Find Lesson Plans
Search Sort Lessons Random
Submit a Lesson Plan

#2716. News Stories to Narrative Poetry

Reading/Writing, level: Senior
Posted Fri Oct 11 07:42:54 PDT 2002 by Henry Shader (hshader@eriesd.iu5.org).
East High School, Erie, PA, USA
Materials Required: See Lesson Plan
Activity Time: See Lesson Plan
Concepts Taught: See Lesson Plan

Title: News Stories to Narrative Poetry

Concept Description:
Each day, citizens of our modern society are bombarded with images and basic details of news events which have a significant emotional impact upon the lives of the people named in the news stories, but they do not often affect the public at large to any great degree. We may shake our heads in dismay at the report of yet another bomb blast in Tel Aviv and the Israeli Army's inevitable retaliation, and we may smile with warmth when we read about a cancer survivor's triumphant athletic victory, but we seldom shed a single tear or shout for joy as we absorb these stories, for these events and people are far removed from ourselves. We don't know them, and the magnitude of the information we wade through in a single day prevents most of us from connecting with any of these news events and individuals with any real empathy. If we knew these people of these news events, the emotional impact upon us would be far greater.
Through this lesson, students will dissect the images and details of current news stories, inductively speculate what other images and details may not have been reported, compose a narrative poem or ballad that relates the emotional impact of the news story upon those directly involved, and come to realize the commonalities they share with most of the people they regularly see, hear, and read about in most news stories.
This lesson may be modified for English students to compose short stories, or for Drama students to write scripts or impromptu scenarios which culminate with the news story and perform the same.

Objectives (and PA Academic Standards References): The students will-
scan the daily newspaper for a story and/or photo that describes/depicts events that most likely had a strong emotional impact upon the people described/depicted. (1.11.11.A, 1.1.11.D, 1.2.11.A)
list kinds of people who would most likely react to or be affected by this story and/or photo. (1.5.11.A)
list the images described/depicted in the text and/or picture. (1.5.11.B,D)
list the people described/depicted and any details given/shown about them. (1.5.11.B,D)
create imaginative story outlines about background images and events experienced by the people before the news event described/depicted. (1.3.11.F, 1.4.11.A, 1.5.11.A,B,C)
identify the main character(s) in the story outlines and answer the Creating Character questions about him/her. (1.3.11.F, 1.4.11.A, 1.5.11.A,B,C)
create a speculative list of the emotions experienced by the people described/depicted as the news event occured. (1.3.11.F, 1.4.11.A, 1.5.11.A,B,C)
speculate about the long-range effects of the news event upon the people involved and others. (1.3.11.F, 1.4.11.A, 1.5.11.A,B,C)
use the writing process to compose a script or scene descriptions about the news event that utilizes the above-described lists as prewriting. (1.3.11.F, 1.4.11.A, 1.5.11.A,B,C,D,E,F)
present their compositions to the class using appropriate directing and acting techniques. (1.5.11.G, 1.6.11.C)
View classmates' productions critically and discuss and evaluate the same orally and in writing. (1.6.11.A,B,D,E)


Lesson Plan: News Stories to Narrative Poetry H. Shader, Page 2

Materials:
Daily newspapers
Creating Character Questions prewriting worksheet
(as related by Dr. Sally Levan, from In the Middle, 1999 by Nancie Atwell)
Writing notebooks
Pencils, pens, writing paper, word processors (if available)
Peer evaluation and self-evaluation forms

Anticipatory Set:
Relate the above Concept Description in terms understandable to the class level. Picking any story of emotional import and asking students to substitute people in the story with people they know can help illustrate the topic sentence of its first paragraph. (2 minutes)
Relate the Objectives in terms understandable to the class level. (2 minutes)
Relate the Evaluation rubric to the class. (2 minutes)
Overview directing information in the textbook and the Writing Process. (4 minutes)

Activities:
Students scan newspapers and list possible stories/photos that meet the criteria described in the first objective. (5 minutes)
Each student selects one story and/or photo and creates lists and completes his/her prewriting as per the Objectives. (60 minutes)
Students compose their scripts or scene descriptions , using the Writing Process to draft, revise, edit and peer edit, write a final draft and publish. (75 minutes)
Students direct and rehearse their scenes, utilizing other class members.
Students present their scenes to the class as other class members fill out evaluation forms. (depending upon class size)

Closure: (My apologies to Dr. Levan for using this word, but it's how I was trained to write lesson plans.)
Students fill out self-evaluation forms.
Ask students how this lesson may affect how they may watch the news or read news stories.
Relate the concept of Media Literacy.

