Kids Report: Campaign Coverage--An ePals Project

What do students have to say about the pressing issues being hotly debated on the campaign trail? In this Common Core project, kids dive into researching the most controversial issues of the election.


Subjects: Social Studies, Reading, Writing



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Result

 

What do students have to say about the pressing issues being hotly debated on the campaign trail? In this Common Core project, kids dive into researching the most controversial issues of the election.

1. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to research a campaign issue.

 

2. Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same campaign issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.

 

3. Integrate information from diverse sources to build understanding of a political issue, noting discrepancies among sources.

 

4. Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

 

5. Produce clear and coherent election topic news article in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

 

6. Use technology, including the ePals project workspace, to produce, publish, and update article writing in response to peer feedback, including new arguments or information.

 

 

Common Core ELA Standards

 

Reading 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

 

Writing 1 or 2 (depending on which type of article students choose to write)

Writing 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (all students)

Students will write a well-written article based on their research, using accurate facts, meeting the common core standards for their writing type, writing clearly, and editing carefully! Students may choose to write an article in any of the three following formats: (see the Guidelines for Writing Different Types of News Articles for descriptions of each type):

 

Hard News

 

Editorial

 

Human Interest

 

Score the articles based on the standards set for your grade in the Common Core State Standards. Hard News and Human Interest will be scored based on the criteria set forth in Writing 2. Editorials will be scored based on the criteria set forth in Writing 1. In addition, you may also want to score students on their use of the writing process.

Step 1: Share Election Topics for Grades 6-8 with students to begin discussion of controversial campaign issues. Have small groups of students choose a topic of interest (from the list) to discuss for 5 minutes. Students should share anything they know about the topic/any opinions they have about the topic and any questions they have about the topic. After 5 minutes, invite students to change groups and select a new topic to discuss.

 

 

Step 2: To give students an understanding of the endpoint of this project, share Guidelines for Writing Different Types of News Articles and explain that the culminating activity for this project will be students writing one of these three types of news articles. Point out to students that the editorial lines up with Common Core State Standard Writing 1 (Argument), the hard news article lines up with Common Core State Standard Writing 2 (Informative), and the human interest article also lines up with Common Core State Standard Writing 2 (Informative), but will also have a narrative component. Share with students the specific CCSS for your grade level so they know the expectations for each type of article.

 

 

Step 3: Invite students to choose one issue to research from the Election Topics for Grades 6-8 handout. Students need to compare multiple sources, take notes about author’s differing points-of-view, record their sources and begin forming their own opinion about the issue.

 

 

Step 4: To further explore their topic, students should participate with the wider ePals community by joining in on the discussions on the ePals Election Page.

 

Step 5: Students write their news article (an editorial, hard news piece or human interest story) and post to the project workspace gallery for peer feedback. Consider using ePals CCSS aligned resources (such as Argument Writing Graphic Organizer (Grades 7-12), Argument Writing Checklist (Grades 6-8) to help students plan and write their articles.

 

Step 6: Students comment on each other’s articles and provide constructive feedback for revision.

 

 

Step 7: Students revise their articles and publish. Students submit articles to the ePals Election Challenge.

Project Leader:

Country:
Subjects: Social Studies, Reading, Writing

# of Students: 21-30
Age Range: 8-10
Collaboration: Email Exchange, Skype / Video Chat
Languages: English

About my classroom: BF Yancey is a small, rural elementary school of approximately 150 students in grades pre-Kindergarten through Fifth, located in central Virginia, USA. We are interested in communicating with other students from as many countries as possible regarding your school lunch experience. Do students eat in a cafeteria or common space? What foods are eaten for lunch at school where you live? Is the lunchtime meal prepared by the school or do students bring their own food from home? Are the meals sourced from local farmers and providers? What are the components of your favorite school lunch? We are especially interested in collecting photos of school lunches from around the world! Currently, we prefer to correspond by email and Skype, and to write at least 2x per month. We look forward to meeting you and learning about the food culture of your area.