Lesson Plan #24
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News Summaries for French Class:
For French immersion and French-speaking schools
Grades 7 to 12
Language Arts, Journalism, French
OVERVIEW OF LESSON PLAN
This lesson plan will encourage English and French students to
fine tune their language skills in a journalistic format while
learning more about journalistic writing and doing news summaries.
Students in French immersion will take an article from the RDR
summarize and translate it while a student from a French-speaking
school will summarize and translate an article from our SNN website
MATERIALS AND PREPARATION
1. Teachers review with students the SNN and RDR websites
and discuss what is entailed in a news summary:
- What does it mean to "summarize" something?
- How can summaries of news articles be useful?
- If you were assigned to write a summary of a news article,
how would you go about doing so? Detail the steps you would take
in summarizing your article.
Summaries should meet the following criteria:
- Clearly states the focus of the article.
- Includes enough relevant background information so that the
reader will fully understand the new information.
- Includes any new developments or information clearly.
- Introduced by an interesting headline that offers the most
important piece of information in the article.
- Edited to be 100 words or less.
- When writing a news article (even a summarize) you must use
the 5W's of News: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and sometimes
How). Use the inverted pyramid style. This means that articles
should be written with the most important information first and
the least important last. Use SNN's Writing
Guide to show how a news article is done.
2. Teachers can take the article from the RDR website. This
exercise does not require students to be skilled at translation
or to be fluent in French. It would simply help them develop
their reading skills in French and test their comprehension of
the material they have read. Since the text has been written
by their peers, it may be more accessible and interesting to
the students than textbook material and enhance the reading experience
for them. After reading the article, the students would summarize
it using the summary notes above. They would write their summary
is both english and french.
3. HOMEWORK: Students select a news article
from copies of a local or national French newspaper or online
news website for links. Students first take notes organized into
the categories "Background" and "New Information."
Students then write a summary of the article using the information
provided on doing summaries.
When news summaries are completed, students can share them in
class. Students can also submit their summaries to SNN (english
articles) and RDR (french articles).
Students will be assessed on in-class participation, summary
of article provided and summary of article from newspaper.
- Students can interview a person they admire. This interview
can be done on video or audio as well (check SNN's Newsroom site on how to do interviews and
using video/audio). Write short profile article in French for
their school newspaper or publish it in an online french-language youth
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