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In the News!

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Summary

Students will write a “newspaper article” comparing their state to another state, learning how to research information, take notes, organize material, and proofread.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will write a “newspaper article” comparing their state to another state, learning how to research information, take notes, organize material, and proofread.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Boundaries
  • State nicknames/mottoes
  • Climate
  • Population
  • Natural resources
  • Symbols
  • Statehood

Materials

  • Reference resources (encyclopedias, atlases, maps, dictionaries, and other reference materials)
  • Copies of the “What’s the Scoop?” sheet (page 12), one per student
  • Copies of the newspaper article template (page 13), one per student or as many as needed
  • A notebook
  • Pens/pencils
  • Markers or colored pencils for illustrations

Preparations

  • Copy “What’s the Scoop?” (page 12) to guide students in their research.
  • Copy newspaper article template (page 13).
  • Assign a different state to each student.
  • Make reference resources available, and schedule time in the library for research.
  • Provide markers/colored pencils for students to use in illustrations.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/354-359.pdf.

  1. Explain to students that they are going to become reporters for the Quarterly News and write a newspaper article on a state.
  2.  Hand out the “What’s the Scoop?” worksheet (page 12). (It is not necessary that students answer all questions on the list.)
  3. Have the students keep notes in which they compile the results of their research.
  4. Allow students time in class or at the library to work on the project. You may also wish to assign time at home for them to complete the assignment.
  5. Once students are finished researching information and taking notes, have them write a one- to two-page draft of the article.
  6. Remind students that the article needs a headline and some sort of illustration or picture of the quarter they are researching. Students may also include an illustration or picture of the state flower, the state bird, the shape of the state, the state flag, or any other unique landmark or physical feature.
  7. Work with students individually or in groups to help them edit their drafts for grammar, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, and clarity.
  8. Have students write his or her final draft on a copy of the newspaper article template (page 13) in his or her best handwriting or on a computer.
  9. Bind the final reports together into one “newspaper” and have students discuss possible names for it.
  10. Students should be graded on the quality and accuracy of their information; their writing proficiency, including grammar, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, and neatness; their artwork; and the overall effort they have put into their reports.  It may be a good idea to require students to hand in their research worksheets (page 10) as well.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Students can share their reports with the class in an oral presentation.
  • Students can look for more in-depth resources on the state they researched, and write a “biography” of a famous American from that state.

Use the worksheets and reports to assess the students' quality and accuracy of information; writing proficiency including grammar, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, and neatness;  artwork; and overall effort.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.