc.
b) Students are becoming familiar with our current political and legal leaders on the provincial and national scene
The educators involved had many objectives, each driven by provincial curriculum documents: that students select and read with understanding a range of media; that students express their own opinions and respect the opinions of others; that students use print media as a source of information; and that students write for an audience. Other classroom goals were to encourage good reading habits, to read about present day issues, to bridge the classroom with the real world, and to make learning fun. It was hoped students would gain an appreciation for how information is presented, written and interpreted.
Students were directed to first reflect upon and analyze headlines in the The Telegram, bearing in mind the significance and importance of headlines to the message being conveyed. The students were given an opportunity in the classroom to use The Telegram to identify headlines that were colorful, snappy, jazzy, funny, short, or stand out in general. Students were expected to view illustrations, match them with headlines, and determine whether the illustrations or other visuals were appropriate for corresponding articles. Each student also became familiar with the many different sections of a modern newspaper.
Over time the grade 3 class was given the opportunity to work in small groups and choose headlines and illustrations from various articles. They then participated in a matching game in which headlines and illustrations matched an article. Group and class discussions determined whether or not the headline and illustrations were suitable for a particular article. Students were also expected to make improvements to headlines, making them more appealing. Headlines, articles and illustrations from The Telegram were displayed and used as a guideline to develop our own classroom newspaper. Any scraps of newspaper were set aside to be recycled in the art program as paper mache snowmen.
The grade 3 students at Holy Redeemer are continuing to learn and have fun with The Telegram. This was an opportunity made possible by the Newspapers in Education Program. Holy Redeemer would like to thank those who provided resources that enabled us to have The Telegram in our grade 3 classroom and in our school.
St. Michael’s Regional High School, Bell Island
By Tonya Kearley, English Department Head
Recently, the community had an opportunity to witness a news event unfold first hand. When a team of international divers arrived to explore the Iron Ore Mines, members of the community experienced mixed emotions. Of course, we were delighted to see another innovative use for the mines in addition to the very successful tourist attraction they have become. But, as well, there are many people on the island who vividly recall what life was like in the mines and were curious as to how this would translate into an adventure tourism activity. Students at the High School were riveted to the daily reports experienced first hand from those close to the endeavour and the divers themselves as they interacted with the community members.
One of the most important outcomes to be achieved within the English curriculum is to transform students into critical thinkers. Being able to hear and view the news as it unfolded is an asset afforded these students as it was within their own community. However, to then be able to hold those same events on newsprint permitted a heightened level of appreciation for the authoritative validity of the events and an alternative perspective. This coupling, synthesis, and critique of both primary and secondary sources are what make the difference between the savvy and the unenlightened.
Of course, after the most unfortunate and tragic death of one of the divers, the students in at our school became very conscious of how their home community was depicted in not just the local, but as well the international media. Many of the newspaper articles pertaining to this particular story were snipped out and kept for scrapbooks and school assignments.
Across the curriculum, teachers ranging from the Environmental Science classroom to the Grade 9 Social Studies must monitor The Telegram regularly in an effort to collect 10 articles for the composition of substantial critical analysis assignments. The Career Ed class frequently employs the classified job listing section perusing the reality of typical employment opportunities. Weather reports, international and national news, and human interest stories are picked apart daily! Plus, let’s not forget how important those movie listings are and how close Bell Island really is to this source of entertainment!
For the past month or so, my English 2202 class used the newspapers provided as the impetus for both in-class work and discussions. Some of the outcomes of English 2202 require students to demonstrate proficiency with the reading, writing, viewing, and representing of various different texts. Certainly, the newspaper offered students a valuable means to explore the essential strands of the English curriculum. Not only did this unit enable students to become more familiar with the various sections of the newspaper, but it also helped them to appreciate the extent to which the newspaper can assist them in their day to day lives. Several classes were spent reading, analyzing and discussing articles on various local, national and international issues. This process helped students articulate their opinions on the issues found in The Telegram.
