Freshman Newsletter
Students will use a word processing program to create a newsletter about their first week in high school. The lesson can be done using a second language to improve communication skills.

Main Curriculum Area: Computer

Grade Level: Secondary

Approximate Time Required: 5 hours

Primary Goal and Objective: 3.1

Other Goals & Objectives from the NC Standard Course of Study:
Freshman level Language Arts
1: The learner will use strategies and processes that enhance control of communication skills development.
1.1 The learner will apply PREPARATION strategies to comprehend or convey experiences and information.
1.2 The learner will apply ENGAGEMENT strategies to comprehend or convey experiences and information.
1.3 The learner will apply RESPONSE strategies to comprehend or convey experiences and information.

Teacher's Lesson Goals/Objectives:
Students will practice their expository writing skills. Students will review their writing and improve their written communication. Students will illustrate their expository writing in a manner that improves their ability to communicate effectively. Students will create a professional-looking newsletter based on their experiences.

Material/Resources Needed:
paper and students with experiences

Technology Resources Needed:
one computer for each student working concurrently.
Word processing software (MS word compatible to use the template) (MS Word or Publisher if the newsletter will be published on the web)

Students should be given several examples of expository writing, including viewing material in a newspaper.

Students should outline their newsletter. The articles should be based on their experiences. After an outline is formed, the students should be given class time to develop their newsletter on the computer. Use the enclosed template so they can easily do columns. On successive days the students should retrieve their documents and edit their previous work. When completed, print the newsletter. OPTIONAL: save the newsletters as HTML documents and post on the school web site.

Assessment will involve the grammar, clarity of ideas, and appropriateness of illustrations used. The teacher's normal grading policy should be used with the addition of the illustrations.

Supplemental Resources / Information for Teachers:
Students often are excited by the prospect of posting their newsletter on the Internet. Care should be taken to ensure that the articles conform to the School System's policy on posting student work/information.

Additional Comments from the Author of This Lesson:
These materials were developed to support and enhance the use of the 1998 K-12 computer/technology skills standard course of study.

About the Author:
Christopher I. Cobitz (NC A&T State University)

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