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COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Text
RI.3.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
RI.3.8 Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/ third in a sequence)
W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
W.3.3(b) Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
W.3.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
W.3.6 With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others
L.3.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
L.3.3(a) Choose words and phrases for effect.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grade 3 unit from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education titled “Newspaper Reporting and Interviewing” is intended to be completed in 12 thirty to forty-minute sessions. In this unit, students use newspaper articles as models to write their own narratives as reporters. Students construct understandings about journalism and the job of a newspaper reporter through guided inquiry. They review how to read, analyze, and critique models of narrative writing in news articles. Then, they learn how to conduct interviews and quote dialogue from the interviews as evidence to support the main ideas in their articles, using what they’ve learned about writing for a newspaper from exemplary models. As a culminating authentic performance task, students write a narrative newspaper article profiling members of the school community using quotes from interviews to support their main idea. In the process of writing the article, students work with a partner to conference, rewrite, layout, and proofread articles. The finished profiles are compiled together into a class newspaper that is circulated to families, friends, school personnel, and selected community members.
Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. The curriculum developers suggest that this unit be used midyear or later. While some accommodations and supports for students who are ELL, have disabilities and/or read below the grade level are provided, it will be important to consider the variability of learners in your class and make adaptations as necessary. Speaking and listening standards should be added to the standards listed above since many of the activities, including conducting interviews, target this set of standards. The Scholastic video links embedded in the lessons do not always bring you to the correct clip. Use the search bar at the site to find the video listed in the lesson plan or to substitute a different title. A classroom computer (that allows all students to view the monitor) or multiple computers (so that small groups of students can work with adult facilitators to navigate through an online newspaper website) will be necessary to complete the unit as intended. This unit aligns with the grade 3 Social Studies Frameworks theme of “Connecticut and Local History.” These social studies standards could be added to the targeted standards listed above. For a direct link to this source, see below.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This unit is an exemplary example of how to integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students apply and synthesize advancing literacy skills. The plan includes a progression of learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. It gradually removes supports, requiring students to demonstrate their independent capacities. Activities use technology and media to deepen learning and draw attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. The unit’s performance task provides students with the opportunity for authentic learning, application of literacy skills, student directed inquiry, analysis, evaluation and/or reflection. The “General Notes and Resources“ section contains an overview of instructional guidance; suggested pacing, a daily script of the lesson, as well as an extensive list of unit resources. Ongoing formative assessments are designed to inform instruction. The summative assessment includes an aligned rubric that provides guidance for interpreting individual student performance.