This week we continued our Journalism Unit with an investigation of hard news article writing. Students are comparing the characteristics of feature and news articles and applying that understanding by examining articles on the website Newsela. Students worked in groups to analyze articles by topic (Science, Law, Health, Arts, Sports, etc..). They then chose an article to read and responded to comprehension/analysis questions. They are applying this knowledge to their own article writing for the DGS Gateway.
Students were given back assessed writing assignments and had the opportunity to begin revising in anticipation of identifying writing pieces for their portfolios. Students are also engaging in the final steps of the writing process (edit, revision, draft) for their short story which will be submitted on Friday. Edit and revision are such an important part of the writing process and I've asked them to always engage in peer-editing sessions with at least two peers and share their work with a grown-up before submitting work to me. They have had conferences with me and examined mentor texts to help them through the writing process.
We were pretty pressed for time to meet other deadlines and due dates, so we did not get to begin our first Social Studies unit. However, we will hit the ground running on Tuesday with an investigation of Early Man, which will include learning about the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras and early migrations of man.
Josie and Julian engage in a conference for their Gateway article. During this conference they used words like "edit", "revise by...", and "meet our deadline." I love when kids use the language of Language Arts!
Middle school students take a short break to do some focused breathing and meditation...an important part of learning!