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Newsletter Lesson

Language Arts (English), Social Studies

Topic or Unit of Study:
American Revolution


TSW be able to identify the different roles women played during the Revolution. TSW describe contributions made by at least three different women during the Revolution. TSW use the Internet and software to research the women's lives. TSW develop a newsletter to present information about the women, including several of their accomplishments.

The students will research the roles that women played during the Revolution, women such as Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Molly Pitcher, Mercy Otis Warren. The students will write short biographies about three of these women and present their information in the form of a newsletter. The newsletter will include a title, text and graphics or pictures.

Learning Context:
Earlier in the month, the students were studying the causes of the American Revolution. This week, we're focusing on the course and consequences of the American Revolution. After we finish this unit, we'll turn to the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution.

Day 1
1. Students will be placed in groups of two.
2. Teacher will assign each group a woman from the Revolution to research.
3. Students will go to the computer lab to view several websites to gather information regarding their women.
4. Teacher will provide a list of five to six websites that the students can view.
5. Students are expected to view several websites and pull together information regarding their woman.
6. Students are to either take notes on the information they encounter on the websites or copy and paste the information into a Word document. If the students choose the latter option, they will need to save the Word document on a disk before leaving the lab.

Day 2
1. The following day, students will return to the lab to read over the information they've gathered. Each pair of students will write a mini-biography on their Revolution woman. The mini-biography should be no more than six to seven paragraphs.
2. Students will spend this class period typing in the text for their mini-biography.
3. Each pair of students should save their biography on a disk before exiting Word.

Day 3
1. Students will return to computer lab. They will bring their disks with them.
2. With one computer to two students, the students will open a new Word document.
3. Teacher will model how to create a newsletter. Teacher will demonstrate how to place a header or title at the top of the newsletter. Teacher will click on view menu and drag to header and footer. Teacher will type in sample title.
4. Each pair will discuss a plausible title for their newsletter. The students will then place a header at the top of their newsletter.
5. Teacher will demonstrate how to add columns to a newsletter. Teacher will click on format and drag to columns. Teacher will choose from one of the presets. Teacher will click on line between option to place a line between the columns. Teacher will experiment with other options.
6. Students will add columns to their newsletters.
7. Teacher will apply a border to the newsletter. Teacher will click on format, drag to borders and shading. Teacher will click on page border tab. Teacher will choose setting, style, color, width, etc. and then click ok.
8. Students will apply borders to their newsletters.

Day 4
1. Teacher will review how to copy and paste text from a Word document into another Word document.
2. Students will copy and paste their text into the newsletter document. Students will experiment with formatting their newsletter.
3. Teacher will demonstrate how to copy and paste pictures from the images section of into their newsletters.
4. Students will log onto google and search for pictures of their woman or the American Revolution in general. Students will copy and paste pictures into their newsletters.
5. Teacher will demonstrate how to wrap text around a picture.
6. Students will wrap text around their pictures.
7. Students will save their newsletters to a disk and then print a copy of each newsletter.

Day 5
1. Teacher will ask each pair to swap newletters with another pair. Each pair of students will evaluate another pair's newsletter. They will write comments on the newsletter with regard to grammar, formatting, content, etc.
2. Once the students have finished looking over the newsletters and making comments, the students will return the newsletter to its creators. The creators will look over the comments. They may opt to make changes to the newsletter or submit it to the teacher as is. If the pair wants to make changes to the newsletter, they will be given approximately 15-20 minutes time in the computer lab to do so.

Sample Student Products:
Students will work collaboratively. Students will work in groups of 2.

Time Allotment:
5 class periods. 45 Min. per class.

Author's Comments & Reflections:
Depending upon the students' level of knowledge regarding Word and newsletters, they may need more or less time to complete this assignment. On the fourth day, you may only need 30 minutes depending on whether students want to make changes to their newsletters.

Instructional Materials:
  • Use school computer lab
  • The number of computers required is 1 per 2 students.
  • Technology resources:
  • Students Familiarity with Software Tool:
    Students have used Word many times. They have only completed one other newsletter, which was at the beginning of the year.

CA- California K-12 Academic Content Standards
• Subject English Language Arts
• Grade Grade Five
• Area Reading
• Sub-Strand 2.0Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)
Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowl-edge of text structure, organization, and purpose. The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. In addition, by grade eight, students read one million words annually on their own, including a good representation of grade-level-appropriate narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information). In grade five, students make progress toward this goal.
• Concept Structural Features of Informational Materials
 Standard 2.1Understand how text features (e.g., format, graphics, sequence, diagrams, illustrations, charts, maps) make information accessible and usable.
 Standard 2.2Analyze text that is organized in sequential or chronological order.
• Area Writing
• Sub-Strand 1.0Writing Strategies
Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits the studentsí awareness of the audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.
• Concept Organization and Focus
 Standard 1.2Create multiple-paragraph expository compositions: a. Establish a topic, important ideas, or events in sequence or chronological order. b. Provide details and transitional expressions that link one paragraph to another in a clear line of thought. c. Offer a concluding paragraph that summarizes important ideas and details.
• Subject History & Social Science
• Grade Grade Five
• Area United States History and Geography: Making a New Nation
Students in grade five study the development of the nation up to 1850, with an emphasis on the people who were already here, when and from where others arrived, and why they came. Students learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government. They recognize that ours is a nation that has a constitution that derives its power from the people, that has gone through a revolution, that once sanctioned slavery, that experienced conflict over land with the original inhabitants, and that experienced a westward movement that took its people across the continent. Studying the cause, course, and consequences of the early explorations through the War for Independence and western expansion is central to studentsí fundamental understanding of how the principles of the American republic form the basis of a pluralistic society in which individual rights are secured.
• Sub-Strand 5.6Students understand the course and consequences of the American Revolution.
 Standard 3Identify the different roles women played during the Revolution (e.g., Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Molly Pitcher, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren).

Teacher will use a rubric to assess each newsletter. The rubric contains several criteria, including structural organization, support, graphics, layout and mechanics. Each newsletter will be given a total score based on how it ranks according to the criteria in the rubric. Teacher will also provide written comments about the newsletter.

Rubric for Newsletter Lesson