We started the unit with discussion about the benefits and services offered by newspaper. After this, we spent time moving through the newspaper section by section and dissecting the various components of each section. The worksheets offered in the NIE lesson plans were a great help with these activities and students used them to better connect with the material being explored. Our unit with the newspapers culminated with all students in the class planning and writing an editorial piece on an issue that they felt important to voice their opinion on. Students explored various issues through these editorials. Some of the topics included: cell phone usage in schools, snow clearing, trail grooming, development of land for residential purposes, and stink bombs in schools. Students chose a topic that they felt strongly about. As a result they became familiar with a valuable means to express their own opinions on important issues. They also gained valuable experience in achieving some of the prescribed curriculum outcomes from English 2202.
My experience with the newspapers enabled me to learn more about my students through some of the great discussion that emerged, especially those on provincial and municipal issues. During this process, students became more comfortable expressing their opinions on issues and topics covered in the newspapers. The editorial pieces that students completed were very strong. I highly recommend that any teachers seeking to enhance the citizenship of their students would benefit from the NIE program.
St. Bonaventure’s (K-12) College
Linda Little (grade six teacher), Jeff Locke (Junior High Theology and Science Teacher)
The newspaper has become an important part of the Junior High Theology program. Classroom discussion is easily prompted by articles related to the world’s religions. Students learn a great deal about conducting an informed, respectful and meaningful debate on some very controversial issues that are relevant to the religion program at St. Bon’s. Reflective writing helps students relate modern events to their knowledge of scripture and spirituality. Understanding of the local, national and international perspectives is an important part of educating our youth.
The science 1206 class is always on the lookout for any science articles, especially those that address environmental concerns. Articles on everything from local concerns over the seal hunt to global warming have been incorporated in science class. The supplements to the curriculum are numerous.
In the grade six class, the newspaper was introduced with the use of a newspaper scavenger hunt. Students had to find their way around the newspaper and identify items such as headlines, editorials, horoscopes and the weather forecast. Students had to also identify local, national and international news stories. Reading editorial articles and writing letter to the editor has served to engage students and allow them to understand many skills involved in Language Arts.
The grade six class has also enjoyed the historical fiction, "Upriver". This weekly story published in The Telegram is read in class and students answer comprehensive questions on the story.
Our school has also been provided with newspaper activity teacher guides that utilize The Telegram to meet many curriculum outcomes in all subject areas. Making learning relevant to the students' life is an integral component to successful teaching. The Newspaper In Education Program has continued to support effective teaching and learning methods at St. Bonaventure’s College. "Thank You" to all of the sponsors that have helped to make this possible!
Lesson Plan: Information Text. Newspaper Activity.
Begin the class by asking the students what they already know about newspapers. Use this brainstorming strategy as a means of gathering and exploring students' ideas as a way of sharing prior knowledge and experiences. When finished, test students listening skills by passing out the sheet "Ten Things I already Know About Newspapers". Have students complete the worksheet. While students are completing the sheet, observe student interaction. To build on a classroom of good listeners, model for students effective listening traits such as waiting for an entire question to be asked before offering an answer, summarizing what is heard, restating the question or comment and encourage the participation of others. When finished, have students pass in the sheet for anecdotal records.
Pass out "Newspaper Scavenger Hunt". Clearly read directions and have students work in small groups to complete this project. Present teacher model and clearly state expectations before students begin the task. This will model how to use features such as table of contents, title, locate topics, and obtain information. This activity will provide an opportunity for students to practice using these features of a newspaper. Students will examine text for instances of specific words and images.
Lesson Plan: "News Of The Week"
This is part of the student’s Language Arts program and it is a monthly take home assignment. The students will be expected to report their news once a month to the class. This can take the form of a newspaper, magazine or web article. (The Telegram is available in the classroom and resource center) The purpose of this activity is to let students choose a topic of their own to spark interest. As stated earlier, when a student is interested in their topic, it creates much motivation.
