Lesson 3: Creating a frontpage of a newspaper

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The first 45 minutes of the third teaching sequence shall be focusing on a creative realization of the short story August 2026: There will come soft Rains by Ray Bradbury.

During this session, the students are asked to create in groups their own frontpage of a newspaper.


Contents

Preparation

Homework

As preparation for the ensuing first half of the third lesson, the students are asked at the end of the second lesson to conduct research on the following topic for homework:

- Find pictures of the atomic bomb you think are appropriate for using in a newspaper. (max. 3)

Moreover, we would prefer not giving up too much about the content of the following lesson but nevertheless, we would require them to finish a worksheet about 'How to write a newspaper article'. This is accessible on the internet . Thereby, concerning the students' and the school's resources the teacher shall decide about how to distribute the worksheets but one should consider to hand them out oneself because they dispose a really good aid for writing newspaper articles.


The concrete task is:

Read the introductive text about “Wright-ing” Prompt: Newspaper Article and then write your own article about a topic of your choice.

Lesson 3

Content


time phase/ didactic function contentwise aspects social form material/ media
5 min.
  • introduction

At the beginning, the teacher shall only conduct a revision in which the students are asked to summarize their knowledge about the basic structure of articles.

teacher - student dialogue

worksheets



We refrain from comparing the various examples of articles written by the students because they ought to be used in the following task.




time phase/ didactic function contentwise aspects social form material/ media
40 min. or more
  • creating a frontpage of a newspaper article
  • central task:
    • The students shall work in groups and write a newspaper article about the content of Bradbury's short story August 2026: There will come soft Rains. Thus, the students have to plan their actions methodically which involves contributing the different tasks such as:
⇒Who writes the article?
⇒Who is responsible for creating the design of their frontpage (choosing the pictures they have brought with, finding a name for their newspaper, etc.)
⇒Decide if they want to use additional information which they also have to research then.
⇒Choosing additional articles (from the homework assignment) which they might need to change adequately so that they fit the date in the future.
⇒etc.

group work (3 - 5 students in one group)

If the school's resources make it possible, one might consider conducting the lesson in a computer lab. Thus, make it possible that the students write their articles on computers ,and also print them out - giving the frontpage a more professional look.

Example for a frontpage










A more detailed version is accessible here .






time phase/ didactic function contentwise aspects social form material/ media
5 min. or more
  • exhibition of the students' works

The frontpages are put on the blackboard and their creators ask or reply to questions their fellow students have, and thus, a dialogue ensues that illustrates the methodical approaches the various students have chosen. By neglecting the teacher's dominace in the discussions, the students might be more confident in expressing their opinions even if it means to be critical.

student - student dialogue

blackboard and the various frontpages

Transition to the succeeding Theme: Topicality

After the students spent a considerable time with newspaper articles and in particular with the composition of a frontpage, the teacher might use old frontpages to establish a smooth transition to the following theme of topicality which also includes the meltdown in the powerplant Fukushima Daiichi back in 2011.



Topicality

Learning Targets

The homework assignment for the third session and the session itself, are designed to establish an action-orientated approach that links affective ( attitudes towards nuclear technology) and cognitive (knowledge about how to write an article) teaching targets with each other.


Why creating a Frontpage?

The creative approach of turning Bradbury's short story in a frontpage, might be considered as conform to Nünning's and Surkamp's idea of a action- and product-oriented EFL classroom. Because according to them, student-centered and action-oriented approaches invite students to express their experiences and opinions about literary works, and even articulate various interpretations in the foreign language. (Nünning, Surkamp 2009: 149) But moreover, the composition of the homework assignment and the creative task enables the teacher to encourage the individual skills and competences of the various students. Therefore, the homework assignment, on the one hand, demands from the students the acquisition and usage of cognitive skills. Whereas on the other hand, the session enables the students to freely choose particular tasks which fit their competences and interests.


Competences

Due to the socialization function of school, teachers are the central figures in conducting the major tasks of school: qualification, selection, integration and supporting the development of the personalities of students. This encompasses also, for example, improving social and methodological competences in students, which this approach ought to do.

The Thuringia curriculum states accordingly, the following competences which a student ought to have in 10th grade:

  • "Sachverhalte, Vorgänge, Personen und Handlungen aus der Perspektive anderer betrachten," (2011: 41)
  • "sprachliches, soziokulturelles und thematisches Wissen sowie Weltwissen einbeziehen und nutzen," (2011: 43)
  • "adressaten-, situations- und sachgerecht agieren und dabei Respekt und Toleranz zeigen," (2011: 43)
  • "mit anderen zusammenarbeiten, Unterstützung geben und annehmen sowie Verantwortung für andere übernehmen" (2011: 43)


Evaluation

Please, do not forget to conduct an Evaluation at some point.



Bibliography

  • Surkamp, Carola; Nünning, Ansgar. " Text - Literatur - Kultur: Handlungs- und produktionsorientierter Literaturunterricht " Englischunterricht: Grundlagen und Methoden einer handlungsorientierten Unterrichtspraxis. Ed. Gerhard Bach and Johannes-Peter Timm. Tübingen: Francke, 2009.





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