This past election cycle made my job as a teacher very difficult. It seemed as though each week, some conversation would start up about the presidential election. As someone who ardently believes that middle school and high school students need a safe space to explore their ideas and opinions in a respectful, factual way, it was always tricky to maintain a free and open environment for those conversations! We opened the new semester exploring news reporting, and it couldn’t have come at a more relevant time!
For the past three weeks, my hsap kids and I have been busy learning about the 5 W’s of good news writing. We have had great conversations about the role of journalism and how much journalism relies on research (pre-writing) and fact-checking. While I required their news stories to be timely, true and have broad appeal, there were those students who found it difficult to leave their biases behind. Thankfully, we have transitioned into editorial writing; just in time for those who could not wait for the editorial opportunity to share their opinions!
Here is a PowerPoint presentation I used last week to not only introduce editorial writing, but also to help the younger students grasp the concepts behind good opinion writing. OREOS, anyone?
We will soon use the skills from news writing and opinion writing to launch us into a mini-unit on debate! Can’t wait!