Project-Based Learning: A Newspaper Project for High School Students
Feb 3, 2017 Classroom Materials 975 Views
Project Based Learning: A Newspaper Project for High School Students
The purpose of this project is to provide students with different perspectives of learning English as a Second/Foreign language. Moreover, I believe that High School students will be interested in producing a newspaper since this is not a regular traditional classroom activity. For these reasons, teaching English through projects may motivate them and accelerate their language acquisition.
The use of projects in ESL/EFL classrooms is enhanced when students are predisposed to the idea of participating in the project and getting directly involved in the process making. To contribute to the success of the final outcome, the Newspaper issue, the students have to be engaged into the project from the initial stage to the final stage.
Working in collaboration means they are engaged in more communicative tasks and to be more independent learners rather than traditional teacher-oriented activity. By using pair or group work, students will be able to get used to working in collaboration and enhance their creativity in more effective way. Besides cooperative learning, the effectiveness of the task will also depend on the interaction among students during the accomplishment of the task and that will take a very important and decisive role in this entire assignment.
By the end of this project, students will have:
● Become more aware of their writing in general and be able to identify areas on which they need to improve
● Had the opportunity to know in depth the process of a newspaper production
● Practiced their formal and informal writing
● Developed more confidence in their ability to write in English
● Had the opportunity to work collaboratively with the other peers and teacher
The project is divided into the following stages:
Stage 1 : Background & Workshops
The teacher will contact local Newspaper Professionals such as writer, editors, photographers, a professional from the printing center, etc. Those professionals will prepare workshops for the students. It will probably be a week workshop and, through the workshops, the students will learn how a newspaper works, the role of each person in a newspaper production, etc.
Stage 2: Pre- Production
The students will be divided into groups and they will define the roles (editors and writers) of each member by themselves for the newspaper production. The teacher can decide the number of students in each group. The students will be responsible for choosing a name for the newspaper as well as select the news, information and topics for their newspaper issue. However, they will be encouraged to write about some issues happening in the school such as upcoming events, interviews with the teachers/principal, topics related to the other school subjects and so on.
Stage 3: Production
At this stage, students will be collecting materials for their newspapers and, start the writing. The students may also have meetings outside the classroom time (if necessary) in order to work on their projects. Each group will also be required to report their progress to the teacher in a conference every two weeks. Drafts are also expected to be shown to the teacher.
Stage 4: Pos-production
At this stage, students are expected to have their newspaper ready. Firstly, students will have presentations in class about their newspaper. They will talk about the whole production process and show their newspapers to the class. Secondly, they will have the newspapers printed out and, each group will have a poster board placed in specific places in the school to post their newspapers. Therefore, students, professors, administrators and employees will have the opportunity to read them.
Stage 5: Credits
At this stage, the teacher will:
- Put together all the newspapers and create a sort of Newspaper Portfolio. Each student will then have his/her newspaper as well as their classmates’.
- Form an Award committee (formed by faculty, administrator and students from other grades) to choose and give awards to students for best news, best design, best photography, best first page, etc.
- The Awards Ceremony can be held for the entire school and the winners will be announced.
For this Newspaper project, students will be evaluated on the following:
- Accomplishment of the project: The newspaper itself.
- Portfolio Journals: Students will be required to write weekly journals in which they will write about the experience in creating a newspaper as well as their reflections on their work as individual members and as a group.
- Newspaper presentation: Each group will present their newspapers to the whole class by pointing out aspects they may think were important while developing their newspapers as well as outcome, problems, pros and cons, etc.