First thing students have to do is present a summary of the text and then provide a personal response. This report should indicate the title of the article, date, source and article itself. The report should be neatly written or typed and glued to a sheet of construction paper supplied by the teacher. The following learning outcomes are covered with both these activities.
1. Students will be expected to speak and listen to explore, extend, clarify, and reflect on their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences.
- Contribute thoughts, ideas and experiences to discussion, and ask questions to clarify their ideas and those of their peers.
- Ask to respond to questions to seek clarification or explanation of ideas and concepts.
- Explain and support personal ideas and opinions.
- Listen critically to others’ ideas or opinions and points of view.
2. Students will be expected to communicate information and ideas effectively and clearly and to respond personally and critically.
- Contribute and respond constructively in conversation, small group and whole group discussion, recognizing their roles and responsibilities as listeners and speakers.
- Use word choice, tone of voice, and facial expression appropriate to the speaking occasion.
- Engage in, respond to, and evaluate oral presentations
3. Students will be expected to interact with sensitivity and respect considering the situation, audience and purpose.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the needs, rights and feelings of others by listening attentively and speaking in a manner appropriate to the situation.
4. Students will be expected to select, read, and view with understanding a range of literature, information, media and visual texts.
- Use pictures and illustrations, word structures and text features (e.g. table of contents, headings, and subheadings, glossaries, indices) to locate topics and obtain or verify their understanding of information.
5. Students will be expected to respond critically to a range of texts, applying their understanding of language form and genre.
- Use their background knowledge to question and analyze information presented in print and visual text.
In Ms. Kimberly French's grade two class, photos from the newspaper are used to help reluctant writers. Students are often able to write more and better stories when they can choose a picture that they find interesting or meaningful.
With 25% of St. Andrew's student population designated as English as a Second Language (ESL), newspapers are proving a vital source of reading material and are attractive to the elementary read. Comics, movie reviews and information, sports and other articles attract the interest of early English readers. The skills they learn reading the newspaper are practical, fun and will assist them in learning a new and often complicated language.
Elementary teachers in St. Andrew's use the NIE program to supplement their curriculum in Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts. For the past several weeks, students in Mr. Gary Edison's grade six class have been keeping track of current events and learning how to interpret political and editorial cartoons. They have developed a variety of methods of interpreting the cartoons. Student's first dissect the cartoon of its elements, such as who or what is being portrayed, what is the current event, and what has the artist drawn. Once all the elements are understood, students put the elements into context to understand the whole cartoon and the statement being made. Mr. Edison's class has also expressed their opinion in letters to the Editor. They have learned the importance of opinion, letter writing, editing, and personal expression.
Mr. Winston Taylor's Grade 5 class has used newspapers in Science class for their weather unit. Maps, graphs, and forecasts are used to chart weather systems. Weather related articles are used to research and discuss how weather influences our everyday lives. The grade 5 students have also created their own Newfoundland and Labrador Dictionary. Using the "News on the Go" section of The Telegram, students use the Newfoundland word of the Day to compile their own dictionary.
The Telegram is an ideal place to find statistics, charts and graphs as Ms. Roxanne Penney's grade 4 class has found out. They use it to find everything they need to practice interpreting and making graphs for their Math class.
During the 2006 Olympic Games, St. Andrew's used the newspaper to track Team Canada. In addition, each class from grade 1 to 6 was also assigned a country. It was their responsibility to study that country in-depth, track its medal count, create a display and finally march under its flag in the school's own Olympic closing ceremonies. The activity was a great success with students using the newspaper to learn how to research, process information, sort, and finally cut and paste their work for all to see.
The Newspapers in Education program has provided the students of St. Andrew's with a practical; hands-on resource that helps teachers meet curriculum outcomes in all subject areas. We would like to thank the Newspapers in Education program and The Telegram for its assistance throughout the year, and encourage both parents and teachers to use this incredible resource.