TESiboard Journalistic Writing

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Journalistic Writing, a TESiboard Literacy Collection

In a journalistic writing unit, pupils write newspaper-style reports:

  • Composing headlines
  • Drafting and laying out reports
  • Editing stories to fit the space available
  • Organising writing into paragraphs
  • Choosing images to accompany the report and composing captions.

Pupils must consider what will be of interest to the reader and compose a balanced report, sifting through available information and taking notes to write and lay out their final report.

TESiboard’s Journalist Desk is an interactive resource with an adaptable template for writing and printing a report, together with six different stories to cover. Using this resource, pupils can write, edit and lay out a complete report, selecting which information and photographs to include. The pupil is immersed in the role of journalist from the start: the interface is the view of a journalist’s desk, with a PC screen showing emails, a camera with a series of photos, a notebook and a reference book. Pupils click on these to access the story’s facts, photos and interviews. (Evidence in the in-box includes information from a mix of formats: video, written and visual.) We have developed an innovative ‘post-it note’ feature that opens up a note-taking area for pupils to précis the information they find and then view their notes as they are writing the report.

Journalist Desk gives scope to produce either separate reports or even to produce a class newspaper using all the stories. Each story has a synopsis for teachers (with an outline of the story and suggested approaches) and a guide to using the resource. To allow the writing to take place over more than one lesson, pupils’ work can be saved locally and re-opened in Journalist Desk at a later time.

The resource is aimed at Year 6 but would be also be useful in lower KS3. The six fictional stories and events include different points of view and opinions, and would be feasible for publication in a local newspaper. For differentiation purposes, the most straightforward stories with the most easily-accessible facts are ‘Sculpture Theft’ and ‘Goat Rescue’, followed by ‘Snake Escape’.

Please note that Flash Player 10 is required to use these activities.You can check the version of your Flash Player by right-clicking over the activity once it has launched.

Journalist Desk: Goat Rescue story

  • A stranded goat becomes the centre of a cliff-top drama when she is rescued by the coastguard helicopter. The farmer doesn’t see what all the fuss is about…

Journalist Desk: Snake Escape story

  • A Lesser-Spotted Houdeeni snake slithers out of the Zoo and into a neighbouring garden. Before his re-capture, he alarms a Zoo customer and the owner of the garden where he has taken refuge.

Journalist Desk: Sculpture Theft story

  • A huge sculpture is stolen from a public park in the middle of the night but the thieves didn’t cover their tracks very well.

Journalist Desk: Cheese Hurling story

  • A new world record is set at a Gloucestershire ‘Cheese Hurling’ event but there is also dissent from protestors and health and safety is called into question when a spectator is injured.

Journalist Desk: Robot Cleaner story

  • ‘Tony’, a new robotic household cleaner, sounds amazingly efficient but a couple of customers have some strange complaints about pet injuries!

Journalist Desk: Missing Link story

  • A palaeontologist in Scotland discovers the potential missing link between mammals and birds. The subsequent Museum exhibition of the bones of ‘Flappious Squirrelox’ captures the public’s imagination, but a disgruntled professor feels it’s all a clever hoax.

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