EvidenceWeb Educational Resources
The Confederation Chronicles
Putting Together the Confederation Newspaper
Students will organize and put together their newspapers.
- create a four-page newspaper that represents their assigned region/province of Canada;
- understand how a newspaper is organized with many different sections and types of writing;
- assess their individual contribution to the group in the creation of their newspaper.
1. Students will need computers and appropriate software to produce their simulated Confederation newspapers.
2. Bring in lots of examples of newspapers for the students.
3. Make copies of Handout 6.1 (Individual Contribution to the Newspaper Staff), one per student.
60 to 80 minutes, but could vary a great deal depending on how much homework the students do and how efficiently they work in class.
ProcessIntroduction (10 to 15 minutes)
1. Post and review the lesson agenda with your students:
- Discuss the organization and structure of newspapers.
- Produce the newspapers.
- Complete Handout 6.1.
2. Talk with the students about all the elements of a newspaper, including the lead story, human-interest stories, editorials, bylines (signed stories, sometimes on the editorial page, written by well-known or guest journalists), and letters to the editor. Show them examples of various national and large-circulation newspapers, such as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, National Post, and some local and smaller-circulation newspapers. Look for and identify the different sections, types and styles of writing. Discuss the layout and headlines.
Body of Lesson (40 to 50 minutes)
1. Explain that the students' job today is to work in their newspaper staff groups (see Lesson 3) to create a four-page, 8½ x 11 newspaper that represents the province assigned at the beginning of this unit: Ontario, Quebec or Nova Scotia (see Lesson 3).
2. Different roles, such as editor, layout person and journalist/writer should be assumed by the students or assigned by the teacher to each member of the newspaper staff group (see Lesson 3).
Conclusion (10 to 15 minutes)
1. Review with the students the challenges they faced putting together the newspaper.
2. Ask each newspaper staff group to read its best headline and opening paragraph.
3. Decide how much more time, as homework and in class, will be needed to complete all the newspapers. Announce when the newspapers are due for assessment and display.
1. Collect all the newspapers and assess them in a summative evaluation using the assessment rubric in Handout 3.1.
2. Distribute Handout 6.1 and ask all students to complete this form. Remind the students that their statements of work have to be approved and signed by all members of their group. If some members don't agree you will need to discuss the discrepancies with the individuals involved and perhaps the whole group.
1. If not done previously, arrange for a visit to a local newspaper. Be sure to plan for an interview with a journalist and someone from the editorial staff.
2. Make a display of the newspapers and enter them in a Historica fair (for information on Historica fairs go to Historica's website www.histori.ca/default.do?page=.indexminutes/default.do?page=.index) as a class project.
3. Arrange for your class to do a presentation about Confederation to another class or a group of adults.