Lesson Plan: News Stories to Narrative Poetry H. Shader, Page 3

Evaluation:
In-class observation and the degree to which students remain on-task will be factored into their grades on this project. The primary grading instrument will be the following rubric:

Prewriting
Appropriate story/photo and identifying audience: 1 2 3 4 5
Lists of images and people described/depicted: 1 2 3 4 5
Story Outline and Creating Character questions: 1 2 3 4 5
Speculative lists of emotions and long-range effects: 1 2 3 4 5
1st draft (Effort only): 1 2 3 4 5
Revision (Integrating details, ideal diction, improving
poetic devices): 1 2 3 4 5
Editing (Checking spelling, evidence of peer editing): 1 2 3 4 5
Final Draft/Publishing
Neatness, spelling and mechanics: 1 2 3 4 5
Synthesis of prewriting lists and story outline: 4 8 12 16 20
Integrating dramatic devices correctly/appropriately: 4 8 12 16 20
Presentation
Posture and Poise: 1 2 3 4 5
Gestures, Eye Contact and Movement: 1 2 3 4 5
Volume and Projection: 1 2 3 4 5
Vocal Inflection, Emphasis and Articulation: 1 2 3 4 5
Total and percentage: /100
Lesson Plan: News Stories to Narrative Poetry H. Shader, Page 4
Appendix A:
Creating Character
From
Nancie Atwell, In The Middle, 1999
Dr. Sally Levan
2001

A good writer of fiction, drama, or poetry begins by creating a character:

1. Who is she?


2. What is her/his name?


3. How old is she?


4. What does s/he look like?

5. Where does s/he live?

6. What is her/his family background

7. What does s/he like to do?

8. What is different about him/her?

9. What does s/he care about? WHY?

10. What does s/he fear? Why?
Lesson Plan: News Stories to Narrative Poetry H. Shader, Page 5
Appendix A (Continued):

11. What are her/his dreams?

12. Who are the important people in her/his life?

13. What is the problem s/he is facing?*

14. How will s/he change?


15. What will s/he understand about her/himself and her/his world at the end of the story?


The problem

What is the problem--in terms of his/her relationship with others, him/herself, or the world--that the main character must resolve? What is the challenge s/he will confront?


Lesson Plan: News Stories to Narrative Poetry H. Shader, Page 6
Appendix B:

News Stories to Narrative Poetry Peer Evaluation Form:
Name Director Title:
Posture and Poise: Very Good Good Fair
Gestures, Eye Contact and Movement: Very Good Good Fair
Volume and Projection: Very Good Good Fair
Vocal Inflection, Emphasis and Articulation: Very Good Good Fair
Dramatic Action and Language Very Good Good Fair
Understandability Very Good Good Fair
Interest/Emotion Very Good Good Fair
What about the scene(s) could be improved?
What was the best thing about the scene(s)?
**********************************************************************************

News Stories to Narrative Poetry Peer Evaluation Form:
Name Director Title:
Posture and Poise: Very Good Good Fair
Gestures, Eye Contact and Movement: Very Good Good Fair
Volume and Projection: Very Good Good Fair
Vocal Inflection, Emphasis and Articulation: Very Good Good Fair
Dramatic Action and Language Very Good Good Fair
Understandability Very Good Good Fair
Interest/Emotion Very Good Good Fair
What about the scene(s) could be improved?
What was the best thing about the scene(s)?

Lesson Plan: News Stories to Narrative Poetry H. Shader, Page 7
Appendix C: Student Self-Evaluation Form.

News Stories to Narrative Poetry Self-Evaluation Form:

Director Production Title:

Assign yourself an honest score from 1 (poor) to 5 (outstanding) for each of the following criteria of this project:
Prewriting
Appropriate story/photo and identifying audience: 1 2 3 4 5
Lists of images and people described/depicted: 1 2 3 4 5
Story Outline and Creating Character questions: 1 2 3 4 5
Speculative lists of emotions and long-range effects: 1 2 3 4 5
1st draft (Effort only): 1 2 3 4 5
Revision (Integrating details, ideal diction, improving
poetic devices): 1 2 3 4 5
Editing (Checking spelling, evidence of peer editing): 1 2 3 4 5
Final Draft/Publishing
Neatness, spelling and mechanics: 1 2 3 4 5
Synthesis of prewriting lists and story outline: 4 8 12 16 20
Integrating dramatic devices correctly/appropriately: 4 8 12 16 20
Presentation
Posture and Poise: 1 2 3 4 5
Gestures, Eye Contact and Movement: 1 2 3 4 5
Volume and Projection: 1 2 3 4 5
Vocal Inflection, Emphasis and Articulation: 1 2 3 4 5
Total and percentage: /100
What should you work on improving the most in your creative writing?
What are the best qualities of your creative writing?