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THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM by Christopher Paul Curtis is a favorite novel for middle school.
As students read the novel and probably use a study guide for it, this newspaper project is just the thing to bring in the Common Core Writing Standards for informational text. The standards are writing standards 6.2, 7.2, and 8.2.
(In case you want it to be a surprise about the bombing of the church, you might want to wait until that chapter is over before starting this project. It’s up to you which you prefer to do.)
The newspaper writing project consists of a front page picture of the 16th Street Baptist Church where the bombing in Birmingham took place. Students will research the colors of the building and replicate it on this page.
Students make two flaps by cutting down the middle of the church vertically. They staple the two pieces to the left and right edges of the second sheet. By opening the flaps one can see the majority of the templates for the pictures and articles of the newspaper. On the back of the stapled packet is the last page of the newspaper.
Included in the newspaper are templates where students write or draw the title of the newspaper, the logo, news articles, pictures, vocabulary word find, book review, chapter events, advertisements, want ads, and cartoons.
I’ve included a handout with the Common Core Writing Standards for Informational Text for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Students may need this to refer to as they do their writing.
Also included is a rubric that might be helpful to give the students as they begin the project. They can return it with their newspaper when finished for the teacher to use when evaluating the project.
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