Guitty Talberg Guitty Talberg

Collaborative Writing for the Class Newspaper
Mid Intermediate Year 4 level


In this lesson the students will be told that they will be writing collaboratively for the class newspaper. Their focus will be using all the features of writing news articles and features, rather than editorials.In this lesson particularly they will decide roles within the group, what their articles will be about and who they will interview for their articles. They will look again at all the features of writing an article and analyse the language features for their writing by looking at a model.


Main Aims

  • • To provide written questions for interviews of proposed interviewees
  • • To provide roles, summary of proposed articles and interviews by discussing writing similar to that which they plan to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
  • • To discuss and record ideas

Subsidiary Aims

  • • To participate in discussions & presentations maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic, initiating, responding to comments by speculating, hypothesising, imagining, exploring ideas


Warmer/Lead-in (3-10 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Explain to ss that today they have entered the newsroom and that they are my reporters who will be searching for scoops and writing articles for our class newspaper. Each team will need to report to me as the editor in chief to ensure they are on track and that we review the work together, edit and mock up their articles on the computer for publishing and selling to the ss in the school. The aim is to produce work collaboratively and groups can decide how many articles they will want to write depending on time factors, and editing. All work to be done and written on computers which my students will be extremely happy about as it is rare to write computers. Time set for print and publication 5 days. So now we are going to brainstorm some ideas about what we want to write about, who you could interview and how to set up your working group. Ss brainstorm and throw ideas inc. the sports day coming up, head to be interviewed, students and teachers about uniforms, new science labs, recycling, why they became teachers and any other articles that are of interest. Explain to students that they need to assign roles for each member in the group i.e. researcher, photographer/images, interviewers, writers/re-writers and proof readers/editing or correctors for submissions.

Exposure - First News Poster (8-10 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening and discussion

Display a good example of ss writing from last session. Also display First News Poster (image resource). Share what makes a good report. Say that the success criteria will also help guide improvement of their writing. Discuss the poster and ask about features of a newspaper article and distinguish between that and language features. Remind ss need past tense, 1st or 3rd person depending on the written article. Discuss chronology in the poster and how the article uses time connectives, adverbials and powerful verbs. Discuss hook for the reader here and what lead in meant to do in different articles. Review the difference between news article, feature and editorial. Remember now I need your assigned roles, plans on the articles, who you will interview and questions you will ask.

Planning - Spidergram and timeline to remember chronology (2-5 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language and tools for coming productive tasks

Always ask these questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Productive Task(s) - To assign roles, decide on articles and prepare questionnaires for interviews (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Give ss limited planning time, encouraging reference to success criteria. Explain that recording should be brief and may be a series of boxes with the topic of each section/paragraph inside. Explain that writing the headline will be their last task – otherwise, this can often take up valuable planning and drafting time. Ss groups assigned and they begin discussing roles and possible articles to write at least 2 articles from each group and write a document between them to determine these roles and articles. Ss then decide who they want to interview and plan to make appointments with the relevant people and prepare questionnaire document. Teachers role only as a resource, support and observational here only.

Feedback and Error Correction (8-10 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

Feedback on what ss have decided to do and who they want to interview. Listen to all their suggestions and confirm what each group has decided to do. Ss will begin making appointments for interviews and review and discuss some of the questions they will ask and the importance of making sure quotes are accurate. Ensure that groups not duplicating articles and give other suggestions for articles. Change and apply to their scheme of work document. All documents as to roles and articles proposed handed in for the next session.

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