National Newspaper Week and Student Publishing
By: Art Peterson
Date: October 1, 2010
Summary: In celebration of National Newspaper Week, NWP highlights the use of newspapers and other publication sources by NWP teachers, lists articles on using newspapers for teaching, and suggests venues available to young writers and their teachers.
Since 1940, the Newpaper Managers Association has sponsored and supported National Newpaper Week, a celebration of the newspaper industry in the United States.
This year's celebration will be held October 3–9, with a theme that would not have occurred to newspaper workers in earlier times: "Newspapers—the present and online connection for today's communities."
In 1940 "online" would most likely have suggested something to do with hanging out the wash.
These days, however, as the week's theme suggests, newspapers are becoming increasingly aware of the value and necessity of a digital presence, and many are successfully making the adjustment.
NWP teachers have always looked toward newspapers as strong models of prose and as an outlet for their students' writing in the form of essays and letters to the editor.
Here are some pieces from our archives that celebrate the varied uses of newspapers in NWP classrooms and look to other venues where students and their teachers may publish.
Newspapers and Publications in the Classroom
Mary Tedrow, of the Northern Virginia Writing Project, describes a lesson where she used a Washington Post article to draw students' attention to how the author used punctuation to recreate the spoken word on paper and to enhance his intended meaning. More ›
When a newspaper writer identifies the hometown of her students as one of the fifty worst places to live in America, Suzanne Styron Edwards of the West Tennessee Writing Project has her students write letters to him. They respond with passionate and successful writing. More ›
Romana Hillebrand of the Northwest Inland Writing Project describes how a carefully crafted frame, such as those created by columnists William Safire and Ellen Goodman, can give a piece of writing a deeper sense of meaning and a way into and out of the assignment that escapes the overused traditional patterns. More ›
Joe Bellino, teacher-consultant with the Maryland Writing Project who teaches English language learners, describes the process of publishing a newspaper written by his students and talks about how this paper has positively affected readers, writers, and the school. More ›
Eighth grade math teacher Tom Murray and teacher-consultant Joe Bellacero, co-director of the New York City Writing Project, recount their innovative collaboration: they have students write gossip tabloid articles about math topics, which increases their understanding of math and develops their writing skills. More ›
Teacher-consultant Rus VanWestervelt of the Maryland Writing Project describes how he founded a journal designed and edited by high school students and devoted entirely to publishing creative nonfiction written by teens throughout Maryland. More ›
Writing Project teacher Anne Rodier is quoted in this New York Times article, arguing that students "have to believe that what they have to say is important enough to bother writing. They have to experience writing for real audiences before they will know that writing can bring them power." More ›
Jim Wilcox, a teacher-consultant with the Oklahoma Writing Project, has his students do investigative reports on local issues and organizations. Students not only improve their writing and research skills; they "learn that their own talents and time are valuable assets in solving some of the world's problems." More ›
Fourth grade teacher Glen Bledsoe, of the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University, has his students create comic strips together, which engages their creativity and teaches them writing, critical thinking, and other skills. More ›
Have you thought about using comic strips as a new way to engage your students? It seems like a perfect step along the continuum of multimedia use in composition, but the artwork aspect of it may be daunting. Enter: Bitstrips for Schools. More ›
Teachers often strive to develop exercises in which students write "authentic" pieces for an audience beyond the teacher. Patricia Slagle of the Louisville Writing Project shows how newspapers provide a great real venue for such prompts. "Imagine you are the drama critic for your local newspaper..." More ›
Judith Baker and Joe Check of the Boston Writing Project provide a group of urban high school students with the real work of producing a student newspaper, which allows them to succeed in new ways as writers. More ›
Education World offers ten lessons to help you integrate the newspaper into your classroom curriculum. Included: Activities that involve students in interviewing a local newspaper reporter, creating editorial cartoons, comparing newspapers, and more. More ›
Warm-up activities, curriculum extensions, skill builders, literacy games, substitute lessons, or just for fun: this collection of reusable activity sheets can be used with any day's edition of The New York Times. More ›
Classics, contemporary fiction, young adult and graphic novels, sequels and adaptations: Here are 10 ideas that will help any teacher use the vast resources of NYTimes.com to show students the connections between any type of literature and life. More ›
Boycott the red pen that ensnares us in syntactical games of right and wrong, and pick up a piece of literature—or any newspaper—and explore the English language with fresh eyes. More ›
The Seattle Times offers this list of activities designed to help students to improve their understanding and use of the electronic newspaper. More ›
This site presents some strategies for ways to use newspapers to engage reluctant readers and writers in newspaper-based literacy activities. More ›
Publication Venues for Student Writing
Writing Project teachers have always found authentic ways to propel their students toward writing to an audience beyond the classroom. This collection focuses on online publishing opportunities for students of all ages—including literary magazines, book review sites, and even jokes and riddles. More ›
Writing Project teachers and their students have been involved in Teen Ink for years—publishing stories, poems, reviews, interviews with notable people, and more. More ›
One of the highest honors that teen writers can receive is publication in The Best Teen Writing. Writing Project sites are becoming increasingly involved in evaluating the writing in their region as affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, which publishes the anthology. More ›
Working to turn a broad range of students into published authors, the Student Press Initiative deepens the learning experience for thousands of young writers. More ›
Think It Ink It creates illustrated books that children themselves write—beginning with wordless picture books that encourage both reading and writing. More ›
Publishing Opportunities for Teachers and Sites
As part of the of the West Texas Writing Project's summer institute, Site Director Jonna Perrillo implemented an op-ed project, which brings teachers' classrooms and educational opinions to readers of the El Paso Times. More ›
The former editor of NCTE's English Journal, Louann Reid, provides tips for writing professional articles, a list of appropriate journals that accept professional writing, examples of "calls for manuscripts," and an inside look at the manuscript review process. More ›
Four years ago, the Inland Area Writing Project in California began requiring a piece of professional writing from all summer institute participants. Teacher-consultant Barbara Giles describes the program and how it has led to a total of 35 pieces being published. More ›
Ann Dobie, director of the Louisiana Writing Project State Network, describes how she transformed a graduate research paper on teaching spelling into an academic conference presentation, a professional development workshop, a journal article, and then a book. More ›
Edited by Carol Smallwood, this collection of short pieces from published teacher-writers offers concrete, useful strategies covering every aspect of writing for publication in a variety of genres. More ›