- Grade level: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School
- Subject Area: Language Arts
Students will research and write articles that will be published in an electronic newspaper.
- Develop their writing skills through journalism.
- Use a variety of resources to gather information to create their newspaper articles.
- Synthesize the information that they gather to create their newspaper story.
- Learn about HTML code and Web publication.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: Access to a server to store Web pages and access to a scanner if images are to be included in the newspaper.
- Special software requirements: an HTML editor.
- Internet access: Any connection speed is sufficient for uploading Web pages to the server, it should be noted that medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem), or high-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network) will complete the job sooner.
Unit Lesson Plans
- Lesson One: Story Assignments. Students will choose their beats and decide what areas of school and community news they will cover.
- Lesson Two: HTML Paste-up. Students assemble and format their stories and layout their electronic newspaper. A variety of styles, from simple single block layouts to more complicated multiple columns are possible.
Relation to Standards
The The Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) has developed a set of Writing Standards that serve as a helpful guide in planning and organizing Language Arts instruction.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
- If you have the technology, you may hook-up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students rotate through computer with Internet access in groups.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them to a disk. Then transfer Netscape [http://home.netscape.com] onto your other computers. Now you can transfer the files you down-loaded and saved to a disk to the other non-internet computers to view with Netscape. This will not allow students to explore the pages with hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with Netscape.